LocalNewser standupkid's dispatches from the frontlines of local news


Just Saying No to Social Media? That Could Hurt Your Local News Career

Need one more piece of evidence that knowing social media's increasingly part of being in the media?  Well, Twitter-resister, listen up:  "Learn to organize and socialize," writes Deborah Potter on her Advancing the Story blog.  Potter argues in a shrinking pool of local TV news jobs, people who have multimedia skills have the edge, no matter how good your walk-and-talk liveshots are:  "In the digital journalism context, it means knowing how to organize information from a variety of sources and how to push information out via social media, from Digg to Twitter and beyond."

The Poynter Institute's Joe Grimm says with so many experienced journalists competing for fewer and fewer jobs, the folks doing the hiring want that "something extra," and the newsers who have it get the gigs:  "Increasingly, recruiters are looking for that X factor, X being for extra. What can you do in addition to your base skills? Can you make a slideshow, gather audio, shoot video? Can you help us grow?"

Mike Elgan:  Loves Twitter, Hates "Bad TV News"

Mike Elgan: Loves Twitter, Hates "Bad TV News"

And then there's Mike Elgan's argument:  social media, more and more, does news better than old media do:  "Almost every day, I take a break or two from my PC, where I'm constantly monitoring social media, and I check out CNN, MSNBC, and Fox news or, if it's the right time of day, the network news on ABC, CBS and NBC. I'm always appalled by what I see on TV news. It's pathetic."

Elgan says local and cable newsers are trying social media, but not in ways that take advantage of the immediacy and power of the emerging social media platforms.  It's worth a read.  And one more argument to at least go and get on Twitter.  With the other guy Twittering his brains out making connections and finding stories, you're truly hurting yourself by sitting on the sidelines.

But hey.  Use your best judgment.


Sure, Rick Does It, But Should You? Local News Anchors, Reporters and Twitter

CNN's Rick Sanchez recently Twittered his way through knee surgery: "The IV is in!" Just one more way the ex-WSVN/Miami anchor has carved a unique niche for himself as the most Twittering of TV types. But he's hardly the only one.

Last night I had a chat with a reporter in Kansas Twittering his way through a small town city council meeting. And yes, they were tweeting back in rural Kansas. The question is, are you? Or, as Mike Elgan writes in NetworkWorld: should you? "Is it OK for reporters and editors to tweet live events? By doing so, the news is already out there by the time colleagues get out of the event and back to their laptops. Is that fair?"

Take a moment and check out Twitter if you haven't already. Odds are one of the stations in your market has a Twitter account, and uses it to create a unique connection between viewer, station, and in many cases, talent. Reporters tweet about the various behind-the-scenes screwups that befall us each and every day, and apparently, some Twittering viewers love that stuff.

I've seen other anchors tweeting out some pretty lame stuff: "Off to anchor the news at 5! Watch me on Action News 7!" Yay. Neat. Un-follow.

Rick Sanchez/CNN

Rick Sanchez/CNN

And Elgin's no fan of on-set, in-show Twittering, a la Rick Sanchez.  "CNN has gone Twitter-mad, with several anchors featuring Twitter answers on screen, including and especially Rick Sanchez . I even saw CNN promote an upcoming segment by showing the anchor typing a question into the Twitter "What are you doing?" box in real time.  Integrating Twitter into TV news was novel at first, but do viewers really want to turn on the TV to watch the news anchor using another medium?"

How are you using Twitter? And--I hate to even bring this up for fear of giving up my advantage--but are you, as I am, getting stories through Twitter? (it's a goldmine) Share your experiences.

Read Mike Elgan's take here.

UPDATE:  An interesting take today from Steve Rubel's MicroPersuasion:  "The upshot is that today it's impossible to draw a line between social media and traditional media - it's all one."  Read the entire post here.