Hi. My name is Adam.

Make your work matter: 7 priorities for journalists in 2010

Posted in blogging, convergence, journalism, news, twitter by adambsullivan on January 7, 2010

Individualism — Reporters need to be more self-sufficient than ever. Editors exist to assist reporters and to be a resource. However, reporters ought to think of ways to expand their coverage with technology without being told to do so. Just as reporters don’t wait for the command from an editor to call a certain source or look up a bit of information, reporters shouldn’t wait for orders to shoot video, engage their audience via social media, or put links into their stories. Additionally, while newsroom leadership is there to teach and guide you, it’s the reporters responsibility to seek advice and to learn new skills.

Branding — Journalists should make sure their web presence provides a flattering picture of their work. When you apply for jobs or internships, your employer is going to Google your name. If what shows up is bad (or, worse, if nothing shows up at all), you’re not going to get hired. Write stories that get a lot of hits, start a blog, and use social networking.
(See also: Your digital profile tells people a lot, by Steve Buttry)

Promotion — The web is an excellent place to promote your work. Your friends and family (facebook!) want to see what you’re doing, but they need to be reminded to look. People you don’t know (twitter!) also want to see your work, they just don’t know it yet. Use the web to reach out.

Engagement — Simply put, you need to be tuned into your community and your community needs to be tuned into you. Your “community” includes the local area as well as people elsewhere who are interested in the beat you cover. If your community is engaged in your work, it’ll be a huge asset: They’ll alert you of story ideas, promote your work for you, and provide valuable feedback.

Content — People don’t want to be told what they already know. And the Internet allows people to know a lot. You have to bring something new to the table. Daily Iowan display advertising was up last year, while other papers had to lay off reporters or shut down because of low ad revenue. Why are we ahead? Our advertisers say we provide more unique and original content than any other publication.

Media — Always be cognizant of what medium best conveys what information. We have lots of technology at our disposal. We can create text, photos, video, audio, graphics, interactive graphics, conversations, and more. Think about what message you want to send and then consider what medium will best allow you to do that. Having the skills to create all of those things will make you extremely employable. Additionally, always offer your reader something extra. Usually when we cover hard news, we’ll have the same information as our competitors. But if we have the same information plus a multimedia piece, we’ve done a better job.

Report smarter — This extends far beyond Googling the name of a source. Crowdsource your social networks, examine your source’s web presence, and read non-traditional news clips.

Advertisements

Weekly email: Be cognisant of what medium best conveys what information

Posted in convergence, daily news, The Daily Iowan, twitter by adambsullivan on October 25, 2009

By Adam B Sullivan
Here’s an excerpt of my weekly staff email:

This week’s goal:

Have something with every story: a video, a graphic, a list of related links, audio of your interview. Be cognisant of what medium best conveys what ideas/information — being able to do that will get you a job someday.

This week’s best:
1. Lots of you have really excelled at putting links in your stories. Ops’ Shawn Gude and Justin Sugg stood out this week. They both put useful links in their Point/Counterpoint.
2. Photogs Julie Koehn and David Scrivner did an excellent job shooting and updating from the road this weekend at the Michigan State game.
3. Metro reporter Katie Stinsom did some good live tweeting from the City Council forum last week. Check her out on twitter.
Something from the pros:
Check out these local twitter users:
METRO: Nick Bergus
OPINIONS: John Deeth
ARTS: Don McLeese
SPORTS: Dave Schwartz
TV: Joe Winters
PHOTO: Todd Adamson
DESIGN/GRAPHICS: Nelle Dunlap