It’s not uncommon to find a course on a college campus dedicated to the comprehension and trends of social media. It is, however, less common to find a course specifically teaching journalists how to utilize social media to their advantage as reporters. It’s an intersection of topics that’s often forgotten and according to modern day journalists, can and should be more prevalent.
I spoke with a journalist from the Bergen Record, a New Jersey paper, who gave me a lot of tips about journalism and social media. The most important things I learned:
– Deciding what to tweet depends on the reporter. My reporter in particular covers a lot of political stories, so she typically tweets whatever the governor of New Jersey is doing.
-It’s important to tweet more than just a link to a story. A lot of reporters do this, and it doesn’t really improve the relationship with twitter followers; it seems impersonal.
-Tweets should probably be kept work related. She told me that while she does enjoy a personal life outside of her job, it’s important to not give away any personal information that might give away followers on each side politic wise.
-Using other methods of social media only helps you. She informed me that she uses Facebook, a personal blog, a work blog, as well as Instagram and Pinterest
-The business is always changing. 10 years ago, they projected that newspapers would be extinct which is obviously not true today. She warned me to keep my ears open because the business is constantly evolving and new forums for journalism are introduced every day.