My definition of social journalism is broad. It incorporates just about anything that makes the process or product of journalism more interactive, conversational or responsive.
Twitter is a social tool, but so is the copy machine, when deployed creatively. So is the telephone, when used for actual listening. And so is wine, now that we’re on the subject.
I’m giving a quick talk at Journalism Interactive today (without wine, sadly) about what I think social journalism means and why it’s not just the job of a social media team. (Unless you don’t want to be social. In which case, maybe you should be the Wizard of Oz.)
Journalism’s expanded, social life cycle is something I’ve written and talked a lot about. It’s basically at the heart of all the work I do.
Here are seven questions I’d love us all to talk about as we consider whether our newsrooms, our students, our journalism routines and our actual products are truly social.
- What does being social actually look like?
- Where do our ideas come from?
- When does a story begin and end?
- Who can help tell the story?
- Who is the journalism for?
- How should the journalism reach those people (you know, the ones it’s for)?
- How will we know if the journalism “worked”?
Basically: Focus on the audience at every stage of your process. Listen, talk and adjust, from beginning to end.
That’s being social.
Here’s where you can find out more about what I mean.
- Who’s your audience? (And other questions for reporters)
- News should be social (and here’s how to teach that) (MediaShift)
- An example of a social life cycle for a story about a high school’s mascot
- 5 ways journalists can bring diverse voices into their stories (Poynter)
- White boards and fliers: Reaching an audience by going low-tech (RJI)
- Tools for social listening
UPDATE: Here’s the talk I gave.