I’m really pleased right now. I will admit that for a few months, I had begun to despair because my newsroom stopped responding to change. I watched as other news services in the area clutched their smartphones with glee and began to outstrip us when it came to live tweeting news as it happens.
I won’t go into all of the red tape reasons we were dragging our heels because it doesn’t matter anymore. We no longer have a videographer. Now we have a mobile web reporter. Essentially, we turned our videographer into our reporter for the web. Do you have any idea how much I’ve wanted such a person in the newsroom? Not only that, but we worked out a way to get him a Droid X, taught him how to turn it into a wifi hotspot and now he can get out there, shoot photos and video and write a story for the web in his car, pop me a text and I can get it edited, photos/video added and have something online before any other news service around here can say, “I didn’t know about that.”
What this means for The Independent is we’ll have a fresh, regularly updated website all day long.I’m so excited I could spit.
Our new mobile web reporter has some learning to do, mind you. I want him to not rely on his expensive video camera all the time that requires a lot of editing/producing time and just grab some video with the Droid for a story that we can put in as plain old raw video. People click that stuff. They don’t need something slick and produced with transitions and title tags all the time. I want him to open up his UStream app and air it live while I embed that into a story and direct readers to it from Facebook and Twitter.
But he’s still learning how the phone works, and for now he’s doing a good job of getting out to stories we might not always cover because we’re shorthanded (like most newsrooms I know.) He needs to be able to find stories on his own now, but he’ll learn that too. We’ll get there, and I’m so excited about this.
Not only that, I had a meeting last week regarding our direction with Social Media, which is my forté. I am not going to talk much about it just yet, but I will just say that my publisher is *extremely* taken with what the Journal Register is up to….
I work as the Web Editor and Social Media Coordinator for the Grand Island Independent, in Nebraska, which is owned by the Omaha World Herald.
~ Journalism allows its readers to witness history; fiction gives its readers an opportunity to live it. ~ John Hersey
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