- A laugh riot
- CEO profile: Henry Ketcham
- CEO profile: Jürgen Schreiber
- CEO profile: Jim Shaw
- CEO Profile: John Beck
- CEO profile: Lino Saputo
- CEO Profile: Nancy Southern
- CEO Profile: Paul Reynolds
- CEO Profile: Terry Leon
- Chatelaine -New Year Resolutions
- Chatelaine health briefs
- Chatelaine: defuse your temper
- Chatelaine: exercise rut
- Chatelaine: farmer’s market
- Chatelaine: serenity on route
- Chatelaine: Walk off 10 pounds
- Clippy, I hardly knew thee
- Crocs lose footing
- dandyhorse – bike summit
- dandyhorse- door prize
- dandyhorse- Marvel
- dandyhorse- Rockers who Roll
- Diamond industry
- Divorce planning
- Entourage: accountant
- Entourage: clothier
- Entourage: doctor
- Entourage: financial advisor
- Entourage: lawyer
- Entreprenuer of the year: Ven Coté
- Family File – Divorce
- Family file: can we retire?
- Family file: cancer
- Family file: ditch the suburbs
- Family file: first home
- Family file: how big a slice?
- Family file: newlyweds
- Family file: religion
- Family file: self-employed
- Family file: too much, too soon?
- FP column – philanthropy
- A Good Night’s Sleep
- Bikes for Tykes
- Boomer philanthropy
- Corporate philanthropy day
- Detecting Fraud
- Doing well and good; Entrepreneurs and art gallery owners make charity their business
- Donations down
- First responders heed Haiti’s call
- Fraud and the Banyan Tree
- Freedom from Four Eyes
- Girl Impact
- give a day to help fight AIDS
- mental health and addiction
- the silent issue
- FP column: Entourage
- FP column: portfolio repair
- FP Mag – Job Shadow – Chef
- Fp500: Booms, busts and aggro
- How to stand out
- Impunity in Canada
- Job Shadow- chalk artist
- Laid off?
- Money from nothin’
- Money from nothin’
- Sex in the newsroom
- Social Enterprise
- Spraypaint scripture
- The colour of money
- The Colour of Money
- The refinance itch
- To you, I’m fluff
- When you hear layoff rumours…
Building a real-time newsroom
As the game of journalism evolves, so should the players. With real-time becoming an expected and integral part of content, editors are faced with the responsibility of building real-time-savvy newsrooms. But are all journalists keeping pace?
Welcome to the second edition of Scribble Chats! This week, we'll be talking with editors and trainers who have successfully made their newsrooms real-time-savvy. Have a question for our panel? Post it in the comment section. And if you'd like to brush up on your real-time skills in anticipation of this chat, take a look through our training wiki.
This week's panelists include:
Steve Buttry, digital transformation editor for Digital First Media
Shauna Rempel, social media team editor for the Toronto Star and instructor at Centennial College
Teryl Franklin, platform content manager for both the Wisconsin State Journal and madison.com
I should note that Star staffers aren't required to live-tweet events but highly encouraged. If someone's new to it, we might encourage them to tweet from a minor event to start. Then when big news breaks they feel comfortable.
How do you convince an old-school reporter -- who may be nervous or hostile about new tech -- to make the leap into digital?
Good question, Dana: The best way to help a reporter make the leap to digital is to show him or her how digital tools can help you do better journalism. It's all about good journalism and old-school reporters love good stories.
I agree with Steve. Everyone is motivated by doing good journalism. Sometimes, we have to make the case that the digital work isn't added value -- it's part of our everyday expectations now. Dana, that's where I think one-on-one training can be helpful. They can ask questions without feeling bad. Once they start doing it, they tend to like the interaction and followers. They get a comfort level.
A strategy that has worked with print reporters (old-school or otherwise): I point out that their work can reach a much wider audience if they use real-time digital tools to tell their stories.
When they see a story go viral, that makes for converts.
I agree with Teryl! Show them the numbers. I find the Scribblelive blog stats to be great for that.
Entice with great stories and reach-- that makes sense
Now let's talk about reporters at the other end of the spectrum: what do you look for when hiring interns or junior reporters? Are real-time skills must-haves?
Real-time skills help you get a job or an internship, but if you're willing to learn, they aren't a must-have.
I don't hire staff but I have been on the hiring committee for our Radio Room interns. The Radio Roomers monitor police scanners and cover breaking news. Their ability to file quickly and accurately while juggling multiple stories is key to being successful in the job.
Having real-time skills shows you're already there. While they aren't hard to learn, it makes a difference when hiring because an editor wants his/her job to be easier. Having someone coming in, already knowing how to do it and having a positive attitude about it -- that all makes a difference.
In line with that, a question for Steve from Twitter
Hey guys, my question is for Steve. You've recently said that you'll hire a good reporter who is learning digital tools over an excellent reporter who isn't. Do you have any real life example of how this has worked out for you in the past? e.g. when digital skills have contributed a lot more to coverage than being an excellent reporter. Thanks.
Good question, Katy. Twitter proved itself useful to journalists five or six years ago. I worry about the mindset of a journalist who still is not using Twitter, however good an old-school reporter he or she is.
That reporter is going to get his or her ass kicked on a major story soon (if it hasn't already happened).
I'm pretty good at teaching old-school journalism skills, and I think I can have an excellent digital journalist faster working with someone who's willing to learn than with someone who's resisting learning.
I'm not going to name names, Katy, but I have seen excellent experienced journalists hold themselves back because they are unwilling to use new tools.
And I've seen pretty good journalists blossom into excellent journalists because they are eager to learn.
I'd rather have a journalist on the way up working for me than one on the way down, even if the declining on is right now at a higher altitude.
Teryl, can you please talk about some obstacles editors and trainers might face when trying to increase the real-time skills of their newsroom?
To piggyback on what Steve said, attitude is critical. We have fewer editors than we've ever had before in most newsrooms today. They don't have the time to fight people to meet a basic expectation.
Miles, a trainer is going to hear this: I don't have the time. You're already asking me to do so much, now you want me to tweet video, too? I'm not going to be able to do as many stories. The other problem may be resources -- whether a newsroom will invest in smart phones.
When it comes to live reporting, perfection is still our accuracy standard. But an occasional typo or a clumsy run-on sentence is OK.
Shauna, you have experience as a journalism instructor. What's the state of real-time skills being taught in schools? Do you find most students needs to seek out these skills on their own or are j-schools covering this adequately ?
Good question, Ivan, and thanks for asking it by video. I'd say hands-on is the best way. Open a chat and show the person how to get rolling. Then turn it over to him or her and give some feedback.
I find that students often come in to j-school knowing how to use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, etc. which is great. But they don’t necessarily know how to use those AS JOURNALISTS and that's what needs to be taught. Just because they tweet often, that doesn't mean that they automatically know how to properly live-tweet a news event as a journalist.
I would say that journalism students have pretty good experience with the tools and understand new tools pretty intuitively. But they haven't learned to use them in real time. So you're teaching them real-time news judgment, verification, etc. more than you are teaching them how to figure out the Scribble dashboard.
As we approach the end of our time together, I have a question for you all: what advice can you give to editors who are tasked with making their newsrooms real-time-savvy?
I'd encourage the Nike approach: Just do it.
My advice: The carrot works better than the stick. Encouragement, praise and the stats to back up the success of experiments with real-time reporting will go a long way to achieving a real-time savvy newsroom. (As opposed to brow-beating and mandates that everyone must do it.)
Be persistent, and be consistent yourself. Show that you are working the way you want others to work.
You learn real-time skills with a three-way approach: 1. Train. 2. Practice in lots of stories, routine and big. 3. Assess how you did and how to improve.
The editor has to lead the way. Host a community live chat now and then yourself. (I did that when I was editor in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.)
And just for a bit of fun-- anyone want to take bets as to when we'll stop separating "traditional" and "real-time/digital" journalism?
Before we wrap up, if we didn't get to your question, email it to me: email@example.com. Or tweet me: @stevebuttry. I'll try to get to it on Twitter or in a blog post (might take a few days).
Teryl, Shauna, Steve-- thank you all so much for attending today's chat. I think we've all benefited from your leaderships skills, real-time and otherwise.
If anyone wants to continue the discussion, I'd love to hear from you. Tweet me @shaunarempel or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can reach me at email@example.com or @TerylFranklin. Thanks very much for including me in the panel, Miles.
Thanks to you all! And if anyone has any questions about anything Scribble, we can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
And be sure to join us next week for the next Scribble Chat