Friday, September 4, 2009

If you bill it, they will come

I know you’re out there. I can hear you tweeting.

As I begin to peek at newspapers with online sites, it’s clear the idea of social networking is not catching on. Some offer RSS feeds to deliver online content, but only a few appear to use social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. And if they do, it’s to distribute headlines.
Better than nothing, but a wasted opportunity.

It seems odd to me that newspapers spend money on cameras to shoot video, but they’re not making use of free social networking sites to interact with readers. And if their journalists have Twitter and Facebook accounts related to the job, their employers are quiet about letting the public know. You kind of have to stumble upon them by accident.

Some of the ones I’ve found have been excellent, telling readers what they’re working on, sharing anecdotes about the job, retweeting interesting links, answering questions and sparking debate.

I know there’s more out there, I just haven’t found them yet.

Some newspapers use their websites to offer a PDF of their print product. That’s not the aim of digital journalism which is to provide timely news and information to the public and engage them in a discussion.

I found one weekly newspaper, part of a national chain, that has gone nearly four weeks without updating its website.
Grab gun.
Aim at foot.

The Hyper Journalist


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