Effective Social Journalism and Transmedia Storytelling
Social Journalism is the use of social networks and media to report the news or items that may be of interest or falls in to the category of the website or blog that you keep. Transmedia storytelling is the use of many different platforms to tell a whole story. Both are very similar and can effectively give your audience the whole context of a story instead of being limited to one platform.
Effective social journalism and transmedia storytelling can be done by following these steps:
How to start:
Social media accounts on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Google+ are very important to your workflow and a presence on each of these is needed. The use of sites such as Reddit, Flickr and Wikimedia commons are also very important. Depending on what you want to report and tell stories about this list of accounts can be tailored to your needs, for example if you want to report from an Irish perspective you would use prominent Irish sites or if you wanted to report on american football you could use forums that talk about games etc. The possibilities are endless and this method can be used by anyone.
Have the content that you want served to you by listening using the tools that these social networks already have to do so. On twitter, setting up lists is a great way of having a real time feed of the news around the certain topic you want to cover. Over on Facebook the interests feature allows you to create lists also and you can tailor this to your topic as well. By setting up these lists the content you require will be served to the user each day as it happens, and with twitter it will probably be served before any news agency or other blog may have it.
Platform of choice:
Many publishing tools can be used and most blogging tools will support and allow you to use these together. Platforms such as WordPress, tumblr, posterous and typepad are great places to start.
Embedding media items like pictures, tweets and sound are common practices on many sites today. Using the embed code from a tweet can show a conversation from the micro-blogging site. Using pictures from flickr or wikimedia commons, that are allowed to be used under the creative commons licence, can show a compelling image that relates to the story your reporting and draw your viewer into the rest of the story. Having worked with a site reporting on a certain topic I found that image based posts are the most popular.
Putting it all together:
Being effectively able to piece together a story will involve the different platforms, each item should be placed in a way that keeps the reader interested but also give context to the article that’s been read.
Catching media items and just throwing them into a story just wont work, it has to form a well rounded telling of the story in order to give the easiest understanding for the reader. If it feels crap to read it probably is, take time and make sure it works for you and get a second opinion if your not sure.
I plan to make a presentation about this where i will go more in-depth and provide further explanations.
This post is written on the back of the experience that i gained on my placement with Worldirish during the summer of 2012.
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