Off The Written Path

Exploring New Journalism

Off The Written Path

‘Journalism Next’ Chapter 11 Summary

March 8th, 2011 · No Comments · Journalism Next by Mark Briggs

There is an age-old question popular in philosophical circles, and TV, that goes along the lines; “If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it still make a sound?” Well in Chapter 11 Mark Briggs asks: “If journalists produce great stories and no one reads them, how can news survive?”

Journalists must also be marketers if they want to attract an audience, but they must be marketers in the digital world. The new world of journalism comes with its own foreign language; words like “analytics” and “optimization” abound.

Briggs gives an overview of what those words mean and why you as a journalist should care about them.

  • Tracking content: This is about keeping track of your productivity. Track your blogging, Twitter updates, and news products. It is important because it can aid a news organization’s productivity and helps improve content. Tools to use: Web-based spreadsheet.
  • Web Analytics: This is about using metrics to track what is important to readers. This works by tracking traffic to your content, which helps you figure out what stories readers looked at most. Tools to use: Omniture, Hitbox, Google Analytics.
  • Search Engine Optimization: Basically present your content on the Web in a way that search engines are more likely to find it. If someone uses a search engine you want your content to show up in the first 10 hits, or first page of the search results. This can be achieved by understanding SEO; use popular key words in your headlines that will draw the attention of the search engine. Tools to use: just write good headlines, and use lots of descriptive links in your posts. 
  • Distribution through social media: This is about making it easy for readers to find, and share, your content. That means you have to publish it in many social media platforms. Tools to use: blogs, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, Facebook.  Participating in social media builds your credibility in the online community, Briggs says.

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