Convergence: No Longer a Theory…

Of course we know the way people access their news has changed. That’s the reality of our industry. But I think there is also an underlining fear that social media is the demise of some newsmakers. I beg to differ only because I believe versatility is needed to remain relevant in this business, as well as to protect the future of journalism. Ethics or writing quality does not have to be compromised because news hole is shrinking. Instead, convergence, no longer just a theory, has become a reality, thus creating opportunity to enhance mediums, including TV.

Last year, I decided instead of holding on to what I didn’t know in the industry, I decided to create an outlet of my own, such as my online radio show, where it gives me a chance to talk about topics that go unnoticed. I even went as far as to landing an unofficial internship with WAMU radio in Washington D.C. I learned how short and accurate I needed to be in creating news worthy stories for online. I’ve taken skills from WAMU and since working at WPGC , it has allowed me to be versatile. I help write and edit copy.

Recently, the Washington DC metro area has dealt with tragic shootings. It has plagued Southeast DC, so to get the community involved, I like to post topics or articles on those type of social outlets just to see how the masses feel. In addition, I’ve recently been asked to do some social media consulting for The Greater Washington Urban League in Washington DC, where I’m developing ways to get vital information about the league on the web, where a lot of communication is happening. It’s a non-profit organization that focuses on housing, education and tends to focus on community engagement. So as a social media consultant, I will make sure people know about grants, the latest information on unemployment and community events. I use Twitter and Facebook to share information as well as to engage people.

Because the organization has a huge conference this summer, I plan on doing an online survey to find out how many people know about the league and ask if they are members of the organization. This is to monitor the engagement and to see how many people really know about the national organization.

Someone in social media should understand that social media has become a major component in news. Most network Television stations now have a Twitter, Facebook as well as Flickr page. In addition, this person should understand the demographics, which is highly important because what the person uses and says to drive the masses interaction will be determined by who are tuning in. Someone working in social media should have a broad idea of news that can be distinguished.

According to David Berkowitz, Senior Director of Emerging Media and Innovation at digital marketing agency 360i, it maybe efficient for a marketer to post the same information on different sites, but is that effective for those viewing it? While he was speaking in terms of marketing, I believe some parts of that pertain to producers.  He’s right, and that’s why it’s important to know your audience. He also noted social media gurus must plan ahead. If they don’t, they risk losing their flow once drastic changes arise, and with social media, everything is always changing. But as I pointed out before, that’s just the reality of the industry.

Specifically, my duty is to be quick when accessing information. In order to make sure I’m efficient, I have to know the news. Those are two essential things I always do. Next, I will keep a log of the latest social media sites, and do research on those in the developmental stages. I will engage in conversation with the audience in reference to breaking news or news that affect the community such as that of the shootings in Southeast DC. Another component, which I’m not sure it would be a duty, but passion about the community is a must. I’m not from DC, but I sympathize with those who live in an area where violence appears to be normal. I then become compassionate about resolving it even if I’m just a small portion of making the difference. I am relevant. I believe I am the person who could take the job and really create something timely, relevant and interesting. All it takes is someone taking that chance.


Published in: on April 6, 2010 at 2:00 AM  Leave a Comment  

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