Facebook for journalists

Poynter’s News U will conduct a Webinar on May 16 teaching journalists how to use Facebook as a reporting and promotional tool.

Participants will learn:
  • How to using Facebook Search to track sources
  • How to use Pages and Profiles for distribution
  • Facebook Do’s and Don’ts
  • Innovative storytelling techniques for social media

Facebook has changed a lot of traditional rules for source/journalist and reader/journalists relationships. We have been able to hide behind a black-on-white byline for so long. Now, we are encouraged – often required – to step out into the spotlight and build a persona that will encourage readers and sources to know and trust us.

Many journalists create a Facebook handle separate from their personal profiles for the purposes of promoting their stories and, on too-rare occasions, connecting with sources. The idea is great, but the execution is often flawed.

At my former paper, the Naples Daily News, reporters are encouraged to use a Facebook handle with their name and NDN to create a persona and connect with the audience. Yet, most of the pages have not been updated in months, and those that have typically only contain promos for the reporter’s own stories.

I’m not picking on my colleagues here. They are very talented and VERY busy. I am using them as an example – a small sample set – of what I have seen among journalists throughout newspapers. We just are not warming up to the idea of breaking down the walls and changing our methods.

I’m hoping to participate in the Poynter Webinar and report back to you some nuggets of knowledge and ideas gained. Meanwhile, if you have ideas of your own for using Facebook as a journalist, please share!


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