While Mark Zuckerberg announced his resolution for 2016 to build an artificial intelligence system to control his home, most of us have more modest ambitions–like to eat healthier or get in shape. At GateHouse Newsroom, we are always thinking of ways to inspire better journalism, so naturally we were curious about how some of our editors were planning to approach this new year. How does your newsroom plan to get in shape, so to speak? What will you add to your digital diet?
- Start monthly online chats with the most popular reporters who have narrowly focused beats (preps, the environment, the county).
- Start Live from The Ledger Library, a monthly/quarterly concert that focuses on local musicians who want to be seen and heard. We’re adapting this from NPR. We could Periscope it to get readers and viewers involved.
- Use Parse.ly to improve referrals from Facebook and Twitter.
- Be more responsive to data in the moment. Old habits die hard and that’s the case for reporting. Many reporters see a story, do it and move on to the next one, but we can do a lot more to capitalize on stories that are catching the public’s attention. Recognizing those stories in the moment continues to be something we’re just scratching the surface of.
- Appoint someone to be the czar of mobile. We need someone who is thinking, ideally with every story but at least with every big story, how does this look on mobile. Better yet, how should it look on mobile.
- Taking engagement to the next level. For years, newspapers delivered the news right to the individual. This year, I think we had an “aha” moment in that we realized that by engaging with our readers – by letting them get to know us and not see us as this untouchable “voice from on high” – we were really learning a new way of delivering the news right to our readers. This year, I’d like to encourage my staff to “engage” on a deeper level – to find a way to participate in this community (ideally through volunteering, but they could join a book club or something, too). I want our readers to continue to “get to know” the Herald News staff – I think it will lead to tips and sources and a better understanding by my staff of exactly who we are serving, what they want from us and how to best deliver it to them.
Rich Desrosiers, The Canton Repository
- We’ve resolved (and already have started) to revamp our meetings for greater emphasis on digital. (Our Parse.ly numbers reflect that this is paying off!)
- We’ve put a priority on growing our audience on social media. (We added almost 100 FB followers on Tuesday alone.)
- And we’ve already begun using new digital tools for mapping, stock tables and quizzes.
While many of our newsrooms share similar goals, from championing social media czars to giving back to the community, others share a simple hope for this year in journalism. In his recent column, Alan Miller of The Dispatch wrote about the current dangers journalists face around the world during such turbulent times.
“We note that 69 journalists were killed in 2015 while working to gather and deliver news to us — news organizations and their readers around the world,” Miller writes.
“I’m sure that not all journalists would put their lives on the line to make sure you are well informed, but many would. And some do it daily. Many of those who are routinely in harm’s way report from places where war and other forms of conflict are, sadly, a daily way of life.”
As for goals for the new year, my wish is a simple one: a steady stream of good stories to share with you and a whole lot fewer killings to write about.”
What are your newsroom resolutions for 2016? Do you have a point-by-point plan of attack or a strong vision to guide you through the next year? Let us know in the comments!