News as conversation

My book, Engaged Journalism: Connecting With Digitally Empowered News Audiences (Columbia University Press, 2015) examines the changing relationship between journalists and the audiences they serve. I’m eager to hear your reactions. For Tuesday’s class, please read Chapter 2: News As Conversation (the PDF is on Canvas under “Files”). By 5 p.m. (note earlier deadline than usual) on Monday, Sept. 12, post a reaction of 100 to 200 words as a comment on this post addressing the following question: How (if at all) did the chapter change the way you think about the role the audience plays in the journalistic process? For full credit, cite specific examples from your own reading of the chapter, as well as your own observations and experience. It’s not acceptable to piggy-back on your classmates’ answers without reading the chapter yourself. This assignment is worth 10 class participation points.

21 thoughts on “News as conversation

  1. This says it all. “An engaged journalist’s role in the twenty-first century is not only to inform but to bring readers directly into the conversation through digitally powered techniques such as real-time coverage…” The Internet allows writers to engage their audiences past their initial read. The conversation can go on and on rather than stopping after the initial encounter with the information. Journalists create opportunities for interaction, and through this, we see that journalism has changed since the start of the web. Conversations are moved forward as readers comment. Articles have a longer life expectancy than they previously did. They are relevant for much longer as more and more people interact and create conversation.

    Journalists can engage their audience more directly through social media, especially Twitter. According to Eric Ulken, an engaged user sticks to certain news sites and visits often. That person comments and shares those stores. The narrower the site, the more interaction it gets as well. This is something that I’ve never thought about before. Journalists all agree that engaged users remain loyal to their news sites.

    Journalists can communicate with the world at all times, and readers can respond right back. Journalists learn to represent their readers through interaction. I had never really thought about this either, but it makes sense, the more you know your readers, the better you can write for them.

    Readers can experience journalism on their own time. It is always available online. Writers aren’t constrained to a word count or number of columns, but can get information to readers immediately. This is “easy-to-navigate digital storytelling,” and if it’s not, readers won’t come back. They truly affect what is written and how it is written. Journalists also have to manage getting information out fast without giving inaccurate details.

    Mark Luckie said that readers like to participate in the journalism process. They like when their photos or comments are displayed on websites, and that often makes other readers want to partake too. It never really occurred to me that a journalist’s interaction with the public could really change the way they write and what they share. They learn what the audience wants and write for them.

  2. Many things in this article about being an engaged journalist in today’s media culture stuck out to me, yet the first and one of the most impactful aspects of this is the idea that one must actively seek out an audience. The article reads; “Today’s jour-nalists can’t just gather facts and quotes and dispense them to the pub-lic; they must actively seek out their audience and create opportunities.” I find this interesting, seeing as not only do journalists have to be fact-checkers, investigators, and find stories, but they have to build themselves as a brand and make other people want to read their stories. This is especially important seeing as how in today’s culture, “everyone is a journalist.” In other words, there are so many sources of information that you can’t just tell the story, but you have to establish your brand and voice as a reporter if you want your news to be received and widely read.
    Another aspect of this article that I found interesting was the emphasis on studying the consumer of news instead of what content a news organization is putting out into the stratosphere. This article addresses the idea of an “engaged user,” defining it as someone who “stays loyal to a news site because it is relevant to their lives.” This makes me realize that news isn’t just news anymore, but it has to be adhered to a specific audience, and everything from the way the news is presented, the tone and voice of the story, and even how it looks on the page impacts whether a reader will be loyal to the site.
    I like how this article addresses how there is now the expectation of 24-7 news even if there isn’t breaking news happening, leading to the creation of stories and human interest pieces that people will find interesting or relevant to their lives. With the improvement of social media and technology, news organizations have the ability to turn anything into news, for example, seeing people’s reactions to something on twitter, compiling those reactions, and then turning those reactions into a story. This content wasn’t breaking news and isn’t even really a story, but because someone looked at this trend and then turned it into a story, it keeps a reader engaged and gives a reader a new perspective on another event. This is how you keep readers engaged- you have to go outside the box. Also, new technology is able to make news interactive, another way to keep readers engaged in new ways, making them return to these cites for more news later on.
    This article addresses the impact of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media, which enables news organizations to have such interactive conversations with their users. By using these social media devices, not only are readers and users able to voice their opinions, but it makes news organizations much more personal and less distant. As a result, relationships are able to be made by news organizations and their readers, aiding in engagement.
    Between reading this article and Tiney’s visit, the way I think about ones social media presence and the idea of engagement has changed drastically. Even after Tiney’s visit and reading this article, the way I conduct myself on Twitter and the content that I am putting out is so much moire informative and helpful towards the number of readers I have, and I am now thinking about Twitter and engagement on social media when it comes to news in a way that I have never considered it before. As a result, I already feel my practices as a journalist have greatly improved (this past week I got retweeted by SMU and a band!) and that my impact on the people I am trying to reach has changed drastically. I will never underestimate the power of Twitter again!

  3. This chapter was very insightful. This chapter absolutely changed the way I think about the role the audience plays in the journalistic process. For example on page 48, Erik Ulken said that a person who is engaged is someone who spends a significant amount of time on a website, which seems about right. To stay relevant these days you now have to engage with your loyal audience and reply to comments or reactions by subscribers or followers. I find it to be helpful to not only the audience to get their news and feel good about getting it, but it helps the news organization or blog to be successful and grow.
    For example noted in chapter two, “Mastering these digital forums is a subtle art.” Reporters’ being adaptable to this kind of digital age is important for their brand or whom ever they are working for because engagement is so relevant now a days for news as conversation. People love to talk. Reporters can be informal but still can be a trusted filter as well as guide readers to similar links. Just like David Beard said, “Without engagement, we’re not relevant.”

  4. This chapter provided lots of insight on how readers can be actively involved in journalism today. I think one of the best examples provided during this chapter was the section discussing “Where was God in Aurora?”. This anecdote revealed how actively participating people were able to come together to create a new story out of this tragic event. This conversation “was not only a conversation,” said Dan Gilgoff, “it was a unique conversation that CNN provoked and was starting to own”(43).This is a great example of how the audience can play an active role in journalism because Gilgoff was able to turn one event into a powerful movement through the use of people. One simple question was able to spur thousands of commenters who were interested in the subject and wanted to share their opinion on it. Gilgoff would not have been able to tell the story he did without the help from the public, but with these comments he was able to create a unique story about the event.

    In an era where anyone can share breaking news, whether it be through twitter or other social media sites, journalists must learn to use this to their advantage rather than try and compete with the public. Jay Caspian Kang describes the relationship between the public and traditional journalists as “a constantly evolving interaction,” which is why it is essential for journalists to stay up to date on these changes in order to be successful (58). This chapter points out how many people are using their social media to become citizen journalists and while this can be a negative in some situations, it can also serve as a positive way that journalists can learn new information about an event, especially when they can’t be there themselves.

    In this age, it is essential for journalism to be a two way street and for the public to play a role in breaking news. People enjoy sharing their stories and posting about their lives, which can make a journalists job much easier. Instead of a journalist searching hard to find a story, it’s easy to let a story come to you simply by reading the things posted by your followers. The anecdote about Brian M. Rosenthal using a hashtag and twitter to find his story is a great example of this. By looking to his audience, he was able to find a great story simply by engaging with the community.

    More than ever journalism has become a very active process that continues 24/7. This chapter points out many examples of how readers and the public can aide journalists in creating better journalism. Instead of ignoring or attempting to be better than citizen journalists, its important for news agencies to reap all the positive benefits from their active audiences. This collaboration between the public and journalists will result in the best possible journalism.

  5. I find it very interesting that the conversation of religion and journalism would be a hot topic. The comments people gave were more thought out and meaningful compared to other topics. Having a Twitter and Facebook has its pros and cons such as it is a great way to engage with your audience and you can become personal to find their interest. Yet, having these instant social media hinders journalist because everyone has access. People on the street can snap a photo and post it instantly before a journalist even hears about what took place. This con can also be helpful based on the reading. Journalist can work with the “crowd” that are already on scenes to at least get the story out there. The difference between the crowd on scene and a journalist is that the professional is going to do research and find our more information about what happened. I believe having the personal engagement with online audience members and the people in a newsroom is rewarding. Having the same ideas, work ethics, and common goals is what creates journalism and makes social media very beneficial.

  6. I really enjoyed the chapter and learning more about what it means for news to be a conversation. I thought beginning with the question posed after the Colorado shootings, “where was God in Aurora?” provided an entry into the conversation about how to not only engage with readers, but truly listen to them and have insightful conversations.

    I really appreciated what Gilgoff said about beginning a constructive and thoughtful conversation with readers, rather than aiming for a certain number of clicks on the article or making sure that they were discussing the newest angle. Especially in today’s world of journalism and social media, so much focus is given to how many likes, retweets, comments, or clicks something gets. While I understand that it is the nature of the changing world of journalism, it is important to remember that first and foremost, journalism should be about the content being produced and the conversations that it sparks.

    I found Andy Carvin’s insight to be especially meaningful. “why aren’t we engaging the public more directly? I don’t mean engagement like encouraging them to ‘like’ us on Facebook or click the retweet button. That is not engagement. By engagement I mean, why don’t we use these incredibly powerful tools to talk with them, listen with them, and help us all understand the world a little better?” This I feel is an important lesson to keep in mind as journalists. It is not only our job to report the facts and stories that we feel people should hear about, but we also should be trying to better ourselves and learn from others at the same time.

    I feel if news organizations and journalists begin to make these changes and truly engage and get to know their audience on a more personal level, news will become more of a two way conversation. I am definitely going to keep this article in mind when producing my own stories for journalism classes as well as when reading other news sources.

  7. This chapter brought forth another topic of conversation I had previously never really thought of: the changing role of journalists in today’s society. Sure, we’ve discussed the shift in journalism in general, but this chapter’s reading, in particular, stressed the fact that, in today’s society, the job of a journalist was not just to write about the news and report the news, but, in fact, to get society and the public talking about the news.

    It also emphasized the fact that civilian journalism is quite possibly the best form of journalism out there. For example, when a journalist tweets a question and opens up a free-flow of conversation and debate, he immediately receives a plethora of angles he previously may not have thought of. This further stresses the importance of social media and the fact that the switch to digital journalism is, in fact, a good thing, both for the journalism industry and for society, as a whole.

    The changing jobs of journalists forces us to ask a question: What skills are most important for today’s journalists to have? It used to be that strong writing abilities were the most pertinent; nowadays, I would argue that the ability to connect and relate to readers surpasses the need for strong writing. Sure, writing skills are important, but if a journalist lacks the expertise necessary to identify with readers, who cares?, since nobody will see their writing, and even if they do, nobody will care.

    I guess the main point of my little tirade is this: this chapter in “Engaged Journalism” forced me to question the career path I’m taking. No, I’m not saying that I’m planning on changing my major, but I am saying that my initial vision for my future career as a journalist has changed, drastically. This chapter reinforced the fact that building up a network of followers on social media remains crucial to the success of a journalist, and that I really need to step up my game.

  8. “Today’s journalists can’t just gather facts and quotes and dispense them to the public; they must actively seek out their audience and create opportunities for interaction.” This quote sums up what I learned about engaged journalism from this chapter and goes along with what Tiney said during her visit.

    With the development of different forms of media, news has become more than just a linear process of communication. When television and newspapers were the dominant form medium for news, the audience had no way to respond to what they were receiving. However, with mediums like twitter, facebook, and online news, the receiver can post feedback and forward the news to a wider audience. In a way, the audience becomes a journalist as well and the conversation becomes two-sided.

    However, because it is so easy to send out information with the internet it’s important that the messages are truthful. One of the quotes from this chapter was that a “key role of a modern beat reporter is to serve as a trusted filter, guiding and directing the audience to relevant coverage or information, even if written by the competition.” This is very relevant during election season I think, especially since a journalists main job is to truthfully inform the public. There is so much constantly being reported about the candidates and funneled out to the masses. Journalists should instead be listening to their audiences and reporting the truth so to build platforms for discussion.

  9. This chapter emphasized all of the important elements of the digital news conversation and spelled out how reporters and their audience are both key players in this exchange. What stood out to me in this chapter was the evolving role of the journalist as the leader of these conversations. While the audience plays a critical role in the journalistic process by engaging and responding right where the reporter can see, the reporter ultimately has to adapt to the audience’s reaction, which is constantly changing and never tired. Guessing or assuming what topics or stories an audience might be interested in seems like the hard way out, especially given that “today’s digitally empowered audience demands a more active role.” (75). Catering to this desire for interactivity can be achieved by using several techniques mentioned in the chapter. One technique involves easy-to-navigate digital storytelling that encourages audience participation and engagement. A good example of this kind of innovative storytelling is this http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/08/05/sports/olympics-gymnast-simone-biles.html feature story about Simone Biles written by the New York Times. This interactive feature includes several forms of media: photos, videos, gifs, to name a few; and forces the reader to scroll down or click to continue reading or to watch more cool videos of the best gymnast in the world.

  10. Before reading this chapter, I hadn’t really thought much about the role the audience plays in the journalistic process. Overall, I found this chapter to be really interesting and informative. When the responses came in after the Aurora tragedy, the conversation continued to grow as people weighed in on their opinions (over ten thousand comments were posted) to the deep question, “Where was God in Aurora?” These responses gave journalists, like Gilgoff, a variety of opinions and perspectives. “If you open it up, there are a zillion angles that wouldn’t have otherwise come to light,” he said. While some journalists were initially wary about social media and audience interaction, Gilgoff felt that the “provocative reader-driven conversation that followed the Aurora tragedy demonstrated the value of interactive journalism.” I agree with Gilfoff, as I feel that all of the different opinions that are shown in comments and responses give the writer, and readers, other though-provoking perspectives.

    Personally, I enjoy reading comments on posts and articles, as people in this day and age seem to have strong opinions on news events. While these opinions sometimes seem to just be instigating arguments, there are often good ideas that make me think about events and articles in a different way.

  11. Chapter 2 did a nice job of showing the various branches of the digital journalism tree. Most people, including myself before now, consider online journalism a parallel to print/broadcast, but in reality there are many differences that make it unique from other forms of media.

    Some of my favorite take-aways from this chapter include the passage about driving comment conversations. I never thought of adding reputable sources to encourage educated responses and minimizing those that are ignorant and thoughtless.

    Another great point in the chapter was about keeping your readers engaged. I learned that I can get/keep traffic to my site by allowing visitors to participate in exciting new topics that are most relevant to their lives. This also helped me understand what to cut in an editing session and what to pursue when looking for a topic to write about.

    Last, and most importantly, I realized that journalism is not dead! Journalists are responsible for providing context and verification to readers/viewers. It’s all about the “who” you are trying to reach and have a conversation with. Once you’ve figured out the “who” the path is much more clearer to being successful as a digital journalist.

  12. “News as conversation” means journalists have to work even harder to connect with their audiences. On top of performing the expected research and writing, journalists must specifically seek out potential new sources and connect specifically with those affected by the story. However, all of this is just initial heavy lifting. Once readers recognize a reporter who goes that extra mile to listen to his/her audience and then returns to gives them said relevant information, it won’t be too difficult to continue advancing both actual and technological engagement (or “likes” on social media). Getting traditional journalists to see this two-fold benefit is key to ensuring the industry continues growing in the digital age.

    As John Hiner said, “We’re more in tune with what the community’s actually interested in. It removes that hierarchical view that editors used to have. The readers are often right.” Literal reporting improves as readers provide information only they could know about their community, and the audience’s perception of media may improve after they learn that ‘hierarchal view’ no longer takes precedent. The public seems to grow increasingly weary and skeptical of the media nowadays (a trait not necessarily unfounded), which makes it all the more important to genuinely reach out to them and hear what they have to say. Transparency in the process – as Helen Bennett touches on – is just as important as providing context in the news, as neither are yet something social media users may always be prepared to do despite the accessibility of information. (Thank God we’ll still have jobs upon graduation!)

  13. Chapter Two of Engaged Journalism helps paint a solid picture on what an engaged audience is and how it affects the journalistic process. As stated in the book, each publication has a varying idea of what their audience is, but the separation between viewers and consistent readers ultimately decides who each publication’s engaged audience is. An excerpt from Engaged Journalism supports this sentiment, stating “journalists may conjure up different mental pictures of their audience, but they agree on a fundamental point: engaged users stay loyal to a news site because its content is relevant to their lives.” Localizing to The Daily Campus, while the audience is technically the SMU and UP community, it is apparent that there is popular engagement with SMU alumni, SMU students specifically involved in student organizations and SMU and affiliated social media accounts.

    In the future, to keep this audience in mind, the journalistic process is affected as social media embeds and engagement strategies influence the approach to upcoming articles. For example, The Daily Campus covered Drag Bingo on Sept.9, using FB Live and informing readers through live feed answering questions and narrating event details rather than just covering the article in text as done in previous years. This effect opens dialogue as the high number of viewers and positive feedback on social media translate that the audience is engaged to these specific kinds of postings, indicating things like FB Live video, live tweets and video can be embedded into articles to achieve similar levels of engagement. However, it is wary to not do this all the time, as Gilgoff stated in the chapter. While asking certain questions to readers to raise the quality of dialogue, there is no point in doing so for every single article written past and present if the readers and audience were not initially engaged:
    “When you start a conversation like this, the comments tend to be a lot more thoughtful and constructive,” Gilgoff said. “If the comments were lame or less than meaningful on that post, we wouldn’t have done it.”

    Linking back to the lecture with Tiney Riccardi last week, integrating interactive forms of media like Snapchat and FB Live allow for a new way to engage audience members and possibly attract new viewers or specific demographics that were not able to be reached before. Moreover, Adam Grosbard from the Dallas Morning News, whose specific demographics stated there were younger men using Twitter and older people reading news on Facebook, this allows DMN to tweak headlines and blurbs to appeal and engage those audiences on the respective platforms. These tools are essential to understand in order to maintain and grow a news audience in the future, and become a better journalist in the digital age.

  14. After reading this chapter, I saw the distinct yet thin line between seeking to represent the public and prying for page views. I was first hesitant to his idea from the quote on page 48 that says, “Engaged users stay loyal to a news site because its content is relevant to their lives.” At first, I was wary of such a comment because it sounds like the newspaper trying to feed content to the public to generate more readers and more views instead of a sense of newsworthy content.

    Throughout the chapter, however, I became more in favor of this method when thinking about the Arizona photo contest example. When thinking about this, I realized that a newspaper is supposed to be a representation of the public, so including the public would be necessary to reach its goals.

    I still do think there is a danger between using the reader’s interest to write an article and using the reader’s interest to increase the popularity of a news source. I think this line is blurred a lot in current media as a part of the job is developing that readership and engagement. I suppose the distinguishing factor would be to gather information that is actually newsworthy to the public instead of just something that will gather many views. I think this newsworthy factor is vital to keep the journalistic part of the news.

    In my own reporting career, I remember one of my better stories touched on a very specific niche. I reported on a circus school that would pull interest from few random people. The people within that niche, however, drove the story through because it was important to them. To me, this showed the importance in finding the group that supports a story instead of just pushing for a general public.

  15. Emory Parsons-

    I think this chapter shows a lot of insight about the power of each individual person on social media and the impact they alone can have. Anybody can contribute to breaking news; everybody is a journalist. Journalism is also now a two-way street; everybody has the chance to respond to news with their own opinions.

    This chapter made me notice that the audience isn’t really the audience anymore. The audience and reactions they provide can end up being more newsworthy then the piece of news itself. Somebody can post out one 140 character tweet, but the response can be way bigger than the tweet itself. The aftermath of Aurora is a perfect example of this new age we live in. CNN reporters tried to address the tragedy in a way they thought would be best. One simple question on Twitter was posed, but it started to get over 10,000 responses in just a few hours. “The episode showed how journalists can create community by actively involving the audience in the stories they cover” (p.43). Journalism has become a community, and that is what has become newsworthy. Sometimes, the audience a piece of news creates can be more profound then what was originally put out on any given platform.

  16. The quote “without engagement, we’re not relevant” by Washington Post digital content director David Beard resonated with me most throughout the chapter. In today’s world, where technology and means of communication evolve quicker than ever before, I feel as if relevancy has become more important than ever. I actually feel as if this desire to be relevant can sometimes hurt newsroom, prioritizing what the viewer or reader wants over what is actually professional and “good” journalism. I still believe that the news’ primary job should be to accurately report events that happen, not to create a social media site with comments and opinions galore. I believe comments on news sites and prioritizing the viewers’ or readers wants too highly have perpetuated the terrible media climate in our country, and egged on the now-famous “media bias.”

    In the chapter you stated that “beyond the newsroom, journalists are using real-time platforms to cover live events,” which I find to be very interesting. Not only are journalists covering events outside of the studio, they are sharing them on their personal Twitter and other social media accounts. I have found that I become loyal to particular journalists, and even trust what they say more than others, which I realize sounds completely ridiculous but is true! I believe news networks have definitely picked up on this phenomenon and are using journalist’s interactions with viewers on a more “personal” level—social media sites—to create a consistent and loyal viewership. This is also turning “news into a conversation,” even if through Twitter, you are able to communicate with the news anchors that were once foreign beings on TV.

  17. As a journalist I’ve always tried to consider what information my reader will enjoy/need when writing a story. But I thought the part about continuing the conversation after a story has been posted (instead of just moving on to the next thing) was particularly interesting. It takes quite a bit of commitment to a story to keep discussing it with readers, which means you really need to know the facts and do research surrounding all sides of a story so that you can understand different opinions as they are voiced. You also have to be on the look out for anything that could lead to a follow up story on the same topic. In this way your audience can contribute to your reporting and lead you to sources, and will hopefully come back to read more on the subject. This means that your audience can touch almost every aspect of your story, by providing leads for topics, potential sources, quotes, multimedia (embedding tweets and Instagrams), and commentary on the finished piece. I recently read an article by a writer for New York Magazine about the Kanye West fashion show that she wrote after she received a lot of backlash for live tweeting negative comments about the event, and I think that is an example of how interacting with your readers on social media can turn into a full story. I also thought the part about including coverage both online (with real-time reporting) and in the print edition was interesting (the example about the Western Michigan University hockey game). I was just speaking with the fashion editor of The Daily Campus the other day about my weekly “This Week in Fashion” posts, and how we could pull from those for my column in the print copy, and I think that would be a great way to bring our digital readers back each week, and to continue the conversation on a different platform. I hope to think more holistically when considering my audience in the future.

  18. It didnt exactly CHANGE the way I think about the role of the audience and journalism, it ENHANCED it. I’ve always known audience is important, how you pull them in, what makes them stay, how long do they stay.. Questions I’ve always asked myself when thinking of starting my own blog.. Who am I writing for? How will they react? What will they say? Will they come back? Well if they are interested, they’ll always come back. And depending on accuracy, frequency and interest-they’ll do more than come back-they’ll engage!

    I highlighted many things throughout the reading and started with “journalism can create community by actively involving the audience in stories they cover.” Community is a big word and a big deal. When I think of community as something positive and building on one another, its important to recognize the strength it has in the negative as well. Furthermore, you go on to say “Today’s journalists can’t just gather facts and quotes and dispense them to the public; they must actively seek out their audience and create opportunities for interaction.” THIS is the difference between an observer and a real journalist, or maybe a journalist and a GOOD journalist.

    My favorite sentence from the chapter is when talking about audience clicks, you said, “Thats the effect, but it’s not the cause.” SO many times throughout the day/week I noticed people/bloggers/journalists writing, tweeting and posting things they think will grab a readers attention and make them click to read what they have to say, and I can’t tell you how many times it’s pointless or redundant information. If you’re going to write about something that everyone is covering or has covered, go about it a different angle AND engage with your audience. It’s pretty easy to tell who cares about blog clicks and who actually cares about their reader.

  19. I found it interesting that engaging audiences can be used even in the wake of a tragedy. So, the example of the Aurora shooting on CNN’s Belief Blog really struck me. I think it’s incredibly important that even in what was seen as a national tragedy, there were journalists who cared about each story getting out to their readers. As Giloff said, “we can shed light on what everybody’s thinking about today. I think that’s the primary goal of journalism.” I think it’s important as a journalist to have the mindset that every engagement has the ability to spark debate and teach people things. In terms of the role the audience plays, their response to the “where was God in Aurora” question sparked debate which journalists were able to further inform readers based on their concerns.
    A lot of what this chapter touched on was the fact that journalism is ever changing and the remaining constant is the ability to reach out and keep the attention of your audience. In my own experience as a digital journalist, I can see how it’s sometimes difficult to engage past the initial post. By maintaining a conversation in a comment section or creating niche audiences, journalists are better equipped for the changing industry.

  20. I’ve always thought about audience, just as audience – a group of people that sit and listen, that’s it. As an aspiring journalist, I’ve always figured that my job was to inform the people and case closed. However, reading this chapter I’ve realized that I was wrong. With the example of the Aurora situation that was provided in the chapter, I now understand that the most important factor of collecting facts and dispersing them to the public is to open a conversation. The journalist is not the star, the audience is.
    To be honest, journalism has always been broadcast and print, to me.
    Digital journalism has the ability to get the audience’s opinion and point of view on the story. Sometimes, news can be so robotic, that it’s hard to want to read more or want to ask questions. Also, the role that analytics play in finding the topics that are causing the most conversation is so interesting. Reading this, made me understand the techniques you are trying to teach us for our power tweets. Andy Carvin’s point on engaging the audience by interacting rather than encouraging and promoting is the key to really understand news. So often, we the read an article and that’s it for that story, but if we are left with an open-ended question, the audience will more likely want to go more deep in the story and really “slow down the news cycle, help us catch our collective breaths and scrutinize what’s happening with greater mindfulness,” as Carvin says.

  21. I think this chapter did a great job of emphasizing the importance of journalists posing a topic or question, and then following through with more coverage when the audience is interested in the subject. It is important to follow the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media when an audience takes the topic into their own hands. The story about “Where was God in Aurora?” is the perfect example to prove that the journalist was not expecting the topic to take on a life of its own, but there was a lot of follow-through when there were a lot of responses. Dan Gilgoff had no idea that his question would spark such a debate all over the nation–and the world– but he facilitated the conversation so that his audience could share their opinions about religion as it related to the tragedy in Aurora. It is important to keep in mind the open-forum aspect of journalism. This is easier today with social media, like Facebook and Twitter. I have found that people are very receptive to conversations in Facebook comments and Tweets back and forth. But there are always “trolls”, and you definitely have to look out for that. The most interesting conversations are those where the audience is well-versed in the topic, and so is the original author. As a journalist, it is also important to keep in mind that the world of media is ever-changing, and it is the journalist’s job to keep up with everything that is constantly evolving. While I was already aware of that, this chapter really emphasized those points and made me more mindful.

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