Last week, Stephanie Miller, the director for digital media at WBZ, visited my Reinventing the News class to discuss the importance of social media in the future of journalism.
Miller mainly discussed WBZ’s Declare your Curiosity campaign. The main idea behind Declare your Curiosity is for WBZ to find out from its audience what concerns them, what their passions and fears are, what makes them happy, and generally whatever questions they have. By gathering ‘curiosities,’ WBZ can approach their reporting in a way that will attract more viewership.
“One of the biggest opportunities that organizations have with tapping into communities is understanding what the community wants. Journalists are good at storytelling and local news needs to be about reflecting the concerns and moods of the community.”
Another extremely interesting point Miller made was about WBZ’s attempt to build community. She gave the example of Apple (she visited class the same day the iPAD was released), and how Steve Jobs has managed to gather a group of loyalists, which define the next generation of Apple products.
Miller stressed the importance of creating a conversation with the audience, and making the relationship as interactive as possible. I think this is a very interesting and important way to approach journalism. I personally don’t understand those who criticize interactive tools like Twitter. Having experienced the feedback the Huntington News has received from utilizing Twitter and Facebook, I genuinely believe it’s a tool all news organization should take advantage of.