The Journalist’s Guide to Facebook

Many journalists have Facebook accounts, but not so many realize that there are many ways to use that account for journalistic purposes. In an informative post, Leah Betancourt discusses how to find leads and sources, reach audiences and much more via Facebook. She notes:

Journalists and the institutions they write for are finding Facebook to be an important resource in conducting the reporting that they do. Reporters and media companies are using Facebook to engage with their audience, connect with sources and build their brands.

The post also includes a great deal of useful information on ethics of social media use.

55 useful Web sites

Graphicdesignr writes about visualizing data and highlights free and easy-to-use multimedia tools. His “55 websites you should know about” list is full of useful tools and suggestions for the journalist. Among the recommendations:

“Mashable: Social networking news; there’s something for everyone.”

Social networking and bookmarking:
“Facebook: who isn’t on Facebook these days, Join networks by city, school, employer, and interact with other users.”

RSS aggregators:
“Google Reader: Subscribe to and read blogs and news content.”

Blog platforms:
“WordPress: My favorite blog publishing system. Customizable in design and function, and easy to use.”

Other categories include Web editors, videos, photo editing, photo storage, timelines, slide shows, graphics, maps, and Geocodes.

How does your “social media footprint” compare?

Boris Epstein is CEO and Founder of BINC, a Professional Search Firm that specializes in the Software Marketplace.  He poses a question that more employers are starting to consider:

If all else were equal, like education, work history and general skill set, and I had to evaluate the social media footprints of two candidates to determine which one of them I would contact, which one would I contact and why?

With the amount of information available online to employers, job seekers should not only be conscious about what they post, but should also be actively networking and leaving their own “social media footprint”. The practice is not limited to the unemployed, establishing and maintaining your online persona is a good habit to get into.

Companies today are looking for well-rounded people that can integrate well with their team both professionally and socially. Epstein highlights key points and outlines his criteria for comparing equally skilled job candidates.

Guidelines for journalists using social networks

Increasing use of Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites by journalists has some news organizations setting ground rules and others just taking a wait-and-see approach, reports Editor & Publisher. Bill Keller, executive editor of The New York Times, told E&P: “I have asked people to use common sense and respect the workplace and assume whatever they tweet will be tied to the paper….Even when they are tweeting personal information to their followers, they are still representing The New York Times.”

The Wall Street Journal’s guidelines for social media use were regarded by some as completely missing the point of social Media. BeatBlogging.org noted:

This memo should have been titled the 1990s newspaper refrain of the decade, “Don’t scoop yourself!” But this is the Web. No one seriously talks about scooping themselves anymore.

According to an article by Kelly Wilson, many journalists are creating profiles on the popular networking Web site Facebook, which was once intended for college students. Lori Schwab, at the time the executive director of the Online News Association, is the main subject of the article. She believes that Facebook will be a great resource for journalists young and old. Wilson writes:

Across the board, social sites are a way for people to interact as they never could before (or at least, never could with such ease). For journalists that means contacting others for ideas and support on tough assignments or connecting with editors for advice and job opportunities. Many organizations have gone a step further to create groups only for members of their news outlets’ networks.