Newspaper survival advice: Use social media, multimedia

In “To Prepare for the Future, Skip the Present,” Dennis Roussel offers 10 steps for newspapers looking to survive. Among them are two of great importance to budding journalists:

  • Engage with your readers. The explosion of blogging and social media Web sites has created a culture in which consumers of news expect to be included in the news publishing process. Closed operations that shun reader engagement will increasingly be seen to offer a second-rate experience. Create functionality that encourages readers to share eyewitness accounts of breaking news, rate services such as restaurants and hotels, and get into discussions and debates.
  • Embrace multimedia. Train editors to see video, photo galleries, graphics and maps as equal storytelling forms to text. A story about Tina Fey’s takeoff of Sarah Palin is incomplete without video highlights from “Saturday Night Live.” A story about a soldier’s life on the frontline in Afghanistan is best told with video, a map, and pictures as well as text.

D.C. area TV reporters go “backpack”

According to The Washington Post, under a new agreement announced in late 2008, WUSA TV was to become the first station in the Washington area to replace its crews with one-person “multimedia journalists” who will shoot and edit news stories sion their own.

The Post reported:

The change will blur the distinctions between the station’s reporters and its camera and production people. Reporters will soon be shooting and editing their own stories, and camera people will be doing the work of reporters, occasionally appearing on the air or on in video clips on Channel 9’s Web site.

Newspapers embrace YouTube

10,000 Words offers an interactive map and table of the more than 150 newspapers that now have YouTube channels. A companion piece offers tips for creating an using a YouTube channel.