Can we talk about something? It looks like 2008 is calling and they want their newsrooms back. The American Journalism Review posted a piece this week with the headline “Some Newspapers to Staff: Social Media Isn’t Optional, It’s Mandatory.”
Everyone take a deep breath. It’s not totally ridiculous: The piece, written by Mary Ann Fischer, discusses the various ways newsrooms get editors and reporters on social media, how it’s hard to call it “mandatory,” and how social media guidelines should be “living breathing documents.”
Also, Dean Baquet hasn’t tweeted yet. But that’s not the worst of it. Fischer writes:
Nearly 60 percent of journalists were on Twitter in 2013, according to a survey done by Oriella PR Network. San Francisco Chronicle managing editor Audrey Cooper said the lack of social media activity is more pronounced among print journalists. “If you look at your average newspaper editor, they don’t have thousands of followers like the editors of BuzzFeed,” she said. “As a group we tend to have not embraced digital media as much. That’s not good or bad, but it does raise the question of how do you perform in that space if you’re not a user of digital media.”
I just don’t know what to say aside from, hey, print people: It’s time to quit the boycott.
When I received this release from HootSuite, I thought it was superfluous, but apparently not. They’re launching custom education programs for organizations that need to get their staff on the social media train (and using HootSuite to do it). Clients, in this case your newsroom, can tailor their learning program and a private platform to train employees. The curriculum is tailored toward the goals of the organization, with a little help from social media experts. If you’re curious and want more info, there’s a free webinar, “Accelerate Your Social Transformation: Social Media Education for Employees,” on June 11 at 11 a.m. ET. The webinar will be hosted by Michelle Lockett, social marketing director at Wiley, Dr. William J. Ward, social media professor at Syracuse University; and Jeanette Gibson, vice president of community and customer experience at Hootsuite.
So, uh, maybe if you’re newsroom is still filled with social media haters, you should tell a higher up to check it out or at least tweet themselves. As Fischer notes in the AJR piece: It takes a newsroom to drive traffic to the site, it can’t just be the recent j-school graduate you keep scoffing at who does it all.
I’m going to go listen to the Black Eyed Peas or something and think about how far we have (not) come. How has your newsroom “transformed” its social media policies? Is it mandatory? Are you part of the 40 percent? I want to hear your defense. Tell us all about it in the comments or @10,000Words.