Social Media Policies: The Good
As I have stated numerous times before on this blog, sports journalists’ livelihood relies heavily on their companies use of new social media. Like most things in life, some people do things well, and others do not.
In this post, I will discuss two newspapers that are using social media to their advantage, and therefore helping their sports journalists (and entire staffs, for that matter) keep their jobs. These two papers are the LA Times and the Chicago Tribune.
First, the LA TImes. As Chris O’Brien of Knight Digital Media Center blogs in his post entitled “LA Times Embraces, Chases Social Media,” the LA Times is one of the first newspapers to embrace new social media and create new jobs in the newsroom. That job, which was taken by Andrew Nystrom, is titled “Senior Producer, Social Media.”
Nystrom states that the Times is using social media to display their best work and listen to the larger conversations on the web.
O’Brien thinks this is smart. I agree.
They are engaging their customers with real conversations, and this new position within the Times’ infrastructure shows their dedication to interactivity.
Their plan has worked, as, according to this blog post, the Times’ online audience has grown 143 percent in the past year.
The second newspaper with its head on straight is The Chicago Tribune. Just like the Times, the Tribune has tried and succeeded in increasing the traffic to its main website, with an 8 percent increase in page views, according to the paper’s Todd Andrlik.
According to Rafael Marquez in his article entitled “What’s the Purpose of Social Media,” web site traffic is essential to corporate success and is enhanced greatly through social media tools such as social bookmarking, social profile site, and social video sites.
The Tribune has gotten creative with their use of social media. In Jennifer Jones’ Speak Media Blog, she posts that the Tribune has a “social media task force,” which is composed of four people: two coordinators; one managing editor; and one social media strategist.
According to the post, which is entitled “Chicago Trib get Social Media Right: Increases Readership,” Jones goes on to state that the Tribune has established an avatar to represent the paper called Colonel Tribune.
Colonel Tribune has been an effective face of the paper, and has an increasing following on Facebook, Digg, YouTube, Flickr, and Twitter.
Both of these newspapers have embraced social media, and even hired a team specifically devoted to incorporating social media into the company. In fact, one of Nystrom’s goals at the LA Times is to teach other people within the newsroom how to use social media tools.
Sports Journalism, as I have said before, can and hopefully will be saved by the acceptance of social media. This makes me wonder why other newspapers aren’t using social media more, and how long journalists at such papers will be able to survive as long as social media tools are neglected.