Multimedia approaches essential to college-run news media

Mo Patton Sports, a website dedicated to prep coverage in the Nashville region, does a solid job using multiple media platforms to present information.

They break news on Twitter:

twitter

They then write a story with comments from key individuals online:

online

And they promote the story on Facebook:

FB

They did not post about this story on Instagram, although MoPatton does use this social media platform to tease future content, such as coverage of the track meet below:

INstagram

One could also post video to Instagram, Vine and SnapChat to further layer, and promote, content across multiple platforms. That’s how you attract more followers.

Are you reporting in this manner for your college publication? The answer, of course, should be: Yes.  Every single college newspaper should be using every media platform available to attract news consumers on campus. Your fellow students rarely go to websites for their news, relying far more heavily on social media to drive them to stories they probably read on a mobile device. Students might pick up a printed edition of your newspaper, but they do so at a significantly lower rate. Professional mainstream newspapers, read primarily by an older audience, have lost more than 14% of their readership since 2004, according to PEW. Let’s face it: print newspapers are becoming relics. (Six in 10 millennials, btw, get their political news from Facebook.)

That’s not to say you have to abandon your print editions, just do not make it the center of your newsroom. Instead, fill the print edition with more in-depth content, whether that means a long-form piece on the athletic budget or a more fully researched version of a breaking news story. You might also want to consider reducing the number of days that you all print, shifting resources (and staffers) to digital media – if nothing else, to prepare train staffers for the professional environment.

At worst, you could lose a little ad revenue. No doubt: the financial landscape is unpredictable, but that’s no reason to collapse into the past. At best, you will recoup revenue through digital products (and become more relevant on campus). So begin to produce short videos after games that can include interviews  with players/coaches or can be a conversation between two staffers at the game on a YouTube channel. In addition, produce podcasts each day with the top sports news of the day or to chat about Fantasy sports/predictions. Podcasts are growing quickly in popularity at news media such as ESPN and NPR. You can then embed advertising into these multimedia features.

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About jgisondi

I am the author of the "Field Guide To Covering Sports," the second edition now available from Congressional Quarterly Press/SAGE, and "Monster Trek: The Obsessive Search for Bigfoot" (U of Nebraska Press). Field Guide to Covering Sports, Second Edition goes beyond general guidance about sports writing, offering readers practical advice on covering 20 specific sports. From auto racing to wrestling, author Joe Gisondi gives tips on the seemingly straightforward—like where to stand on the sideline and how to identify a key player—along with the more specialized—such as figuring out shot selection in lacrosse and understanding a coxswain’s call for a harder stroke in rowing. In the new Second Edition, readers also explore sports reporting across multimedia platforms, developing a foundational understanding for social media, mobile media, visual storytelling, writing for television and radio, and applying sabermetrics. Fully revised with new examples and updated information to give readers confidence in covering just about any game, match, meet, race, regatta or tournament, Field Guide to Covering Sports, Second Edition is the ideal go-to resource to have on hand when mastering the beat. In "Monster Trek," Joe Gisondi brings to life the celebrities in bigfoot culture: people such as Matt Moneymaker, Jeff Meldrum, and Cliff Barackman, who explore remote wooded areas of the country for weeks at a time and spend thousands of dollars on infrared imagers, cameras, and high-end camping equipment. Pursuing the answer to why these seekers of bigfoot do what they do, Gisondi brings to the reader their most interesting—and in many cases, harrowing—expeditions. You can order both from Amazon.
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