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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