The Convergence Point

Because Story is independent of medium

Internet Context

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Facebook brought  context into a Gloucester Times story on Rockport’s late IGA. The store closed last week, and residents have hounded grocers from Trader Joe’s to Crosby’s Marketplace, a small chain out of Manchester.

We crowdsourced. That is, we listened to a lot of people talk at the same time, at the same place.  A bit like an inverse press conference.

Jon L’Ecuyer, the GDT’s Rockport and Essex reporter pulled community response from the page in Wednesday’s story.

He listened to people that  reporters don’t often listen to on our normal rounds. Social media platforms, primarily facebook’s “fan-page” set up, let reporters hear the “talk of the town,” in seconds, rather than hours.

Jon’s story gave readers, through unknowingly, a chance to get the GDT’s reporting in step with what they care about. News outlets keep the pace, but we slip up every now and then and find ourselves completely out of touch.

These platforms give newsrooms a shot at opening up the story budget to their audience, and asking the readers daily – “what needs looking into?”

It’s another level of crowdsourcing. Letting the audience direct the paper.

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Written by Steven A. Fletcher

March 16, 2011 at 11:17 pm

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