The Convergence Point

Because Story is independent of medium

Being Human.

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Newspapers dominate my twitter feed, quite possibly against my better judgement, as I tend to get lost in the  content stream. But, in that stream of, I’ll see a name – a reporter, not a organization.

Finally, a human. 

Readers get a little sick of listening to the news robots that coat the airwaves in headline slaver. The outlets spill out the same posts, in the same language. We can’t connect with an organization. Facebook notwithstanding, who’s actually friends with the New York Times?

When a reporter steps out from under the publication’s label, and talks story and content with his readers, they’re apt to listen more readily. They’re also apt to connect more readily. I’d rather know a Tom Ashbrook, than NPR.

But, national names still smell official. The distance between Mr. Ashbrook and his audience ranges from miles to continents.

Local news gets a leg up here. Their reporters live in or near the communities they write about. They take part in life in a way that follows on twitter or friends on Facebook could meet them in town square and know who they are.

Both in and out of their reporter’s role, that is.

Ron Sylvester of the Wichita Eagle, and covers the court. Social media allowed him to let his readers know he’s more than someone who covers unpleasant trials. They know he’s a human, a real person who can earn trust just like the rest of us.

According to a article the subject, which I tweeted a little while ago, in case you weren’t watching, he mixes professional and personal updates. One, about his knee surgery, prompted a reader to ask how he was doing. She, to an extent, knew him.

” (Readers) like to know I am a dad … not just someone who covers grisly murder trials,” he said. “(The more readers) know about me, the more they can decide if I am trustworthy or not.”


Written by Steven A. Fletcher

March 29, 2011 at 11:07 pm

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