Wednesday, August 22, 2012

On top of the news

Imagine my surprise and delight when I opened Twitter this morning and saw posts from @BenMullin and @theorion_news last night reporting stories about Chico and the state university system. Two of the stories, by Marisela Pulido and Aubrey Crosby, also appeared on this morning.

This is great work! It's also a great example of what it means to be digital first. It'll be interesting to see if theorion_news Twitter account's number of followers grows from the current 1,209 as students discover their campus newspaper is reporting news as it happens instead of just once a week.

In the next couple of weeks, the editors will need to figure out a story flow for all the various media the reporters and editors will be using now. It seems logical that Twitter would be the first place a story is mentioned because it's easy to post from a phone. Should a post to Facebook happen at the same time, or should that wait until a more complete story is posted on And where will the new smartphone and tablet app fit?

I almost missed the stories by Marisela and Aubrey on the website (mostly because the art that has been at the top of the page all summer hasn't changed yet, so it seemed like the news hadn't changed). That's something else that needs to be addressed. With more breaking news flowing to the website, should the most recent posts be featured near the top of the home page? 

Also, reporters should be thinking about what kind of art they can turn in with their stories to catch readers' eyes on their social media posts, the website and The Orion paper-and-ink version. In the case of these stories, a simple mug of the outgoing chancellor, people smoking in a park and a crime logo or a map that shows the location of Mountain Mike's would have been good additions.

But this is a great start!

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