Mid-term elections, cities crippled by snow, a homicide epidemic, and hundreds of bicycles materializing in the middle of late-night traffic — they’re not just news stories, they’re ongoing experiences.
That led Burt Herman, a former AP bureau chief and correspondent, to re-evaluate the way that news organizations research and assemble their stories. The result is Storify, a tool that allows editors and reporters to integrate social media into their stories faster and more interactively than ever before.
Rather than copying and pasting status updates, tweets, and Flickr photos, reporters can use Storify to rapidly compile dynamic social media elements that readers can retweet or reply to by clicking within an article.
It was the unfolding, increasingly citizen-reported nature of contemporary news events that inspired Herman to create the tool, along with co-founder Xavier Damman.
Rather than limit a story to a single report or punctuated series of updates, they wanted a format that accommodated the branching, interactive nature of social media.
Throughout its private alpha, Herman and Damman have kept a close eye on how reporters put Storify to use. “We want to learn and see how people are using it,” he said.
So what have they learned?
In general, Herman explained, users tend to employ it in one of three different ways: Compiling the seemingly-random chatter of reactions to an event, quoting direct sources, and highlighting one’s own social media.
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This article first appeared on Poynter Online, IJNet’s partner and the website of the Poynter Institute, a school serving journalism and democracy for more than 35 years. Poynter offers news and training that fits any schedule, with individual coaching, in-person seminars, online courses, Webinars and more. The complete article is translated in full into IJNet’s six other languages with permission from Poynter.
Photo Credit: Storify