IJNet Live: How to engage audiences and build community among readers

by IJNet
Oct 30, 2018 in Miscellaneous

Engagement, not pageviews and clicks, is increasingly seen as a metric for success in the news industry. Yet there’s no one-size-fits-all answer for engaging audiences. The concept of building and fostering community among one’s audience remains equally elusive for many news outlets.

Join IJNet for a live chat on Friday, Oct. 21 at 11 a.m. EDT to discuss best practices for engaging audiences and share what has worked for your newsroom.

Participants will be free to ask questions and get advice from Jake Batsell, associate professor at Southern Methodist University and author of “Engaged Journalism: Connecting With Digitally Empowered News Audiences”; Rubina Fillion, digital engagement editor at The Intercept and adjunct professor at Columbia Journalism School; Daniela Gerson, former community engagement editor at The Los Angeles Times; and Ravin Sampat, senior producer of audience engagement at BBC News.

Interested participants can enter the chat here on the day of the event or ask questions on Twitter using the hashtag #IJNetLive.

Leaders in the world of audience engagement, Batsell, Fillion, Gerson and Sampat will discuss:

  • Determining the right metrics and analytics for your news outlet
  • Best platforms and practices for fostering engagement
  • Community-building among local audiences
  • Engaging diverse audiences with the news

About the chat leaders:

Jake Batsell currently works as an associate professor at Southern Methodist University, where he has taught digital journalism, technology reporting, media entrepreneurship and investigative reporting while also coordinating the Division of Journalism’s digital student media operations since 2008. He spent more than a decade in print journalism before delving into video as The Dallas Morning News Metro Desk’s “hybrid” reporter. His book, “Engaged Journalism: Connecting with Digitally Empowered News Audiences,” examines the changing relationship between journalists and the audiences they serve. The book was recognized as one of three finalists for the Tankard Book Award. Batsell also spent the 2013-14 academic year at The Texas Tribune researching best practices in the digital news business as part of a Knight Foundation fellowship.

Rubina Fillion is the digital engagement editor at The Intercept. She spent seven years at The Wall Street Journal, focusing on social media, mobile strategy, analytics, search engine optimization and digital newsroom innovation. Previously, she was a freelance graphics editor at The New York Times and has bylines in Reuters, The Huffington Post, The New York Post, SPIN and the Associated Press. As an adjunct professor at Columbia University, Fillion teaches a graduate-level course on audience engagement and has also taught digital journalism at New York University.

Daniela Gerson is a journalist and educator who focuses on multiethnic communities and innovations in participatory media. In fall 2016, she joined the journalism department at California State University, Northridge. She was previously The Los Angeles Times’ first community engagement editor, where she worked to integrate readers into the reporting process. Her prior work also includes directing the Civic Engagement and Journalism Initiative at USC's Annenberg School and founding Alhambra Source, a research-based site that investigates how local news can foster civic engagement.

Ravin Sampat is senior producer of audience engagement at BBC News’ digital current affairs team and specializes in newsgathering, social media, user-generated content, community management and building, engagement, verification, producing and blogging. At BBC News, he works to drive editorial decisions, social newsgathering, content creation, engagement and overall audience growth across the brand’s platforms using real-time digital and social data. Previously, Sampat led the team behind NewsPoint, a digital newsgathering operation in London, and was editor of the award-winning citizen journalism site Blottr.com.

Main image CC-licensed by Flickr via TEDxGalicia.