With social media there is no excuse for arriving in a country unprepared. Easy access to free tools means that any journalist, traveling to report or deliver training, can be brought up-to-date with the latest information.
By following the seven points listed below a journalist will:
- have the latest news about the country they are visiting
- make contact with some of the key news makers
- have their finger on the local news pulse
1: Research using social media
Set up search columns in Tweetdeck, Hootsuite or your preferred Twitter aggregator for the name of the country and the city or cities where you are going to be working, and at least two names of people in the news. Jot down the issues being discussed. Search using these key words or, if they are regularly used, set up a column for them in your Twitter aggregator. (If you are not set up on Twitter yet, please carry out step two in "How to become a global media brand in 60 minutes" before you start.) By the way, there are many more - please check the Social Media Kitbag for latest updates.
2: Curate your own respository of essential information
Perhaps consider curating a collection of tweets and associated links, videos and images using curation tools such as Scoop.it, Curated.by or PearlTrees; there are many others too. Curation is the way to gather a unique collection of material specific to the task you are undertaking. All the information will already be in the public domain, but the mix of content that you collect will be unique to your needs. What's more, you can share that material and invite others to comment and contribute.
To read more, click here.