MediaSource's Lisa Arledge Powell writes that as a communication professional, I know the importance of gaining integrity and trust from the audiences I try to reach. I also know that as an industry we are sometimes quick to point the finger at other communicators who report for a living. Due to the 24/7 news cycle of today, the spotlight on media inaccuracies is brighter than ever. In times like these, it is important to remember those key principles of journalism that most of us learned when we first began our core coursework in college.
When breaking news is in the hands of reporters these days, it always seems the emphasis is placed on being the first to distribute a story, blog, tweet, Facebook post, and every other kind of possible communication. Being first on the scene can catapult your story out of the cluttered media world and into the public eye. At times, however, the first person to report a story might also be the first person to miss key information. Luckily, even after recent inaccuracies in the media, some journalists are still doing well at being the first to report quality, factual stories.
Scott Taylor, an investigative reporter for Action 19 News in Cleveland, was quick to report on the Cleveland kidnappings via Twitter (@ScottTaylor19). The tweets Scott Taylor has posted from day one are accurate, relevant, and newsworthy. Taking the extra steps to not only be first, but accurate too, has made following his Twitter feed as informative as reading the police reports yourself. Taylor makes an effort to respond to his followers when they tweet at him about the case or about other news stories. Before and after his shows Taylor will have Twitter chats with his audience members about the case. He creates a rapport with them and still conveys information about the latest developments in the case. He is strategic and personable through social media.
The world of journalism will continue to grow and speed up with new advances in technology. We as communicators need to continue to grow and learn every day from others. We need to be the ones to give good constructive criticism while still recognizing the professionals that are doing well. So in the midst of your other communication duties, send a tweet to someone reporting well on a story. Share a Facebook post of a well written article. Give recognition to those who deserve it and reward good reporting. Nothing makes a reporter feel better than a nice work-related compliment.