living up to the hype (or just their descriptions)

By Christina Elias

Of the four sessions I went to today, two did not exactly live up to their descriptions in the convention program.

Two social media editors from the Washington Post talked a little about the Post‘s social media hierarchy and strategy for dissemination of content but stated at the beginning of their time slot that they didn’t prepare anything specific. I think when they began taking questions from the audience, the session became more productive because they were addressing issues that interested their audience.

While it wasn’t the most organized presentation, I definitely learned a little about how to better think logistically about social media for news organizations. One thing they said that was interesting was social media can be used a tool to report, not just share links to articles. Another thing I took away from the session was the importance of being strategic about which platforms lends themselves best to the story at hand, which I think definitely applies to a lot of student news organizations who traditionally share the same stories and type of content across every account.

My first session of the day was called “Storybusters,” and was supposed to be about how to find and pursue hot topic stories on campus. While the description made it sound like it’d be an extremely relevant session for college journalists, the session turned into more of a share circle about problems specific to the universities represented at the session, rather than a concrete presentation and chance to learn new skills.

I think they both had the potential to be great, interesting discussions (obviously since I chose to attend them) had they been better thought-out and organized. I hope these sessions can be improved to be more effective in the future because they’re important topics.

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