Posted by Monica Worsley
These days journalism requires interaction with readers.
For writers engagement on social media is a generally accepted responsibility.
News organizations hope journalist-reader relationship will help retain and build their audience. However, according Poynter, “it’s still not clear how news organizations can measure whether their attempts at engagement are paying off.”
One reason news organizations struggle to understand the success of their journalists’ engagement is inability to decipher the data.
Analytics from social media sights and tweet counts provide statistics, but there is not an established standard for what is a good level of engagement. As a result, news organizations try to deduce engagement from shares, on-site comments, and page views.
Uncertainty about the success of audience engagement stems from this lack of feedback.
According to Poynter James Janega of Trib Nation, a chain of engagement programs at the Chicago Tribune, suggests that interaction beyond social media allows for more feedback and sincere interaction with readers/viewers.
Facebook and Twitter should not necessarily be abandoned. Rather a combination of approaches to engaging audiences including social media may be the answer to audience input in journalism.
As soon to be professionals, Drake University School of Journalism and Mass Communication students may want to engage an audience on behalf of a news organization.
In his article ‘5 ways to engage more in your audience- in person and online,’ Janega outlines some successful techniques used by Trib Nation that can be applied to other news organizations, including:
1. Take corrections and clarifications seriously
2. Explain the newsgathering process
3. Hold community-based events
4. Engage in a conversation with your audience
5. Embrace social media
Have you ever tried to determine how receptive people are to something you have written or posted online? Why in this digital age, do you think measuring engagement through social media sites is still confusing and inaccurate? As a news consumer, what types engagement practices would you respond to and recommend news organizations try?