The quote from Marc Reeves which we should all agree on

Marc Reeves prompted a lot of hot air (sorry, heated discussion) with his speech about the challenges facing the regional press. As Marc points out, he would say what he is saying because he’s decided to pin his colours to the online-only mast.

But for me, the most important thing Marc – a former colleague of mine when he was editor of the Birmingham Post – has said this week was reported on, not his own blog.

Marc is a speaker at News Rewired at the end of the month, and when asked whether it was essential journalists used social media, he replied:

Pretty much. If you aren’t prompting a few more visits to your site each day by reaching out to that part of your audience that gets a lot of its news via, say, Twitter, then why aren’t you? The deliberate, planned use of social media can bring extraordinary rewards. But equally, if you think social media is the be all and end all of what you need to do as a journo you’re in the wrong job. Go down the pub and talk to people in your target audience. They’d still rather give a scoop to a person than an avatar.

In other words, the medium may change, and new skills may be required – but many of the old ones are just as important. Journalism is about people, not the technology.


4 thoughts on “The quote from Marc Reeves which we should all agree on

  1. These last few days I’ve had a frontpage from a direct message on Twitter with a link to some info – which yielded some more information. This made a good story. But I also went to a planning committee and got another good story (as the decision didn’t go the expected way on a big development). And someone phoned from a PACT meeting I went to and complained about potholes and a botch job by the local council.

    Social media is another way for journalists to be contacted. It’s also an incredibly powerful tool for spreading stories, when Stuart Cable (former Stereophonics drummer) died on Monday morning we (WalesOnline) used Twitter and Facebook presences to drive thousands of extra click-thru’s to our content.

    Twitter. Facebook. Email. Phone. Talking. Out and about. Make yourself available and you’ll get stories.

    1. Absolutely spot on. Why was that DM sent to you? I’d wager it was because that person trusted you, in the same way as you’d get to know a contact in the traditional sense. Marc’s point, I think, was that social media can’t be the only way of communicating, but that you have to blend ‘traditional’ contact making with the contact making the new ways – both of which are remarkably similar. Journalism is about people, I guess.

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