Expanding my definition of reporting: Using Storify to report on Occupy COMO

I’ve neglected this blog far too long, but I promise it is only because I have been doing massive amounts of journalism, largely 24/7…or so it seems.

This semester, I’m a copy editor, member of the community outreach team and an assistant city editor at the Missourian. All of that adds up to lots of editing, lots of talking and lots and lots of exercising news judgement.

With the outreach team, my definition of reporting has definitely changed. You don’t have to have a voice recorder and a 43 inch story to report.

I’m learning that the best way to be a reporter is to get information to people in the most appropriate and clearest way possible, whether that’s through Storify, a quiz, a document cloud or a few brief bullet points. Sure, an article is tried-and-true, but it’s not the only option by any stretch. I feel like the reporting and content-producing I’m doing for the team is just as valuable as what I wrote last semester.

Somehow, I keep finding out how fun journalism can be. Working on the outreach team is opening me up to news ways of doing journalism, which can be scary when discussing, say, performance reviews based on analytics, but much more fun when giving tours to girl scout troops or educating the community.

Either way, the experiences and discussions we’re having are invaluable toward making me a better, and more relevant, journalist.

Occupy COMO takes cue from Wall Street protests

The link above is a pdf of my latest work with the outreach team about our local Occupy movement, Occupy COMO, but I’m also including some links from previous coverage we had about Columbia Public School’s bond issue and national Constitution Day.

Storify is one of the coolest platforms I’ve ever used for reporting. It allows you to aggregate tweets, facebook posts, embedded links and other social media posts/links into a long narrative-style format. Text can be inserted for direction, transition or emphasis.

Overall, it really served its purpose in this case; we didn’t have recent coverage of Occupy COMO, so there was nothing to pull from our site. Also, protests here are more sporadic, so a general assignment reporter might not be able to source as completely as he or she would like. With Storify, we can make everyone a source and collect a huge variety of opinions and materials.

Six weeks in, and I’m already seeing my ideas about journalism change. I can’t wait to see what the rest of this semester brings!

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