Break sports news on Facebook


Finding, or breaking, news is only part of the equation in sports journalism any more. You also need to attract readers, building traffic through posts on other blogs, Web sites and social networks. That’s what the Daily Nebraskan did yesterday. When a sports reporter reported that a top-ranked linebacker had committed to Nebraska, editors sent the story to a Web site widely read by Cornhusker football fans. As a result, the online publication received about 10 times more hits for this news than it does for its top story of the day. A copy editor for the college newspaper offers some useful tips for promoting stories online.

Few newspapers have found social networks like Facebook. But college editors should consider creating these groups to post game stories – sometimes, even before the online edition is updated. By networking, editors may also cultivate sources to break other stories.

A search of ‘newspaper’ brings up about 500 Facebook groups, but most are not sponsored by American daily newspapers. Some groups are created by those angry at the local newspapers while several others promote Middle Eastern, college and high school newspapers. The newspaper groups range from an Arabic-language daily newspaper in Lebanon to Roll Call (the longtime newspaper that focuses on Capitol Hill) to Old Dominion’s publication.

The Associated Press Sports Editors has a Facebook group as well, but this appears closed. (We’ll see if they accept my friend request.) But the Sports Institute invites all to learn more about its terrific training for sports journalists.

The Washington Post has always been an innovator on Facebook, thanks to the work of digital guru Rob Curley. The Post even has a Facebook application promoting its news and sports.

So you may want to develop these other ‘promotional’ locations to attract readers, posting game stories, post-game interviews (through YouTube), and creating discussions for fans.


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3 Responses to “Break sports news on Facebook”

  1. Emily Ingram Says:

    Thanks for the link!

    I updated the post just a bit ago, but one thing to keep in mind is if something works, stick with it. Max’s second breaking-news story in two days about football recruits got as many hits as the first one in about third of the time.

    Check it out here:

    Another helpful tip:
    Have writers post links to their latest story on their Facebook profile. You can have them either link the stories as posted items or – and this is my preference – add the link to your status or the area under you photo.

  2. jgisondi Says:

    Great tips. Thanks, Emily.

  3. Chris poore Says:

    I love the facebook posts, and I enjoy your blog all around. Suggestion: add bookmarkify or some other plugin so advisers can easily pass your wisdom on to others via email or facebook. Ignore this if it’s on here and I’m missing it. I’m reading on my iPhone. Chris

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