Converging with online media

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Wow! It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, but a lot of thing have been going on with the Murray State News, especially the sports desk.

We finally have our staff determined for this year, which means I don’t have to worry about finding and helping contributors. But with an established staff, comes changes to better the sports section.

With the ever-growing popularity of online media and social networking, we have created a twitter account where we post breaking news about Racer athletics. Feel free to follow us at http://twitter.com/MSUNewsSports.

Another HUGE change we are in the process of implementing deals with the content of the print edition vs. the online edition of The Murray State News. Because our paper is distributed weekly, we have had problems with covering stories. When the paper comes out on Friday and includes a recap of last Saturday’s game, it’s old news and no one cares anymore because they know if we won or lost.

With the help of my veteran staff members, we have decided to remove recaps from our paper, something that was hard for me to deal with at first. So now, our print edition includes previews, a recap blurb and feature stories on athletes, coaches, teams and the history of Murray State athletics. Recaps go directly online as soon as the game ends and the story is written.

One of the most positive things I see with convergent media is that I KNOW my writers are at the games about which they are writing. They have to be to get the information ASAP. And I feel it is extrememly important to attend the event about which you are writing. Requiring immediately written recaps, I know my writers are doing they’re jobs the right way.

Another good thing is my writers are getting double the experience and having to work on a tighter deadline with online recaps than before with just stories for the weekly print edition.

As journalists, we need to take advantage of today’s technology. Using online and print, together to better the other, is important. It makes no sense to use just one form of media when you can usedifferent kinds. Just be smart. Use the online for print teasers and vice versa. Talk to your ads department about creating house ads in the newspaper to publicize exclusie online content and your twitter accounts.

Journalism is moving in the direction of online and its unavoidable that we must move with it.

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