I love Twitter, so this assignment was something I was super excited about. Though it took some effort, my first journalistic live tweeting experience was successful.
I covered the “Heroes Holiday Extravaganza” in Cheyenne on Saturday, Nov. 26 at the Cheyenne Public Safety Center on my Twitter account. The event was not only to promote Small Business Saturday, but a lot of the proceeds went to local Law Enforcement for a memorial.
I liked the experience because it gave me an opportunity to immerse myself in something that journalists do on a daily basis in the field. It was fun to throw myself into an event and do some reporting on the go. I liked using Twitter as a form of journalism because it’s not only convenient, but it’s also fun to construct a news story on a social media platform I love.
I didn’t enjoy approaching people not because it was uncomfortable, but because even though I introduced myself and why I was at the event to attendees, I felt like only vendors took me seriously. I tried to get an interview with a perspective from a customer and why they were at the event, but no one wanted to talk to me. I approached several people but got sent away. The vendors and organizers were willing to talk to me which I appreciated, but I was really hoping that I could get a local’s point of view on the extravaganza.
I learned a lot about how journalism can be tough in this sense, for no matter how formal and polite I can be, some people just aren’t willing to talk with you. I also had to adapt to the rejection I received and not let it affect my reporting. I was surprised by this lack of response from customers. I was also surprised by how hard it was to keep tweets short and sweet because you only have 140 characters, but I made it work.
As far as things I wish I would’ve done differently, I wish I would’ve gotten to the event earlier so that I could’ve talked to the person who actually put the event together. When I talked to the assistant organizers, they weren’t sure where she was so I couldn’t get an interview with her and why she created the event. Otherwise, I think I approached the event well.
With my future in journalism, I plan to use social media a lot. I want to do entertainment journalism involving red carpet events, concerts and movie screenings, as well as other things of that nature, so I think social media will be important. I plan on doing a lot of live reporting, considering a lot of the events I plan on attending will have a need or demand for it. I think that in this generation, it’s hard not to use social media in journalism, so this assignment was valuable for my future career path so that I know how it works and the challenges and benefits of using social media for a story.
Hopefully in the future I’ll be able to use this method for some of my reporting because I think it’s a fun, easy way to connect with an audience. I think it’s effective in informing the public because so many of us use electronic devices to get our news and information. Not only that, it encourages interaction from users because reacting is so easy to do on social media, which is awesome. To receive direct feedback on a story would be helpful in knowing what the people want to see.