The Coloradoan created a Facebook group for their community so people can get answers about what is happening in their local neighborhoods. They partnered with their local fire agency who also chimes in and provides answers to some of the questions. The news organization created user guidelines and is very clear about what people should expect from the group. So far, they said, feedback has been very positive and they have been able to get local utility companies and the police department involved in discussions as well.
When hosting a debate, Annenberg Media had to decided who was going to moderate the conversation. The decision was not taken lightly and there was a lot of thought that went into the process. They wanted to make sure they were being fair, unbiased and thinking about diversity while selecting a moderator. To explain their decision process and how they chose a debate moderator, they created a video for Instagram Stories and YouTube.
When hosting a debate, Annenberg Media had to decided who was going to moderate the conversation. The decision was not taken lightly and there was a lot of thought that went into the process. They wanted to make sure they were being fair, unbiased and thinking about diversity while selecting a moderator. To explain their decision process and how they chose a debate moderator, they created a video for Instagram Stories and YouTube.
The Tennessean created a video to explain why their editorial board asked for a mayor's resignation. The newsroom said it felt the video format added a lot of value to the message and they enjoyed being able to explain how and why the decision was made instead of just writing a column. The newsroom also went live on Facebook to explain their decision.
The Tennessean created a video to explain why their editorial board asked for a mayor’s resignation. The newsroom said it felt the video format added a lot of value to the message and they enjoyed being able to explain how and why the decision was made instead of just writing a column. The newsroom also went live on Facebook to explain their decision.
The Tennessean went live on Facebook to explain why their editorial board asked for a mayor's resignation. By going live on Facebook the journalists provided users a place to be heard and receive feedback.The newsroom also created a video to explain how and why the decision was made.
The Tennessean went live on Facebook to explain why their editorial board asked for a mayor’s resignation. By going live on Facebook the journalists provided users a place to be heard and receive feedback. The newsroom also created a video to explain how and why the decision was made. 
If one of your journalists writes a book about a story they have been working on or produces a documentary, highlight it. Two of WCPO's journalists were involved in publishing a book about "Fiona the Hippo," a local zoo animal that has gone viral. The news organization held a book signing and invited their users. More than 100 people attended the event.
If one of your journalists writes a book about a story they have been working on or produces a documentary, highlight it. Two of WCPO’s journalists were involved in publishing a book about “Fiona the Hippo,” a local zoo animal that has gone viral. The news organization held a book signing and invited their users. More than 100 people attended the event.
CALmatters took to Twitter to introduce three new staffers and their coverage areas. Framing the news in terms of reader impact (an investment in quality and expanded coverage) kept it from sounding like a stodgy press release, and the news organization said readers responded with excitement.
CALmatters took to Twitter to introduce three new staffers and their coverage areas. Framing the news in terms of reader impact (an investment in quality and expanded coverage) kept it from sounding like a stodgy press release, and the news organization said readers responded with excitement.
Behind-the-scenes roles like designers and editors aren't in the public eye as much as reporters--but you can still highlight the many skilled staffers who keep your news operation running. The Jefferson City News Tribune did just that by announcing the promotion of their design editor and sharing her credentials in a link.
Behind-the-scenes roles like designers and editors aren’t in the public eye as much as reporters–but you can still highlight the many skilled staffers who keep your news operation running. The Jefferson City News Tribune did just that by announcing the promotion of their design editor and sharing her credentials in a link.
Screenshot of the Christian Science Monitor Instagram Story where they interview their global affairs correspondent.
The Christian Science Monitor sat down with their global affairs correspondent to answer questions ranging from fun (What is your favorite meal?) to powerful (What makes your reporting distinct?). The answers were posted to Instagram Stories which gave them room to experiment and helped them reach a younger audience.
The Virginian Pilot highlighted their journalists' credentials by having them update their online profiles. Information about their journalism experience can create trust and build credibility, while some fun facts show a more human, relateable side. This project would be easy to replicate, so take a moment to check: Do your reporters have bios? And would a reader be able to easily find them?
The Virginian Pilot highlighted their journalists’ credentials by having them update their online profiles. Information about their journalism experience can create trust and build credibility, while some fun facts show a more human, relateable side. This project would be easy to replicate, so take a moment to check: Do your reporters have bios? And would a reader be able to easily find them?
Screenshot from the Christian Science Monitor page on Facebook.
Planning a big story? Let readers chime in with the questions they’d like to see answered. The Christian Science Monitor saw “validation that our audience likes to be a part of the process” when they introduced their interns, shared their own goals for covering an upcoming political event, and prompted readers to share what they’d ask. They also set clear expectations of how reader questions would be used.
Screenshot from a Facebook LIVE video on USA TODAY's page, showing a discussion between readers and experts.
USA TODAY invited two people who commented on a previous Facebook Live, sharing traumatic stories involving assault and abuse, to join a Facebook Live via Skype, with a representative of the Women’s Center in Washington, D.C. Engaging with users throughout all aspects of reporting made this possible. While logistically challenging, USA TODAY was very happy with how it turned out, and so were users.
Ogden behind the scenes pornography
With big stories, take time to introduce the staff behind the scenes. Use it as an opportunity to explain why you did a story, what questions you set out to answer and how it came together.
When a reporter from the Christian Science Monitor visited South Korea for the Olympics, she wrote a touching personal observation. The news organization shared it in a newsletter, along with details on the reporter's background that put her thoughts in context.
When a reporter from the Christian Science Monitor visited South Korea for the Olympics, she wrote a touching personal observation. The news organization shared it in a newsletter, along with details on the reporter’s background that put her thoughts in context.
The Day took to Facebook to share candid photos of staffers, as well as explain their coverage areas and provide contact information for their newsroom and journalists. A post featuring a long-time community reporter was especially popular, showing that readers truly value the paper's commitment to local coverage.
The Day took to Facebook to share candid photos of staffers, as well as explain their coverage areas and provide contact information for their newsroom and journalists. A post featuring a long-time community reporter was especially popular, showing that readers truly value the paper’s commitment to local coverage.
If your staffers are comfortable with it, take the time to show who they are outside of work. A photo of a Jefferson City News Tribune reporter playing in the community band generated positive responses. Posts like these remind readers that you are real people (not "the media") and that you're their neighbors.
If your staffers are comfortable with it, take the time to show who they are outside of work. A photo of a Jefferson City News Tribune reporter playing in the community band generated positive responses. Posts like these remind readers that you are real people (not “the media”) and that you’re their neighbors.
Are your reporters getting recognized in the journalism world? If so, highlight this good work for your local readers. When a reporter's story was featured by the Investigative Reporters and Editors organization, the Virginian-Pilot highlighted the reporter's work and the real-world impact that resulted from the investigative story.
Are your reporters getting recognized in the journalism world? If so, highlight this good work for your local readers. When a reporter’s story was featured by the Investigative Reporters and Editors organization, the Virginian-Pilot highlighted the reporter’s work and the real-world impact that resulted from the investigative story.
Are you a local reporter? Own it. A reporter at the Coloradoan took to Twitter to share her pride in covering stories that would otherwise go untold. As she wrote, "You won’t see a reporter from a national news outlet going door-to-door in your neighborhood most days." Don't be shy about sharing genuine pride and excitement.
Are you a local reporter? Own it. A reporter at the Coloradoan took to Twitter to share her pride in covering stories that would otherwise go untold. As she wrote, “You won’t see a reporter from a national news outlet going door-to-door in your neighborhood most days.” Don’t be shy about sharing genuine pride and excitement.
Taking readers behind the scenes can help with so many things: Showing a reporter's personality and motivations, explaining how a story comes together, and providing context. Instagram Stories gave a Discourse reporter an easy and personable way to share her thoughts during a reporting trip.
Taking readers behind the scenes can help with so many things: Showing a reporter’s personality and motivations, explaining how a story comes together, and providing context. Instagram Stories gave a Discourse reporter an easy and personable way to share her thoughts during a reporting trip.
Screenshot from Reddit, where users are discussing a story shared by Discourse.
Discourse shared links to stories in appropriate subreddits on Reddit. They targeted subreddits that already existed, hoping to capture the attention of people who are already interested in the topic of their story and active on the platform. The news organization received some traction and has been continuing to share their stories in subreddits.