Tutorial #4 By Gerard Braud, CNN iReporter Evangelist —
Creating and filming your own CNN iReports or smartphone videos is a useful tool for communicating with the media, your employees, your customers, and key stakeholders in your crisis. Not only is it a useful tool during hurricane season, but it is useful during any crisis or natural disaster. However, if you plan to do these videos, it is important to understand what the media consider newsworthy. Often, what you consider newsworthy and what the media consider newsworthy are two different things.
For the 15 years that I worked as a reporter in print, radio and mostly television, people questioned me daily about why certain things got in the newspaper or on the air, and why other things did not.
News is traditionally defined as what is new, unique or different. Also, acts that tend to be violent, explosive and bloody often dominate the news, hence the old expression, “If it bleeds it leads,” as in, it leads off the newscast.
News and the decisions about what gets into a newspaper or broadcast on the news, is further based on “who cares?” If it is something people will talk about, i.e., they care, it is more likely to be considered news worthy.
What is considered news worthy and what gets on television today is far different than what was considered news worthy 10-15 years ago. News programs and news networks have shifted more toward what I would consider as “info-tainment.” Information and entertainment is blended together and sometimes it is difficult to separate them, or determine where one ends and the other begins.
A loud mouth television or radio commentator often shouts out an opinion in an entertaining way to a significant segment of the audience and produces a large amount of advertising revenue. This, in my opinion not only represents bias in the media, but is also the blurry line that bleeds from news into info-tainment.
Social media has also impacted news coverage and what gets reported. News was once defined as information designed to inform the electorate, so we could understand public issues and elect good leaders. However, today, more people care about — and the media is more likely to report on — the popularity of a viral video on the internet.
For your purpose, as a public relations professional, spokesperson or Public Information Officer (PIO), if a news worthy event happens where you work, your gut and experience tells you that a certain event is news worthy. What you must decide is whether you will be an active participant in providing official information to the media, or whether you will remain silent and allow the narrative to be told by the citizen on the street, armed with a cell phone.
My hope is that these tutorials encourage you to not only participate, but to also become an iReporter for CNN.
This link will take you to my tutorials on the CNN iReporter website. I hope you take the time to view, study, and share all 23 videos and articles.
This link will take you to the index for all of the articles and videos.
If you, like many others, think this information would be valuable as a workshop at a conference or corporate meeting, please call me at 985-624-9976. You can also download a PDF that outlines the program, Social Media iReports.pdf, so you can share it with your meeting planner or training manager.