Pack journalism, and a timely lesson about social media

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Photo courtesy of Michelle-Andrea Girouard

By Peter Cowan, for The CBC

One question I’m often asked is this: Where do you come up with your story ideas? I often tell people the explosion of social media has opened up new nooks and crannies for reporters to find out what’s happening, to discover different stories, and to see what real people are up to —not  just governments and organizations.

Sometimes it can mean new fresh stories, with different reporters uncovering new stories to share with viewers, readers and listeners in a province that’s always hungry for a good yarn.

Sometimes, though, it seems that who journalists are following the most closely are each other.

News now, 24-7

You don’t have to wait until tomorrow’s paper to know what the Telegram (or anyone else) is working on; you can follow their reporters on Twitter … and try and get the information out first.

We’re in an online “news now” world where deadlines have gone from being measured in days to minutes.

When a friend of mine posted a story on Facebook this week about Sudbury being the fattest city in the country, I knew St. John’s couldn’t be far behind.  The CBC story linked to the Statistics Canada information and sure enough, we’re #3!  As a province we’re the biggest, and not in a good way.

I sent out the link to my colleagues in the CBC newsroom, thinking it would make a good story.

I also tweeted it out, since every reporter wants to be the first to get a good conversation going.

To continue reading this column, please go to www.cbc.ca where it was originally published.

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