Social Media Can Sell The News
Perhaps 2012 will mark the end of the world. This is being foretold not by the casting of chicken bones or the story of the Rapture, but by the fact the Associated Press, after years of resisting nearly all efforts to integrate social media into their reporting, is finally coming around.
This week they announced that veteran reporter Eric Carvin will be the new social media editor, based at their headquarters in New York City. Carvin has worked at the AP Nerve Center for the past two years, quietly using social media tools to promote AP news stories, gather news and doing all of the many things social media can do for the news industry. Carvin makes a good choice for the position of social media editor because he is familiar with both the inner workings of the AP and social media.
As a social media marketer and former journalist I have written extensively on the sheer stupidity of the print news industry in trying to ignore the importance of social media marketing to their business. As a reporter I regularly used social media to source stories, track down leads, investigate and promote my stories, all to the disdain of fellow reporters who considered it a waste of time.
What struck me as odd, or again, stupid, was that while the print news industry would regularly write about social media success, they did not embrace it. As if resisting its use would somehow restore the glory of the “good ol’ days.”
Ah, yes, the good ol’d days, when news came in on the telegraph line and print setters spent hours carefully laying out each individual story. If only Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg was still alive, surely the print industry would be more flexible than it is today.
My only question now will be whether efforts by the AP to finally integrate social media into their operation will amount to another case of too little, too late, or if it will lead to a true renaissance of the print news industry.
For the past two years, Carvin has been a news producer at the Nerve Center, the central editorial desk at AP’s headquarters. He has focused primarily on using social media to uncover breaking news, gather user-generated content, engage readers and promote AP stories and visuals. He also plays a central role in overseeing the AP news report more broadly.
Carvin has extensive experience with innovative and interactive storytelling methods. He managed and edited Meltdown 101, an award-winning series that sought to unravel the most complex aspects of the economic crisis, as well as Ask AP, a weekly column in which AP reporters around the globe answered readers’ questions about the news.
Previously, he was a founding editor of asap, an AP service that pursued innovative and multimedia approaches to the news. During his time at asap, he oversaw and edited Far and Wide, AP’s first news blog.