I’ve never actually caught fire before, but ever since kindergarten I know exactly what to do if that should happen.
Stop, drop and roll, right?
I played off this wise advice for our newsroom in my mobile gladiator workshops.
After analyzing our breaking news successes, I realized teamwork and clear communication was KEY to how quickly and comprehensively we could report.
My goal was to equip our journalists with the essential apps — and confidence — to help save time and maximize the mobile tools at our fingertips.
What happens if you find yourself on the scene of breaking news, with adrenaline pumping and your mind racing? What should you do first?
I advise our journalists to …
SNAP: Capture the event in photos or video — You may lose the opportunity, depending on the news event.
CALL (or text)* your team leader or online editor to alert them to the news. Make sure someone else on staff knows what’s going on, so you can focus on reporting.
*A critical part of the training was taking the time to update phone contacts, which include an email that alerts a wide group of editors, along with an email address that allows you to automatically upload video to the Roanoke Times YouTube account.
ROLL: Quickly tweet your photo/video w/ a caption (going public ASAP), which the desk-bound editors can retweet on the main account and post on the website. Roll on with your reporting, relaying to editors primarily through Twitter or over the phone, whichever method you’re most comfortable with.
As I emphasized in our training, our mobile tools are incredibly powerful, allowing us to report faster than ever before. But our *brains* are the most important weapon we have — learning to quickly communicate and improvise as the news unfolds, using these tools wisely.