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Media, Social & New Media, Technology

New tools of the trade

Storify: Adding to the journalistic toolbox

Last week I wrote about the need for broadcasters and media organisations to experiment with the way they deliver news.

Doha-based news station Al Jazeera is already taking up the challenge, experimenting with news coverage, using the web to help augment its service.

Its new programme The Stream is using social media and new curation tools like Storify to set the news agenda, to guide and inform its coverage.

Journalism is no longer about the ability to write a crisp page lead for an overnight, or deliver a piece to camera, or even craft a long-form web story – it’s going to be about the ability to harness new tools to aid storytelling.

Well, if ever there was a weekend when the value of these new tools came to the fore it was this one.

Not for the first time Twitter was the source of breaking news.

@KeithUrbahn broke the news of bin Laden raid with this tweet:

Breaking news

According to the Daily Telegraph this sparked a torrent of related content – 3,000 tweets per second – but with all this information, how do you differentiate the valid, informative first-hand content from the less worthy secondary sources or comment.

This is where the tools like Storify come in. Storify is a simple idea which collates social media feeds, YouTube footage, Flickr images, RSS feeds and web content.  But more than this it allows you to build a narrative around a particular theme or topic.

Reporters will be able to timeline a specific event or story, adding multi-layered context around the tweets, video and photographs of people on the scene.

It’s a real reporting tool. This is what journalism needs. Not just the ability to disseminate content, but tools to help journalists break and cover news in ways that are meaningful.

Its stories like this which demonstrate its power – take a look at these examples of how the service was used to cover the story.

Storifying the death of bin Laden

How the Washington Post used the service

Collating the live tweets of the raid

It’s an example of how journalism  is evolving. Services like Storify will be to the 21st century reporter what the shorthand notepad and pen were to the pre-web hack.   News delivery is not just about platforms it’s about the new tools of the trade too.


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