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Storytelling tips and best practices

Using Social to Find Sources

3 simple ways to find story ideas

Over the summer, Sally did a callout on social media asking where public media journalists get their story ideas. The responses were fantastic and spanned everything from standard journalistic practices to creative and humorous anecdotes. We asked her to some of those ideas in this post. It’s a great starting point for the next time you’re

Get a Twitter habit: 5 things to do every day until it sticks

The hardest part to becoming a Twitter regular is developing the habit of using it. Every journalist today should be on Twitter — the excuses are few and the benefits are many. It’s not just a place to share and find stories. You can also use it as an alternative to the news wires and/or to find sources.

Use targeted search terms to unearth sources on social

The next time you’re looking for a source on social media, consider the wise advice I picked up from Daniel Victor of the New York Times in this Medium post, The one word journalists should add to Twitter searches that you probably haven’t considered. Victor writes about how he was tasked with finding people who were on airplanes where Hasidic Jewish

How to find sources on Twitter: An exercise

Note: This guide was developed in September 2015. It uses the California wildfires as a subject, but you can substitute any news story. I recommend a breaking news story that has some central event in a place (i.e. a tornado instead of the Trans-Pacific Partnership). In this exercise we’re going to use one of the

Find stories and sources on reddit, Instagram

When news breaks, you may instinctively reach for Twitter. And that’s a fine reaction! It’s a good place to start to find sources. (This guide/exercise will show you how to do that very thing). But if you’re looking for more sources and tips, and if you’re generally trying to stay on top of the news, you should

6 ways to use social callouts

In public radio, it goes without saying that the public – our existing audience and otherwise – should be at the heart of everything we do. One way to bring more of those people into our reporting is through social callouts, where we ask the wider world to share their stories, photos and thoughts on

Get closer to your audience with an audio callout

At Morning Edition we’ve had fun experimenting with audio callouts. Our listeners record their response with their smartphone’s memo app and then send them to us via email. We’ve asked listeners to share their stories on everything from the Paris “love locks” to the ambient sound of daybreak in their backyards. The responses are intimate, funny — full of

Watch: How one question can lead to lots of story ideas

“All great reporting comes from great questions” NPR’s Elise Hu makes use of great questions with social media. Elise says you can turn one smart question into a stream of story ideas. The key is to not just come up with the question, but to include your audience in the reporting process along the way. Here Elise