Thursday, April 24, 2014
‘Old man,’ new media
I’ve been blessed over the years to build a network of newspaper friends throughout Mississippi and even the United States.
Last week I added another.
Chris Rhoades, with Enterprise Publishing in Blair, Neb., visited Holly Springs and The South Reporter for a couple of days. He also conducted a workshop for the Mississippi Press Association on Friday at the University of Mississippi in Oxford.
The best way to learn in this business, and probably most others, is from others in the business. We share with each other and then we “steal” from each other.
Chris, 20 years my younger, is part of a well-established and talented newspaper family. He brought with him a wealth of knowledge on a lot of topics. Of particular interest to this “old man” in the business was the topic of new media – website, Facebook, Twitter and such like.
Your newspaper, The South Reporter, was one of the first weeklies in the state to have a website – set up before I moved here (which was 13 years ago) by former publisher Walter Webb.
We’ve made changes over the years, and www.southreporter.com continues to generate a lot of worldwide web traffic. About a year ago we added the E-Edition, a complete version of the newspaper available online.
A few years back we started a Facebook page and began giving news and sports updates.
We have a great number of “friends” on Facebook and the number is growing.
Then a month or two ago, I got into the “tweeting” business personally and started updating scores from the state basketball playoffs via Twitter.
I think my son Andy was the first to respond. He’s been a Twitter guy for some time.
I’ve been told that the kids use Twitter and the “older folks” do Facebook. I don’t think that’s totally true. I know many college and professional athletes “tweet.”
Last week, we set The South Reporter up on Twitter, too, and immediately started getting response.
Over the weekend, I posted photos and baseball game scores inning by inning via Twitter, as did sports photographer Ronnie Day.
The printed versions of community newspapers, at least those with staffs who are doing their jobs right, are “rocks” in their communities. They’re going nowhere.
But at the same time, we must adapt to the ever-changing technology and boost our print product through other avenues.
More changes and additions are coming on down the line for The South Reporter – in print and via the Internet.
It’s our way of serving you better and striving to be the best we can be.
On a side note, Chris had never been to Memphis, Tenn., before. When we set up his visit, he quickly discovered that the Memphis Grizzlies were scheduled to play the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday, April 16, in their last regular season game for 2013-14.
He was getting himself a ticket, so naturally, I said, “I want to go, too.”
We share a love for sports – particularly basketball.
As it turned out, there was excitement galore in the FedEx Forum. The Grizzlies had clinched a playoff berth a couple of nights earlier and were battling for the seventh seed from the West in the NBA playoffs.
They won a thriller in overtime.
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