So often over the decades, some of the most memorable images and stories have been about children and soldiers.
KTRK Houston is a TV station well-known for hard-hitting serious investigative reporting. When the station issued a memo telling journalists they could no longer knock on the doors of suspected criminals, legal and ethics experts pointed out this issue may be a lot more complex than it seems.
While its 777 jet is missing and the world wonders what happened, Malaysia Airlines is smartly using a “dark” technique. Posting a fully functional website without any hint of celebration or commercialism.
It is stark and factual. Agnesday.com, a crisis communications website said, “All communications are published in both English and Chinese to accommodate the different audiences turing to this dark website for news and updates. Contact information is clearly displayed from every page of the dark website, which relinquishes the need to go searching for it.”
Malaysian Air also has a steady flow of announcements on Facebook and Twitter. And the airline has, on occasion released statements meant to show caring and compassion:
Malaysia Airlines’s CEO, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, is doing a good job at communicating compassion and sincerity, not just through his words (both written and spoken), but by the way the airline has been taking care of the grieving families. In a crisis you have to do more than just say that you care, you have to show that you care, and Malaysia Airlines is doing a good job at this.
I am always amazed by a) how important Facebook is to how much traffic a news story can get online and b) how little journalists know about how Facebook chooses what goes where on a page, your newsfeed for example.
Facebook uses an algorithm called Edgerank. The formula that Edgerank uses is this one:
Plus, admittedly, a touch of randomness.
It means that postings that are in line with what you normally like and interact with rank higher on your page.
Older stuff falls to the bottom. Edgerank is trying to put the things you care enough to comment on the highest.
What does this mean to journalists?
You should be pushing people to comment on your posts-not just like. Not just click. Comment!
So the most valuable posts are the ones in which you try to involve the readers in a discussion on Facebook.
The New York Times used audio, video, stills and text to tell the heartbreaking story of an Iowa town that missed the abuse going on right under its nose. When state inspectors liberated the men who grew up there, they could barely believe what they were witnessing.
Notice the way the Times uses video in what would normally be still images online. The text and the video segments compliment, not repeat each other. The videos are each short and emotional. They give the reader information, context and texture that the words alone cannot.