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Journalists discuss good stories found on social media

social media word cloudIn previous weeks, inVocus has shared insights from media professionals who participated in our annual Vocus State of the Media survey, where we gathered information related to journalists’ relationship with social media. We’ve shown their feelings about being pitched via social media, their general attitudes towards social media, and now we have their answers to the question: “What’s the best story idea you’ve received through social media?”

Whether it was a pitch, a tip or a reporter’s lurking skills that got him the scoop, here’s a sampling of stories found by using social media in the field.

Regional newspaper reporter, sports

A story about a BYU [Brigham Young University] football player who was from Ghana and had never played football before arriving in the United States. Now he’s in the NFL (Ziggy Ansah, Detroit Lions).

Local/regional newspaper/online reporter, government, business, politics, crime

A mysterious van was driving around and scaring people. I got the idea for the story after seeing it on Facebook.

Local newspaper reporter, business

Nothing earth shattering. I usually learn on a regular basis of business closings, layoffs, etc. and the day-to-day pieces that fill our page.

Local newspaper reporter, personal finance/community news

Direct pitching? I can’t think of any. Coming up with my own story ideas as I lurk? This happens every week.

Local newspaper reporter, education

I learned about an upcoming report on college graduation rates, I think. It wasn’t really relevant to my beat, but it was a good story idea.

National online reporter, motorsports

I’ve had racing teams reach out to me for contests or promotions that they had planned out and wanted my website to be a part of. This gave me access to exclusives.

Local/regional/national online reporter, breaking news

Probably a Reddit post about a Philadelphia voting machine during the last presidential election that kept changing the voters’ choice from Obama to Mitt Romney.

Regional online reporter, business

I wasn’t pitched this idea, but through a Facebook post I discovered a company’s product was being liquidated on Craigslist. It wasn’t something the company was going to tell me about.

Online reporter, mapping technology

Mostly I get stuff about: “hey, cover our company.” Rarely is it anything better than that.

Regional TV

Communities coming together to help each other in particularly sad or tough situations, i.e., natural disasters, death of family.

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