A typical city site of the CitySites network is based on three whales: city site, sales, and on the work of journalists (content generation). We have discussed the first two of them, so let’s talk now about the news feed.
Vera Cherenko, a staff journalist from one of our city sites, shares about the nuances of the work.
What is the editorial team for?
Having a good editorial staff for the site is a prerequisite for the rapid development of the site and the formation of a permanent audience. Editors create news - the most interesting product of your city site. The more interesting and resonant the news, the better the audience responds to them. This leads to a "snowball" of visitors - a successful article scatters around the city on the principle of word of mouth. And for Internet projects, the rule is simple: more visitors - more money.
By the way, do not even think about buying such a project if you are going to write news individually, even if you are a professional journalist. The efforts of the leader should be directed at the development of the project, pushing it forward, but not on writing notes, even if it is about the most beloved city of yours.
Stereotype: nothing happens in a small town.
I met with such an opinion a lot of times, so I wrote a separate article for the City Sites blog why this is not so.
What is the format of the news?
There are certain requirements for writing news headlines, illustrations, how often news should go out, etc. I recommend making the most diverse news feed. For example, at least add photos from the scene (this news is labelled as "Photostory"), and even better - video clips. Visitors love the video, it's an easy way to quickly find out what really happened, and is also a strong proof.
Conduct special projects - these are such large journalistic projects in which the editors make a comparison of some services of the city. For example, the best taxi in the city, or a new building. For participation in such a rating, you can charge the participants, and this is interesting material for visitors.
Also, avoid writing nonsense. The site should have a certain style and scope of permitted topics. For example, if you adore American football, you should not write about the victory of your favorite team. Only if an athlete played in it, was born in your city.
Create original content. Some of my colleagues use drones as well as the classic video camera. Cool stuff for a news site, it worth to invest in it if possible. Only under the condition that you will find a use for it except in the editorial office - for example, by shooting video clips customers. A good drone is not a cheap pleasure, and of course, it must pay for itself.
How to assemble an editorial team in your city?
Here you should start with the population of the city. The larger the city is, the more difficult to cover all the events; more people are required. For a city with a population of one million inhabitants, this could be 6-7 people, including a videographer and a correspondent. For small towns, one good journalist will be enough (more details below).
A journalist is a rare person, and it is not always possible to find quickly someone who’s quality and performance would be suitable. Even in small cities, there are residents interested in journalism, such can be taken "for growth". The editor of the franchise network and the curator can give suggest ideas for news or contests. The main thing - avoid stealing the news, doing just a rewrite.
CitySites - as one of the rescue circles to journalists?
I don’t try to make far-reaching forecasts, but in my opinion platforms such as CitySites will replace usual media. And this is obvious since some information carriers will sink into oblivion as superfluous and impractical. I'm talking about newspapers. But will the same happen to the journalists?
One of the CitySites’ franchisee asked me a provocative question, why should he spend money on a journalist if the team has a rewriter already? I understand the desire of managers to save on a particular job position but believe me, you will need a journalist, and for good reason.
First, many people ignorant of the subtleties of journalism differ little in concepts such as rewriting, copyright, copy-paste, content uniqueness, and repost. To be more specific: a professional journalist will be able to be a rewriter, but not every rewriter is an accomplished journalist. As a rule, the rewriter works remotely, taking information from secondary sources. It does not require special education or years of journalistic experience. Accordingly, your site will be filled with second-hand content, technically processed and of little interest to the local consumer. And there is a lot of such content!
Secondly, the rewriter can never provide the materials with unique illustrations, expert comments, or the effect of being present at the scene.
On the other hand, a journalist who obtained the information personally, who visited the event directly or spoke with the original source. His article will be unique and personalized. A journalist who is able to use modern technology can post hot news with an original photo and author's comment right from the scene or on the way to the editorial office. That is the meaning of a field journalist who is able to obtain and supply information being the first. The freshest and the most original material. These are created by me and my colleagues in CitySites.
The event becomes emotional, is supplied with some personal opinion, the attitude of an eyewitness to what is happening. And most important - such material can cause a reader’s reaction: like, repost or comment. The Internet is not for nothing called the "world wide web", because the reaction of one person extends as a chain to other readers. This forms the audience of the site, increases the reputation and popularity of the site. And it's free.
My experience: CitySites made me an interactive correspondent.
From personal experience I would say that my duties were only writing material correctly and beautifully, today we have to be able to illustrate, adapt, distribute and follow the reaction of the recipients.
When I became a full-time employee of CitySites, I felt immediately that the quality bar at the company is incredibly high. Previously, the source of information for me was officials, press services and enterprises. Today we are monitoring the life of the city through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter of its residents, the news can be found even in the Instagram of a public person. Notice how often modern politicians and artists appear in social networks - this is a new kind of PR, work, interaction with the audience. All services have moved to the World Wide Web. Comments, consultations, statements - everything is done on the Internet. This greatly reduces the time of receipt and processing of the material.
Naturally, many key events take place offline - a journalist moves quickly to extraordinary events, takes a photo on his smartphone or tablet, and post the news on his way back to the office. Everything happens quickly, informatively and efficiently.
My responsibilities include writing the news, writing a catchy headline and visual presentation of information. Here the skills of journalist, designer, photographer, will be useful. But in CitySites one person should be able to do all this - that is what the peculiarity of the online correspondent is.
In other words, the network journalist City Sites is a multi-tasking specialist, a universal soldier.
Professionalism is the core of success.
And all these transformations take place on a solid platform of professional knowledge: how to get, process and submit information, how to work with sources, with people, what is the responsibility for false information or plagiarism ... Well, not for nothing this profession is being studied for several years, and then journalists learn all their life by experience? Whatever you may say, but professionalism is the core of any business, therefore, most of the success depends on the quality of personnel.
Thanks for attention!