Futures Lab Update #86: Ideas for Election Night; How Social Shapes Breaking News

    by Reuben Stern
    December 12, 2014
    An example of how USA Today used the app "Yo" to send out links to updated stories on election night and track results. Image courtesy of RJI.

    This week, we look at innovative election-night ideas from NPR and USA Today, and we see how social media tools have reshaped breaking news coverage at Mashable and The Weather Channel.

    "We need to think about, 'Where does our content go now?' And with devices like the Chromecast...video fits really well there." - Tyler Fisher

    PART 1: Election night ideas

    On the night of the last election, many news outlets tried new approaches to delivering results and keeping audiences engaged. We hear details about two such experiments: USA Today’s use of the messaging app Yo, and NPR’s 2014 Election Party.
    Reporting by Allison Prang.
    [To skip directly to this segment in YouTube, click here.]


    For more information:

    The overall idea behind NPR’s experiment was to centralize its coverage “in an expanded version built for television and optimized for Google Chromecast,” as explained in this press release.

    PART 2: Social tools in breaking news

    Social media offer newsrooms a way to share and to obtain news — and also to keep it organized. Brian Ries of Mashable and Renee Desjardins of The Weather Channel explain how their organizations use social media to stay on top of events coverage in interesting ways.
    Reporting by Katy Mersmann, Reuben Stern and Rachel Wise.
    [To skip directly to this segment in YouTube, click here.]


    Reuben Stern is the deputy director of the Futures Lab at the Reynolds Journalism Institute and host and co-producer of the weekly Futures Lab video update.

    FuturesLabWebBanner-mediashiftThe Reynolds Journalism Institute’s Futures Lab video update features a roundup of fresh ideas, techniques and developments to help spark innovation and change in newsrooms across all media platforms. Visit the RJI website for the full archive of Futures Lab videos, or download the iPad app to watch the show wherever you go. You can also sign up to receive email notification of each new episode. 


    Tagged: apps breaking news chromecast elections mashable npr rji usa today weather channel

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