At USA Today, there’s a social revolution at work in the newsroom. On Tuesdays, reporters write shareworthy articles with Facebook and Twitter communities firmly in mind. And that’s just the beginning. Staff also compete daily to see whose headline garner the most shares or who can attract the most followers, as an electronic billboard keeps track of every step. Speed, too, is an important part of the formula, as is originality of content. With a mobile readership of 25.5 million, USA Today has figured out an important formula to digital news: when today’s reporter can make a piece go viral, it’s just as important as getting a print article above the fold -- and perhaps more so.
What has been the result of the strategy so far? In an interview with the New York Times, USA Today’s Washington bureau chief Susan Page was recently quoted as saying she and the staff are enjoying the new atmosphere: “We file more and we file faster, and we file without consideration of whether it will make the print edition.”
On that note, we’re fortunate indeed that both Page and USA Today social media editor Mary Nahorniak will join our next #MuckedUp to discuss their avant-garde strategy. A little about our guests: Page has interviewed the past eight presidents and twice has won the Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency. She also regularly guest-hosts NPR’s Diane Rehm Show and appears as an analyst on the PBS NewsHour, CBS’ Face the Nation, MSNBC, CNN and elsewhere. Meanwhile, Nahorniak has also served as the first director of audience engagement at The Baltimore Sun, in addition to past gigs as the editor of NewsTrust Baltimore and breaking news director at The Sun.
We look forward to learning from both Page and Nahorniak during our next tweetchat on July 29. Could USA Today’s method work for your newsroom? Got other questions you’d like to ask the USA Today crew? Email or tweet them to me by noon on Monday, then join us on Tuesday at 5 p.m. PST/8 p.m. EST!