Social media is an important journalistic tool, whether you use it for sending information or receiving information. When I start my day preparing for the newscast, my first thought is what is happening on Facebook and Twitter. Both social media platforms have specific elements that cater to the journalistic mindset. Facebook and Twitter have trending topic bars on the side of their pages and Twitter also has their moments page, which highlights the biggest moments of the day. All of these allow me to find interesting national or international stories that I can potentially use in the newscast.

When it comes to college-related stories and live shots, I try to focus on events happening on or near campus. One of the best parts about Facebook are the event pages. Facebook will notify you about what events are happening near you and most of the time they are events happening at USC. This is important because other students will relate more to these stories that are happening in a familiar place. In addition, Facebook and Twitter allow me to reach out to people to ask for interviews or footage of big stories happening at USC and around the country.

For ATVN this week, we wanted to get an update about the Duke University protests. We reached out to friends who we knew went to Duke and asked them to record their response to the protests and any footage of the campus. We needed social media in order to get the information out there, but also to get the information that we needed in order to make the story possible.

When it comes to my own digital footprint, however, I feel like I have some room for improvement. Yesterday, I scoured Twitter for any responses to the live streaming deal between the NFL and Twitter. I did find some great tweets, but it would have been even more fun to get some reactions from USC students. Since they are college students too, they would have had something to say about a social media app they probably use all the time.

In the coming weeks, I will make sure I focus more on how to engage the audience on social media throughout the day and not just during the live newscast.