Faisal Islam on the social media panel at news:rewired - full stream ahead
Social media is "hugely important" for Channel 4 News, Faisal Islam said at Journalism.co.uk's digital journalism conference news:rewired - full stream ahead last month. He said the broadcaster's journalists are encouraged to "inject personality" into their updates.
But he said the broadcaster has possibly been "quite Twitter focused so far" and having discussed other platforms such as Facebook, Tumblr and image sharing sites, he added that Channel 4 News should "be embracing all these things".
In the video below (filmed by the BBC College of Journalism) he talks to news:rewired blogger Elena Cresci about the broadcaster's approach to social media, and outlines his tips for digital journalists, as presented during the event's social media session.
"Everyone has a niche ... they should really concentrate on that," Islam advised. "Somebody needs that knowledge. Also be timely. Something said six hours after the event is 5 per cent as interesting as the right insight bang on when it's been announced by a government minister".
"Don't treat it like a broadcast media," he said. "You've got to interact with people that take out the time to react to you. You've got to respond to people that direct message you. You've got to follow people who are interesting. You've got to retweet your competitors, it's really important because they'll then retweet you, that's how it works."
This is about "bringing everything that you are to the party" he said. "Don't go overboard but people want to know what you are, where you're from, how you come at things. So I think being yourself is very important."
He also added that there is also a need at times to "be a little bit careful" when using social media.
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The technological advances that allow anyone with a smartphone and an internet connection to record what they are seeing and share it with the world have coincided with an intense period of conflict and unrest.
The Arab Spring, and more recently the Israel-Gaza conflict and the rise of the Islamic State, has brought a images and footage of conflict to new organisations on a scale not previously seen. But what effect is this having on the journalists who view such footage? And what can news organisations do to guard against this?
News editor Alastair Reid speaks to:
Bruce Shapiro, executive director, the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma