Faisal Islam speaking at news:rewired

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.

  • Be interesting
"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".
  • Be social
"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."
  • Be yourself
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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