Digital First Media announced yesterday (19 July) that it was creating a new curation team within the media group's central news operation, tasked with hunting out content from across the web that may be of interest to the audience of the titles it owns.
The team was due to start work on Monday 30 July but following the shooting in Colorado in the early hours of this morning, a "makeshift" curation team was pulled together ahead of time in part to try and support the local newsroom of MediaNews Group title the Denver Post in its coverage.
The new team, as described in a press release, "will be responsible for tracking, collecting, crafting and distributing curated national news for publication across Digital First Media’s properties".
Today the team was largely using Storify and ScribbleLive to curate tweets and commentary from across the web, sending the embed code to Digital First Media newsrooms to help them cover the story, as well as supporting the Denver Post.
Director of community engagement and social media Steve Buttry told Journalism.co.uk the group has a digital-first newsroom at the Denver Post in Colorado, which has been "doing an outstanding job covering the breaking news story there".
"We are sharing that throughout the company, as we will with content from any of our newsrooms, or from national content providers."
But he added that they are also "curating the coverage from other news organisations, curating the tweets and pictures and video from the scene" in a bid to help the Denver Post newsroom, "as well as curating for our national audience".
"What we're doing in the case of this shooting outside Denver is we are supplementing the work that the colleagues in Denver are doing by curating some of the social media content both from the scene and nationwide, and we're collaborating with them on that."
When the team officially starts on Monday 30 July it will work on other big stories, but also "standalone projects" on social media trending topics or a story that is occurring in a place not covered by the company's newsrooms.
"It will be a varied approach and to some extent how we do it will be determined by the resourcefulness and creativity of the people that we've hired for the curation team.
"I'm sure they're going to come up with some curation ideas and examples I haven't thought of, we just thought we needed to get someone in that role."
The usual curation team will be led by Julie Westfall, while digital projects editor Mandy Jenkins "will drive the development and execution of national and local curation strategy across Digital First Media".
In the official release Jenkins adds: "Providing context to everything we curate is vital to providing a comprehensive news report.
"It’s our responsibility to bring these stories to each of our local markets and to ensure the staffs of our more than 75 newsrooms can focus their energies and efforts on the local reporting they do best.
"This team will be an essential part of our network coverage of everything from national politics and elections to national breaking news. Their main charge is finding ways to bring these stories home to every city and town we serve."
Two more of the curators, Angela Carter and Karen Workman, will still operate from their local newsrooms - they were most recently community engagement editors for the New Haven Register and The Oakland Press.
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