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It’s hard enough to report, write, edit and produce the news these days but, even if you can do all of that well, you may need additional skills to survive and thrive in a digital-first newsroom.
Some are obvious: You’d better know how to use social media responsibly, not just the basics of how to post to Instagram or Twitter. You’d be wise to master the art of taking good photos with your smartphone, which requires more than pointing and pressing.
Beyond the basics, there are additional skills that can boost your value as a multimedia journalist.
Understand audience engagement
Not everyone agrees on what this even means but there are two main ways of looking at it. Engagement can mean attracting and holding an audience or it can refer to involving the audience in the process of newsgathering and production.
What you need to know about the first kind of engagement is how to read digital metrics. One way to get started is to explore Google Analytics for free, to get a sense of what can be measured and what the numbers mean. While many newsrooms use paid products like Chartbeat, the basics of metrics are the same.
You can learn more about the second type of engagement from groups like Gather or products like Hearken. They focus on helping journalists listen to their communities and incorporate what they hear into their news content. Gather has an active blog on Medium, full of useful tips and case studies. Hearken’s