5 Social media lessons we learned from Brian Stelter

By Bridgit Bowden
ONA Mizzou Exec Board with Brian Stelter.
Photo by Laura Davison
Last week, ONA Mizzou brought New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter to Mizzou to speak to students.

On Tuesday, Nov. 10, Stelter gave a lecture on digital identity and online entrepreneurship.  One of the topics he talked about most was how journalists should use social media.

We used the hashtag #StelterONA to keep up with the online discussion during his talk.  Here are 5 social media lessons we took away and tweets from people who got to hear his lecture.

1. Gaining an audience should be your first goal.

Stelter's blog, TVNewser, got him a job at the New York Times right out of college.  But that shouldn't be everyone's number one goal, he said.  Building an audience is much more important.

2. Being first isn't as important as being right.

Verifying all of the facts before sending out a breaking news tweet is vital.

3. Wait until you have a link to tweet a story.

Unless it's absolutely vital to get the information out immediately, readers like to be able to read the whole story.  What you might lose in time, you'll make up for in content.

4. Put your email and phone number and email address in your Twitter bio.

Stelter lists both in his Twitter bio, and he said he gets (mostly) good, useful phone calls because of it.

5. We're still journalists first.

Social media is great, but journalists' first job is news gathering.

Stelter will be leaving the New York Times to join CNN as senior media correspondent and host of "Reliable Sources."  You can read CNN's news release here.

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