Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
It continues to be very good to be The New York Times
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Aug. 27, 2010, 12:30 p.m.

ABC News teams with Facebook for Katrina coverage

If you go to the ABCNews.com homepage right now (12:30 p.m. EDT), you’ll see something unusual: the news network’s coverage of the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, streamed exclusively online — in real time. The coverage includes a couple of pre-produced pieces, but for the most part it’s live: ABC correspondents David Muir, Robin Roberts, and Bob Woodruff, on the ground in New Orleans, talking with residents, interviewing former mayor Ray Nagin, and otherwise employing shoe leather in the service of memory.

But the network’s coverage will be participatory and conversational in a way that TV news often tries, but fails, to be: ABC is using Facebook Connect to stream its Katrina coverage to its website. As a result, for the next half hour, “you’re going to be to see people liking it and commenting on it in real time,” says Brian Braiker, part of ABCNews.com’s social media team.

It’s not often, leaving aside CNN’s Facebook-hosted stream of the Obama inauguration (and Rick Sanchez‘s “Latest from Twitter” shout-outs) that networks’ televised content and their online interfaces merge so explicitly. And ABCNews’s foray into the field of platform integration is very much an experiment at this point. “This is sort of like a trial run for the elections,” Braiker says. “We’re going to go really big for that…whatever wrinkles there are obviously will be smoothed out before the election.”

That doesn’t mean the experiment is casual. ABCNews’ Facebook partnership “is all part of a broader, more detailed and in-depth social media strategy,” Braiker notes, “in how best to tell stories through all these emerging media.” Today “is the first salvo in an ongoing experimentation with a lot of this new and social media stuff that we want to integrate as much as we can into our coverage — and make it different and better than everyone else’s.”

POSTED     Aug. 27, 2010, 12:30 p.m.
SHARE THIS STORY
   
 
Join the 50,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
It continues to be very good to be The New York Times
It now makes more revenue from digital than from print and continues to add new subscribers at a record pace. But its brutal COVID-driven drop in advertising will be echoed all across the industry.
One year after India cracked down on Kashmir, The Kashmir Walla turns to membership to survive
“People don’t just pay for the product and the content. People pay for the idea behind it and the credibility. There’s a good will among the people to support independent journalism in Kashmir.”
Evoking empathy or seeking solidarity: Which is preferable when covering people without homes?
Plus: How journalists cover global infectious disease, how audiences think news organizations should improve trust, and “news minimalists and omnivores.”