Network Journalism – A Conversation with Nancy Blair, USA Today 2


Nancy Blair, senior assignment editor, Technology for USA Today stopped by the Racepoint San Francisco office this morning for an informal chat on what’s going on with the Technology section of the nation’s largest daily newspaper and 8th most popular online news site.

Like most media organizations today, reporters at USA Today are experiencing increased demands for their time in juggling multiple distribution channels. Fortunately for USA Today, management jumped in early in the game by going online in 1995 and developing a strong community approach – what USA Today calls “network journalism” – to enable an interactive and immersive visitor experience.

As a result of this, Blair feels that USA Today has smoothly adapted to the new world of journalism, herself working very collaboratively and closely with online Tech Editor Michelle Kessler in ensuring a comprehensive view on technology in both the print and online news edition. While the print edition continues to be strong with more than 3.6 million daily readers, the online site enables increased experimentation and “fun” with expanded coverage into areas like video gaming with the Game Hunters blog, the popular Science Fair blog and Jefferson Graham’s Talking Tech video series.

Blair noted that USA Today encourages all its reporters to be active in social media, including Twitter. Unlike other media organizations that have been taking a more restrictive approach to reporters in this regard, Blair states that USA Today has entrusted its reporters to use “common sense” in understanding their role and representation, and through social media channels such as Twitter, readers can get to know reporter “personalities”.

 You can follow Blair on Twitter @NanSanFran.

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