I’d like to take a minute to introduce myself. I’m Steve Novak, the new president of the Chicago/Midwest Chapter of NATAS. I have been in the television industry for over 30 years and have seen a lot of changes take place. From film to tape to digital we are finding better and more efficient ways to preserve our media. The cameras are smaller, lighter and better. We can go live from almost anywhere and bring back stunning images that otherwise would not be seen. Social media is exploding and providing a forum for those who would otherwise be unheard. All of this comes with a tremendous responsibility. Let’s use this technology wisely and give our viewer, on whatever platform that are watching, something to see. We can’t and shouldn’t pander to the lowest common denominator, but rise above and take the high road in telling our stories. The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences is dedicated to excellence in television and we must continue to hold ourselves to this standard.
Joshua Conner is an aspiring media mogul and philanthropist on a mission to learn, innovate, volunteer, and engage. In 2014, he was a Northwestern University-Medill School of Journalism Social Justice News Nexus Chicago Reporting Fellow. He has reported for Chicago Tribune-The Mash, Columbia Links, chelseakrost.com andfitnetx.com.
Nancy Loo is an Emmy Award-winning reporter for WGN News, but she also manages her own blog, “Big Tiny World” on WGN’s web site. Loo’s social media chops have allowed her to create a platform to engage viewers both on television and online. I spoke with Loo about her favorite apps and advice on how other television professionals can use social media to give more creditability.
How has social media changed the news landscape?
“The web is a vital frontier for reaching news consumers. There is plenty of evidence to show that fewer and fewer people are getting their news content via live television, unless there’s major breaking news, of course. I jumped onto the social media bandwagon about eight years ago when I started blogging. Back then, social media was a very new platform for journalists. But I instantly loved being able to interact with viewers.”
What are your favorite apps and how do they help you in the field?
“Facebook is the platform that drives the most web traffic. Being on Facebook is a no-brainer for journalists.”
Loo has more than 480,000 likes on her Facebook fan page and is also experimenting with live video in its Mentions app.
“Twitter is another must. The 140-character limit requires more strategic posting, and it’s quick and easy to respond to people,” said Loo, who has more than 18,000 followers on her Twitter page.
Loo also enjoys using Instagram, Pinterest, Foursquare and Periscope, but most importantly, she’s willing to experiment.
“Always be ready to adapt and evolve with social media,” Loo said. “Technology is changing all the time. Some of the apps I experimented with in the past decade no longer exist, while others, namely Facebook and Twitter, are now mainstream. I think journalists who commit to having social media accounts should be the ones managing the accounts, especially if they’re verified. Viewers and followers deserve to know who they’re really