Through it all, a new kind of journalist was on the story.
Along with traditional reporters and editors, The Wall Street Journal’s nearly two-year-old audience engagement team fueled the outlet’s coverage of the slayings. The team simultaneously verified information, promoted Journal articles and social media posts on the killings, managed reader comments, and shuffled online feedback and analytics to their colleagues. “The audience team is just like your shoe-leather reporters,” says Carla Zanoni, head of emerging media and audience development, “in that they feel like this is what they’ve been training for.”
But studies and experts say news outlets can no longer flourish without devising some kind of approach to their online communities—even if that approach is desertion.