Zhang Kaiju studies Missoulian’s online strategy

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I’ve had two days of job shadowing at the Missoulian, from July 29 to July 30. On July 29, I followed Rob Chaney, an environment and science reporter. We started our day by following his “trap line” online to see if anything interesting or important had happened. We stayed in office, so I got a chance to talk to other people about their new media strategies.

According to the Editor Sherry Devlin, the paper’s main strategies are to be very quick and very visual. And the current statistics on the monitor are only used for short-term decisions, like identifying under-performing and over-performing stories to move them around on the website. I found that the digital data supplied by online readers does’t have that much influence on the paper’s news judgment, but it plays a big role in determining where and how stories are displayed.

The Missoulian has different platforms to release news, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, etc; and it has a video program called 406, in which a reporter is videotaped as he or she describes the  important news each day, just like a television newscast. The video the appears on the paper’s website. I watched them recording a new video for it with simple equipment. It was interesting.

On my  second day, I followed Kathryn Haake, a cops and courts reporter, to the courtroom to see the sentencing of a transient man who beat another man within inches of his life over a pork chop, and then we went to the police station to learn more details. In the afternoon we visited the jail in Missoula. It was not that scary and it seemed that everything was in order.


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