A team of American fusion journalists trained in multiplatform newshandling were responsible for global coverage of the 2011 News World Summit in Hong Kong.
The Global Editors Network (GEN) commissioned Western iMedia, the entrepreneurial editorial startup operated out of Western Kentucky University‘s School of Journalism & Broadcasting, to produce a continuous wave of editorial reports during the three-day international meeting of news executives.
Twelve Western iMedia cross-format producers and two faculty coordinators covered the event through a combination of streaming video, mobile interactivity, rich-media micro-journalism and social networking. An additional member of the iTeam — coordinating through Skype, mobile, SMS and email — oversaw the social media storm, and provided statistical analysis from the university’s campus in Bowling Green, Ky. The 14-hour time zone difference combined with the Chinese special administrative region to made this a truly globe-spanning 24-hour-a-day editorial operation.
By the numbers
Over a period of 70 nearly non-stop hours, the team generated 336 full articles and posts, 1,267 photos and slideshows, 21 feature video interviews, 337 tweets, 37 Facebook posts and 2 interactive mobile polls. At its height, the coverage engaged 204,000 people in 73 countries, with an average reach of 85,000 people per day. The sophisticated tablet-responsive media hub at news2011.org was evolved from audience generation mode to interactive coverage and eventually to its current resource status. It involved more than 4,000 unique visitors and more than 17,000 page views at its height. Western iMedia’s editorial coverage raised GEN’s Klout score for online influence more than 22 percent.
“The GEN wants to promote collaboration across all news platforms,” said Bertrand Pecquerie, GEN’s chief executive officer. “This is why we are very interested in the innovative newshandling techniques used by Western Kentucky University’s journalists-in-training, which will ensure the summit’s coverage to integrate all the media platforms.”
WKU’s fusion journalists combine the ethics, mission and production values of traditional editorial work with a decidedly non-traditional approach in delivering stories and interacting with audiences across a wide range of media, explained iMedia coordinator and journalist professional-in-residence Kerry J. Northrup.
“Journalists used to specialize by format. Fusion journalists have areas of expertise but their specialty is collaboration and innovation,” according to Northrup.
The GEN iTeam consisted of Amira Ahmetovic, a Bowling Green senior; Austin Anderson, a Benton senior; Alex Duke, an Louisville senior; Cameron Epperson, a Louisville junior; Alexis Gonzalez-Lopez, an Elizabethtown senior; Laura Haggard, a Georgetown junior; M. Blake Harrison, a Paducah graduating junior; Jacob Kasinger, a Utica senior; Sara Kuhl, an Alexandria senior; Laurel Mallory, a Cynthiana senior; Andrew Ridge, a Louisville senior; Tabitha Waggoner, a Bowling Green senior; and Rialda Zukic, a Bowling Green senior.
Leading the group with Northrup was Dr. Marjorie Yambor, an instructor in the School of Journalism & Broadcasting.
For more information, visit the staff page at http://news.globaleditorsnetwork.org/about-western-imedia-fusion-journalism