Just saw this great article on Best Practices for Journalists Covering Crises on Twitter thanks to Michele Manafy, long time colleague! It’s part of API’s Research Review series, which highlights academic research that could be relevant and useful to the news industry…hope this series sparks ideas among academics with an interest in researching the news.

“Objective reporting is highly “retweetable” — signaling the public’s hunger to share useful information during crisis events.” Here are the priorities from the article, but you really should check out the whole thing!  Very useful in my opinion.

First priority: Focus on the facts; Keep it simple & repeat often; Be wary of news fatigue. “Relay frequent, factual updates and even repeat information to ensure it does not get drowned out in the volume of tweets related to the crisis.”

Second priority: Build loyalty; Tailor your coverage; Craft creative solutions. “Have staff dedicated to answering questions on social media to help alleviate concerns about the disaster.”

Third priority: Beware of public sentiment; Consider the type of crisis. Personal commentary from reporters about a crisis is best received when it focuses on community unity and healing. However, public sentiment on a topic may affect how reporters should approach the topic.

I believe this is good info and strategy for libraries in their communities. Hope you find it useful!