By Marcella Kukulka,
Al Getler, former publisher of The Burlington (Vt.) Free Press, shows during a convention session Friday morning, Feb. 24, how to position a smartphone in shooting Facebook Live video.
Al Getler brought a friend to the session he organized for the New England Newspaper and Press Association’s winter convention.
Facebook was the figurative friend Getler, former publisher of The Burlington (Vt.) Free Press, brought to the two-part session, attended by more than 60 people Friday, Feb. 24.
In the first part of the session on “Facebook, newspapers and journalism,” Getler introduced the speaker, Peter Elkins-Williams, leader of Facebook’s news partnerships. Elkins-Williams discussed the Facebook Journalism Project and its efforts to create better ties with the news industry.
In the second part of the session, Getler discussed how Facebook Live, a feature that allows users to stream video footage instantly on Facebook, can help make news coverage more efficient and interesting.
Getler’s presentation aimed at educating journalists who work mainly in print about the benefits of using social media to promote news stories and receive instant feedback.
“Facebook is your friend,” Getler said. “That is my belief, and hopefully that will be yours too.”
Getler said that if journalists want people to read their work, they need to go where people are: social media.
Getler said that by posting stories on Facebook and paying the platform to boost those stories, journalists can expose users to their publication in hopes that those users will continue to follow the publication on different platforms.
“A little boost goes a long way,” Getler said. “If you pay a bit of money for Facebook to drive your story, it can instantaneously get 80,000 likes.”
Posting Facebook Live videos can help print journalists compete with broadcast reporters without the need for heavy production equipment, bulky microphones, or multiple team members. Journalists can share “breaking news, explainers, and sports highlights” with the touch of a button on their personal phones, Getler said.
Facebook Live also offers instant analytics and metrics that can be helpful for journalists to gauge the reactions and questions an audience might have.
“You know how many shares, likes (a story attracts) … the story performance all in live time versus waiting two weeks for the numbers to come out on how many newspapers were bought,” Getler said.
Those instant analytics can be helpful for journalists to answer questions the audience might have about a story, to think of alternative facts to investigate while still at the scene, and to know how to delve deeper into a story, based on comments made immediately about your Facebook Live video.
While speaking during the session, Getler was simultaneously filming a Facebook Live video of his presentation.
He urged the audience to “take a risk in the industry,” and gave them several tips for shooting videos. The tips included cupping a hand over the microphone for sound clarity, buying a tripod to prevent “wiggly” footage, editing clips via iMovie, and experimenting with technology to become more confident in using tech tools.
“I do believe in technology a great deal,” Getler said. “We need to get over thinking that ‘risking nothing is genius’.”
‘Facebook is your friend. That is my belief, and hopefully that will be yours too.’
—Al Getler, Former publisher,
Burlington (Vt.) Free Press
With this mounted smartphone, Getler shoots a Facebook Live video of his presentation.
‘If you pay a bit of money for Facebook to drive your story, it can instantaneously get 80,000 likes.’
‘I do believe in technology a great deal. We need to get over thinking that “risking nothing is genius”.’