Burritos on Twitter – how social media helped create a news package

6 Feb

Caroline James @CarolineJames1

Over the past fortnight, I’ve managed to use social media in three different stages of the process of creating an item of TV news journalism.

It was through a classmate’s blog that I (as reporter) and my director discovered Richard Fitzgerald’s blog and his quest for love via the most unlikely of routes: the spicy Mexican burrito.

Richard had been using social media – his Twitter account to advertise and his blog to document – as Cupid in his pursuit of love.  The winner of a year’s supply of burrito vouchers in a social media event, the corresponding publicity surrounding his win led to him being inundated with requests from girls to help him out with all those burritos.

Exchanging tweets with the Burrito Bachelor!

Using Twitter we contacted him to ask whether he would be interested in us doing a news report on his unusual quest.

Direct messages were exchanged and the interview set up.  Meanwhile, we contacted the author of the initial source of the story, Charlie, to arrange an interview to get the inside scoop: how do the girls feel about being blogged about? Particularly as, by Richard’s own admission, all the details go up online, however negative.

We then set about scripting and shooting the package:

But it doesn’t end there.  Back in touch with our burrito bachelor via Twitter, we were able to send Richard the Vimeo link so he could see our report for himself.

Using Twitter to publicise our news package to Richard's followers, as well as our own

 

 

Posting our video to Twitter and FB, we maximised the number of people who could see the video and have even had our package embedded in Richard’s latest blog post. Significantly, the volume of traffic to Richard’s blog is enormous:

 

The blog for the burrito love quest gets a lot of action!

In such a way, we were able to exploit the huge local community Richard’s blog had already established, in order to increase our own journalistic presence.

This package was ABOUT social media and we were able to use social media to PURSUE it and then ultimately, to PUBLICISE our own journalism. Any means we can find to infiltrate an established online community and share examples of our TV journalism can only be an asset to the aspiring journo.

Since then, Richard’s burrito blog has appeared in print: both the Islington Gazette and Metro are as interested as us in the fate of his fast food quest for love!

With Valentine’s Day just a week away, perhaps we should all take note: burritos, not oysters, seem to be the latest aphrodisiac.

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