All the Brand News That’s Fit to Click

Image by Llangwitches.

Image by Langwitches.

Journalism is dead. Long live journalists.

OK, the industry isn’t really dead; it’s in transition. Its underbelly, tabloid journalism, already lives online quite nicely, thank you very much, with its slavering focus on sex, sensationalism and celebrities. But fewer readers and greater costs mean that “serious” journalism is in flux – it’s not yet certain whether it will continue to be offered by traditional media companies trying to reinvent themselves or fall completely under the sway of new Net entities.

Even though traditional media numbers are dwindling, there is an increasing demand to tell good stories online, especially on behalf of brands.

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Journalists Telling Brand Stories


Recently I did work for /newsrooms in Toronto, creating a “bucket” of 100 tweets for one of its corporate clients. The tweets weren’t extolling the benefits of the brand but providing content of real interest to potential customers.

Founded by Chris Hogg and Sabaa Quao in 2012, /newsrooms is dedicated to telling brand stories through “continuous content marketing and social media coverage.” The company draws on the combined talents of journalists and marketers to do real-time publishing about brands, in the same way that organizations like CNN, Reuters and BBC World News Service cover the news.

“[/newsroom] is not a pure marketing play where a journalist is being asked to convey a message about a brand,” says Hogg, a graduate of the Ryerson School of Journalism, in a October 2012 interview with Digital Journal. “They’re not being specifically asked to promote or tout something, but instead covering what a brand is doing the way a journalist would cover an event, for example.”

To tell all the brand stories that are fit to post, Hogg and Quo have set up traditional newsroom structures for clients, with editors, correspondents, etc. So honed storytelling skills are paired with new technologies and, in a era where newspapers are pruning staff and resources, some experienced journalists are getting a second life.