By John Ensslin | July 10th, 2011
Studio SPJ recently featured an interesting discussion on how to use social media tools to better cover and report natural disasters.
Our guests included Rick Smith of the National Weather Service in Oklahoma City and Karen-Lee Ryan of the Tennessean in Nashville.
Here’s an except in which Ryan explains how her newspaper used YouTube by posting a news video of a flood and got dramatic results in terms of viewership.
“Not a lot of folks knew that Nashville was underwater. It somehow didn’t make it into the national media. There were a couple of other big national stories going on.” Ryan said.
“And we had exclusive footage inside the Opryland Hotel. And that is where a lot of people who’ve been to Nashville – they’re familiar with Opryland.
“And so when we put a video out there showing Opryland Hotel under ten feet of water and inside the rooms and public spaces suddenly we saw on Google that “Opryland Hotel flooded” became a search nationwide.
“And that’s actually how a lot of people found out that Nashville was having flooding.
“So we used YouTube and that video ended up getting more than 500,000 views in a couple days and rose to the number one video on YouTube.”
You can listen to the entire podcast of this program by clicking here.
This program was co-sponsored by the Arkansas and Oklahoma pro chapters of SPJ.