Twitter, Facebook vital tools for Va. Tech newspaper during tragedy

Posted on December 12, 2011

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Virginia Tech, which suffered the worst mass shooting in the U.S. back in 2007, was again at the center of tragedy on Dec. 8 when another shooting left two dead (including a police officer) on its campus. The university’s newspaper, The Collegiate Times, turned to its social media networks to keep the public updated on the events surrounding the shooting. This strategy proved vital for the newspaper when its website crashed and the staff was evacuated from their newsroom for security reasons. While the staff updated Facebook during the tragedy, they found their most success on Twitter. In 140-character posts, the staffers were able to perform their journalistic duty. The Collegiate Times was praised by journalists and news organizations around the nation and was rewarded when the newspaper’s Twitter following jumped from 2,000 to 20,000 in a matter of hours.

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Posted in: A Social Twist