The Tools of the Trade

by Lewis DVorkin and Forbes, Inc.

This chapter is a free excerpt from The Forbes Model For Journalism In The Digital Age.

Forbes, a traditional media company that deeply believes in the values journalists hold dear, is leading the way to new forms of engagement by making it possible for our editors, staffers, and hand-selected contributors to publish on Forbes.com, so their voices can be heard amid all the noise.

It takes work on the contributor's part:
  • Using our “Headline Grab” tool to share what they’re reading
  • Writing short posts, long ones, and everything in between on our highly customized WordPress platform
  • Using our tools to drag-and-drop photos into their posts, or inserting photo galleries that they assemble
  • Creating videos or embedding relevant videos in their stories 
  • Inserting charts and graphics  
  • Programming related content of their choice with our Vest Pocket tool (what I consider the bridge connecting our 1,000 knowledgeable staffers and contributors with the 6,000 people and organizations that we track and they often write about)
  • “Calling Out” rewarding and productive users comments – and responding to those comments
  • Simultaneously publishing on Forbes.com, Twitter and Facebook
  • Activating Facebook Subscribe
  • Working with our producer desk to master the tools and our Audience Development team to tap the Web’s many information ecosystems for readers
As Andrea Spiegel, who runs our digital product development said: “We’re building the tools so journalists can determine how best to cover their beat to serve the audience they want to build.”

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Forbes, a traditional media company that deeply believes in the values journalists hold dear, is leading the way to new forms of engagement by making it possible for our editors, staffers, and hand-selected contributors to publish on Forbes.com, so their voices can be heard amid all the noise.

It takes work on the contributor's part:
  • Using our “Headline Grab” tool to share what they’re reading
  • Writing short posts, long ones, and everything in between on our highly customized WordPress platform
  • Using our tools to drag-and-drop photos into their posts, or inserting photo galleries that they assemble
  • Creating videos or embedding relevant videos in their stories 
  • Inserting charts and graphics  
  • Programming related content of their choice with our Vest Pocket tool (what I consider the bridge connecting our 1,000 knowledgeable staffers and contributors with the 6,000 people and organizations that we track and they often write about)
  • “Calling Out” rewarding and productive users comments – and responding to those comments
  • Simultaneously publishing on Forbes.com, Twitter and Facebook
  • Activating Facebook Subscribe
  • Working with our producer desk to master the tools and our Audience Development team to tap the Web’s many information ecosystems for readers
As Andrea Spiegel, who runs our digital product development said: “We’re building the tools so journalists can determine how best to cover their beat to serve the audience they want to build.”

Forbes has become a disruptor in the media industry, but that doesn’t mean we can just sit back. Disruptive competitors are everywhere, and journalists need to grasp that concept for themselves. They’ve been disrupted by a new breed of native digital reporter who grew up with the new tools of the trade, just like I grew up using a CRT rather than an IBM Selectric. And they’ve been disrupted by all the knowledgeable people out there who can publish content even without working for a newspaper, magazine, broadcast or cable network – and find an audience through social media (no home page traffic required).

So, if journalists learn the tools, study the usage data and engage with their audience through desktop, mobile, tablet, and print, too, then they’ve got a good shot at a future in long-form, short-form, and every type of journalism in between. There’s a big World Wide Web out there. There’s Google search. There’s this new thing, the Social Web (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn). Focus on your expertise, write great headlines, and engage, I tell them: Go find your audience.
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