On Wednesday, KCRW, an L.A. public radio station, used emojis in a tweet that promoted its “Morning Becomes Eclectic” show.
That same day, BuzzFeed News used one in an Instagram post about the NFL’s “Deflategate” investigation.
Emoji’s have seemingly become almost a standard in everyday communication, but it’s still fairly surprising to see them in news outlets’ social media posts even two years after USA Today, perhaps jokingly, tried their hand at it.
That tweet was later highlighted in this piece.
In it, journalism professionals dismissed emoji-use.
However, Gregory Norfleet, identified as editor of West Branch Times, shared advantages:
“I’ve never used emoji nor emoticons, but if it makes for a better headline or graphic — more reader-friendly — I would. Readers, voters, taxpayers, etc. — if it draws them in to read the story, they become MORE informed.”
Fast forward to 2015, it looks like journalism has not fully embraced them. Both Instagram and Twitter lets users (or me, at least) search for emojis, but seeing them in journalism social media posts remains unlikely despite how often they are used casually.
In journalism, fundamentals are important. And at The New York Times, editorial judgement is among the rules stressed not just in the traditional forms of reporting, but on social media as well.
Michael Roston, editor on The New York Times social media desk, told the American Journalism Review working in “different journalistic settings” helps journalists know what is newsworthy. His experience, he said, came from working as the paper’s “overnight homepage editor.”
And when it comes to on what platforms they deliver this news, Roston told AJR it depends on what’s worth the time.
“We’re certainly interested in all sorts of different platforms and finding new ways to connect to readers, and I think the questions always are, ‘How much effort are you going to invest, and will it payoff enough to make it worthwhile?’ Sometimes it’s good not to be first on some of these things, though, because sometimes they turn out to be nothing.”
Here is the post with more of what he had to say about The New York Times social media’s approach.
The New Medium has moved to TheNewMedium.net. For now, further posts — still covering the use of social media in journalism — will appear on that site.