We've had some great guests in both #loweclasses this year, but I think that Sharif Durhams probably has been my favorite. Durhams serves as the social media editor at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and also contributes to JS Online's breaking news coverage. 

The focus of Durhams' presentation was on how the sports department for the Journal Sentinel has embraced and effectively utilized social media. He discussed three writers who utilize it the best on the staff, namely Tyler Dunne, Tom Haudricourt, and Tom Silverstein.

Less than two years ago, Dunne worked for a local Buffalo paper. He built up a brand for himself online and on Twitter, and found his way to the Journal Sentinel to cover the Packers. Now however, he has accepted a job with the USA Today because of the quality work he has done and the exposure he has received. 

Haudricourt has covered the Brewers since 1985 and is widely considered one of the best baseball beat writers in the nation. His credibility took a major boost when at the beginning of this year, Ryan Braun's suspension for PED use was overturned. The Associated Press initially reported that Braun's suspension had been upheld, but Haudricourt called them out for their inaccuracy on Twitter, and as more and more people rallied to his side, his credibility grew.

Tom Silverstein covers the Packers for the Journal Sentinel, and live chats with Packers fans during games. Durhams said that Silverstein's chats draw tons of traffic from fans who ware watching the game on TV on their couch and simultaneously chatting on their computers.

Durhams' visit was especially timely, since his second jobs on the breaking news side of the paper came into play four days earlier during the Brookfield Mall shootings. Durhams said that JS Online used ScribbleLive in order to send out updates to concerned residents as information was discovered.

The presentation provided a lot of great information about how newspapers are adjusting in the age of social media, and people like Durhams surely have a lot to say in the future of the industry.

Leave a Reply.