The Reno Gazette-Journal is a Gannett paper with a 54,000 Sunday circulation and a Facebook page that has 2,982 likes: RGJ.com - Reno | Facebook http://on.fb.me/oiqmNs
On a typical day, there would be four or five Facebook posts, including direct invitations to readers: Take our Reno casino history quiz -- http://on.fb.me/rmNeU1.
When a plane crashed into the crowd at the Reno Air Race on Friday, the RGJ Facebook page and the @RGJ Twitter stream became essential parts of the information flow. One of the first posts was a call for reader photos or information. A community member who responded with a comment from the scene and made it clear that the toll was extensive: http://on.fb.me/q1CU1A
It was on Twitter, though, that @RGJ made more of a mark. Gazette-Journal reporters filed sentence-by-sentence updates on Twitter from the National Transportation Board briefings. Example below.
Andy Carvin of NPR was one of the first to tweet about the audience video of the crash. He also tweeted a note saying how he found it:
@acarvin: For those who asked: I found eyewitness to #renocrash and the long video by searching for "OMG" & various expletives in Reno.
Is your newsroom ready to beat the national media use of Facebook and Twitter to report from your own backyard? This is a good week to raise these issues at a staff meeting.