Updating The Website
For my first couple years on the Clypian staff, our reporting and photography was almost exclusively for print. We had a website, but we only uploaded stories there a couple times a month. We did not advertise heavily or work to create a reader base there, wasting a valuable resource. Admittedly, as News Editor during my sophomore year, I did not push hard enough for a more digital presence.
During my junior year, I began working with a member of my staff to redo the website and redesign the layout of Clypian.com. Together, we worked to make the website more visibly appealing, with a larger emphasis on photos and photojournalism, as well as, increased spacing in the website layout itself. The staff member and I created more pages on the website so that people who visit could more easily access what they were looking for.
At the same time, I made a concerted effort to publish more online. As Editor-in-Chief, I created a calendar for people to sign up to write daily stories, as well as, their articles for our monthly print publication. All reporters were supposed to write 1-2 daily stories a month, which were immediately published on the website.
Thus, we were able to modernize our media program and connect with a wider range of people. When COVID-19 forced us to shutter our printing and move our student media completely online, we already had a more established platform to publish from. Currently, we try to publish articles 2-3 times per week on the website, except during holidays and between quarters. The website receives a relatively consistent number of visits daily, much higher than it was pre-COVID. We also see spikes of 1000s of readers when big stories are published. Specific information about website analytics can be found on the Marketing & Audience Engagement page.
On the website we provide content in a variety of mediums. We have articles, photo galleries and combinations of the two published. There are two pages dedicated to photography and links to our broadcast programs, such as Saxon Radio 1. Along with updating the website itself, I have worked to revamp how stories look when they are published online, so that they are more appealing to the reader. A look at that work can be found on the Design page.
As well as modernizing our website, in my time at the Clypian, I have worked to expand our social media presence. Social media is a valuable tool for sharing information quickly and reaching a wider audience.
When I became Editor-in-Chief we had a Twitter following of a few hundred. Now we have more than 11,000 accounts following us. I worked, with the help of the social media team to grow this audience, tweeting articles and community information out regularly. I also did extensive live-tweeting of events, keeping people engaged with our platforms.
We use Twitter to live-tweet and share articles. Recently, I published an in-depth look at the Salem-Keizer School Board. I used Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to share it, and so far it has received tens of thousands of views, including more than 55,000 impressions on Twitter. The article has also been added to my Reporting and Writing section, as I believe it is one of the best articles I have written.
At the same time, we use Instagram to share stories through photos and to create digestible content for a high school audience.
Creating a social media presence is undoubtedly one of the most helpful things I have invested time into for the Clypian and our expanded audience is one that I hope my successors will benefit from. For a deep dive into our social media analytics, visit the Marketing & Audience Engagement page.
Social Media & Protests
A lot of our social media growth, particularly on Twitter, came from my live-tweeting of racial justice protests in Salem and Portland. I tweeted, along with taking photos and notes, to give people in-the-moment information about what was happening on the ground. This consistent, near-nightly coverage drew people to our account.
It was challenging to live-tweet sometimes because of the fast paced nature of the protests, but I felt that social media was a good was to convey this information. What was particularly beneficial was the ability to upload short clips of things that were happening, as they happened. Twitter allowed us to reach 10,000s and sometimes 100,000s of people with our coverage, such as with this tweet.
I have continued to live-tweet on protests happening in our town, although I am no longer reporting on the Portland protests nightly. Even with this less consistent live-tweeting, our social media remains well interacted with, such as with this tweet which more than 100,000 people saw.
Breaking The Arrest Of Chandler Pappas
When a source informed me that a prominent member of Oregon’s alt-right, Chandler Pappas, had been arrested, I verified using jail records and took to Twitter to report the news. I tweeted from my own account and then I retweeted it from the Clypian to maximize reach. I used Twitter because it was the fastest way to share breaking news.
My original tweet was the first announcement of the arrest. In fact, the next weekend, I was at a protest talking to photographers from the Oregonian and OPB and they congratulated me on breaking that story. After tweeting the news I went to do a deeper dive into his background, adding to the thread with more information and writing a story with the information collected, which I shared on social media as well.
Social Media & Wildfires
When wildfires raged through the Pacific Northwest in September of 2020, I used Instagram and Twitter to share information about the fires. I posted stories to the Clypian’s Instagram account which showed air quality information and fire boundaries. I did the same on our Twitter feed.
I visited the local fire relief donation center and live-tweeted information from there, sharing videos of what the donations looked like and information about what was still needed. Along with live tweeting, I took photos on my Canon and uploaded them to a photo gallery on the website.
During this same period of time, I visited the evacuation center at the Oregon State Fairgrounds, live-tweeting and photographing there too. My coverage included talking to volunteers, workers, and those who had evacuated animals from fire zones and were housing them at the fairgrounds.
For Instagram, I put together a photo series of the smoky city, which I shared along with updated fire information.