Who do you share your work with? I can recall working the city desk on the weekend and watching reporters sitting with a stack of newspapers cutting out their stories to send to sources, family and, of course, save for themselves. While I’m sure that this exercise still occurs at newspapers throughout the world, my question is why stop there?
Yes, I understand the desire to prove to your parents that the tens of thousands of dollars they spent on J-School was well worth it or to show your sources that you did indeed quote them correctly, but while your at it why don’t you share your work with everyone else? I think reporters should avail themselves of all online opportunities to highlight their work.
Every time your newspaper publishes a story you wrote on its website or in its printed paper, they’re doing it to help sell newspapers and/or draw people to the website and not to showcase your skill as a reporter or advance your career. Your newspaper is not concerned if your work is noticed, recognized, admired or even emulated. And while I agree that it’s not their job, I would argue that it is yours.
Fortunately the Internet makes it easy for you to promote your work. Websites like Digg, StumbleUpon, ShoutWire, Reddit, Mixx, Publish2.0 and many others can get your stories noticed by a broader local audience and readers (including many in the industry) from around the world. As you know, a story that makes it to the front page of say a site like Digg can be viewed by tens of thousands of people. So why shouldn’t you get some of that attention?
Even if you are happy with the job that you have and don’t have any immediate plans to look for a new gig, your work deserves recognition. Not sold? Look around some of these sites and you’ll see work from your newspaper has likely already been submitted — sometime even by someone at your newspaper. This is not a foreign concept, bloggers (myself included) frequently submit their work to these sites. It’s not just about drawing visitors to our sites, rather many bloggers believe they have a message that deserves a wider audience, can’t the same be said for some of your stories?
It doesn’t take long to submit to most of these sites, actually some even have toolbars, buttons and widgets designed to make submitting even easier. Many of you likely even have buttons on your sites to placed so readers will submit stories to Digg or Reddit or others. So take the time and push your work. Share your stories with that broader audience. Your newspaper will gain as a result of the additional site visitors your work might bring and who knows, you might even gain a better gig or even just the knowledge that you’re doing a good job.