This situation presented a question: How do you best cover a live, breaking event on Twitter? In order to do so, I created a day-long Twitter thread wherein I — helped along by my colleagues — cobbled together our background stories; updates to said stories and live blog; images and video; and takes from our reporters in Washington and at the hearing itself.
The result was a multimedia-rich thread that lasted the duration of the hearings, along with some preparatory information. It consistently referred back to our Los Angeles Times stories and reporters, and also gave our followers something of an inside look at our coverage, boosting engagement.
I have also used this strategy of mixing together forms of multimedia while covering Los Angeles Times events, including our annual book festival and, for the Entertainment account, an Emmy Contenders roundtable.
This thread was the result of my attempting to craft a narrative while giving context to a large issue. At the beginning of the day, a top editor realized that there were multiple stories coming out about anti-vaccine beliefs — and subsequent outbreaks of diseases.
To establish how they were connected, I created this thread. In doing so, I gave the background of the movement, the outbreaks and why the topic was in the news.
On a more local and strictly contextual scale, I also did this in covering a scandal regarding the Los Angeles County sheriff.
Another way in which I have explored contextualization on Twitter is through the use of Los Angeles Times archives, like for this “Friends” anniversary.
Our columnist had a well-performing story on the eyewear industry, one that was creating chatter and recording high numbers multiple days in a row. To re-promote, I decided to do a basic tweet, followed up by another recent story he had done on a related topic. Finally, I quote-tweeted him in sharing a third, using language that was accessible and personal to readers — and directly pulled the journalist into the loop! This type of short tweet was a way to bring back multiple articles, and to engage with both a natural and potential audience for this specific column and topic. Later, I organized a livestream Q&A where readers were able to ask our columnist questions.