CCMA Entry: Best Social Media Reporting

Early on Monday, Sept. 16, the district sent out alerts that Santa Ana College was closed until further notice for a homicide investigation. By 6:30 a.m., student reporters were posting the notice on social media, retweeting official police accounts and sharing verified info from other news outlets while they worked to contact authorities. By 8:30 a.m. an el Don reporter and photographer were on scene, capturing images and quotes from students who did not receive the alert and came to school despite the campus being closed. Social Media Editors posted videos from the scene on Instagram Stories and in a developing Twitter thread, resulting in a 30 times increase in engagement with hundreds of views and dozens of shares. By 9 a.m. a news article was posted on the website and the link shared to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, again to hundreds of link clicks and shares. The school’s official social media accounts was not posting updates, so el Don became the main source of information on this incident for the public. Afterward, we used social media storytelling to show people step by step how they can make sure they are receiving alerts so that no one comes to campus during a potentially dangerous situation again. On the day of the breaking news, we had triple the amount of accounts reached and 100 times the amount of average engagement as we do with most of our posts. We gained more than 50 followers.

Social media posts from el Don’s breaking news coverage (from Twitter, Instagram and Facebook) are presented in chronological order:

Below: Video compilation of Instagram Stories from throughout the day and from follow-up coverage.

In addition to official posts, el Don social media editors informed the public by responding to questions received via Direct Message and posted on the official Santa Ana College Twitter account.

Below: Social media posts for follow-up/enterprise reporting on the effectiveness of the emergency alert system. Social Media Editors created a custom step-by-step for students and posted it to each platform.

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