How to follow Reuters using open resources

As a former social media editor at Reuters, I picked up a few methods I used to help track the fast-moving stream of information that is available to online users. There are many resources for Reuters, but these are the ones that worked best for live coverage.

[I should say right at the start that Reuters offers products that keep it profitable enough to sustain offering free online access to a portion of the content it creates. At no time should anyone use Reuters live video, pictures, or wire stories without understanding and respecting fair use and intellectual property rights. The following recommendations are not to be used in order post content without attribution, that is, without having an agreement with Reuters to do so. Leaving concerns about disingenuous aggregation aside, I think it’s very important to have a sense of how you can best track down what Reuters is up to in order to inform yourself on what is being reported and what is not. There have been many times I’ve seen journalists (never mind people not in the media) incorrectly report what Reuters is saying. These resources, which are public, can help you track down if their reporting of Reuters is based on fact or rumor.]

Wire stories and breaking news

The easiest way to check if Reuters is reporting on something is to check the homepage. The use of a breaking news banner at the top of the page (you’ll see it above the “Latest Headlines” bar if it’s on) serves to let you know if something has happened in the past few minutes that is considered top news. The second place to look on the homepage is the first 5-7 stories in the Latest Headlines bar and just below it.

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You’ll see less urgent news as you scroll down the page (for example, something that may be a top story but perhaps it is not breaking news). Take it from this breaking news junkie: the homepage is my first resource and it should be yours, too. There are many news organizations that have abandoned their homepages for social traffic and there are many reasons why this is a mistake, some of which I wrote about here. My advice is, when tracking down breaking events, go to websites that monitor their front door.

Second, if you read on Twitter/social site that Reuters is reporting something in the past few minutes but you don’t have a link to a story and nothing appears on the homepage, use a keyword and site search on Google.

Example: “[Country name] [city name] [name of figure quoted] site:reuters.com”

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Make sure to use the “search tools” function and sort results by the past hour or 24 hours of results. This will give you the earliest available story on the subject across multiple platforms owned by Reuters. Now here comes a great part of all this: many stories are updated as time goes on, so if you do this search again in an hour, you’ll often find more details, pictures, and videos.

Live video, regular videos, and video in blogs

Prepared Videos: Reuters has as many videos as it does articles.The prepared videos are updated 24 hours a day, which means if you’re interested in seeing a video about something that happened you missed, you can do a keyword search and find a short summary or raw cut of video. To search for prepared videos, visit this page and search for what you want to see using the box just below the top video player. Many of these videos have embed codes that work on Tumblr and live blog platforms. You can share these videos using this embed code. Example search: Ukraine.

Live Videos and Blogs: Reuters is known for incredible live streaming video and my work with live blogs wouldn’t have been possible if it were not for it. Live streams are wildly popular, especially when you can organize multiple, well-produced shots as Reuters can do. Here is all you need to do: follow @ReutersStream@ReutersLive, and @ReutersInsider on Twitter.You can also visit live.reuters.com for video *in* live blogs (that page is a list of all of the live blogs). Sometimes live blogs are listed under “more coverage” or “full coverage” on the homepage, too.

Pictures

I left pictures (or photos) for last because Reuters Pictures can be found basically everywhere but they are for clients in a much more specific way. If you’re already a client, or just looking around, where can you find interesting new ones? The Facebook page cover picture is often updated. The Reuters Pictures Tumblr is another good place. @ReutersPictures on Twitter tweets out new pictures that are often relevant to top news topics. Finally, Reuters Instagram is run by the photography team itself.

P.S.

There’s one resource I depended on for primary breaking news sources that was not created by Reuters staff: It’s called Storyful. Storyful creates some of the best Twitter lists around, which I used to track information when the typical hashtag searches were not producing content of value. Get yourself an account.

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