‘Concision takes precision’: David Folkenflik’s tips for writing mini-narratives on Twitter

NPR’s David Folkenflik has been busy reporting on the resignation of his organization’s CEO, Vivian Schiller. In a live chat today, he talked with us about his coverage and how social media has played into it.

If you follow NPR Media Correspondent David Folkenflik on Twitter, you’ll see that he often uses the social networking tool to write mini, ongoing narratives about the news he’s covering or following.

Folkenflik did this Tuesday when news broke about controversial comments made by Ron Schiller, NPR’s senior vice president for fundraising, whose resignation became effective immediately. To tie together his tweets on this news, Folkenflik used words such as “therefore,” “continued” and “update,” and tweeted related links for context.

He also did this when NPR’s former senior vice president for news resigned, and during the Gabrielle Giffords’ shooting — showing that Twitter can be an effective storytelling device, particularly during breaking news situations.

During the chat, Folkenflik talked about what he’s learned from using Twitter this way and offer related tips that you can put into practice. The chat followed a related News University Webinar, “Short Narrative Bursts: Social Media Writing,” which is part of an ongoing series of writing Webinars.

You can revisit this page at any time to watch a replay of the chat.

Here’s a recent example of how Folkenflik used Twitter to construct a narrative about comments that NPR’s Schiller made.

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  • Anonymous

    Even though he’s telling an ongoing narrative, he still keeps each tweet focused — seems key for effective writing on Twitter: Say one thing and say it well. He also doesn’t overuse abbreviations, which is nice.