How to use Reddit in your reporting

In an ONA first, Reddit, the self-proclaimed “front page of the internet,” has set up in the Midway. Mark Luckie, Reddit’s head of media and journalism, is a conference regular, but this is the first time he has set up a booth and done the hard sell for Reddit as a journalism tool.

“Before it hits the news, people are talking about it on Reddit,” Luckie said. “They’re talking about any and everything. It’s important to be tapped into that community.”

A few working journalists — Lizzie Schiffman Tufano, James Kust and Phil Tenser — offered advice on how to use Reddit as a reporting tool.

  • Mine for story ideas. Look at your local Reddit page (called a subreddit) to see what people in your community are talking about. In local subreddits (there are hundreds for cities, towns, states and countries), redditors (writers and editors on reddit) post to discussion boards. For instance, if people are complaining about public transportation, maybe a reporter should look into it.
  • Connect with potential sources. Reporters can use local subreddits to find newsworthy images. They can connect with the people who posted them to get permission to use them and and get more information.
  • Share stories. By plugging in to different local subreddits for cities and interest areas, reporters can share stories they or their colleagues have done. But be careful with promoting your own work in certain subreddits because you could get banned.