Social media + traditional election coverage = Love?

What happens when social media meets traditional election coverage? Come to tonight’s CJF Forum to find out. The Q&A panel features Mark Blevis, a digital public affairs strategist whose data crunching has been sourced by the Globe and Mail, The Canadian Press and others; Chris Boutet, senior producer of digital media at the National Post; and Kenyon Wallace, Toronto Star online editor and reporter. Want to come prepared to add to the discussion? We at J-Source have been on the hunt for innovative election coverage — and the results have been bountiful. Read on for our our round-up, plus some Q&As you may have missed.    

This week we featured:
We were impressed with the site’s fascinating interactive feature, which is a little something we like to call the debate video/Twitter analyzer mash-up. We talked to David Skok, managing editor of about how social media is changing the way journalists cover big stories — and how they pulled the Twitter analyzer off in less than 10 hours.

The Toronto Star
When we heard the Toronto Star’s online editor, Sarah Millar, at the CNW Breakfast last week, we knew she was the real deal.While the rest of us ate brekkie, Millar told us why text-based articles don’t always tell the story best. Take the Star‘s coverage of vote mobs, which is, essentially, a video round-up with the bare minimum of text. It tells the story of the until-recently unheard of movement in a way a text-based story can’t. We talked to Millar about why, sometimes, a video tells it better — and how social media is, and isn’t, changing the way journalists tell stories.

The collaborative news site teamed up with to find the stories Canadians feel aren’t being covered in mainstream media. OpenFile is designed to take in reader suggestions, and then assign journalists to write stories on suggestions that are deemed relevent. We talked with OpenFile editor-in-chief Kathy Vey and chief operating officer Sonia Chai about the project, how it will benefit the site — and what election stories Canadians want covered.

Next week, we plan to take a look at what The Globe and Mail, National Post and CBC are doing. Have you come across anything that made you go “wow” — or, even better, are you behind that innovative coverage? Tell us, and we’ll feature your light-bulb moment in next week’s round-up.