Social media is more than a storytelling platform.
It's also a content gathering tool.
Julia has effectively used social apps to gather story elements, connect with sources, test narratives, analyze trends and maximize the reach of her reporting.
Students at Purdue University accused comedian Andy Gross of making inappropriate jokes, comments and contact during a campus performance. Julia scoured Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Reddit for footage of the show, and created threads of multimedia posts to explain and contextualize the controversy.
A WISH-TV camera was rolling when authorities received welcome news during the search for a missing baby. Julia recognized the magic of the moment. She clipped the video and added captioning to spotlight the deputy chief's emotional reaction. Her post generated record engagement on Facebook and more story views than breaking news updates about the case.
Remember the bizarre complaints from online shoppers who reported receiving shipments of unsolicited seed packets from China? Julia was the first Midwest-region reporter to investigate the nationwide phenomenon. She aired a series of six stories and produced threads of social content that connected the dots between overlooked details shared by complainants, government agencies and e-commerce platforms. WISH-TV was the first outlet to report Amazon's admission that many of the unsolicited seed packets "appeared to be delayed packages," quelling fears about brushing scams, bioterrorism and other international threats.
Julia broke this story about a salmonella outbreak linked to a popular Odessa restaurant after receiving a tip from a patron. Within two hours of speaking to the anonymous source, Julia managed to:
Confirm the outbreak with her health department contacts.
Request and review health inspection records for the business.
Track down and interview two patrons with suspected infections.
Question the restaurant owner about health and safety policies.
The first edition of Julia's web story was shared more than 1,000 times on Facebook before other outlets reported the outbreak. She stayed on the story for the next three days, sharing around-the-clock updates on social platforms. Click the images below to enlarge selected posts.
Julia brings national and international headlines home by telling stories through the lens of local sources and mobilizing them to share on their own platforms. One year after the Parkland massacre, Julia aired a piece remembering the life of a shooting victim who planned to attend the University of Indianapolis. She secured interviews with his loved ones and prioritized production of the shareable social videos below—featuring the student athlete's father and the UIndy coach he never got to train with—to help keep Nicholas Dworet's story alive on all digital platforms.
Julia reported on a veteran's struggle to access covered care and used her social platforms to let him detail, in his own words, the barriers he faced. The video posts caught the attention of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Regional officials took action the next day.