Improving communication in a virtual newsroom – Newsrewired special

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Working from home has left many journalists feeling burnt out, isolated, and unable to contribute to meetings on Zoom. Learn how to change online conversations so everyone feels heard and valued

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There is something about the new virtual working world which is just not the same as being in a physical newsroom with your colleagues.

Talking to our teammates feels often strained when we are just faces on a screen or voices coming through headphones. Some have not even met their newest colleagues and those conversations can feel awkward. Busy editorial meetings held on Zoom and the like can feel overwhelming or isolating. If this is you, you are not alone.

Part of the reason for this is that we have lost our in-person signifiers like body language to get our intentions across. The collective burnout we are all feeling also does not help. But the fact is that our team meetings have always been a bit chaotic, so now we have an excellent opportunity to reassess how we talk and communicate with our colleagues. We have never needed it more.

In this week’s podcast, we bring you one last session from our recent digital journalism conference Newsrewired. We hear from Valerie Fridland, a professor of sociolinguistics at the University of Nevada. Sociolinguistics is the study of language and society; the small details which help us form relationships and impressions of others.

She shares tips and exercises that you can introduce into your editorial meetings today to improve communication across the board in these virtual working environments. This will help everyone in your meeting feel heard and valued: and that is something we all want, right?

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