Editor-in-Chief Pieter Bickford for What’s NXT tells why social media is important in Journalism

(Photo courtesy of Pieter Bickford)

(Photo courtesy of Pieter Bickford)

Pieter Bickford is the Editor-in-Chief for What’s NXT. An online media publication with monthly print publications distributed through local business locations in Hagerstown, Maryland. Before What’s NXT, Bickford was Assistant News Director and Anchor for WHAG-TV, an NBC-affiliated television station in Hagerstown, MD for 8 years. He graduated at Ithaca College with a Bachelor of Arts in 1993 and has been working as Editor-in-Chief since 2013.

Julio Gonzalez: How has your use of social media changed since your beginnings as an Anchor?

Pieter Bickford: “Since working for WHAG-TV, my social media use has expanded to a variety of platforms. It used to be solely through Facebook where I kept in contact with people through social media. I now use Twitter to regularly communicate with my followers and the What’s NXT website to find out what people in Hagerstown wants to know.”

JG: How do you interact with media? Do you put any personal opinions on your social media?

PB: “Whenever I make a Twitter post or update my feed I try to put make my posts conversational while promoting another businesses so it doesn’t feel stale or as if it were just another advertisement. I do still put out news related post and comment with other reporters through Twitter as a part of keeping people informed.”

JG: Why do you think it is important that you communicate with other people through social media?

PB: “For me it is especially important to know what’s going on and the upcoming events that should be published to What’s NXT. Our goal is event marketing and within umbrella you have to know what your local clientele’s events are.”

JG: Are there any other media applications that What’s NXT uses? 

PB: “Yes, in fact our main website contains direct links to our mobile applications. There is a What’s NXT application for both iPhones and Androids which is a bridge to connect local businesses with customers. Using the application there is information about events as well as discounts for businesses in the area.”

JG: What would you say to those who are going into the field of journalism?

PB: “Media is always changing and different outlets are going to require you to use different media to communicate with. It becomes beneficial to learn how to integrate them all together to accomplish your companies’ goal.”

JG: Thank you for your time! 

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