NPR’s Andy Carvin Tells Reporters to Cultivate an Online Army of Sources

By MaryEileen Croke
Class of 2013

The Internet and social media will supplement but not replace traditional reporting, NPR’s Andy Carvin told a lunchtime crowd at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

Carvin, who leads social media strategy for NPR, said reporters who cultivate online sources can develop networks of citizen journalists and knowledgeable experts who add value to stories. “You go from having an audience to an army,” said Carvin, whose new book, Distant Witness: Social Media, the Arab Spring and a Journalism Revolution, is the first book published by the recently-launched CUNY Journalism Press.

Carvin, noted for his coverage of the 2011 Middle East uprisings and more recently the Newton, Conn. shootings, said social media can be as important in knocking down rumors as in reporting new facts. “When there’s a breaking story I act as an anchor,” he said, “telling people what we know and what we don’t know.”

Carvin’s appearance was part of the CUNY J-School’s Brown Bag Speaker Series.

Photo by John Smock