Quality journalism won’t die if reporters learn how to market great stories in social networks. This is what I bring back from the Global Media Forum.

No matter which platform you use – online writing, multimedia audio storytelling or broadcasting – you should be memorable.

The story should address the following questions suggested today at the panel ‘News & Information Design for Audio-Visual Media – How theatrical can, might or should it be?’ by Christoph Mecke, a German creative director with a focus on new media.

Is it recommendable? Machine readable? Targeted? Well tagged? What’s the feedback? Can I react? Can it potentially make people to act, to change things?

You should offer an exclusive in-depth story, told in a powerful, enticing fashion. But this is no longer enough. To make enough money to survive, you need to advertise your reports in social networks. If you’re good at doing it, your Facebook/Twitter/MySpace friends will become your advertisers. For free.

This gives you a good chance to keep your job if you enjoy being employed and survive if you’re brave enough to start your own news organization.

Typical stories with high “virability” – the ability to be passed on through mouth-to-mouth – are stories that don’t just seduce readers/viewers. They are stories that make people leave their computer desks and act.

They don’t have to be necessarily stories about drug abuse, exploitation and organized crime. They can also be stories that inspire people to change their lives. In any case, they have to be the kind of stories that people can’t wait to tell their friends about. They don’t have to have a news peg necessarily. They should just be stories to be told.

Brian Storm, founder of the New York City-based multimedia production company MediaStorm, summed up the opportunities of today’s journalism during his presentation on Thursday: “Let’s bring back journalism to what journalism is really about,” Storm said, his words coming hard and fast.

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