These tweets are 🔥: How The Detroit Free Press created a unique social media voice

A few months ago, a hoax Twitter account purporting to be Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib made some waves online. The Detroit Free Press covered the story, but it also took to Twitter to try and discredit it.

A few weeks before that, the Free Press also reported a story about the band Metallica making a donation to a local community college.

It shared the story with a pun-filled thread.

Both of these instances show how the Free Press has developed a distinctive voice on Twitter that it hopes will grow its reach and make sure its journalism reaches more people.

This week in Solution Set, we’re going to look at the Detroit Free Press’ Twitter (and broader social media) strategy. We’ll dig into the origin of the account’s voice, how it decides what to tweet, and lessons it’s learned from going too far.  

Solution Set is a weekly report from The Lenfest Institute for Journalism. Every Thursday, we take an in-depth look at one hopefully useful thing in journalism, share lessons, and point you toward other useful resources.


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