Chat live with me today at Poynter about teaching social media in journalism school

I’ll be doing the Poynter live chat thing at 1pm EDT today over there.

Please, show up, ask some questions, share some success stories, and add to the conversation.

[UPDATE: Wow, that was awesome. Thanks to everyone who showed up, and to Ellyn, Mallary, and everyone else at Poynter for hosting and inviting me. The above link will take you to the archived replay of the chat – check it out.]

The question at hand:  What Are Practical Ways to Teach Social Media Skills in Journalism School?

I have a few ideas, and I’m going to focus on some story assignment and niche coverage ideas based on what I wrote recently about my Five Keys to Authenticity for journalists getting into social media, but I’d really love to hear what you have to say, especially if you have a success (or failure) story to share.

Check it out and join the conversation, or read through the archive if you can’t make it today at 1 eastern.

I’m going to put together a few links for reference here using an open teaching social media tag in Publish2:

4 thoughts on “Chat live with me today at Poynter about teaching social media in journalism school”

  1. I’m also going to use my own comment thread to put together some ideas for the live chat. Feel free to shout out any examples!

    My five keys to authenticity:

    1. Be Human.
    2. Be Honest.
    3. Be Aware.
    4. Be Everywhere.
    5. Show Your Work.

    I think #1 is pretty easy to teach: Take a budding columnist with personality (Kevin Yuen, you were this guy, right?) and a real voice of his or her own, and set them loose on Twitter and Facebook with instructions to grow a network of followers and fans. Show them Favrd and Tweeteorites and tell them their goal should be to get to the top of those lists.

    The lessons they learn building that network based on their own voice and natural instincts for promoting themselves will be useful on any beat, in any newsroom.


  2. #2 has everything to do with the idea that transparency is the new objectivity. (See Dan Gillmor circa January 2005, or David Weinberger much more recently for much deeper explorations of that idea.)

    If you make it clear when you’ve got an interest in something, make it clear who you work for and what you do, and make it clear when any of that changes, you’re in good shape. Make sure you fill out your social media profiles as fully as you can, grab your Google profile, update a LinkedIn profile and generally make it very easy to find out who you are and what you do.

    Anything worth hiding from your readers is probably worth disclosing. That way, you’ll stay out of trouble, and they’ll trust you.

    How to teach that to students who probably don’t own stock in any of the businesses they’ll be covering? Maybe make it an exercise: Try using social media channels to gather man-on-the-street style quotes about a campus business you *love* and spend lots of money in. Find the right way to let your sources know that you have a point of view, but you want theirs.


  3. #3 has everything to do with tools, and there are a bunch of obvious exercises you can do with a class or a student media organization to get students acquainted with tools like Twitter Search, FriendFeed Groups, Google Reader and other feed readers, maybe even Yahoo Pipes or some PHP libraries like SimplePie if you have more advanced copy-pasters in the room.

    Pick a topic, (hey, football season is coming up…) and set a goal of building a social media dashboard for your student newsroom that any user can access from the Web whether they’re in the newsroom or not.

    The dashboard is your constant checkpoint for news, information, conversations, and sources related to the team you’re covering. Build this once, and you’ll understand RSS, search feeds, Google Alerts, and you can find the tools you like best to get the job done and make sure that you and your colleagues in the newsroom know what the buzz is — especially when it’s about you.


  4. #4 is all about jumping into conversations every single time you think you might be welcome.

    Did someone just ask a question about your coverage of their club? Show up and engage them, find out what they liked and what they didn’t, explain what you do, or find out more about what they do.

    Make your own version of this US Air Force flowchart and post it in your newsroom if you want to follow some good guidelines on when it’s a good idea to engage with people complaining about your work on the Internet.


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