I recently chanced upon a webcast hosted by the Columbia Journalism School (@columbiajourn) on “What We Learned Teaching Social Media.” The syllabus for the graduate-level class is available for reference. The speakers were some of the best in the business:
- Zach Seward (@zseward), Outreach Editor, The Wall Street Journal
- Vadim Lavrusik (@lavrusik), Community Manager and Social Media Strategist at Mashable.com
- Jennifer Preston (@NYT_JenPreston), Social Media Editor, The New York Times
- Sree Sreenivasan (@sree), Dean of Student Affairs, Columbia Journalism School
Having organized workshops for journalism students at the University of Washington on social media, I was interested to find out how other people are engaging student journalists and helping them discover the potential for social media in journalism.
During the conversation I asked via Twitter (hashtag: #cjsoc), “What’s the best way to teach social media to student journalists?” Jennifer Preston said she likes to have students work on a specific project or Tweet a specific event. Examples she used were election coverage and the aftermath of Haiti. I was reminded of the students in Prof. Roger Simpson’s class who live-Tweeted President Obama’s visit to boost Sen. Patty Murray’s re-election campaign.
Preston said the class debriefs after the event by having volunteers share their feeds and discussing what worked and what didn’t.
Each class also develops a list of social-media guidelines.
The shared syllabus is a wealth of resources and I encourage everyone to take a look at it. It includes tools, links to articles about journalism and social media, and links to case studies. It also includes links to articles about etiquette and metrics.
A few notable examples in the syllabus:
1. Examples of journalists using Twitter (http://sreetips.tumblr.com/post/87435969/twitter):
- Reporter Uses Twitter to Connect with, Provide Insight into Sources
- Teaching Twitter best practices to journalists
- 10 Ways J-schools are Teaching Social Media
- SteveButtry’s excellent guide, “Leading your staff into the Twitterverse”
- Tips on using Twitter in a newsroom, by @mthilmony
- 50 Twitter tools for writers and researchers
- Who controls a journo’s Twitter feed when he/she leaves?
- Social-Media Skills for Journalists
2. @mashable’s Twitter guide: twitter.mashable.com
3. See a collection of 80+ social-media policies, compiled by SocialMediaGovernance.com
4. 8 ways to use social media in the newsroom (by J.D. Lasica and Barbara Iverson)
5. The emergence of location.
- How Journalists can use location-based apps
- Using Foursquare (7 ways journalists can use Foursquare)
6. Journalists in the social media ecosystem: Journalist as curator, as community manager
7. What is a personal brand and why it is important (Poynter – Lavrusik)
9. How much of your life is too much to share online? (Verne Kopytoff,
S.F Chronicle, April 27, 2009)