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Twitter and Journalism schools

November 16, 2009

Journalism Departments are preparing future journalists to take the field over in the next couple of years. If these journalism schools do it right and harness the power that is social media, the future of journalism might not turn out to be so bleak.

In Covering the Days News, a 200 level course, Emerson College students take, they contribute to a JSONS website where their work is published. This is a step in the right direction. The next step would be to integrate some form of Twitter feed that is continuously updated. Through this the content is disseminated through a wider scope and can reach a larger audience.

Vadim Lavrusik writes about the way schools are teaching twitter and social media. He writes about using Skype to interview sources for stories. I had never heard of journalists using this form of techonology to conduct interviews. However, it makes sense. Profit for journalism is not as high as it used to be and It is probably cheaper to talk through video than to have to fly a correspondent to a far away country for an interview. He also mentions how the University of North Carolina is teaching students to maintain relationships through Twitter. Basically, it isn’t enough to post questions onto your Twitter account; you should also respond to some of others inquiries in order to maintain followers.

According to AP in Chicago, DePaul University is offering a class this fall teaching students how to “confirm and evaluate reports by citizen journalists” found through Twitter. This is a very interesting class because even professionals might succumb to false tweets. Earlier this year, Don Lemon of CNN accidentally tweeted to a Twitter account that was supposed to belong to James Carville. It turned out the account was a fake.

Columbia University’s School of Journalism’s twitter page is impressive. They update often and use it to publicize their student’s work. It has 1,228 followers to spread their content to.

Boston University’s shuttle has a twitter account, but I could not find one for their journalism program.

Whatever the reality may be, most schools should start teaching Twitter because in the future it will be important.

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