MCOM 257: Midterm today, then social media playtime

After your midterm, I’d like you to:

  • Sign up for a Twitter account, and email me the link to your profile.

Don’t know what Twitter is? Plug in your headphones and watch Twitter in Plain English.

  • Follow at least 10 journalists and local media outlets on Facebook and Twitter, and study how they are using social media:

50 journalists and bloggers to follow on Facebook
10 Twitter users every journalism student should follow
10 journalists you should follow on Twitter
Baltimore Brew (Facebook, Twitter)
Baltimore Sun (Facebook, Twitter)
Baltimore City Paper (Facebook, Twitter)
The Towerlight (Facebook, Twitter)
The Urbanite (Facebook, Twitter)
Welcome to Baltimore, Hon (Facebook, Twitter)
Baltimore Magazine (Facebook, Twitter)
Baltimore reporters & Baltimore sports reporters

  • Read about how journalists are using Twitter

The journalist’s guide to Twitter
How to use Twitter for journalism
Twitter for newsrooms
10 things you can tweet about on Twitter
10 rules to follow for Twitter interview requests

  • Follow the journalists who will be visiting class Tuesday:

Nick DiMarco (Patch, Facebook, Twitter)
Bryan Sears (Patch, Facebook, Twitter)

  • Finally, brainstorm at least three questions for our guests, and leave those questions here in a comment. A few questions I have:

How is Patch.com different from other local media, and why does it seem to be expanding when other media outlets are shrinking?
What is hyperlocal journalism, and what kinds of stories are your readers looking for?
How journalists you use Facebook and Twitter professionally?

Homework: Revise and post your stories to your WordPress. As you know, revising is the best way to study and improve your writing. It’s the most important part of the craft. Make the time, do the work.

 

28 thoughts on “MCOM 257: Midterm today, then social media playtime

  1. 1. What is the most challenging aspect of journalism in your opinion?
    2. Do you find it easier or more challenging to write for an online company rather than print?
    3. What is one vital suggestion you would offer to an aspiring journalist?

  2. 1. What was the career path that you took to get to Patch.com?

    2. How did you know that journalism is the career path that you wanted to take?

    3. Did you ever have stuggles when you were learning how to write in college? If so, what was your biggest struggle?

  3. 1. When you were studying journalism, did you think you would be mainly blogging? If not, were you prepared to do so?
    2. Where do you think the journalism field is headed?
    3. Do you think that there are many journalistic opportunities and jobs available at this point in time?

  4. 1. How did you first hear about Patch and what was your path leading you to write for Patch?

    2. What types of stories do you cover for Patch?

    3. Depending on what type of story you cover, what are some of the different approaches you take in covering a certain story?

  5. 1.) What is it about working for Patch that makes you want to get up and go to work every day?

    2.) Would you say that web-reporting, such as blogging, is changing the integrity that professional journalism was built on?

    3.) Other than the obvious unprofessionalisms such as swearing, posting lible, inappropriate photos, what else would you say we should avoid posting on social networks like facebook and twitter?

  6. My threee questions for these kind young gentleman fellows are as follows:
    1. Do you think it is crucial to have social networking accounts, such as twitter, and to be able to navigate them in every profession? Or just in a field such as Journalism?
    2. Would you respect or decline someone who say may be considered a ‘lagger’ and refuses to conform to these on-line activities?
    3. Where is the line between what is and is not okay to distribute on Twitter?

  7. 1. Does the Patch ever cover Sports stories? If so, how do you cover them diferently than other newspapers?

    2. What makes the Patch unique?

    3. Whats both of your takes on the AP Stylebook?

  8. 1. When do you think the line should be drawn between personal and professional when on social networking sites?
    2. How did your website, Patch.com, come about? How is it different from the other sites?
    3. Do you think the job market in journalism is slowly dying or are jobs becoming more availble with journalism through social networks.

  9. 1. What exactly is Patch.com?

    2. Do you provide opportunities for college kids or recent graduates to work at Patch, or offer any contacts for people to look at other places similar to it?

    3. How many hours do you work outside of the typical work day to make your job a success?

  10. 1. What main things should be considered when writing online news?
    2. What should a person trying to get into a journalism career be prepared for?
    3. Do you have the freedom to choose your own stories, or do write stories that are given to you?

  11. 1. How many stories do you write a week and how are they assigned?
    2. Because you work online, do you work mainly from home or do you go into an office often?
    3. What recommendations do you have for aspiring journalists? What is one major thing you’ve learned from your work at Patch.com?

  12. 1.With Twitter and Facebook you can only post so much and they seem like they are only meant to be social networking sites. How do professional journalists and bloggers use these sites to benefit themselves and their careers?

    2. Who do you follow on Twitter and why?

    3. How often do you tweet and about what?

  13. 1. Do you see Facebook phasing out in the future like MySpace did as far as social networking?

    2. What has been the hardest assignment in your journalism career?

    3. What made you choose print/online journalism instead of broadcast?

  14. 1) I see you guys post a lot of your articles on twitter, how do you separate personal from professional when you are on twitter and facebook?

    2) Do you feel like online journalism is easier and straight to the point?

    3) Nowadays, social media connects everyone to everything. Do you feel like it helps you connect to your audience more? Do you think it is the reason why Patch is becoming so successful?

  15. 1. What is Patch.com?
    2. Who was your inspiration for writing?
    3. Do you want Patch.com to explode into something so big, perhaps as big as twitter?

  16. Alexander:

    1.With Twitter and Facebook you can only post so much and they seem like they are only meant to be social networking sites. How do professional journalists and bloggers use these
    sites to benefit themselves and their careers?

    A. These tools are great ways to crowd source stories, find experts, get information out fast as your writing or during live events when time is of the essence. They’re also great for branding yourself as an expert in a particular field.

    2. Who do you follow on Twitter and why?

    A. I follow news-makers on my beat, opinion makers and community leader as well as outlets and people who write about things I am in personally. My list of those I follow is pretty varied.

    3. How often do you tweet and about what?

    A. I don’t have any set amount of tweeting. I tweet all kinds of things—news stories from other outlets, my own stuff, conversations with readers. Once, I even live blogged a Children’s Christmas show on TV because it seemed to me that after 40 years it was dated and the fact that it wasn’t PC made it funny to me.

  17. Kim:

    1) I see you guys post a lot of your articles on twitter, how do you separate personal from professional when you are on twitter and facebook?

    A. Opinions will vary on this but I don’t believe it is possible to have dual personalities—a work and home persona. The reasons for this are complicated (email me if you want to discuss it) but I think the discipline in journalism of restraining your biases continues in your online activities. Simple rule: Don’t do anything on your facebook or twitter that you wouldn’t do in public in the grocery line.

    2) Do you feel like online journalism is easier and straight to the point?

    A. No, I think journalism is journalism. The method of publication is different but the need to be concise and accurate are still in play today.

    3) Nowadays, social media connects everyone to everything. Do you feel like it helps you connect to your audience more? Do you think it is the reason why Patch is becoming so successful?

    A. I do think it connects me to my office more and them to me. As for the success of Patch, that story is still being written. Social media is one component of that but I believe content is king.

  18. Keken:

    1. What is Patch.com?

    A. Patch is an online site for community journalism in nearly 900 outlets across the United States.

    2. Who was your inspiration for writing?

    A. Not sure I had one but Don Dohler, my first editor, certainly had the biggest impact on my career.

    3. Do you want Patch.com to explode into something so big, perhaps as big as twitter?

    A. Of course but I could be very happy with it being a sustainable form of online news.

  19. Elise:

    1. Do you see Facebook phasing out in the future like MySpace did as far as social networking?

    A. That’s anyone’s guess. The nature of online is that things change, some times drastically, from one minute to the next.

    2. What has been the hardest assignment in your journalism career?

    A. When I was embedded with a National Guard Unit sent to Gulfport, MS 24 hours after Hurricane Katrina. The destruction and loss of life was tremendous. I didn’t really feel the full brunt of what I had seen until I came home.

    3. What made you choose print/online journalism instead of broadcast?

    A. I liked to write. Fred Yost, my 10th grade English teacher, forced me into journalism. I had another mentor later in life. It just snowballed from there.

  20. Brandi:

    1. How many stories do you write a week and how are they assigned?

    A. For me that varies from day to day because of management responsibilities. I also write a political blog. Most local editors will produce five to seven stories of various lengths in a give day. Some times more, some times less but that’s a good range.

    2. Because you work online, do you work mainly from home or do you go into an office often?

    A. I work mainly from home or on location. I have for the last three years.

    3. What recommendations do you have for aspiring journalists? What is one major thing you’ve learned from your work at Patch.com?

    A. Be a collector of people. Your list of sources will become more valuable to you as you progress through your career. As for what I learned at Patch—work smart and fast.

  21. Hunter:

    1. What main things should be considered when writing online news?

    A. Accuracy and conciseness.

    2. What should a person trying to get into a journalism career be prepared for?

    A. Anything. Seriously, long hours, paying your dues and, for those who really want this, one of the best and most interesting jobs anyone could hope to have.

    3. Do you have the freedom to choose your own stories, or do write stories that are given to you?

    A. Yes. Most reporters are expected to develop their own stories but there are always editors ready to fill out your story budgets if you can’t.

  22. Tess:

    9 | Tess Rosinsky

    October 20th, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    Avatar

    1. What exactly is Patch.com?

    A. See comment #18 above.

    2. Do you provide opportunities for college kids or recent graduates to work at Patch, or offer any contacts for people to look at other places similar to it?

    A. Patch does partner with some colleges to offer internships. Of course these positions are very competitive.

  23. Mikala:

    1. When do you think the line should be drawn between personal and professional when on social networking sites?

    A. I think anything that can be perceived as bias can be a problem as could anything that shows you in an unprofessional light (keg stands at spring break comes to mind). I do not believe in the idea that one can have separate online presences. Opinions on this topic vary.

    3. Do you think the job market in journalism is slowly dying or are jobs becoming more availble with journalism through social networks.

    A. Slowly dying? No. Becoming more competitive. We’re undergoing a sea change in the way journalism is done but the consumption of information continues to grow. How that information is collected and monetized is changing.

  24. Courtney:

    1. Do you think it is crucial to have social networking accounts, such as twitter, and to be able to navigate them in every profession? Or just in a field such as Journalism?

    A. I think it’s especially important in journalism but we are seeing other jobs and corporations adopting social networking. It’s a good skill to have if you’re thinking about PR or corporate communications.

    3. Where is the line between what is and is not okay to distribute on Twitter?

    A. See my answer to Mikala above on comment #23.

  25. Bryan and Nick,
    Thank you so much for coming to speak to our class! It was very insightful to hear both of your different view points on our questions.
    -Julia Watkins

  26. Thank you both, Nick and Bryan, for your time and professional insight on Tuesday. It is invaluable for aspiring writers and journalists like us to have professionals come into our classroom and answer questions about how to get to the professional level. We hope you enjoyed your time here at TU!

  27. Hey Nick and Bryan,

    Thanks for coming to speak to class Tuesday, you both were very helpful and insightful about the journalism field and where it’s headed. I found it interesting how you guys were talking about where the field is headed, and how it is opening up new opportunites for aspiring journalists.

  28. Hey Bryan and Nick. Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to come talk to our class. You guys are a great pair, and truely know a lot about this profession. It was easy to follow your comments and thoughts, and you made online journalism seem to sparkle a little more. Thank you again for visiting!!

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