Twitter as a classroom, the art and ethics of shaming, and more from Fresh Powder

This week, in Journalistic News:

“Phones-On” Learning:

A college professor chronicles her experience moving her social media course’s discussion to Twitter in order to provide a more relevant and hands-on educational experience.  She included weekly live Twitter chats as a part of her syllabus, and grades students both on their participation in the weekly chat, as well as their questions and interactions being insightful and meaningful. The discussions are student-lead, hosted by different groups each week, and the rest of the class asks questions and initiates conversation based on their chosen topic.  Plus, she makes each student check in at the beginning of each discussion by tweeting either a photo of themselves or their current location, so there is no way to “skip class.”

Better Browsers Secure Jobs, Somehow:

We already all collectively hate Safari and Internet Explorer (don’t deny it); now, there’s even data to justify it! Researchers discovered that employees who use a non-default browser (like Firefox or Chrome) ended up staying at their jobs 15% longer than those who are using Safari or Internet Explorer.  I could not explain the logic behind this if I tried, so you should probably just read the article.

Pay-as-you-read:

There’s a new startup that lets you pay per article rather than purchasing monthly subscriptions, so you can still have access to your favorite newspaper without having to pay for hundreds of articles you were never actually going to read, no matter how cool it looks to have the New York Times delivered to your front door.

More evidence that suggests you should NOT post dumb things on social media:

Yes, it should be common sense by now, but students– especially high school athletes looking for scholarships– should be extremely careful about what they are posting on their social media accounts. Universities who find content on student athletes’ Twitter of Facebook accounts that they feel does not represent their values habitually stop recruiting the athletes in questions.  Always make sure your students understand the importance of editing themselves on the World Wide Web; or, if they just can’t help themselves, at least making their accounts private.

Appropriate Shaming?:

Inherently, “shaming” someone sounds like a no good, very bad thing to do.  And typically, in the real world, it is; but, in journalism-world, it can also be a way to expose bad behavior, or hold a person of power accountable for something they have said or done that was really not ideal.  Actively using shaming as a form of journalism is a fairly tricky subject, so here’s a nifty guide to help you out.

These things also happened this week:

  • Things aren’t looking great at the University of Oklahoma right now.
  • Melenoma is (hopefully) going to get its butt kicked.
  • A sequel to the insanely popular Disney film “Frozen” was officially announced— my sincerest apologies to all parents with children.
  • Who am I kidding.  Everyone loves “Frozen.”

Fresh Powder: One dress, two llamas, and lots of censorship

A weekly summary of journalistic tidbits
brought to you by  SNO.

This week, in Journalistic News:

  • “The Dress” is, apparently, relevant: According to Craig Silverman at Poynter, the infamous blue/black/white/gold that almost broke the internet this weekend is a significant reminder that we, as human beings, sometimes see things that aren’t actually there.  He argues we have become too complacent in our senses, and rarely stop to questions what we see or experience.  Journalist, especially, should be extra-aware of human’s unreliable senses; everyone knows about source bias when it comes to reporting, but it’s important that journalists are also skeptical of their own cognitive bias.
  • Scholastic journalism programs are still facing a great deal of censorship: According to the Student Press Law Center, high school students and teachers are still struggling with content censorship when it comes to publication.  A reported 25% of students and 17% of advisers have been censored in some way by school administrative staff.  Over half of the students surveyed in this particular study admitted that someone other than a student editor had control over their student publication, and a smaller- but significant- 7% of advisers have had their position threatened by school officials due to decisions their students had made regarding content in their publications.
  • Llamapalooza! You may think the llamas that dashed through traffic in Arizona last Thursday has nothing to do with journalism, but you would be wrong.  It actually served as a tangible example of how social media has evolved within the realm of news coverage.  As multiple major news outlets covered the story of the rouge llamas, it demonstrated that platforms like Twitter had not only become a necessary supplement for reporters, but as a way for them to set publishing agendas.  AP reports that during the Oscars, it was Twitter’s overwhelming discussion of Lady Gaga’s performance that drove their coverage of the event.  By following trending topics and keeping tabs on conversations surrounding any major event, news networks are finding they can deliver the news audiences want to hear about.
  • New podcast-like app provides real-time audio tours. Detour is a new audio app that delivers interesting information to listeners about historic areas of towns as they walk through them.  Currently only based in San Francisco, the app allows users to connect to stories in a much more intimate, real-time way than ever before.  The app uses your phone’s GPS to provide a self-updating audio-tour of the area you find yourself wandering through, giving you stories based on landmarks you’re near.  It’s basically a living podcast that will enhance your travel plans.
  • Great news for people with sites powered by WordPress (aka, all of you). Twitter now has an official WordPress plug-in, making it even easier to expand your audience with social media integration on your site.  Features include Twitter analytics, video embed, and even a “Tweet” button on the admin side of your site.These things also happened this week:
  • Everyone’s favorite furniture store unveils a new line of furniture that includes built-in wireless mobile charging platforms. The bad news is your still have to assemble the furniture yourself.
  • We remember Leonard Nimoy and his really awesome life
  • This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but money not only buys happiness, it also buys good health.

Fresh Powder: Snapchat, NYT, and SJW2015

A weekly summary of journalistic tidbits
brought to you by  SNO

  • Snapchat recently released a new mobile news feature called “Discover,” which allows users of the app to swipe to the left to access news updates from a variety of partners; CNN, Yahoo, and ESPN, just to name a few.  This is a significant development in mobile news for a few reasons; the first being extreme accessibility.  Discover brings news to where the audience already exists.  It’s able to reach an audience that may otherwise not seek out news, while still appealing to current news junkies.  It also exists entirely within the app– any “links” to stories or videos do not link out to a web browser or a third-party hosting site, it’s all right there.  Plus, it’s already getting a ton of positive feedback from its younger users; check out the reviews on this article from Nieman Labs.
  • The New York Times is planning on offering courses as part of a new effort called “NYT EDUcation”, in collaboration with the Cambridge Information Group.  The New York Times’ previous attempts at getting into the education game haven’t been that successful, and this new initiative is still in the early stages (potential courses haven’t even been announced yet.)  However, it could be a great resources for those involved in journalism, provided the courses the Times ends up offering are accessible and useful to a variety of people involved in journalism.
  • Local radio is beginning to look even more appealing to local newspapers and other local news sources– why? Because it’s popular, accessible, and an easy way to distribute content even further.  Plus, it provides some pretty great, interactive advertising opportunities that you couldn’t get elsewhere.  It’s also relatively inexpensive to get involved in internet and local radio, which keeps the risk factor low.  You can read more about it here.
  • The popular internet-controlling app IFTT appears to be getting even better; it announced some new apps that could be very useful for media journalism.  There’s the new camera that lets you automatically back up any photos you take to dropbox, as well as allowing you to publically share your snapchats.  Their new note feature allows you to post to Twitter or Facebook from a single app, as well as instantly adding events to your calenders.  This app is all about convenience, so if fast and breaking news coverage is something you’re into, it’s probably for you.
  • And, on a more resource-related note, we recently stumbled upon this article that complies six useful tools that can help you create stellar educational fliers or posters for your classroom.  It gives you a variety of options and styles, so if you’re in need of some new hand-out materials and feeling creative, you should give it a go.

Noteworthy happenings less relevant to scholastic journalism:

 

And, hey, it’s Scholastic Journalism Week! Stay updated by following @SJW2015 on Twitter, and making use of the #SJW2015 hashtag!

Fresh Powder: February 18, 2015

A weekly summary of journalistic tidbits
brought to you by  SNO

Today in the SNO Report we’re introducing a new newsletter from SNO: Fresh Powder.  Each week, members of the SNO Patrol will scour the Web, looking for the most interesting journalism-related stories that you might otherwise have missed. 
  • A Twitter competition lead to an influx of media journalists sharing their favorite tools and devices they like to use in regards to photojournalism, video journalism, and basically anything else media-related.  Check out thejournalism.co.uk collection of the best tweets from those who participated, and stock up on some great new gear!
  • And while we’re on the subject, I think we can all agree that online media has made some pretty significant changes in regards to journalism.  This article by the Atlantic looks at how one extremely well-known video hosting site (I’ll give you a hint— it’s YouTube) has changed journalism; though, is it really a change for the better?
  • The subject of forgiveness seems to be a hot topic in professional journalism this week; this extensive Times article takes a closer look at Justine Sacco’s famous Twitter fiasco, and what leaving a digital footprint really means. Adweek compares two well-known journalists who have made even more well-known mistakes; David Carr, the talented writer with a troubled past, and Brian Williams, who’s past seems fairly spotless, but has more or less destroyed his journalistic integrity.  What are— if any— the parallels between these two professionals?  Is one easier to forgive than the other, and why?
Other newsworthy mentions slightly less related to journalism:

Fresh Powder

A weekly summary of journalistic tidbits
brought to you by  SNO

Today in the SNO Report we’re introducing a new newsletter from SNO: Fresh Powder.  Each week, members of the SNO Patrol will scour the Web, looking for the most interesting journalism-related stories that you might otherwise have missed. 
  • A Twitter competition lead to an influx of media journalists sharing their favorite tools and devices they like to use in regards to photojournalism, video journalism, and basically anything else media-related.  Check out thejournalism.co.uk collection of the best tweets from those who participated, and stock up on some great new gear!
  • And while we’re on the subject, I think we can all agree that online media has made some pretty significant changes in regards to journalism.  This article by the Atlantic looks at how one extremely well-known video hosting site (I’ll give you a hint— it’s YouTube) has changed journalism; though, is it really a change for the better?
  • The subject of forgiveness seems to be a hot topic in professional journalism this week; this extensive Times article takes a closer look at Justine Sacco’s famous Twitter fiasco, and what leaving a digital footprint really means. Adweek compares two well-known journalists who have made even more well-known mistakes; David Carr, the talented writer with a troubled past, and Brian Williams, who’s past seems fairly spotless, but has more or less destroyed his journalistic integrity.  What are— if any— the parallels between these two professionals?  Is one easier to forgive than the other, and why?
Other newsworthy mentions slightly less related to journalism: