Best Practices: Journalism Education


10 ways to prevent plagiarism, fabrication at college newspapers (and in any newsroom)

Multiple news organizations have recently found themselves in the middle of plagiarism and fabrication scandals — NPR, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, Time, CNN and The Boston Globe to name a few.

Last week, Penn State’s student newspaper The Daily Collegian suspended a writer for plagiarizing and fabricating quotes by Sue Paterno, the widow of former coach Joe Paterno. This was the paper’s second plagiarism case this year, and it marks the third time that a college newspaper has made headlines for plagiarism and fabrication in the past month. (In September, Arizona State University’s State Press and Columbia University’s Daily Spectator both revealed that students there had plagiarized.)

The incidents made me think about the particular challenges that student journalists face, and the steps that college newspapers can take to help them. Read more


What every young journalist should know about using Twitter

Young journalists have a lot to teach the rest of the industry about how to use social networking sites. They grew up with these sites, and many are eager to use them in the workplace.

But as a journalism educator, I’ve found that some students don’t take Twitter seriously enough; they don’t see it as a legitimate source for news or journalism, and they tweet whatever they want, not realizing the impact that tweets can have.

Twitter is taken very seriously at many different levels. The Secret Service, for example, responded to a high schooler’s tweet earlier this month after she made a reference to assassinating President Barack Obama. And last week, the Kansas Chiefs’ official Twitter account issued an apology after insulting a fan.

So how can professors best prepare their students for the Twittersphere? Read more

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How journalism educators can teach students to live-tweet campus events

Live tweeting is now a standard tool many journalists and news agencies use for breaking news. The Supreme Court’s healthcare ruling and the Freeh report on the Penn State scandal are recent examples in which Twitter was the first source of news, minute by minute.

My journalism students in the Diederich College of Communication regularly live tweet campus events at Marquette University in Milwaukee. The events have ranged from a presidential inauguration to guest lectures to NCAA basketball games. Each assignment includes a Storify component, that is, a mandate to curate related social media.

The students take to the task easy enough. They recognize it helps them focus on their writing; extend their journalism near and far; capture moments not normally found in news articles; and inform and engage alumni, students and others unable to attend the events. Read more


10 tips for teaching journalists how to effectively use social media

When I first wrote about Twitter in September 2007, I got emails from journalists who said I was highlighting a tool that would never have journalistic application.

A lot has changed since then.

There’s now a greater willingness to embrace Twitter and other social media tools — or to at least see their potential. As more tools emerge, we need to be open to teaching others how to use them and how to integrate them into our workflow.

I’ve put together some tips for teaching social media based on teaching I’ve done here at Poynter. While the tips are mostly geared toward journalism educators, journalists who are coaching their colleagues may also find them useful.

1. Do some homework ahead of time.
Teaching social media can be especially challenging when you’re presenting to a group of journalists with varying levels of social media experience. Read more

Adobe Photoshop PDF

How a Michigan State University journalism class published multi-platform book on bullying

Give the students credit.

They were handed an ambitious goal and, when I lost my nerve and pulled the plug on their journalism project, “The New Bullying,” they plugged it back in and made it work.

The advanced reporting class at Michigan State University’s School of Journalism is expected to go in-depth and produce multimedia content for the Web. A topic emerged in December 2011, when Michigan became the 48th state to adopt an anti-bullying law for schools. The law set a six-month deadline for public districts to adopt or update their policies.

When the class met on Jan. 9, 17 juniors and seniors were asked whether they had ever published a book. None had.

The challenge was to build a website about bullying and turn that into a book. Read more

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Should journalism educators ban students from using technology in class?

A friend and fellow educator sent a shock through my system last week. He told me he was so frustrated by rude and distracted behavior on digital devices in his journalism labs that he imposes a ban on laptops, tablets and cell phones turned on during class.

Not known for subtlety, I asked, “Are you insane?”

The interaction led to a productive conversation about digital distractions and effective teaching practices in a connected age. Somewhere in the combination of our approaches and their devices is a sweet spot that can move learning forward.

My ban-imposing friend, Tim Brown from the University of Central Florida, has a solid point. Every college instructor I know has been frustrated by Facebook pictures or ESPN box scores popping up on a monitor as glassy-eyed students disengage themselves from the lecture. Read more


4 ways journalism educators are using Storify as a teaching tool

More and more news sites have been using Storify to capture reaction and highlight interesting discussions taking place on social networks. And journalism educators have also started using it — to create multimedia course content, organize handouts and teach students how to curate social media.

The tool, which lets users pull together content from various social networks to tell stories, is a one-stop Web publishing shop for even the most technophobic educator.

To organize readings, create handouts

Simply put, you can use Storify to gather up all those “must-read” Web links (which, let’s face it, never get read) and organize them. Like many educators, I use Storify to develop reporting and editing assignments in the classes I teach at Hofstra University. By using Storify, I’ve transformed my out-of-control Instapaper account into topic-specific handouts that I can distribute electronically. Read more

Photographers take pictures of U.S. President Barack Obama after he announced live on television the death of Osama bin Laden from the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2011. (Jason Reed/Reuters)

Photographers debate what should replace staged photo opps now that White House is ending the practice

Calling it a “bad idea,” the White House has decided that it will no longer re-enact speeches for still photographers, as it did the night President Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden. That re-enactment was the subject of a story that sparked industry conversation about the ethics of staging photos, particularly one of such a historic event.

Photographers take pictures of U.S. President Barack Obama after he announced live on television the death of Osama bin Laden from the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2011. (Jason Reed/Reuters)

On May 1, continuing a practice in place for decades, the White House barred still photographers from photographing the live presidential address because of the disruption the still cameras would cause. Read more


5 Strategies for Successful News Organization-University Partnerships

The New York Times, The Bay Citizen and Next Door Media have recently partnered with universities in hopes that students can help them expand their hyperlocal coverage, engage new audiences and experiment with different business models.

Editors and professors say the partnerships are a step toward re-envisioning the relationship that news organizations and universities often share. Traditionally, news orgs have turned to universities when they’ve needed interns to produce and edit content. Now, they’re starting to realize that students and the universities they attend can help them do much more.

“When the crisis came and all of a sudden there was this need for innovation and new practices and new business models and new technology, the industry didn’t have a journalism school to rely on because it never asked for it,” said NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen, who helped create the partnership between NYU’s Arthur J. Read more


Archived Chat: How Can I Help Make Changes in My School’s Curriculum?

In this week’s chat, Sara Dickenson-Quinn and Katy Culver of the University of Wisconsin-Madison joined Poynter’s Multimedia for College Educators seminar participants for a discussion about how to help implement changes in your school’s curriculum.

During the chat, they offered tips on how to take practical steps toward making curriculum changes and shared suggestions on how to get others on board with your ideas.

You can revisit this link at any time to replay the chat after it has ended.

<a href=”” >How Do I Get Buy In On New Ideas?</a> Read more

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