Could Twitter Really Help Improve My Writing?

I was never big on twitter to begin with; it has become something that has recently grown on me. I was always a little bit skeptical about how much you can really say on twitter. I’m very much the type of person who likes to ramble, I always have a lot to say and whenever I do decide to tweet, it can never fit into the 140 word- count category. Using minimal adjectives, reducing the amount of words I use and being able to make a short strong sentence are three factors that I have struggled with throughout my career of writing.


In Mallary Tenore’s “ 6 ways Twitter Has Made Me A Better Writer,” she explained the changes she made in her own writing. Mallary mentions that she treats each sentence as if it were a tweet to express the significance of each word. Twitter limits each used to a 140-character limit, each tweet must be bold enough to flaunt on the media. Mallary’s method helps keep each sentence less wordy but strong. Some of the best writers don’t use an excessive amount of adjectives to form a great sentence. The best writers form strong sentences by trimming off the fat.


Overall, twitter has improved the way we receive and read news. Nowadays, the minute there’s any type of breaking news, it finds its way onto the Internet within minutes. Steve Buttry’s “ 10 ways Twitter Is Valuable to Journalists “ communicates how quickly people are to post breaking news on twitter. Nobody has to go out of their way to find a news channel or a newspaper anymore. Anybody can just log onto their twitter through either their phone or computer and read a simple 140- character brief synopsis on what the updates are or what he breaking news is.


 Ultimately, as journalists, our main goal is to give our audience accurate and speedy news. Not everybody wants to go into full detail about every occurring event that is happening everyday. People want to get the synopsis; the details aren’t always fully necessary. Buttry and Tenore emphasize that the character limits a benefit while being a journalist on twitter. The general public is content with a few sentences of the new updates in the news world. Because of this, I think that twitter is a great way to expand my vocabulary as a writer and keep each of my sentences intriguing to the audience by using strong words. 


A Nice Surprise From Dean Baquet

I can speak for almost anybody when I say that when I heard Dean Baquet speak in the Foster-Forman Conference on the 29th, I walked out of there with a uplifting feeling that the field of journalism is not a just a field that is fading, but one that is rising.  The way that Baquet spoke about the future of journalism was revitalizing to a young journalist in the making because of his optimism towards the future of the field. It was nice assurance to know that my career could blossom when he said, BaquetDean “This is a great time to enter the world of journalism”. Especially in economic times like these, for the managing editor of the New York Times to say that is reassuring.

One thing that really caught my attention during Baquet’s speech is when he spoke about what his biggest fear would be in the field of journalism. “My biggest fear and only fear with the ability to do things unimaginable. It won’t be the newspaper that will die, the craft of reporting and witnessing will be lost.  I learned to report by trial and error.” I took this comment as an important aspect to pay attention to while growing as a journalist. He surfaces a valid point; us journalists need to be eager, and prepared witnesses in the midst of the action.  That is when we can truthfully report a respectable analysis, and not just sitting in a desk chair waiting for a phone call.

I walked into the Foster- Forman conference with one big misconception about the field of journalism. I viewed journalism as a very competitive field. I thought that ethics were completely thrown out the window when it came to who reported the best story first. When Baquet answered a question regarding whether to publish or not to publish a debatable topic with immense competition. He responded by saying “ Your ethics are your ethics…if your competition choses to do it; that’s their ethics… if you change your ethics nobody will know who are you”.  After Baquet answered this question, it put a smile on my face. It is really great thing to know that a paper as big as The New York Timesdoes not throw their morals our the window, they stay true to what they believe is the right news to report whether their competitor may report it instead of them or not.

Baquet came into the conference, spoke about many journalistic values and what we have to look forward to in our careers as journalists. It was a great conference to listen to, especially to stay enthusiastic about the forthcoming events in my career.

What is Considered “Plagiarism” In Our Modern Day?

According to the definition of plagiarism is “ the practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own.”  Plagiarism is a solemn matter.  The consequences for plagiarism can be dismal especially during this time and day that we live in. Plagiarism is not just frowned upon at universities such as Penn State but it can come with serious consequences that can lead to suspension or explosion for anybody accused of it.

The question we all ask: What is considered plagiarism in our modern day? Is plagiarism always intentional? Do students even recognize when they are committing the act of plagiarism?  Can plagiarism be misunderstood?

In the New York Times Article  “ Plagiarism Lines Blur for Students in Digital Age” addressed how a student from the University of Maryland was reprimanded for copying from Wikipedia in a paper on the Great Depression. The student claimed his entries unsigned and cooperatively written did not need to be credited since they counted, principally as common knowledge. This itself comes to show that plagiarism is not viewed the same in anybody’s eyes, especially not students in our digital age.

Don't plagiarize!

This leads us to the question of what is plagiarism is in our modern day. The student from the University of Maryland surfaces a valid point. Is copying from Wikipedia even considering plagiarism? Isn’t Wikipedia considered information that should be common knowledge? Where do we draw the line? The digital age makes it easy to just copy and paste. It makes the concept of authorship challenging for students to grasp.  Cyberspace offers us information on a platter in front of us, it makes it difficult for the upcoming generation to differentiate what copying is and what it’s not.  Accreditation is NOT given where it’s deserved many times and studentsneed to realize when not to cross the line.

It’s clear that in this day and age that students don’t necessarily understand what exactly plagiarism is or even how to differentiate the difference between common knowledge and copying.  Every piece of writing should be individualized. Accreditation needs to be given where it’s deserved. In conclusion we need to realize that when we take somebody else’s writing, we need to give the author credibility earned.


Isabel’s Media Diet

Starting at a young age my parents never really exposed me to the media. To be honest, they weren’t even too fond of taking the time out of their day to sit down and read the New York Times or the local newspaper. That being said, I didn’t really grow up in an environment where it was encouraged to sit down and just read about the events that are occurring in the everyday world around us. But since I’ve been here at Penn State, I have come to the realization that being updated on the current events in the world around us is extremely important for our further knowledge.


Just discovered Twitter a few days ago and these are my feelings towards it!

Our generation provides new media that allows us to find out what is happening in the everyday life around us. I didn’t start using twitter until a few days ago, but since then I have become obsessed. I always viewed twitter as a stupid way to communicate with the people you know through mutual friends but twitter is a lot more valuable than just that.  Now I follow the New York Times, CNN, Onward State, AP stylebook, E news and within 4 days I feel like I know 20 times more about the world around us than I did when I came to school. I’ve been checking my newsfeed several times a day and each time I check it, there is always a new update to check. There is nothing better to feel like you are educated in not just your classes but with the problems occurring globally.

Twitter is such an easy and accessible way to become updated on what’s happening and knowing myself I will think just because I’ve read twitter that I am completely up to date on everything. I don’t want to solely rely on twitter, I need to push myself to read the paper and push myself to read the daily collegian while I’m cuddling up in my bed being lazy. I have plenty of those lazy moments so instead of being addicted to my Facebook; I should pick up a paper and read.

I’m really not a big media/ social media type of person, I like to keep things off of the Internet with the exception of Facebook. But now I can really come to appreciate the different apps and social networking that is provided to make it easy for the people of my generation to know what’s going on in our world. I am happy I was introduced to this sooner than later. Considering that I’m in the broadcasting field, to be in front of the camera I need to know the updated current events well enough in order to even present the information with the confidence needed for an anchor. Habits such as checking my twitter feed for the updates on CNN and The New York Times will come in handy for my knowledge on the current events. I was a little stubborn about twitter as first but I think it’s time to give it a chance.