Using Twitter to Create a Voice as a Journalist

Unlike the majority of my peers, I never considered myself a “Twitter addict” in high school.  I rarely tweeted on my own and I didn’t understand how people had the time to constantly check their feed.  Everytime I logged on, I saw so many pointless tweets and I felt like I was wasting my time reading vindictive sub-tweets or pointless back-and-forth drama.  I rarely updated my own account because I never felt like I had anything substantial to say.  I viewed this form of social media as pointless because so many people my age use it as their own personal diary that I didn’t have the time or desire to read.


Over the summer I had an internship with Talbot Digital, a digital media firm that works with advertising political campaigns through social media.  My role in this firm was to come up with tweets and facebook posts for the Twitter accounts @RecycleCartons and @RecycleTetraPak.  (I also created posts for the Facebook account Recycle Cartons.)  This opportunity taught me how to craft a tweet that can grab attention and be informative in 140 characters or less, which, as Mallory Jean Tenore said in 6 ways Twitter has made me a better writer, has taught me to write more succinctly.  Working for these accounts got me a little more interested in the Twitter world because I saw how organizations can create a voice for themselves to get important messages out and spread awareness on various topics, but I still seldom used my account on my own personal time.


It was this class that completely changed my opinion about Twitter.  I created a new account for this class which followed only news accounts, people and organizations I was actually interested in hearing from.  This class inspired me to add Twitter to my media diet and I now see how informative it can really be.  Although it shouldn’t be someone’s main source of information, it helps get news out quickly and efficiently.  I also now see how important it is for journalists to have a voice and an image for themselves, and I completely agree with Steve Buttry’s detailed list of 10 ways Twitter is valuable to journalists.

This class also taught me how useful hashtags can be.  Since I was used to reading pointless high school tweets, I always saw hashtags for silly, long-winded, uninformative phrases.  But, as Buttry said, hashtags can be really beneficial in researching a certain topic or finding valuable sources on a topic.


Re-creating a Profession That Deserves to Thrive

baquet190Dean Baquet certainly has a unique view on the field of journalism, and as a student entering the field, it was refreshing to hear.  Adjectives such as “thriving” are not typically used to describe the journalism industry, but Baquet actually made me excited about my future when he said he was truly jealous that we were entering the field at such a wonderful time.  I think Baquet was a perfect speaker for an audience of journalism students because he provided not only positivity, but also a great deal of advice.

One major theme of Baquet’s talk was the expansion of technology.  He advised us to become proficient in multimedia and in what it takes to become a producer, because the youngest people are getting hired for those jobs.  As technology advances, so does our box of tools as journalists, and that’s exciting.

With an increase in technology comes an increase of pressure to produce “of-the-moment” news.  However, Baquet stressed the significance of accuracy and maintaining ethics, even when we feel forced to make decisions on the spot.  I like that the New York Times stays true to their ethics and does not change, despite the stress of competition.01-top-three-skills

My favorite take-away from Baquet’s talk was to not get so caught up in ambitions and aspirations that we miss the process of becoming journalists.  That quote really hit home because it reminded me of the importance of living in the moment.  It also shows that Baquet enjoys his profession and had a positive journey of getting where he is today.

Overall his talk left me feeling optimistic about what my life has to offer and he put into perspective what we, as budding journalists, need to focus on to make the profession thrive.

Better Safe Than Sorry

Plagiarism is a serious topic, but it is also one that sparks a great deal of controversy.  The consequences for this violation can be dire, because it is just like stealing, only with words instead of material things.

So here is the question: Do all plagiarists know what they are doing?  Is unintentional plagiarism a rare case, as the committee agreed?  We all know plagiarism is a serious offense, so why would someone take that risk?

The Ledger’s Report said it perfectly when they said there is no “hard-and-fast rule” to distinguish the line between using information as background, and plagiarizing.  Their report went into detail about the various cases where plagiarism was in question.

There are a few instances where plagiarism is not an issue, such as alluding to a literary phrase or commonly available facts, but since the rules are sometimes unclear, it is best to remember the phrase, “better safe than sorry”.  To avoid the chance of plagiarism, the Ledger’s Report recommends to keep clear notes, use direct sources, and ATTRIBUTE.98edd9dd90aa44fea82a4bf17b32f6a8

The Ledger’s report addressed the Internet and its integral role in the cause of plagiarism multiple times.  I can attest to the statement that a great deal of Americans today rely on the Internet for information, because I know I take full advantage of having Internet connection available in my pocket 24/7.  With such easy access to a Google search, the lines are often blurred between what information is shared and what is original.

Bottom line: Play it safe, double check your wording, and cite your sources!

Meghan’s Media Diet

As my alarm goes off to wake me, I am always reluctant to get out of bed.  I reach for my phone in an attempt to delay the start of my day, and I skim through my Twitter and Instagram feeds as I lay in bed.  I follow several news accounts, so I click on the links that interest me to read more about popular topics.

I love my job; I get to dance and cheer for my favorite baseball team, the Washington Nationals.

I love my job; I get to dance and cheer for my favorite baseball team, the Washington Nationals.

My favorite notifications are from the various Washington Nationals twitter accounts I follow.  Since I worked for them over the summer, I like to stay updated on the players and the play-by-plays.  Onward State is another one of my favorite accounts because, obviously, I love everything that has to do with Penn State.  I also use Twitter to keep tabs on breaking news stories; my Twitter feed never fails to provide me with new information both locally and globally.

It is in my nature to be early to everything; therefore, every morning as I wait for the doors of Thomas 100 to open, I pick up a Daily Collegian or a New York Times and leaf through the pages.  I pay closer attention to the front page cover stories, and then I read the articles inside that catch my eye.

Nothing relaxes me more than reading a nonfiction book before I fall asleep.  Although I don’t have as much time to read for pleasure when I’m at school, sitting down with a good book is still one of my favorite pastimes.  The last book I read was called Unwind.  This story enthralled me because it depicts a future America that prohibits abortion in favor of a process called “unwinding”, in which parents can choose to have all of their child’s body parts donated for medical usage when they are between the ages of 13 to 18.  Stories illustrating an alternate world tend to be the most interesting to me; Harry Potter will always be my favorite series.