Twitter and Journalism

As much as I’d like to pretend, 26 twitter followers doesn’t make me internet famous. And while my mom may beg to differ, those 26 people aren’t exactly hanging on the edge of their seats, waiting to see the next thing I’ll tweet (which usually isn’t that profound, if I’m being honest).

Still, for an established journalist or a person who has made themselves known in their field, Twitter is a wonderful resource for gathering information and quotes that are conveniently packaged in under 140 characters.

Finally, word vomit has been somewhat conquered.

The most important feature Twitter has to journalists, in my opinion, is not its ability to gather information, but the way it allows writers to stay connected to their readers.

Like Steve Buttry, author of “10 ways Twitter is valuable to journalists” wrote, Twitter allows journalists to “crowdsource [sic],” or, have conversations with their followers.

Every story that’s published and linked to on Twitter has the capacity to start a conversation, which may lead to a follow-up story or even an entirely different angle on the issue written about.

While this is all useful, it’s only helpful, in my opinion, if the Tweeter has an established online presence. Which, with my haphazard tweets about all-nighters and wonderful Late Night food, won’t happen for awhile.

For a person who doesn’t have an established presence, browsing through the tags and tweeting at the people that made those comments can be just as helpful. Buttry mentioned this in his article as a way to “search for sources,” which is incredibly useful.

Twitter, which, I’ll be honest, I thought was really unnecessary when it first came out, has become an important tool for sharing news and staying connected with readers.

Now if I could only find someone willing to discuss with me the sorry state of Late Night’s bacon, I’ll be golden.

Tweeting My Life Away

Twitter has been around a lot longer than I thought it was. I didn’t get into twitter till 2012, six years after it was first founded, and I really didn’t even want too. I had a Facebook and I thought that was enough social media for me. However, all my friends started to get into Twitter halfway through my senior year so I thought I should join in, then I fell in love with it. Facebook became a thing of the past when I signed up for Twitter. I was able to follow my favorite celebrities and athletes (which I love) and it became a great media outlet to connect with people that have the same interests as me.

I agree with Mallary Tenore in saying that Twitter has helped me write more succinctly. Tenore says ,” The social networking site taught me that in writing, every word counts (literally). By limiting myself to 140 characters, I have to be strategic about how many words I use and how I use them. Training myself to write succinctly on Twitter has made me more aware of extra words in my stories.” I agree with Tenore that it has made me be less wordy as well. It has helped me take out those extra words that really have nothing to do with what I’m trying to say and are basically just filter. I don’t necessarily think Twitter has helped me become a better writer in all, but it has definitely helped me be more concise in what I’m am trying to say or write. 

Twitter has also helped me become a better news reader and become more knowledgeable of what is going on in the news. Steve Buttry says in his article ,” When public news breaks in your community, whether that news is a plane crash, terrorist attack, earthquake, flood, mass murder or snowstorm, people who have seen and experienced the news event tweet about it.” This not only happens on Twitter, but all of social media. Twitter not only helps me find out news going on across the world, it has also connected me to what is going on in my hometown while I’m at school. The news you could find out can be amazing and great, but you could also find out about tragedy. The hash tag has also been a great source of finding out news. When you click on a hash tag, it gives you a bunch of other people or news that contain that same hash tag. Twitter also helps news sources get straight to the point with the news they tweet out because of the 140 character limit (another plus!). 

Twitter will continue to become a bigger part of journalism and the future of journalism. Personally, twitter helps me let out my thoughts about anything and everything and it has become a great source for connecting with people and finding out news. Tweeting at celebrities or athletes trying to get a retweet or a follow is something that is fun, and who knows, maybe they will respond ( I’m still waiting to get one). I think the future of journalism is bright with social media being added to the mix and I can’t wait to see what it has in store for me. 

Give me a follow on Twitter! @bleghammer50 for my personal account or @chris_bleggi50 for my school account

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Honing a Craft and Future with Baquet

6a00e5520895f58833013487c34250970c-320wiInstead of having class for the next hour, we were allowed to go down to Heritage Hall to see the managing editor of New York Times, Dean Baquet, talk to us about the field of journalism and educate us on what to expect ahead.

Honestly, I did not expect much going into the conference. I saw it as an opportunity to relax and basically have a free day out of class. But after a nice introduction from the head of the communications department, Dean Baquet continued to breathe out of fresh air to all journalist students sitting in that room.

“Uncertainty has been a part of the newsroom longer than I would like to admit.” As an aspiring journalist with a knowledge of uncertainty of the career path that he is chosen, it was the most refreshing and encouraging part of the entire conference. Just as Neil Young told us that “rock n roll will never die,” Baquet’s words seemed to echo the rockstar’s very own.

Reassurance is a very important and well, reassuring word for me. “I am jealous of you guys as you enter journalism at a very exciting time.” As Baquet continued to further explain the bright future of journalism, I began to learn what being a journalist can actually be like. With social medias such as Facebook and Twitter emerging, there is endless possibilities and opportunities that has opened up for the us future journalists. With advice to explore the world, not get caught up in the newsroom, and continue reading, it was very cool to see how he treated and enjoyed such a time consuming job.

The field of journalism requires knowledge and commitment to your job, but also comes with a hint of uncertainty. People have been saying rock n roll has been dead since The Beatles split up and people have reiterated similar words about journalism as long as we can remember. That being said, seeing Dean Baquet’s success in the business and listening how he does it, gave me confidence for my future.

The Baquet School of Journalism

baquet1How could you not be excited about entering the world of journalism after hearing Dean Baquet’s speech and interview at the 29th Foster-Foreman Conference? Not only did he touch upon major ethical questions and dilemmas seen in journalism, but he also passionately made a case for the future of the industry. With plenty of personal experiences to back up his statements, he successfully proved his knowledge and understanding in the field, and it was a wonderful opportunity to hear him speak.

Baquet had many words of wisdom throughout his time on stage – probably enough to fill a whole notebook page – but there were a couple that really had a big impact on me. First, at one point he said, “Don’t get so caught up in your aspirations that you miss the process of becoming a journalist.” Immediately this quote stuck out to me because I always thought the best journalist is the one who IS always caught up in their work and dreams of being the best. But, Baquet made it clear that it is more important to actually progress as a journalist and learn the right way of doing things, rather than being so caught up with “making it big” that you will do whatever it takes – even if it is unethical – to do so. There ended up being a lot of talk on this matter, and it led to the discussion of whether or not to publish information if it is not completely verified. Obviously, the decision differs based on the specifics of that particular story, but in general, Dean Baquet said it best, “Your ethics are your ethics, and they don’t change.” There is a very powerful meaning behind such simple words and there is a lot of truth in them as well. If you stay true to yourself, and your morals, then you will always know what decision to make.

bigstock-Changes-Ahead-39806335-300x198 On top of just talking about journalistic values and ethics, Baquet also was able to explain why he thinks right now is “just the right time” to enter the profession. He talked about how the world of journalism is definitely changing, but because we are the younger generation and we grew up around it, we have an upper-hand on the older competition. Also, he thinks that the possibility of video and multimedia being integrated into news stories is revolutionizing and could “completely transform the art of narrative journalism.” All of this was very nice and settling to hear, and also very rare to hear coming from an adult. In my experience with older professors and writers it always seemed that they were talking about how journalism is “dying” and how no one reads anymore. So, hearing Baquet’s side of the issue was very interesting and it definitely made me more hopeful for the future of the industry.

After hearing everything that Baquet had to say, I truly feel like I grew as a journalist, and I certainly feel more motivated to get out there and start reporting!

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.