Monday, April 20, 2015

Using Twitter to get smarter

I'll be working with Amherstwire editors over the next few weeks to pick new editors for and figure out next year's game plan. I'd like to take the editors to New York for  the College Media Association conference next spring. We will also be building out our  digital tv site,, which will host student content produced in our broadcast courses, now that the fabulous new tv studio is up and running. And we want to do more work with other campus media; first goal is to integrate WMUA content into the page, starting by streaming their newscasts.

We're also hoping to do a redesign, using the Largo Project, a Wordpress template specifically for news sites, developed by the Institute for Nonprofit News, and available to use for free. So there's a lot going on.

Do we know what we're doing here? Not always. We try things and sometimes they work. That's digital entrepreneurship.

But increasingly, I'm finding that Twitter directs me to solutions. Here's how it can help you become a better journalist, and certainly help you keep up on digital developments.

Follow conferences: Every major journalism association hosts a conference each year, and nearly every panel presented is tweeted. You can find videos, PowerPoints, links and other great sources of information by following the hashtags on Twitter.

We're talking about some tremendously valuable information for  a young journalist, from groups like Investigative Reporters and Editors and NICAR, the Society of Professional Journalists and The Online News Association .

Today I'm following a conference I'd never heard of, the International Journalism Festival, taking place in Perugia, Italy. In between lovely photos of gelato and piazzas are tons of tweets from panels, with links to great info.

From following the #ijf15 hashtag, I found this Medium post by Mindy McAdams about her experience judging the Society of News Design competition--with a lot of great and not-so-great examples of  text and visual storytelling. This post really illustrates quite nicely what makes a well-designed multimedia news story, and what does not.

#NICAR15 is the hashtag for the Investigative Reporters and Editors conference for data journalists and digital reporters, which is an invaluable confab for  journalists. Here's the link to the audio of the panels, which include topics like The Art of the Interview, and Social Media Sleuthing, along with TONS of info on reporting. Here's a roundup of  Five Best Picks of the conference.

#ISOJ is the International Symposium of Online Journalism, taking place this week in Austin. Lots of useful content here, from how millennials look at the news to the importance of  coding in a journalist's toolbox.
Follow organizationsRe/Code, NiemanLab, JournalismTools.

Use Twitter to find sources: Here's a piece by Daniel Victor, a staff editor at the New York Times, that tells how he used a Twitter search to find sources for a story.

How are you using Twitter to get smarter?

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