Education Media

Mid-Quarter: Journalism Students On Twitter

Well, it’s actually week six of an 11-week quarter, but that’s a quibble!

On Monday, I asked my digital journalism students to reflect on their four weeks with Twitter. One reason: to give me an idea of what they are experiencing and thinking. Another reason: they have to write an essay about their experience as part of their final work for the course; this exercise primes that pump.

Here is that discussion summary:

  • Diverse.
    Twitter is being utilized by a (surprisingly) wide variety of people (demographics).
  • Flattens power structures.
    Twitter is a democratic form of communication.
  • It’s not Facebook.
    Twitter is more of news source than social networking tool.
  • Multi-functional.
    Twitter can be a news source or personal space.
  • Simple.
    Twitter simplicity is a plus.
  • It can be noisy.
    Twitter noise means filters are important; tools in development, like Tweetdeck, help. But Facebook is noisy, too. Universal class objection to invites to applications – noise! – meant that the ’ignore’ button was lauded.
  • Democratizing.
    As a political space, Twitter facilitates and enables grassroots activity
  • Hyperactive.
    Twitter can change the face of breaking news.
  • Illustrates the power of many eyes (open source ethic).
    Although there is a risk of bad information being widely transmitted, it can also be identified and corrected quickly.

There you have it. What do you think?

By Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

3 replies on “Mid-Quarter: Journalism Students On Twitter”

The biggest “complaint” was the noise. I think my students are fully aware that the journalism universe is changing — and protesting that change isn’t productive.

I’m surprised that there wasn’t more negative feedback. I feel like everywhere you turn, some new source is bashing Twitter for “destroying” the English language or the field of journalism or what have you. Good to hear real user comments for once.

Thanks for posting. I would add, “A sure-fire way to despise Ashton Kutcher even more.”

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