Citizen Joy

If you haven’t had a chance to meet Joy Mayer, the Missourian’s engagement editor,  tomorrow’s your day. She’s coming to class this week to talk about social media — especially Twitter — on Tuesday and engaging readers (and how to know if you’re succeeding) on Thursday. I hope that Tuesday’s discussion will land us in a big ol’ ethical discussion about Twitter.

Read this piece from Mashable about how social media tools are being taught in J-schools.

Then read this short piece Joy wrote (it really clues you in to where she’s coming from on engagement)  and then this for Thursday.

Three things to read. None of them long. All of them helpful and engaging. Read ’em or I’ll make you go buy a textbook.


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5 Responses to Citizen Joy

  1. Emilie Stigliani says:

    I just read Joy Mayer’s pieces and I am looking forward to hearing her speak in class. I am particularly interested in what she has to say about helping people find the information that affects them. I really like the example she gave about developing coloring books to teach children about staying safe during an earthquake. Based on Joy’s articles and discussion in our budget meetings, I am curious about where journalism ends and advocacy begins.

  2. schacht99 says:

    For the sake of discussion, I’d like to ask what’s wrong with advocacy? I understand that it requires discretion for journalists, but I don’t think advocacy is taboo. After all, if it’s true that the only thing necessary for bad things to occur is for good men and women to do nothing, then journalist must be advocates. Otherwise, how can they live with their consciences?

  3. Kip Hill says:

    One of the finest examples of local journalists living up to the purposes talked about in the Mashable piece is Kris Ketz (@KrisKetz) of the ABC affiliate KMBC-TV in Kansas City. His tweets generally account for about eight or nine uses of social media outlined by Lavrusik on a consistent basis. I think variety is necessary in a twitter feed. If I get nothing but a litany of shortened links from a reporter, I’m likely to overlook them eventually. I subscribe to @BreakingNews and the AP for stories. The reason I subscribe to local journalists is because I want context and commentary (at least, as much as 140 characters allows), not a straight news feed. Ketz genuinely engages his audience and other twitter personalities around the KC area, and I think that’s what you have to do to stay relevant in a format is constantly changing.

  4. Carlos D. Navarro says:

    After reading the Mashable piece, an idea that I had already considered became more concrete in my head: it’s a lot easier to generalize and say that we journalists of the 21st century need to open our work to the use of social networks, than to actually sitting down and try to figure out how to use the tons of resources we have at our disposal every time we write a story. Like Kip says, using Twitter to continuously attach links to full-size stories and little else undermines the value of what we can do with social networks. We should use these resources not only because they’re trendy, but because they’re useful.

    And I think that’s the point that binds the Masahble pieces with Joy Mayer’s. Being community conscious and striving to bring our stories to the people who would really benefit from them should be the raison d’etre, the guiding principle behind our use of social networks.

    I, too, am interested in learning what principles and criteria we should apply in terms of ethics. I totally see the usefulness in Matt’s question as to why we could not simply take a position and defend it. Again, Venezuela is a good example of how extreme advocacy has hurt the credibility of the media as of late. In my country, you’re either for the government and write stories that only reflect the positive sides to it, or you’re against it and write stories that exclusively point out its shortcomings. I would argue that because of this, audiences of essentially similar citizens have taken different, sometimes opposite directions, and this has in turn created or expanded social divides. I think journalists in my country (from both sides) have contributed to this division, sadly. So I guess my take on the issue is that while we’re entitled to make our own opinion about things, groups, and people, we should strive not to be so obvious about these all the time. It’s a matter of choosing when and where it is OK to say you support so and so. Which, of course, is a lot easier said than done.

  5. karenemiller says:

    I always love hearing from Joy in the newsroom. She brings a fresh perspective to budget. Engagement is so important in journalism. I know for me I want people in the community to care about my stories so I try to get them out there as much as I can.

    I also liked the section of the mashable piece about content being the most important part of the tweet. When tweets have links to interesting articles I’m more likely to RT them.

    And lastly, I really don’t want a text book.

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