Good guidance?

We didn’t have time to go over in detail the Missourian’s new social media guidelines, and we didn’t go over the commenting policy at all.

First, the social media guidelines. Are you comfortable with using social media as a journalist working for the Missourian? Do you think it will change the way you’re using social media right now?

About the commenting policy: Have you commented on one of your own stories this semester? What challenges did you face in formulating a response?

We’ll talk about these and your comments on Thursday.



This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Good guidance?

  1. Jessica Clark says:

    I think comfortability in posting as a journalist for the Missourian is something that will take time. Much like writing an article, I’ll have to be careful about what I post, so going forward with a tweet will take more thought.
    I definitely think tweeting is something that I’ll work harder at implementing in the future.

  2. Grace Lyden says:

    The guideline for professionalism doesn’t worry me so much; I’ve always treated Facebook and Twitter as places where I wouldn’t want to offend people with profanity or comments in bad taste. I do struggle with the conflict of interest of interest policy, though. While I think the objective method is absolutely vital to good journalism, I also sympathize with the school of thought that favors transparency over “hiding” any belief systems. Journalists still have beliefs, right? Isn’t it better to acknowledge them and let the public know they’re there?

    Here’s an interesting article on the topic:

  3. It’s hard to keep an open mind when instructional social media lectures come up. I remember—no judgment, please—learning HTML for my profile page in elementary school. I’ve grown up using social media regularly, like many of us have. Because of that, and perhaps a early morning bad attitude, it makes it difficult to feel like there is more to learn.

    That being said, I learned some helpful information from today’s lecture that I’m grateful for and will use in the future—twitter chats for example.

    Learning ceases when you aren’t open to it. I need to remember that. There is always room for learning.

  4. Sorry to spam:

    Nick Kristof does an excellent job using social media (and everything else *swoon*). He reflects the concept we talked about in class—mixing personhood with professionalism.

    A Facebook update from today:
    Alas, I’m going to miss dinner with my valentine, @Sheryl WuDunn. I’m headed for the airport on a reporting trip to…well, for security reasons I don’t want to say exactly where. Stay tuned. Or post your guesses. And Happy Valentine’s Day to all.

    He also posted this link:
    Seven ways the New York Times is using social media for ‘deeper’ engagement

  5. Nina Pantic says:

    I’m fairly new to Twitter so I would definitely say that yesterday’s class on it made me nervous. Facebook feels a lot more private and I’m more used to their security and privacy tricks. I’ve had to be careful about posts and pictures on Facebook for years so I feel great about what I have on there. At the same time, I don’t use Facebook for journalism at all but always want a professional outlook for the eyes of possible employers or even my peers.
    Twitter just feels like a disaster waiting to happen. Nothing feels private and everyone seems to have the freedom to say anything about you without your consent. I’m not worried about my own posts since I’m careful to never be biased or rude or plain stupid, but what about what others say. Another person’s comments or post about you can be just as damaging as your own words. I think Twitter needs to step its privacy game up asap.
    I’ve never commented on my own story and as far as I can tell, no one has commented on mine. I think as long as we only write comments that we would tell a person to their face then there shouldn’t be any problems. Comments are a conversation and the same rules should apply to online as to real life.

  6. danburley says:

    Joy’s lecture Tuesday definitely opened my eyes to the harsh reality of social media: everything is public. Seems like a no-brainer, but I’ve been firing away on my private Twitter handle throughout the semester as if my tweets exist in a vacuum, only visible to my personal followers. I feel induced to impose self-discipline after yesterday’s discussion. Twitter can live without my snide Super Bowl remarks and odes to Lady Sybil from Downton Abbey.

    When it comes to tweeting for the Missourian, I really like what Katherine said about struggling to find her Twitter voice. I’m comfortable private tweeting, but I’ve yet to configure the best voice for a Missourian audience. A tweet linking my article or asking for sources always feels self-promotional and vain. I think establishing a welcoming yet assertive Twitter voice takes time. Hopefully with a little more practice it won’t feel so superficial.

    Twitter is an equalizer. Joy mentioned that yesterday and it struck me as one of Twitter’s virtues. Alec Baldwin and my best friend back home can both tweet about the dangers of dressing in the dark before work and the embarrassment of missing a belt loop or tucking their shirt in their underwear. From a sociological perspective, Twitter levels the playing fields. It’s a free market and I don’t see a recession in the future. (Except I consider the people who tweet TOO much to be Big Business. We need regulation).

  7. Before yesterday’s lecture, I was averse to Twitter because its functionality has seemed superficial and redundant. I have a problem with two things in particular: compulsive oversharing and compulsive oversharing of insignificant details. Where’s the benefit in reading a Facebook status update (actual posts I’ve encountered today) that a friend is having the best day ever at work (but doesn’t go into any detail at all), that another friend claims she can now communicate telepathically, or that another friend was drunk last night for the fifth night in a row (and it’s only Wednesday)? They’re entitled to say these things, but who really cares, and why repost the same thing on Twitter? Maybe my bitterness has something to do with the people I’m following, those following me, or growing up.

    Really, I think I’ve just been ready to retire from the nonsense people sometimes share too much or too pointlessly, which might explain my inactivity as a Twitter user (I’ve tweeted ONCE since opening an account in 2009, and I’m still trying to forgive myself for it). Now I realize Twitter’s benefits to journalists. It’ll take me some time to establish an active Twitter presence, but I might try my hand at it really soon. It’ll definitely change the way I use social media from a personal purpose (for keeping in touch with friends, relatives, etc. or goofing around) to a more professional one (staying abreast of local happenings, finding sources, or attracting visibility to articles, etc.).

    Last Monday, I responded to a comment on an article I wrote, but the question was pretty straightforward so there was absolutely no difficulty on my part. I’m looking forward to challenging comments to future articles.

    • reedkath says:

      What a funny, thoughtful response. Now if you can only crystallize that wit into 140 characters, you will have legions of followers.

  8. ericshort91 says:

    Working for the Missourian has definitely changed the way that I use social media and I am very happy about it. Due to the fact that I now represent a well respected media outlet, I now have me more mature and accountable for what I post on Twitter or Facebook. Many of my friends still use Facebook and Twitter as mediums to show their friends/followers how hard they party. I think that is foolish because everything one posts on the internet can be seen by anyone. I have not commented on one of my stories yet but I encourage feedback from the readers.

  9. alliehinga says:

    Working at the Missourian has already started to change the way I use social media. Aside from having far less time to post the mundane details of my life all over the internet, I also think a lot more before I post something that has to do with my opinions. I ask myself if what I want to write could compromise my credibility as a reporter or make me seem unprofessional. I question if an opinion I want to share is something that would violate social media guidelines. In short, I’m really thinking critically before I post.

    Something I struggle with, though, is where to draw the line in sharing personal information. I’m generally fairly open about my opinions, although I try as much as possible not to be pushy about them. In the past, I’ve been somewhat comfortable expressing these things on Facebook. Recently, however, I’ve been thinking a lot more about when it’s appropriate to express myself and when to hold my tongue, so to speak. I think it’s an important conversation to have, but it’s a hard, hard line to draw.

    Oh, and as a side note, Joy Mayer’s social media advice worked! I wrote a post yesterday afternoon for my reporting blog. Now, I realize I’m not exactly a “Top 10 must follow bloggers” type of person, but it is a bit discouraging to come back to your dashboard and find out all of 10 or so people have read your blog. So that evening, I reposted to Twitter and Facebook, making it more clear that the post was a blog update, and then waited to see what happened. Basically, in an hour, I had twice as many views. Okay, so twice as many views means 25. But when you’re pretty sure the only people who read your blog are your mother and other people at the Missourian, 25 views feels like an accomplishment. 🙂

  10. Nicole Jones says:

    I am comfortable using Twitter as a journalist. It’s not exactly something I use frequently because I don’t particularly like Twitter, but I am comfortable with it. Facebook, however, I am not comfortable using as a journalist. My Facebook account is primarily for use as a leader in my campus ministry, and I don’t plan to change that. As a result, I don’t feel comfortable sharing both things in the same place.

  11. Although I haven’t really utilized social media accounts specifically as a journalist working for the Missourian, I think that I would be comfortable doing so. I think that doing this will help me become a better information seeker and gatherer and it would also open up more opportunities for generating story ideas as well as connecting with other journalists and journalism resources, and of course, reading great journalism.

    I think that it would cause a change in the way that I currently use social media because it would give me a distinct focus, and it would also cause me to really think about what I post, why I post it and how this may affect my perception to others as a journalist.

    As for comments, I have not commented on one of my own semester, but hopefully I can be productive in that process if the situation arises.

  12. erinfjones says:

    I think knowing how to properly use social media is one of the best tools a journalist can utilize, especially in the present state of media. It is an excellent way to disseminate information instantly and also involve the public in new and interesting ways. It seems like more and more people are relying on social media to get their news and participate in conversations about news, so it seems only fitting that we should tap into that obsession to make news more appealing and accessible. Since “private” settings are never truly private, I am more careful about what I post on my personal Facebook incase a source were to come across it.

  13. feliciagreiff says:

    Working at the Missourian hasn’t changed how I use social media much. In high school, I shared a lot more. Now I err on the side of not sharing personal details and photos of everything I take part in. Not only am I not feeling too kindly toward facebook lately, but I also can see that the transition from college life to professional life can’t overlap much. Anything you post on the internet could be seen by readers or employers, and I’ve kept that in mind during the past 3 years.

    One way the Missourian has changed what I post is avoiding political bias in my tweets. Especially with the upcoming election and all the debates around that, it’s important to try to cover/and or link to articles that don’t lean too much.

  14. chrisroll13 says:

    Honestly, I’m uncomfortable about using social media on a professional level at this stage in my career (if I can call it that). First, I’m still figuring out Twitter to begin with, and secondly, I still feel personal ties with my social media. It’s difficult for me to get into the mindset of sharing my work as a continuous resume of sorts instead of just posting a link on Facebook to my friends and saying, “Hey guys, check out the movie review I just wrote!”

    I could see myself changing my Twitter to more adequately reflect my role as a journalist, because, honestly, I don’t care about Twitter as much on a personal level. Twitter, to me, is more about random thoughts and observations to a wider audience, so that would fit perfectly with the journalism angle. But Facebook . . . Facebook has always been my “friend” zone. I might create a separate page one day and link it to my Twitter, but I still want to keep one online personality personal.

  15. Joy’s lecture on the use of social media really opened my eyes to two things. I have always used Facebook with caution, knowing that future employers can always find what I post on the internet. Second, I have not mastered Twitter yet, but I see this as an advantage. I can utilize Twitter in a professional manner to better my journalistic work.

    I have always known the pros and cons of social media, but after Tuesday’s lecture, I am rather excited to use Twitter on a regular basis. It seems that most people communicate first using social media. I do have concerns that most of the communication today is very impersonal because of social media. I prefer to sit down with someone and have a discussion, or have a conversation on the phone over emailing and social networking. I know I may be alone in this preference, but I feel that social networking is actually making our generation less social and more dependent on outlets of communication like Facebook and Twitter.

    I have a lot to learn concerning Twitter, but I am also looking forward to learning about commenting on Missourian articles because I have had a couple of comments on my own articles that I was unsure if I should respond to. I am very pleased to see that people are taking the time to read my work, but I did feel unsure about responding to these readers. I feel that journalists should have an ongoing communication with readers and sources, so it is my hope that I familiarize myself enough on the subject, that I feel comfortable responding to readers if need be and commenting under Missourian guidelines.

  16. Joy Mayer says:

    Thanks so much for the string of awesome, appropriate comments from reporters, guys! Here’s a new one today:

  17. teresaroseklassen says:

    Since our generation has grown up with social media, I think we have a pretty good understanding about how permanent it is. Once you post something, you can never really take it back (I think everyone has had an experience with regretting something posted too hastily, before we truly understood the power of the internet).

    So most of this, in the social media policy, is common sense. I only wonder– what if someone has two accounts? Is it acceptable to have a personal Twitter account for those moments when, let’s face it, we DO have opinions—and then another account for very professional, journalism-related fare? On my iPhone, I use the HootSuite app, which allows me to manage multiple accounts, making organizing my tweets very easy.

    I generally try to keep my accounts clean. It’s keeping the opinion out of them that’s difficult. As for the idea that it would be nice to keep personal accounts… personal… Well, that’s not really an option anymore. Nothing on the internet is private, so we may as well start treating our accounts like public information, and move on. Social media is a fantastic tool for journalism, we just have to be very cautious in our use of it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s