Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Just tweet it.

As the semester started here at Colorado State University, I was in the routine of picking up another fresh copy of the updated Associated Press stylebook (2010) and noticed something different in the index:

"Social Media Guidelines"

Now, the Associated Press has updated their how-to bible to include "guidelines" on how to report what you find on the internet, be it Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or other social site.  This only proves the point that real-time internet is a serious source for bloggers and reporters alike.

Although the section states, "Social networks should never be used as a reporting shortcut," it also says that any questions you have that are partially or wholly answered by tweets are not a good source, but, "The tweet might also be worth reporting."

The following video, found on the Reporter Central YouTube Channel, explains briefly how Twitter works, what is important, and how to use related tools to narrow in on a topic:

Particularly, if you are interested in using social media in your reporting, download the TweetDeck application.  You can download TweetDeck here, and be sure to watch the video again.  It explains smart ways to use the advanced features of the program.

If you are not already on social networking sites (and many of you are selective on which to use), join them!  I can admit that I instated a personal boycott of Twitter for nearly a year, but unfortunately I had to succumb and join up.  It's your time to do so as well.

And don't forget, follow me on Twitter @OneManMedia! I'm addicted to my followers now.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Pace of Change

I am what is known as a "super-senior" at Colorado State University. That is, I am in my fifth year of my undergraduate program. In the time that I have spent here, I have seen a dramatic alteration in the methods and tribulations facing the industry.

In Fall of 2006 when I began my studies, the number of media outlets was increasing, yet the number of stories were staying constant. More coverage of a single issue was being viewed as a positive change; that is, more people were caring about the news.

According to Journalism.org, trends in 2006 were focused around how media was going to incorporate itself into the technological evolutions happening to major nations, but was mostly viewed as an exciting adventure. The website lists a major trend during the year, stating, "Traditional media do appear to be moving toward technological innovation — finally." The whole list of trends can be found at http://www.stateofthemedia.org/2006/

CSU graduate Allison Sherry is featured in a promotional video for the university's program, where she states the importance of being educated in online technologies:

"Learn how to Twitter, learn how to blog," Sherry says.

This is, quite literally, the extent of my journalism career thus far. I have created blogs, my Twitter account is picking up speed quickly (follow me here), and I am constantly linking my profiles with professional social networking sites. My hope is to have a solid online journalism portfolio to present to future employers in order to prove my dedication to this profession.

There's nothing like uncertainty.

The media climate is changing faster than it ever has in the past.  The evolution of social media has altered nearly every industry.  Marketing practices have changed, leaving behind the methods of the past and looking to future, wondering how to keep up with the constantly changing technological landscape.  

Media outlets have found themselves in the midst of this global social change.  The media has always been the primary source of information.  That, however, is no longer the case.  The world itself has become the media.  Everyone can contribute to the information landscape, even if he or she is ill-informed, and it is likely someone else will read what is posted.  Facebook news feeds have become fact, many times more popular than an actual "news feed" from a news media outlet, and twitter's 140-character limit has made detail obsolete.  

This video, titled "Did you know," outlines the speed at which the world is evolving after the advent of the computer.  What it explains may put the whole media issue into perspective:

Naturally, as a journalism student on my way toward graduation, I am constantly thinking not only about what I can do to make myself stand out in the job-seeking workforce, but also what I can do to change the seemingly already decided fate of news journalism.

This blog will chronicle my journey towards a future career in journalism, no matter how bleek the outlook may look.  Included in the months to come are:
  • Joining a campus newspaper
  • Searching for an internship
  • Facts and tips learned from classes at Colorado State University
  • The job search
  • Ethical dilemmas
  • Relevant news stories
  • General observations
Thanks for reading and keep checking back for updates weekly!