Mobile and Social Media Journalism Syllabus


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Mobile and Social Media Journalism Syllabus

  1. 1. 1 Ithaca College | Roy H. Park School of Communications JOUR 39026 Mobile and Social Media Journalism – Spring 2016 MWF 2-2:50 p.m./Park 283 PROFESSOR Anthony Adornato Email: Twitter: @anthonyadornato Website: Twitter Class Hashtag: #ICParkSM Office Phone: (607) 274-7022 Office: Park 250 Office Hours: Monday 10 a.m.-1 p.m. or by appointment COURSE DESCRIPTION This course explores how journalists and news organizations are using emerging forms of social media and mobile platforms. Students gain hands-on experience by experimenting with social media and mobile devices for newsgathering, distribution, and audience engagement. An emphasis is placed on critically assessing the credibility and authenticity of user-generated content. Students will also learn how to use analytics tools to monitor and analyze the effectiveness of their mobile and social media activity. COURSE OVERVIEW Twitter. Facebook. Instagram. Snapchat. These are some of the social media tools altering how journalists do their jobs and how people consume news today. This course prepares you to evaluate and use social media and mobile devices as professional journalists. By the end of the course, you will have the fundamental mobile and social media skills that news organizations are seeking from today’s journalists. My classes are less “lecture” and more discussions, critiques, and drills. You will learn by “doing.” You will build your own professional social media brand and produce a portfolio of stories using social media and mobile devices/apps. You and your classmates are future industry leaders, so we will also critically assess future developments related to mobile and social media in journalism. This course will foster your ability to apply the core values of journalism to emerging media forms in productive, innovative, and intelligent ways. The concepts and skills we will tackle include: maintaining a professional social media brand, finding story ideas and sources via social media, using social media and mobile devices/apps for newsgathering and production, social media ethics, audience engagement, and analytics. COURSE GOALS  Effectively use social media for newsgathering, dissemination, and audience engagement.  Research and locate reliable information from social media to enhance your reporting, and at the same time, identify misleading and unbalanced content.  Gain the technical skills of mobile newsgathering through the use of mobile devices and apps to gather, produce, and distribute news content.
  2. 2. 2  Create and enhance your own professional brand on social media platforms.  Become an engaged and active participant of the online community of the beat that you have chosen.  Receive HootSuite Certification, an industry-leading standard.  Use analytics platforms to monitor and analyze social media engagement and success.  Evaluate the effectiveness of mobile and social media strategies and policies in news organizations.  Understand the public’s active role in the news production process, and the resulting impact on journalism.  Understand the flexibility, innovativeness, and entrepreneurial spirit needed to be successful in this evolving industry. REQUIRED READINGS & MATERIALS  We The Media (2005) by Dan Gillmor – It’s not necessary to purchase the textbook. Gillmor has made his book available as a free download.  The Associated Press Stylebook  Other course readings will be delivered entirely online and mostly available for free.  IC Library page dedicated to this course:  To be successful in this class and as a journalist, you must be well-informed about emerging technologies and their impact on journalism. There are a number of organizations that distribute e-newsletters with related content and research. I highly recommend signing up for e-newsletters from the following: PBS MediaShift Daily and Daily Must-Reads Nieman Future-of-Journalism News Knight Digital Media Center International Journalists’ Network  You will use a variety of mobile apps. Most are free, some you will have to pay for. Apps for this course will cost you less than $10.  You will be required to bring your laptop and mobile device(s) to every class. Apple products (iPod Touch, iPhone, iPads) are the preferred mobile devices in most newsrooms.  HootSuite University – As a member of this class, you will have access to content developed by HootSuite, an industry leader on best practices for social media use. MY CLASS ATTENDANCE POLICY First, a note on promptness: My classes start on time. I expect you to be on time. Tardiness is not tolerated in the professional world or in this class. I take careful note of late arrivals. Tardiness is not a matter of degree; you either are late or you’re not. A late student will be considered absent. No, I don’t allow you to make up work you miss because of your tardiness. Second, a note on attendance: I expect you to attend every class and to be in attendance for the duration of every class. Excused absences include religious observances, documented illness,
  3. 3. 3 death of a family member or loved-one, and pre-approved school-related activities. In addition, each student will be granted two unexcused absences for any reason. Homework due on days you are absent must still be turned in by deadline. For each unexcused absence beyond the initial two, I’ll deduct FIVE points from your final grade. It’s your responsibility to let me know if you’re not going to be in class. ITHACA COLLEGE’S POLICY ON ATTENDANCE Students at Ithaca College are expected to attend all classes, and they are responsible for work missed during any absence from class. At the beginning of each semester, instructors must provide the students in their courses with written guidelines regarding possible grading penalties for failure to attend class. Students should notify their instructors as soon as possible of any anticipated absences. Written documentation that indicates the reason for being absent may be required. These guidelines may vary from course to course but are subject to the following restrictions:  In accordance with New York State law, students who miss class due to their religious beliefs shall be excused from class or examinations on that day. The faculty member is responsible for providing the student with an equivalent opportunity to make up any examination, study, or work requirement that the student may have missed. It is suggested that students notify their course instructors at least one week before any anticipated absence so that proper arrangements may be made to make up any missed work or examination. Any such work is to be completed within a reasonable time frame, as determined by the faculty member.  Any student who misses class due to a verifiable family or individual health emergency, or to a required appearance in a court of law, shall be excused. Students should communicate directly with the faculty member when they need to miss a class for health or family emergencies, for court appearances, etc. Faculty members who require documentation of student absences should communicate directly with their students. On-campus residents who will be away from campus for an extended period of time should notify the Office of Residential Life of their absence from campus by e-mailing and including their building and room number in that message. Students may need to consider a leave of absence, medical leave of absence, selected course withdrawals, and so on, if they have missed a significant portion of class work. A student may be excused for participation in College-authorized co-curricular and extracurricular activities if, in the instructor's judgment, this does not impair the specific student's or the other students' ability to succeed in the course. For all absences, except those due to religious beliefs, the course instructor has the right to determine if the number of absences has been excessive in view of the nature of the class that was missed and the stated attendance policy. Depending on the individual situation, this can result in the student’s being removed from or failing the course. CLASS COMMUNICATION
  4. 4. 4 Your success in this course will depend, in part, on good communication and understanding what’s expected of you and when, which is to say meeting deadlines. Sakai/Class Website/Facebook page: Course information, updates, and messages will be posted to Sakai, as well as our class Facebook page and website. You’re expected to frequently check these platforms. We’ll also use Sakai for submission of some assignments. Email: You’re expected to regularly check your Ithaca College email. Failure to do so puts you at risk of missing important class instructions and announcements. We’ll use email for one-on- one communication. Social Media: This class is all about being social media savvy—as a journalist. I’m not referring to posting about what you ate for breakfast or whom you went on a date with last night! Our class hashtag on Twitter and other social media platforms is #ICParkSM. You’ll use the class hashtag for most assignments, and I’ll use this hashtag when tweeting information relevant to this course. So, make sure you are following the conversations by regularly searching for #ICParkSM. A little bit of friendly advice: Many employers “mine,” meaning investigate and collect, those things that you have posted on your Facebook page, on YouTube, or on other social media outlets. So, yes, anything you say electronically can and will be held against you down the road. This will be an important topic of discussion in class. CLASS ETIQUETTE I want to stress these points:  Laptops and mobile devices are to be used for class and professional purposes only during class – not for personal social interactions!  No texting during class.  In-class critiques of your classmates’ work will be constructive. Feedback should be about the work and never personal. Be respectful of each other’s effort. MAJOR ASSIGNMENTS AND GRADING Deadlines are exact—just like in the news business. If you turn any assignment in after the assigned deadline, you’ll receive an “F” for the assignment. Drills (15% of grade): You will complete drills using social media and mobile device throughout the semester. Drills will take place in and out of class. The drills will teach you fundamental skills, which you will need in order to complete other major assignments. Packages (30% of grade): You will produce four stories. At least two must be focused on your beat. The first story is due in week #5 and then stories are due every other week until the end of the semester. For each story, you will use mobile device and apps for the majority of newsgathering and production. You will also be expected to use social media tools to engage
  5. 5. 5 with your online community during the reporting process. I will post a weekly to-do list on our website so that you know how many times and the type of content to share on social media while you’re in the field reporting. Before going out in the field, we will hold in-class editorial meetings. You must explain why the story matters, who is impacted, potential interviewees, and how you will use social media and mobile apps in the newsgathering and production of the story, among other items. On the Fridays your packages are due, you will:  Post a word document with the story text to Sakai. The document must also include a link to the story draft on your website and a list of sources consulted.  You will not publish your story live until I have provided feedback. Blog Posts (15% of grade): During the weeks that stories are not due, you must complete two blog posts (250-450 words each). The topics of the posts will vary. Sometimes you will have to address a specific question related to social media, other times you’re free to post about any topic related to your beat or mobile and social media journalism. The goal is to develop your own blog voice and thoughtful discussions. Your blog posts will also allow you to reflect on your work in this class. Social Media Activity/Portfolio (20% of grade): You will develop your own professional social media portfolio during this class. Your portfolio will include a blog as well as profiles and engagement on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Part of your social media activity involves becoming active in the online community of your beat. You should consistently engage with related social media users (RTs, replies, and @ mentions) and use hashtags associated with your beat. During the semester, we will conduct peer-evaluations so you and your classmates can give each other feedback. Analytics will help to shed light on your effectiveness. At the end of the semester, you will present your portfolio to the class. I will post a weekly to-do list on the class website. All items must be completed by 11:59 p.m., Saturday. For this class, the week runs from Sunday to Saturday. Teaching Moment (5% of grade): This is your opportunity to teach us! Each student will lead one 10-minute class presentation/discussion about a current topic related to mobile and social media journalism. Weekly course readings and e-newsletter content (Nieman, Knight, and PBS MediaShift) will provide you with potential ideas. Topics might include how a news outlet uses social media, an ethical issue related to social media and journalism, or ideas on how journalists could use a particular mobile or social media tool. You must post a preview of your topic to our FB group page and write a blog entry about your topic/discussion (this is in addition to other assignment due the week you present). Social Media Policy/Strategy Analysis (10% of grade): This is a team assignment due toward the end of the semester. Your team will assess the social media policy/strategy of a news organization. I recommend choosing a news outlet that has its policy available to the public. In your critique, analyze the social media engagement of the news organization and two of its journalists. Describe how often the organization and journalists engage and with which topics and different types of news. Provide examples in your presentation. Evaluate what we can learn
  6. 6. 6 from them and what they could do better. Consider using a Google Plus Hangout to record an interview with someone from the news outlet. Participation (5% of grade): You are expected to regularly engage in course discussions, both in class and on social media. Readings will be assigned the week prior to when you are to complete them. Class readings will serve as a launching point for many of class discussions. BASIC GRADING CRITERIA Below is the basic grading criteria. For each major assignment, I’ll provide more detailed grading criteria in class. Generally, you’ll be graded on clarity, organization, accuracy, fairness/balance, completeness/omissions, grammar, spelling, and ability to meet deadlines. My grading in this course will also take into account your creativity and innovativeness. As with many classes in the humanities/social sciences, grading for this class is not objective. It’s very subjective. In this business there are no absolutes. Some things may work, others may not. It’s my duty to determine your effectiveness in turning an idea (the abstract) into a finished project that will be acceptable by industry standards. You have to rely on my experience in the industry, and academe, to provide you with the most accurate representation and feedback of what you will get in “the real world.” A 95-100% | A- 90-94% Mastery of course content at the highest level of attainment. Accurate, clear, and comprehensive work. Stories are well-written and require only minor copy editing (i.e., they would be published). B+ 87-89% | B 84-86% | B- 80-83% Strong performance demonstrating a satisfactory level of attainment. Stories require more than minor editing and have a few style or spelling errors or one significant error of omission. C+ 77-79% | C 74-76% | C- 70-73% Needs work. Stories need considerable editing or rewriting and/or have many spelling, style or omission errors. D+ 67-69% | D 64-66% | D- 60-63 A marginal performance. Work requires excessive rewriting and has numerous errors, and should not have been submitted. F 59% and below An unacceptable performance. Work failed to meet the major criteria of the assignment, has numerous errors, or both. A story that has even a single factual error that is material to the story merits an “F.” Example: you get the street name wrong in a story about an accident. That will mean an “F.” Proper names, locations, and titles have to be accurate and spelled correctly. USE OF STUDENT WORK
  7. 7. 7 Never tell an interview subject your story will only be seen in class. Your work will be published on your professional website, and it may be published on the Park School website, among other public platforms. Also, copies of the work you produce in this class may be used in future classes. IN-CLASS CRITIQUES AND FEEDBACK ON ASSIGNMENTS There will be regular in-class critiques of your work. Everyone participates in the in-class critiques (not just me!). You should offer constructive, honest comments on a project as it’s shown in class. Pay close attention to the comments I make during class critiques. Take notes. My remarks often can be applied to your work, even if it’s someone else’s work that’s being reviewed. ITHACA COLLEGE DEPARTMENT OF JOURNALISM PLAGIARISM POLICY The Department of Journalism Plagiarism Policy is a supplement to the Ithaca College Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty Policy. Department of Journalism students are expected to review and understand both policies. Plagiarism is the cardinal sin of journalism. It undermines your integrity and that of the profession. The Department of Journalism does not tolerate plagiarism. A committee comprised of Department of Journalism faculty will review each case of plagiarism. The Dean’s office at the Park School will also be made aware of each case. Penalties for plagiarism can include:  a failing grade for the plagiarized assignment  a failing grade for the course  suspension  expulsion Plagiarism is the use of someone else’s work without giving credit. Use of words, phrases, sentences, ideas, photos or other kinds of content without proper attribution and copyright permission is plagiarism. This is true whether you do it intentionally or not. If such credit is not given for another’s work, it’s considered plagiarism. Department of Journalism students are required to produce original work without plagiarizing previously published work, including: online and print articles, broadcast stories, scholarly publications, and other students’ assignments. Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, the following:  Directly copying content from online sources and pasting it into your own work without proper attribution.  Paraphrasing content from online sources and pasting it into your own work without proper attribution.
  8. 8. 8  Copying quotes from stories produced by someone else and using them in your own work. You are expected to interview sources on your own.  Passing off another student’s work as your own.  Submitting the same piece of work to instructors in two or more courses. The best practice to follow: Whenever in doubt, cite the source and ask your professor for guidance. ITHACA COLLEGE PLAGIARISM AND ACADEMIC DISHONESTY POLICY Whether intended or not, plagiarism is a serious offense against academic honesty. Under any circumstances, it is deceitful to represent as one's own work, writing or ideas that belong to another person. Students should be aware of how this offense is defined. Plagiarism is the unacknowledged use of someone else's published or unpublished ideas, whether this use consists of directly quoted material or paraphrased ideas. Although various disciplines follow styles of documentation that differ in some details, all forms of documentation make the following demands:  That each quotation or paraphrase be acknowledged with a footnote or in-text citation;  That direct quotations be enclosed in quotation marks and be absolutely faithful to the wording of the source;  That paraphrased ideas be stated in language entirely different from the language of the source;  That a sequence of ideas identical to that of a source be attributed to that source;  That sources of reprinted charts or graphs be cited in the text;  That all the sources the writer has drawn from in paraphrase or direct quotation or a combination of paraphrase and quotation be listed at the end of the paper under “Bibliography,” “References,” or “Works Cited,” whichever heading the particular style of documentation requires. A student is guilty of plagiarism if the student fails, intentionally or not, to follow any of these standard requirements of documentation. In a collaborative project, all students in a group may be held responsible for academic misconduct if they engage in plagiarism or are aware of plagiarism by others in their group and fail to report it. Students who participate in a collaborative project in which plagiarism has occurred will not be held accountable if they were not knowledgeable of the plagiarism. What, then, do students not have to document? They need not cite their own ideas, or references to their own experiences, or information that falls in the category of uncontroversial common knowledge (what a person reasonably well-informed about a subject might be expected to know). They should acknowledge anything else. Other Forms of Academic Dishonesty Other violations of academic honesty include, but are not limited to, the following behaviors:  Handing in to a class a paper written by someone else;
  9. 9. 9  Handing in as an original work for a class a paper one has already submitted to another course;  Handing in the same paper simultaneously to two courses without the full knowledge and explicit consent of all the faculty members involved;  Having someone else rewrite or clean up a rough draft and submitting those revisions as one’s own work. These offenses violate the atmosphere of trust and mutual respect necessary the process of learning. PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT AND ETHICS Students are expected to follow the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Code of Ethics in this class. I expect that you’ll be exceedingly honest, fair, and responsible. As you produce stories for this class, remember that you represent Ithaca College and the Park School. View policy: PROFESSIONAL DRESS AND COMMUNICATION POLICY When arranging and conducting interviews for class, you must act professionally. Address people on the phone or via email in a courteous, business-like manner. When contacting them, use your Ithaca email, not your personal email address. When you go out in the field to cover a story, dress appropriately. By conducting yourself in a professional manner, people will take you more seriously and afford you more respect. DIVERSITY It’s important to broaden your journalism experiences, with guidance from me, by including in coursework ethnic, racial and religious minorities, people with disabilities, gay men and lesbians and other similar groups and issues that affect these groups. This includes, but is not limited to, developing sensitivity to language and images. The intent is to ensure your work reflects the diversity of the community and that you’re exposed to diverse ideas and perspectives. STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES In compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, reasonable accommodation will be provided to students with documented disabilities on a case-by-case basis. Students must register with Student Disability Services and provide appropriate documentation to Ithaca College before any academic adjustment will be provided. You’re also welcome to contact me privately to discuss your academic needs, although faculty cannot arrange for disability-related accommodations. MATTERS OF STUDENT SAFETY You must respond to and report conditions and actions that may jeopardize your safety, or that of other people and/or equipment. Report to the responsible College employee. During class sessions that person would be your instructor or lab assistant. Outside of class the person might
  10. 10. 10 be your instructor, lab supervisor, co-curricular manager, equipment and facilities manager, or one of the engineering support staff. You must be aware that misuse of equipment or use of damaged equipment can create the risk of serious injury, infectious contamination, and expensive damage. You may be liable for damage or injury resulting from such use. Unsupervised use of facilities puts you at risk. Failure to be alert to safety problems, or to report them, may have serious consequences for you or others. MENTAL HEALTH CONCERNS Diminished mental health, including significant stress, mood changes, excessive worry, or problems with eating and/or sleeping can interfere with optimal academic performance. The source of symptoms might be strictly related to your course work; if so, please take an opportunity to speak with me. However, problems with relationships, family worries, loss, or a personal struggle or crisis can also contribute to decreased academic performance. Ithaca College provides a Counseling Center to support the academic success of students. The Counseling Center provides cost-free services to help you manage personal challenges that threaten your well-being. In the event I suspect you need additional support, I’ll express my concerns and the reasons for them, and remind you of resources (e.g., Counseling Center, Health Center, chaplains, etc.) that might be helpful to you. It’s not my intention to know the details of what might be bothering you, but simply to let you know I’m concerned and that help, if needed, is available.
  11. 11. 11 CLASS SCHEDULE (This schedule is a flexible outline of the material we expect to cover in this class. Expect changes, additions, and deletions as the needs of this class and other circumstances dictate.) WEEK ONE (Jan. 25, 27, 29) --Course Introduction --Forces at the gate: Active audience --Building your social media brand: Who do you want to be? --Finding a niche/beat --Digital skeletons: Social media audit Assignment: *Read: We the Media, Introduction-Chapter 3 | Week #2 web readings *HootSuiteU: Setting Up Your Dashboard and Intro to HootSuite Mobile *Weekly To-do list WEEK TWO (Feb. 1, 3, 5) --Introduction to HootSuite and --Blog set-up --Social media platform basics --The mobile journalist --Must-have apps for journalists Assignment: *Read: We the Media, Chapter 6, 7, 9, and 12 | Week #3 web readings *HootSuiteU: Intro to Social Listening and Advanced Listening | Intro to Engagement and Advanced Engagement *Weekly To-do list *Two blog posts next week WEEK THREE (Feb. 8, 10, 12) --Social media platform basics --Social Engagement: Finding connections, sources, and stories --Social media scavenger hunt Assignment: *Week #4 web readings *HootSuiteU: Intro to Analytics and Advanced Analytics *Weekly To-do list *Two blog posts next week WEEK FOUR (Feb. 15, 17, 19) --Social media optimization and analytics
  12. 12. 12 --Emerging forms of news engagement: wearables and chat apps --Using social media during live events and breaking news Assignment: *Week #5 web readings *HootSuiteU: Intro to Collaboration and Advanced Collaboration *Weekly To-do list *Package due next Friday WEEK FIVE (Feb. 22, 24, 26) --Social Collaboration: Crowdsourcing --Social Curation: Mapping, interactive timelines, infographics, and Storify --Package due Friday Assignment: *Week #6 web readings *Weekly To-do list *Two blog posts next week WEEK SIX (Feb. 29 & March 2, 4) --Managing change in newsrooms --Relationship between social media and mobile devices --Evolving business models Assignment: *Week #7 web readings *Weekly To-do list *Package due next Friday WEEK SEVEN (March 7, 9, 11) --Social media policies and ethics --Verification and authenticity of information --Package due Friday Assignment: *Week #9 web readings *Weekly To-do list *Two blog posts during week after break WEEK EIGHT Spring Break WEEK NINE (March 21, 23, 25) --Location, Location, Location: Geo-location apps and social media sleuthing --An active community member: TweetChat --Live blogging Ed Tech Day
  13. 13. 13 Assignment: *Week #10 web readings *Weekly To-do list *Package due next Friday WEEK TEN (March 28, 30 & April 1) --Social media analytics revisited --Infographic resumes --Package due Friday Assignment: *Week #11 web readings *Weekly To-do list *Two blog posts next week WEEK ELEVEN (April 4, 6, 8) --Emerging mobile and social media jobs in newsrooms --Using social media in the job hunt Assignment: *Week #12 web readings *Take HootSuite Certified Professional Exam *Weekly To-do list *Package due next Friday WEEK TWELVE (April 11, 13, 15) --Screening of Page One --Package due Friday Assignment: *Week #13 web readings *Weekly To-do list *Two blog posts next week WEEK THIRTEEN (April 18, 20, 22) --Guest speaker --Social media portfolio presentations Assignment: *Week #14 web readings *Weekly To-do list WEEK FOURTEEN (April 25, 27, 29) --Social media portfolio presentations
  14. 14. 14 --Team presentations Assignment: *Week #15 web readings *Weekly To-do list *Two blog posts next week WEEK FIFTEEN (May 2, 4, 6) --Team presentations --The future of journalism