Friday, 26 August 2011

Why social media are the modern means to the traditional journalistic end - and how to use them effectively

The Multimedia Journalism project is all about training journalists for the present and the future.

So while the core principles of journalism – finding news, writing it, and interviewing  –­ make up the bulk of the Multimedia Journalism textbook and companion website, today’s journalists need also to be able to use the new tools at their disposal.

Tools that help them immeasurably in their story finding, researching and telling.

Key among these are social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Linked In and others.

So editors in a consultation organised by the National Council for the Training of Journalists
showed a failure to understand the nature of modern journalism when they put social media, web skills and interaction with readers at the bottom their list of priorities for trainees.

Because it is through the use of social media, and through interaction with readers, that journalists can find stories, research them more easily, effectively and accurately, and can tell them in a way that will engage with those readers.

Social media and interaction with readers are – in short – the modern means to the traditional journalistic end. With journalists chained to their desks much of the time, they are vital to the journalistic process.

Those modern means are developing all the time.

In a matter of weeks, Google+ – still in restricted-access beta mode – has established itself as a key platform for journalists.

So any printed textbook about social media, even if published a month ago, is already out of date if it doesn’t show students and educators how to use Google+.

Which is where MMJ comes in.

Learning there is never out of date because the companion website can be updated instantly.

That flexibility will be demonstrated over the coming academic year, when I’ll be publishing a comprehensive guide to the use of social media for journalism.

It will follow the MMJ three-stage structure, with tuition in the Getting Started, Building Proficiency and Professional Standards hierarchy.

The course will begin on September 2.

You can follow it by buying the Multimedia Journalism textbook, in ebook or printed form, which gives you permanent free access to the companion website on which the tuition will appear.

Find out more about the MMJ project here:

Check out the free stuff in the MMJ Summer School here:

And check back for the full programme of new content, which will be announced soon

No comments: