Why should student journalists use Twitter?

That’s the question I posted last night to Twitter – or to be exact: “My journo students have been (mostly) slow to adopt Twitter – can you help by saying why they should use it?”

You may find the replies I received useful:

   

MissCay: Because it’s fun and an excellent way to discover that editors aren’t the big bad wolf.   

about 2 hours ago
   

NigelBarlow: to create conversation and swap information with like minded individuals,and to get a web presence   

about 2 hours ago
   

tom_watson: They can build their own stimulating and information-rich community.   

about 2 hours ago
   

robbrown: Well you could tell them a lot of journalists are using it and many use it as a source   

about 2 hours ago
   

danowen: fantastic way of interacting with a wide range of people, many of whom you would never normally meet/talk to   

about 2 hours ago
   

idealcrash: getting a job. if i want someone for a newspaper’s newsroom, i want him to be websavvy. You can prove to be on Twitter   

about 2 hours ago
   

leguape: because it’s one of the quickest ways to build an effective contacts/sources list?   

about 2 hours ago
   

gabysslave: they can build wider networks which will help them to enter working world with strong connections   

about 2 hours ago
   

karinhoegh: One good reason would to be following you and learn something 😉   

about 2 hours ago
   

Dramagirl: they at least need to know what it is & how it’s being used. First step. Set an event to tweet as a task.   

about 2 hours ago
   

marshallmanson: To provide access to perspectives, views and information that you would otherwise never be exposed to.   

about 2 hours ago
   

adders: 1. Best tool for understanding ambient intimacy 2. ‘cos @stephenfry is on it 3. Spreading amongst jounos like a rash   

about 2 hours ago
   

TrustTommy: Dear Journalism students: Join Twitter. It’s *both* the bee’s knee’s *and* the cat’s pyjamas. Beat that! 😛   

about 2 hours ago
   

ruidelgado: to receive the headlines news, to read celebrity’s twitters, to read friends’ and to update the facebook status through it   

about 2 hours ago
   

Calli: Are they using it for research? Have you given them a list of who to follow? I know your presentations give all that   

about 2 hours ago
   

scottmalthouse: contacts, contacts, contacts   

about 2 hours ago
   

alliedickinson: So they can see *exactly* what you are up to. Never underestimate the power of gossip…   

about 2 hours ago
   

deejackson: with @adders on twitter use. no self-respecting journo now without a @. tho do think demographic seems bit older than student?   

about 2 hours ago
   

dilyan_damyanov: It’s not a must. There are things other than soc media journos can excel at. Twitter can help but not if u r forced to use it.   

about 2 hours ago
   

sarahbyles: I’m a journalism student, and twitter was put to me by one of my classes – I do find things like FB more addictive and dynamic   

about 2 hours ago
   

podnosh: I was slow to adopt twitter. It helps to imagine having hundreds of brains on tap. They also need to keep their brain on tap.   

about 2 hours ago
   

ClareWhite: participating in conversations is a vital part of journalism, Twitter is a tool to follow more conversations with more people   

about 2 hours ago
   

bounder: it’s a tool that seemlessly blends different types of networks. You’re never more than a couple of @s away from anything   

about 2 hours ago
   

ClareWhite: but probably more important to them is if they start now, they can build trust in the communities they want to be a part of   

about 2 hours ago
   

Kyle_Christie: for wider trends esp. in media, promote own work+interests. Fellow students in Shef. slow to adopt http://tinyurl.com/cg6f5u   

about 2 hours ago
   

laurenmichell: They must use it to make connections! I got my @cicm internship & have met many jour students through Twitter. Self-marketing!   

about 2 hours ago
   

KevinGilmartin: you can pick up leads and story ideas very quickly. We were discussing the B’ham apostrophe scandal 3 days before BBC news.   

about an hour ago
   

saturngirl: um, because it’s a news source?   

about an hour ago
   

KevinGilmartin: Well, I say “scandal” but I’m a card carrying member of the apostrophe police. I can’t see why people find them so difficult.   

about an hour ago
   

IanDouglas: a constant stream of communication with a broad group of people sounds like a journo’s dream to me.   

about an hour ago
   

nickpeters: great Mahsable presentation your students might find enlightening about possibilities of Twitter http://tinyurl.com/cvt64q   

about an hour ago
   

foodiesarah: they are not alone in being slow. Adoption only an option when something is useful.What do they want to achieve?Will it help?   

about an hour ago
   

probone: good for personal & business connection. I have seperate ident: @andekmusic is my publishing co. And I connect with customers.   

about an hour ago
   

davidhiggerson: Twitter is good training in sifting through info to find what you need, and to get multiple perspectives. We don’t know it all   

about 55 minutes ago

15 thoughts on “Why should student journalists use Twitter?

  1. Gav Reilly

    Agreed with most of these, but I’d throw in the simple fact aswell that Twitter can also function as RSS for Dummies too – while many journalism students might not be savvy enough to understand how information can come to them, having automated news bots on Twitter is certainly a big step for them to know how quickly they can get hold of a story.

    Reply
  2. Kristine

    Thanks for posting, many useful comments. I’d like to add that when journalism students do join, they need to upload a picture and preferably use full name and link to a blog. A blog is your face online, and I’m disinclined to follow people who don’t give me clue as to who they are. Joining twitter under a nic, giving no clue to your identity, you rob yourself of most of the benefits you can get from using Twitter.

    I don’t need to tell you of course, but I see this so often: as founder of Norway’s Online News Association, and one who regularly talks to journalism students about using social media, I get exasperated when for instance MA or Phd students, writing a thesis on social media, add me on Twitter and yet don’t have or don’t provide an online identity – would you believe: it’s happened several times. That’s the safest way to ensure I don’t follow back and get suspicious about their merits for writing the thesis’ and dissertations they say they write. I guess I’m saying that a Twitter identity is not enough, to give it a positive spin: I think I follwed @NigelBarlow instantly, if I didn’t it was just a case of deadlines getting in the way, as I already “knew him” via his blog…

    Reply
  3. paulbradshaw

    Thanks Kristine – they’re setting up blogs today and I was going to make sure they added them in their bios. I would do it the other way around but I want them to find their feet with RSS readers in the first week, which they can tweet more easily. In theory.

    Reply
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  15. Gretchen Brandtjen

    Thank you for posting the insightful comments about why people should use Twitter. Many students are unaware of the benefits of Twitter. Although I’m a bitter of a Twitter beginner, I’m eager to learn more about the medium and its benefits. I recently used some of the tips in a blog post (brandtjen.wordpress.com).

    Reply

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