Ah, the power of social media. ‘Tis mahvelous.
I asked a question about college newspapers and twitter today on the College Media Advisers list serv. A short time later, Innovation in College Media pulled together a list of college media on Twitter. How fabulous! If you know of any, please visit the site and enter the info. It would be great to have one-stop repository for this information.
FYI, I also found a list of college newspapers that Twitter on college rag.
To my surprise, a post I wrote yesterday praising The College at Brockport‘s student newspaper, The Stylus, for getting the news of the spring concert act out to students over the break sparked some debate.
Dan Reimold at College Media Matters questioned the need for an e-mail alert to the story as opposed to simply posting the news on the web site. I appreciate his feedback. I’d like to clarify that quite frankly I believe the e-mail alert was necessary because this is occurring during the break and students and members of the college community would not be checking the student newspaper web site for updates when they know the students aren’t there working on the next issue. (Full disclosure: I am the newspaper’s adviser, but knew nothing of the story or e-mail until I received the e-mail.)
I don’t think those receiving the e-mails would view them as cluttering their mailboxes. The community here would see this as big, breaking news. Maybe in New York City or San Francisco or a huge university this would not be big news, but here in Brockport it is. (And please don’t take that as a sign that The Stylus is a sleepy little paper. It’s not.)
Part of determining the importance of news and even what is news is knowing your community. I certainly don’t slight Mr. Reimold for not being familiar with Brockport. I just want to offer some clarification as to why I think it is fantastic that Stylus editor Amanda Seef broke the story over the break, with the first newspaper of the semester still weeks away. She got the story, didn’t wait for the announcement to be “officially” released by the college and recognized that this would be important enough to her readers to alert them. That is good journalism.
While some traditional print journalists might not be catching on to the 24-hour news cycle (Buffalo News, why don’t you have Twitter updates yet?), I’m happy to report that some up-and-coming journalism students get it.
Most students at The College at Brockport, where I teach, won’t return until the spring semester at the end of January. No campus newspaper comes out until then, either.
That didn’t stop the college’s student newspaper, The Stylus, from sending out a breaking news email and updating its web site with the news that Third Eye Blind is tentatively scheduled for the spring concert. (Full disclosure: I advise the newspaper, but I knew nothing of this until the e-mail hit my inbox, just like the rest of the Brockport community.)
These students realize that journalism is a 24-hour-a-day job, regardless of the medium, and that when they find out big news, they can’t wait for the print edition or even, in their case, for when they return to school. I am confident they are not the only college journalists who work this way.
They are thinking “online first, print once or twice a week” as Martin Langeveld preaches. And that gives me hope for the future of journalism.