Leaning against a purple-pasted gymnasium wall, Park Hill South senior Sara Parolin barely looks up from her phone.
With a hunter’s gaze, the high school reporter watches her fingers dance across the pocket-sized cellular, pounding letters into words and then into phrases. The digits scarcely stop for a breather, and when they do her eyes pop up to her surroundings for mere seconds before diving back to her cell phone.
It’s as if the world around this 18-year-old is nonexistent. Yet in reality, Parolin stands in the middle of chaos, a cacophony of cheers, jeers and whistles. The district championship basketball game is entering its final minute and the student journalist has little time to waste.
She is tweeting. She is working. She is reporting.
The landscape of journalism has changed dramatically over the past decade. No longer do people get their news just from newspapers, televisions, radios or even websites. Social media has chiseled a place among the reporting hierarchy, and is becoming the predominant tool for a majority of correspondents.
“This year, 59% of journalists worldwide use Twitter; usage is highest in the UK, France, Spain, Canada, Australia and the US,” Allison Stadd (2013) stated after reviewing the 2013 Oriella Digital Journalism Study.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Across the social media spectrum, reporters are continually exploring what platforms work best for their journalistic needs. To better understand those practices, and to help high school journalism teachers impart that information to their students, I’ve researched the most popular outlets currently available.
From that examination, wherein I dived into the history, current social usage and reporting capabilities of each application, I believe I have identified a clear and concise answer to my overall inquiry: How can teachers most effectively and efficiently teach social media in high school journalism courses?
Throughout this website, a plethora of research can be found showcasing how social media has become a vital part of modern day media. Along with that, each of the above page tabs hold significant resources to help journalism teachers educate their students in the practice of these 21st century reporting methods.
From lesson plan ideas to teaching resources to media policies, the content delivers a teacher’s guide towards introducing social media into the world of high school journalism.
As the Guardian video portrays so creatively (2012), the landscape of this profession has changed dramatically over the past decade. The fashion in which it’s taught should too.