Wick Communications

Practice what you teach

In Online media on 14 Apr 2011 at 2:59 pm

Jennifer Paull, a senior at the University of Missouri majoring in convergence journalism, gives her school a gentle poke or two for its use of Facebook … or lack of use, really.

In a report posted on PBS’s MediaShift site, Paull notes that some of the biggest names in college journalism instruction aren’t exactly raking in the Facebook friends, and they aren’t providing much of interest to the friends they have. This, despite a constant drum beat over the importance of social media in college journalism classes.

“When comparing these schools, it was pretty clear the size of the program and the national reputation were not necessarily representative of how social media savvy they are,” Paull writes.

Why is that?

Paull notes that, “updating Facebook and Twitter on a regular basis requires more time and resources than are currently available…” Sound familiar?

Incidentally, have you ever wondered why you want Facebook friends or “likes?” I have. It takes time to update, as they have noted at Missouri. The content you post there can actually divert readers from your Web site, the place your advertisers want to see eyeballs. And using the platform requires a fairly sophisticated touch. I think Facebook readers want a conversation and not simply links to your stories. …

When one editor bragged of his newspaper’s thousands of Facebook “likes” at a recent American Press Institute gathering in Washington, D.C., he was chastised for his ignorance. OK, that’s too strong. But many in there thought the emphasis on Facebook misplaced. The consensus among some digitally savvy people in the room was that Facebook is a tool to drive traffic and remain relevant and not an end in itself.



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