Posts Tagged ‘ Iowa State ’

Did news media use social media enough on election night?

Last week I posted a video of Iowa State students describing how they followed Election 2010.  I was surprised by the fairly even mix of people saying they used new media vs. traditional media to follow the results.

Graph showing the analysis of tweets by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism

This left me thinking. Did the news media use social media enough? Were fewer people following online because they just didn’t think there would be reliable results?

I turned to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism to find some analysis, which worked with Crimson Hexagon to analyze what was being said on Twitter.

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How did Iowa State students follow election 2010?

I have been involved in two elections as a journalist: the 2008 presidential election and the 2010 midterm election. Each provided a very different experience for me. In 2008, I was a new designer and worked during the day to layout the entertainment and opinion sections. In 2010 and I worked about 12 hours straight keeping the website updated with fresh content and the latest results.

Just two years created a lot of new ways to follow the elections. Twitter wasn’t popular in 2008 and Facebook fan pages hadn’t taken off.

So, did the increase in technology matter? How did college students follow the election and its results, if at all?

Video shot, edited and produced by: Brian Smith, Tyler Kingkade and Cicely Gordon.

Awakening to a new set of possibilities

I’ve recently reached a crossroads in my life. I started my journalism education with the intention of working in print for the rest of my life. Fast forward two years and so much has changed.

Let me preface this post by saying I am still very much in love with print. I still read a newspaper daily, but I am no longer sure that working on the print side of a news organization is in my future.

In the last year I have fallen in love with the innovation and the possibilities that the internet presents us as journalists.

We are no longer bound by the number of inches available in the print edition. We now have limitless space — which we should use constructively, just because we can publish a 200 inch story doesn’t mean we should. We have endless options for engaging and openly communicating with our community. The people who read our papers — or watch our programs — are no longer idle observers in the news process, they have become active participants.

I don’t know what the future will bring and I still know that I would be happy working on the print side, but the allure of constant change, interaction with the community and endless possibilities will no longer go unnoticed on my radar.

I have begun capturing part of the allure and am pleased to report that as of August 2010, I have stopped focusing on the print product at the Iowa State Daily and am pleased to be serving as the online editor. I even hosted my first live chat this week as the Daily held its annual editors meeting with Iowa State University President Gregory Geoffroy.

Refreshing attitude

As the new semester began at Iowa State today, I sat through two classes and two separate discussions of class expectations.

It was the second class, Jl MC 342: Visual Principles for Mass Communicators, that surprised and delighted me. The instructor, Dr. Jacob Groshek has taken notice of the increased usage of laptops and smartphones. Unlike the majority of professors that ban these technologies, Groshek’s policy is “If you feel you can not pay attention for 50 minutes and must do things like text your friends, update your facebook status, or read the newspaper during class, I kindly ask that you do these activities discreetly and in a way that does not distract me or your classmates from our course material.”

While this isn’t an endorsement of using technology during class, not restricting it is an important first step. While I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t always use my BlackBerry for constructive purposes during class, it’s nice to know that I’m not risking repercussion. Especially if I am actually looking up something for class or adding test dates and assignments to my calendar.

Groshek even informed the class that he setup a Twitter hashtag (#jlmc342) for the class. It’s important for a communications class to explore all forms of communication.

Hopefully other professors will take note and take it one step further and utlize social media to connect with their students. How helpful would it be to get tweets with test studying tips the night before an exam?