Microblogging

If you couldn’t attend this morning’s on-campus Investigative Reporting Panel Discussion, you can review the live microblogged  coverage on The Spartan Daily.

I wish I’d realized the Daily was planning to microblog this event — I would have given you a head’s up so you could have had the option of “listening in” in real time. But you can still review the microblog posts made by the Daily‘s two live-bloggers, Jon Xavier and Jason LeMiere. (Note: LeMiere is a former student of mine, and I’m really pleased to see him trying out some new reporting techniques.)

What is microblogging, you ask? Microblogging is posting very short messages — usually 140 charcters or less (yes, that’s characters, not words).

One of the most popular microblogging platforms is Twitter. Signing up for Twitter is like signing up for a blog, except even it’s simpler. Once you’ve signed up, you can “follow” other people who microblog. I find it’s a good way to keep up with some of my former students and to get the jump on breaking news and industry trends.

Like blogs, microblogs can be personal or professional — or both. Some reporters have started using microblogs to help stay on top of local issues (by “following” local sources and news makers), and to give their readers quick updates on breaking news.

During a recent workshop on blogging and microblogging at the 2008 JACC NorCal Conference, I described microblogging as a “21st century police scanner.”

I was also the co-keynoter, with JMC Instuctor Steve Sloan, at that JACC conference. We titled our presentation “Journalism in the Starbucks Era,” and we focused on some of the technologies and trends that are changing the way journalism works.

You can view my segment of our JACC presentation online at Slideshare at http://www.slideshare.net/camccune.

By the way, you can find me on Twitter at “cynmc.

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Extra credit opportunity

Here’s your chance to attend a great panel discussion featuring four top investigative journalists…and earn extra credit for writing a news story about it!

The Event: An Investigative Journalism Panel hosted by the SJSU School of Journalism

When: Tuesday, October 21, at 10:00 a.m.

Where: The University Room in the Student Union

Details: This event will provide students with an opportunity to interact with noted journalists and gain insight from professionals in the field. Guest panelists include Dave Willman, Mark Katches, Lance Williams and Bert Robinson. For more information about the panelists and the program, check out this post on the The JMC Journal blog.

The Extra Credit Part: You can earn up to 25 points extra credit. To earn top points, write this piece as a hard news story or news feature. Make it approximately 250-300 words. Focus on the key points made by the panelists, and include one or two quotes. You may also want to get a comment or two from those in attendance.

Consider this an excellent opportunity to practice your news writing skills while earning some extra credit.

Fun reading!

I’ve been having some fun reading your latest assignments and blog posts, so I’d like to share some of the highlights.

Lauren’s write-up of her Top News Story, McCain’s C-R-A-Z-Y Week, had me rolling in the aisles (or it would have if I had aisles in my house).

Some other good examples of explaining the news values in the Top News blog post include: Gabriel’s Top News #4, Luis’ Top New #4, Jennifer’s Top News #4 and Callie’s Top News #4.

Several people did an especially good job with the “Alarming Event” feature lead, including: Carmen, Sadia, Diana, Jean, Jennifer and Lauren.

Also, here’s an excellent Copy Edit the World submission from Diana.

Copy Edit help

I’m noticing that some of you are having trouble finding typos and AP Style errors for the Copy Edit the World assignment. And I’m suspecting that some of you are simply republishing errors that others have found and posted online. For this assignment, I want you to find the errors yourself, not direct me to ones that others have found.

So here’s my advice for finding errors: Look at posters, fliers, menus, signs, billboards, church newsletters, class greensheets. Look carefully, and you’ll see that many of them have errors. You can either photograph those errors and put them on your blog, or drop them off at my office — with the errors marked and corrected, of course.

If you’re still stuck, and you’re on campus on Monday or Wednesday, stop by my office and we’ll take a quick walk around DBH in search of typos and AP Style errors. I guarantee it won’t take long to find some.

By the way, for the remaining Copy Edit the World submissions, please tell me where you spotted the error so I’ll know it’s your “find.”