(An outdated) screenshot of some of my social media apps
(An outdated) screenshot of some of my social media apps

You can tell an entire story using social media — in real time, or through aggregation.

The key is to make sure that you’re not just regurgitating the same information that’s already out there, and that you don’t trap your audience under a pile of information that doesn’t advance the true story.

Your next assignment is to choose a topic on your beat than you can tell a story about either through live tweeting or via aggregation using Storify. When you’re working on this, think about how you would approach a written or video story. How much information is available, how reliable are the sources, and what’s the most interesting/important stuff? This assignment is no less journalistic than other news packages; you’re simply using a different platform.

 

Live tweet option

Choose an event or a point in time related to your beat to live tweet. Use your Twitter account to tell your followers what you’ll be tweeting about and why, then continue to provide updates using relevant hashtags and handles. You’ll have to pay attention to what’s going on around you and determine what information should be shared with your Twitter audience. Your live tweeting needs to take place in a time period of one to three hours and your followers should come away feeling as though they got all the information they need from your tweets. If you choose this option, email me a link to your Twitter account when you’re finished with the live tweet.

Storify option

Choose a topic on your beat and create a story using social media posts from other people (you are not limited to Twitter). Your Storify should tell a story, meaning it is not a random collection of posts that mention the same word. The posts you choose should build off each other so your story conveys a message, viewpoint or consensus. Your Storify story needs at least 10 posts from at least 3 different people. You should use the text fields to help the story flow. You need a headline. If you choose this option, publish your Storify. Publish the Storify and tweet a link to it; email me the link to your tweet.

Grading

Your Twitter account should have an appropriate name, photo, background and bio. Your account needs to be public. Points will be deducted for use of inappropriate images or descriptions.

  • 5 points off for a missing bio photo
  • 20 points off for using an image you don’t have rights to
  • 5 points off for missing bio

Your live tweet needs to take place over a one- to three-hour period and should not be interrupted with other tweets. Incorporate relevant hashtags and handles, take photos and retweet when applicable. Strike a balance between keeping people in the know and sharing too many small details.

  • 2 points off for live tweets that are less than an hour long
  • 2 points off for missing context in a tweet (make it clear who is speaking, performing, etc)
  • 3 points off for unrelated tweets during the live tweet
  • 3 points off for not introducing and/or closing your live tweet

Your Storify needs at least 10 posts from at least 3 different sources, and a headline describing the story.

  • 2 points off for each missing post
  • 2 points off for a bad headline
  • 2 points off for every source fewer than three
Deadline

The deadline for this assignment is 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22 . Per the instructions above, you should email a link to your Twitter account or a link to the tweet with your Storify story. Failure to email me by deadline will result in an automatic zero.

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