Course Schedule 2017

This schedule will be updated throughout the semester. Make sure to check it at least once a week so you don’t miss anything. Readings may be added and/or adjusted.

NOTE: Assigned readings are listed in the order recommended by your instructor. So, each week, read from top to bottom in the list. Do not skip around. Readings and audio/visual media are REQUIRED unless marked as OPTIONAL.

How to read a week: Assigned readings and the quiz come before class. The topics and in-class items follow the line showing the quiz number. Each quiz is due on Wednesday. Lines that begin with DUE indicate deadlines following class (exact deadlines are in Canvas). Most assignments will be due on Friday.

Updated March 19, 2017 — All assignment dates are set. All readings are linked. ]

Week 1 | Jan. 5

READ The Syllabus (be sure you understand the policies, etc., before Drop/Add ends)

Introduction to the course; expectations

Week 2 | Jan. 12

READ Introduction and chapter 1, Kerpen (this is the required book for the course; see About This Course or the Syllabus)
READ What the Death of Homepages Means for the Future of News
READ Make the News a Conversation
READ Five Kinds of Listening for Newsrooms and Communities

Quiz 1

Listening to the audience; social media and the evolving news ecosystem
Social Media Platforms survey (due in class)
Personal social media inventory (preview of assignment)
Your social media journal (starts now); adding Google Analytics
Guest speakers:

DUE Personal social media inventory (see Canvas assignment for details and links)
DUE Social media journal post(s) about week 2 (see post for details) — make sure to post your URL there before the deadline!

Week 3 | Jan. 19

READ chapter 2, Kerpen (this is the required book for the course)
READ How do Americans use Twitter for news?
READ Best practices for journalists (on Twitter)
READ The Rules and Pitfalls of Using Twitter as a Reporting Tool 
READ How to win followers and influence journalism: Lessons from journalists with the most followers on Twitter
OPTIONAL Go Live on Twitter! (live video)
OPTIONAL The Secret Lives of Tumblr Teens (2016: This article is fun to read and also has a cool design; will not be on the quiz, though.)

Quiz 2

Using social platforms to reach targeted audiences and to find sources
Professional use of Twitter; how journalists use Twitter; Twitter lists; whom to follow
Using Tweetdeck
Start the Twitter assignment (due in one+ week, not this Friday)

Using Legal Images Online — this applies to your journal! Please read.

DUE Social media journal post(s) about week 3

Week 4 | Jan. 26

READ chapter 3, Kerpen
READ Survey of large publishers: 30 percent of our website visits come from Facebook
READ News Use Across Social Media Platforms 2016
READ With its subscribers Facebook group, The Boston Globe is mining the stickiest corners of the platform
READ Facebook Insights: A Detailed Guide to Facebook Analytics (note: A Facebook Page is different from your Profile or your News Feed; also different from a Group)
EXPLORE Facebook Media: Get Started — this is Facebook’s section for media organizations, with links to how-to information about Instant Articles, Facebook 360, Facebook Live, and more
OPTIONAL 19 Essential Tips for an Engaging Facebook Business Page
OPTIONAL How Facebook News Feed Works (September 2016)

Quiz 3

What consumers like; consequences of the Facebook algorithm
Facebook and news; Instant Articles; Pages; Groups

DUE Twitter assignment
DUE Social media journal post(s) about week 4 — consider examining two or more links under “Publish Content” on the Facebook Media: Get Started page and writing about them

Week 5 | Feb. 2

READ chapter 4, Kerpen
READ Storytelling on Snapchat (NPR)
READ Snapchat stories: Here’s how 6 news orgs are thinking about the chat app (2015: keep in mind that things have evolved since then)
READ What I Learned on the Way to 100,000 Instagram Followers (2015)
READ How 3 publishers are using Instagram stories for visually compelling storytelling (2016)
OPTIONAL Confessions of an Instagram Influencer (2016) — contradicts several assertions in the post by Gary Arndt

Quiz 4

Spreading your message by acquiring fans and followers
Instagram and Snapchat
Scheduling posts—why and how (Buffer, Hootsuite, SocialFlow)

DUE Facebook assignment
DUE Social media journal post(s) about week 5

Week 6 | Feb. 9

READ chapters 5 and 6, Kerpen
READ When are comments sections of news sites worth keeping alive? What are some options for taming them?
READ Beyond Comments: Finding Better Ways To Connect With You (NPR, 2016)
READ How Salon tamed the trolls and saved its online comments (2015)
OPTIONAL Inside Google’s Internet Justice League and Its AI-Powered War on Trolls (Wired, 2016)
OPTIONAL (published Feb. 7, 2017) Twitter Tackles Trolls With Three New Anti-Harassment Features

Quiz 5

Engagement: What does it mean for news?
Building communities; responding to people; comment sections
What can be done about trolls? (And “bad” comments in general)

DUE Instagram/Snapchat assignment — see Canvas for dates/deadlines
DUE Social media journal post(s) about week 6

Week 7 | Feb. 16

READ chapter 7, Kerpen
READ Viral Journalism and the Valley of Ambiguity (2013)
READ Essay: 13 Ways to Make Something Go Viral (2012), by Jonah Peretti, co-founder of Buzzfeed
READ The Six Things That Make Stories Go Viral Will Amaze, and Maybe Infuriate, You (2014), based on actual research
READ How to Find Your Social Media Marketing Voice (long but good)

Quiz 6

Using the right tone and language in responses
Viral media and sharing behaviors

DUE Interview a social media manager, audience engagement editor, or similar
DUE Social media journal post(s) about week 7

Week 8 | Feb. 23

READ chapters 8 and 9, Kerpen
READ Facebook Live: a how-to tutorial
READ Here’s What Facebook’s Live Video Filter Bubble Looks Like
READ What Facebook Live means for journalism
READ How 4 news organizations are using Facebook Live to reach broader audiences

Quiz 7

Being authentic; transparency
Short social videos; live streaming videos; Facebook Live and news events
Planning to go live

DUE Social media journal post(s) about week 8

Week 9 | March 2

READ chapter 14, Kerpen
READ ASNE 10 Best Practices for Social Media (PDF); read pages 3–16
READ Why your news organization’s social media policy may be illegal
READ Online News Association Social Newsgathering Ethics Code
OPTIONAL When Journalists Tweet: Social Media Guidelines for News Organizations, from, 2012

Quiz 8

Class does not meet; your instructor will be at a conference.
However, you have a quiz (due this Monday, as usual) and an assignment (due Friday, as usual, but you may have an automatic extension; see Canvas for details)
Topics (quiz and future discussion):
Social media guidelines from professional news organizations
Social media is everyone’s job

DUE Live video assignment (using Facebook Live)
DUE Social media journal post(s) about week 9

Week 10 | March 9

Spring Break — no class

Week 11 | March 16

READ chapter 10, Kerpen
READ Crowdsourcing done right (CJR, 2013)
READ What can the BBC do with the content that I post? (optional, related, very short: Journalism changed forever by user-generated content)
READ Amateur Footage: A Global Study of User-Generated Content (read the Executive Summary)
WATCH and LISTEN Paul Lewis Crowdsourcing the News (TED Talk, 17 minutes; watch all) OPTIONAL Who is Paul Lewis?

Quiz 9

Asking questions (relates to engagement and community)
Crowdsourcing and UGC (some ethics topics included here)

DUE Social media journal post(s) about week 11

Week 12 | March 23

READ chapter 11, Kerpen
READ Aggregation and curation in journalism
READ Journalism *is* curation: Tips on curation tools and techniques
READ Journalism is aggregation (Joel Achenbach)
READ Live-Tweeting the News: The Risks and Rewards

Quiz 10

Providing value; free vs. paid
Curation and aggregation: Best practices
Live coverage of events, breaking news

DUE Social media journal post(s) about week 12

Week 13 | March 30

READ chapter 15, Kerpen
READ Creating Effective Social Media Graphics for Journalism
READ An innovative collection of graphics produced by the BBC News Visual Journalism team
READ 5 Awesome Design Hacks to Create Highly Shareable Social Media Graphics
READ How To (And How Not To) Use Memes For Online Marketing
OPTIONAL Twitter Cards (enhancing Twitter posts)
OPTIONAL Always Up-to-Date Guide to Social Media Image Sizes

Quiz 11

Using social network ads
Images, “cards” and animated GIFs: Creating attention with visuals
Links to apps

DUE Curation/aggregation assignment
DUE Social media journal post(s) about week 13

Week 14 | April 6

READ chapter 16, Kerpen
READ No, Pedro Bravo Didn’t Ask Siri Where to Stash His Roommate’s Body
READ MH17: How Storyful’s ‘social sleuthing’ helped verify evidence
READ Verifying User-Generated Content (chapter 3 in the Verification Handbook)
READ Find that fireball! When journalist turns stalker
READ Many Americans Believe Fake News Is Sowing Confusion (December 2016)
OPTIONAL 7 steps to better fact-checking

Quiz 12

Preparing for mistakes; appropriate ways to react; handling corrections
Verification and fact checking with social media; “fake news”

DUE Live tweeting an event (assignment)
DUE Social media journal post(s) about week 14

Week 15 | April 13

READ chapter 17 and Conclusion, Kerpen
READ This is what happens when your social media account is hacked (Washington Post article about 2013 AP case)
READ Why every journalist should have a threat model (with cats)
READ Security for Journalists, Part One: The Basics

OPTIONAL Information Security for Journalists (free e-book)
OPTIONAL Security for Journalists, Part Two: Threat Modeling (about halfway down, see the subheading “Digital Security Tools” for links to widely used free software that allows you to chat, instant message, and browse the Web anonymously; there’s also security for  email)

Quiz 13

Exceeding the audience’s expectations
Data protection, security and privacy — for journalists

DUE Social media journal post(s) about week 15

Finals week | April 24 (Monday)

DUE Social media journal post reflecting on the course (summary post)