Journalists Encouraged in Social Media Usage

The Madison Pro chapter of SPJ devoted a day to Social Media for Journalists, with workshops held on May 11, 2012, at the Capital Newspapers auditorium.

Event hashtag: #spjmadisontraining. Follow SPJ Madison Pro chapter on social media: @spjMadison and Photos from the day have been posted on Pinterest.


Session #1 – Why Social Media, featuring Katy Culver (@kbculver), UW-Madison journalism professor; Jill Courtney, WKOW News internet director; Chris Keller (@ChrisLKeller), digital audience developer,   Social media is both an opportunity and a threat to journalists. Journalists must use their traditional skills with these new tools. “If you’re a journalist and not reading the comments on your stories, you’re missing a wealth of information.” Of course the comments section often is a social cesspool of hostility. However some media have found that requiring commentators to sign in through Facebook is taking care of some of that problem.

Session #2 – Detecting Online BS, featuring Sue Robinson(@suerobinsonUW), UW-Madison journalism professor.   Always independently confirm anything you read on a social networking site. People who are not journalists are using terms that journalists use, adopting the wording without necessarily understanding their meaning. Don’t just push your story via URLS, build you brand with other links. Your story is no longer the final product, it’s the beginning of a conversation. It’s no longer a product but a process.

Session #3 – The New Facebook, featuring David Douglas (@News3David), WISC-TV, and Nick Heynen (@NickHeynen), social media director for Capital Newspapers.  To get feedback, ask a question. They will respond. Being engaged is how you get your posts out further. It’s a much tighter feedback look than any other media.

Session #5 – Media Fluency for the Digital Age, featuring Greg Downey (@gjdowney), Chair of the UW-Madison Department of Journalism and Mass Communications.   Search is still a big part of social media. The average online user has 28 different online identities. Watch out for Facebook because you never know when they’ll try something stupid.

Session #4 was not recorded due to equipment failure.

Thank you to lunch sponsor Wisconsin Broadcasters Association and to our hosts for the day, Capital Newspapers.


About spjmadisononline

The Society of Professional Journalists Madison Pro Chapter
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