Facebook for journalists



From the Pew Research Journalism Project: The Role of News on Facebook:

  • 64% of all US adults use Facebook
  • 30% of US adults consume news on Facebook
  • Only a minority of Facebook news consumers say they prefer news that shares their point of view.
  • Roughly half of Facebook news consumers report regularly getting news on six or more different topics.
  • About a third of Facebook news consumers have news organizations or individual journalists in their feeds.


Facebook is changing its algorithms to promote more ‘quality news’ in people’s news feeds.  From the Facebook Newsroom (News Feed FYI: Helping You Find More News to Talk About):

People use Facebook to share and connect, including staying current on the latest news, whether it’s about their favorite celebrity or what’s happening in the world. We’ve noticed that people enjoy seeing articles on Facebook, and so we’re now paying closer attention to what makes for high quality content, and how often articles are clicked on from News Feed on mobile. What this means is that you may start to notice links to articles a little more often (particularly on mobile).

Additional resources:

10 Lessons from the BBC
14 Tips for Journalists on Facebook (Mediashift)
Jersey Shore Hurricane News and about the site: Journalists of the Jersey Shore: How a novice reporter built a news network from scratch, Nieman Journalism Lab
Christiane Amanpour on Facebook
Sarah Kliff on Facebook
Facebook + Journalists


Guide to verifying social media

Alfred Hermida, associate professor at University of British Columbia, gave the keynote address at the Journalism Education Association of Australia annual conference on December 3, 2013, in Mooloolaba, Queensland, Australia:

When facts are fluid: Emerging best practices to verify information on social media

How does mobile change journalism?

More than half of the people coming to major news sites are using mobile devices. As journalists, we can’t ignore how much this changes the experience of our readers and viewers as well as the way we produce and distribute our work. What should we be thinking about in the midst of this change?

In terms of journalism, the business model and the content are both changing (again):
5 reasons mobile will disrupt journalism like the Internet did a decade ago

Mobile news: A review and model of journalism in an age of mobile media – See more at: Journalist’s Resource

So what does mobile news look like?
An NPR News App: Cotton

Ways to combine local, mobile and social:

Social media for reporting, engaging and sharing

For class today:

Very good lecture on how journalists are using social media with examples, by Jennifer Cox:

Kaitlin Godbey, social media and content strategist

Kaitlyn Godbey, social media strategist with the Bureau of Land Management and recent RSJ graduate,(@godbeywithyou), rides a Google bike at the Google headquarters in October, 2012.

Kaitlin Godbey, social media strategist with the Bureau of Land Management,(@godbeywithyou), rides a Google bike at the Google headquarters in October, 2012.

Kaitlin Godbey, social media and content strategist for the Bureau of Land Management in Nevada, will join us Tuesday to talk about how she manages social media to interact with the public. You can read about Kaitlin on her About.me page (and while you’re there, check out the About.me site; some of you might find it a useful platform for posting your resumes and portfolios). She is also president of Ad2Reno, for young advertising professionals in Reno.

Check out Kaitlin’s twitter feed and Instagram.

If you have questions for Kaitlin, please post below.

How to be ethical and active on social media

What ethical questions might you face while using social media as a professional journalist?

It’s important to recognize that even as a student journalist, once you publish online, you’re indistinguishable from a professional journalist: your words and works are held to the same ethical and legal standards as a professional journalist. Paul Bradshaw wrote about this recently: There’s no such thing as a ‘student journalist’. You are responsible for making sure your words are accurate, that you’ve used attribution, triple checked your facts and thought carefully about the ethical implications of your actions. You don’t have an editor standing over you when you tweet, post and comment.

As journalists spend more and more time in online social spaces, news organizations are crafting guidelines to help them calibrate their behavior. Some news organizations, like the Journal Register Company, give journalists wide leeway:

JRC Rules


Dan Gillmor provides a little more guidance in his column in the Guardian:

1) Be human.
2) Be honorable.
3) Don’t embarrass us.

Other organizations have much more extensive guidelines: NPR, for example and the Washington Post.

Thinking in advance about how to reason through various questions helps prepare you for on-the-job dilemmas:

For further reading:

Digital Media Ethics by Stephen J. A. Ward

We get the net — and society — we build, by Jeff Jarvis

Social Media Guidelines for Student Journalists, ASU


Links for class, Nov. 14 and Nov. 21

Today’s Zeega’s from RenoBuzz

A new blogging platform, Medium and a bit about how it works, along with a style sheet.

Before and after Typhoon Haiyan images, Washington Post

Excellent photojournalism tips by Reuters Photographer Damir Sagolj

7 Photojournalism Tips by Reuters Photographer Damir Sagolj from Thomson Reuters Foundation on Vimeo.

Interesting idea in a new app called “Potluck” —

Miller believes that the audience looking for news that’s longer than a tweet but shorter than an article is being underserved. “There’s a little pie of people who are interested in reading a New York Times article on the shutdown,” he says. “We think there’s a much, much larger pie that is interested in the government shutdown but doesn’t find any of those articles that approachable.” Ultimately, he wants Potluck to offer just enough information to generate conversation.

(Third Time’s the Charm: Nieman Journalism Lab)

Headlines: As important as a first impression on a blind date

As Copyblogger notes, the first step to getting people to read or watch what you’ve created is to write a great headline. If your headline doesn’t convince people to click, you’ve already lost them. This is your first interaction, the first moment of connection you have with a real live reader. So plan it as carefully as you would meeting someone cool on a blind date.

A headline is also key to making your content findable. People click, search and browse to find the content they are looking for. Being conscious about the keywords and phrases you use will help make your work more findable by search engines and by people. Study the keywords that people use to find your blog (Example: Viterbo, Italy blog)

Understanding your audience is key. Who are you writing to? Being specific to your audience will make your words more compelling than if written to a general, mass audience.

Another way to improve your headlines is to study them. Pay attention to what catches your eye and why. When you’re stuck, browse your favorite publications and look for ideas.


Some tips from Copyblogger’s e-book How to write magnetic headlines:

Write your headline first. Then write the content that fulfills the promise of the headline.

Write a headline that provides obvious benefits to the reader:  The How To headline or  How I headline

Listicles also promise very specific benefits to the reader: Buzzfeed is a master of this.

Think about why, or how, or what your post is about; distill its essence.


Some of the same principles can be applied to writing tweets and status updates. Writing accurate, inviting and informative “micro-content” takes skill and attention.



Really good advice from a successful journalism school grad

See her personal site as an excellent example of what she is advocating: Lauren Rabaino

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