NBTB students visit Storify, Twitter and San Francisco Chronicle

Using social media is a key aspect in the life of any modern journalist.  Newsroom by the Bay encourages student journalists to delve into the world of social media, extending the reach of their information.

On Tuesday, Year 2 students had the opportunity to engage firsthand in the multimedia experience. They visited the headquarters of Twitter and Storify, two prominent social tools for journalists, as well as the San Francisco Chronicle.

Bo Hee Kim, product manager at Storify.com, talks to students about how to build a story quickly using social media.

Bo Hee Kim, product manager at Storify.com, talks to students about how to build a story quickly using social media. Photo by NBTB staff. 

At Storify, students met with product manager Bo Hee Kim, who demonstrated how to compile pieces of social media and text into comprehensive coverage of an event. She described Storify’s impact on digital journalism, specifically, how the innovative storytelling format allows anyone to make current events “more approachable, different, more engaging.” Students particularly enjoyed asking Kim personal questions about her career, and she responded with encouragement to find our drive for reporting and advice on how to select future majors. “Now is the best time for young journalists,” she said, because we have the power to preserve information online forever.

Year 2 students learn about handles, hashtags, widgets and Tweetdeck at Twitter headquarters in downtown San Francisco. Photo by NBTB staff.

Year 2 students learn about handles, hashtags, widgets and Tweetdeck at Twitter headquarters in downtown San Francisco. Photo by NBTB staff.

Twitter: Students met with editorial director Karen Wickre and with Erica Anderson, who works in news partnerships for Twitter and previously worked for NBC, MTV and CBS. Over the past several years, there has been a “tectonic shift in news and information globally,” she said.  News is available to the public 24/7 and everyone is fighting to be the first source with the newest headline.  Twitter is a great place to publicize breaking news even before a full article has been written and a fantastic tool for journalists to interact with each other or other sources.  Although she admits that at times “rumors can be spread” on Twitter, which provides no filter of its own (and advised students to fact check any source they use thoroughly,) she believes that Twitter has also become a “voice of community” that allows communication between writers and sources who would not have had the opportunity to communicate before. Scott Landis, head team leader, said that “one of the best experiences for me in tweeting about politics is being able to connect with reporters who I would not otherwise be able to interact with.” Anderson’s advice for students was to find a focus that they are passionate about, know in the journalism world as a beat.  “Tweet your beat,” she said, or in other words, getting your passion into the public eye through Twitter is the wave of the future. 

San Francisco Chronicle:  At the San Francisco Chronicle students actually had the opportunity to get their work edited by Lois Kazakoff, deputy opinions editor.  Kazakoff had read articles by NBTB students Casey Miller, Eibhlin Lim, Jimin Suh, Laurel Dearborn and Sanika Puranik.  She asked the students questions to learn about the background of their articles and why they decided to write on their topics. Kazakoff discussed her background in the journalism world, working her way from an op-ed writer all the way to main editor. As editor, she explained that her goal when publishing opinion and editorial pieces was to present an opinion that was different than the official stance of the Chronicle.  On occasion, she allows publication of an opinion that does reflect the views of the Chronicle if it approaches the issue from a different angle.  Finally, Kazakoff gave the students advice in writing opinion or editorial pieces, saying that the point of writing such articles is to express your beliefs; however, they also go beyond that to convince others to agree with your opinion through the use of valid and convincing facts.

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