Heather G.

Reaction Post #5


Chapters 11-14 in Social Media for Journalists talks about how journalists are beginning to focus on individualistic branding while also maintaining relevance in the competitive media market.

“There is a growing emphasis on personal branding and journalistic entrepreneurship within this landscape. We understand that brand is contentious, and it is not our intention to reduce journalists to a marketing phenomenon. We maintain, however, that brand identity is an important component of modern journalism practice, and reputation building: your stamp as a journalist. News correspondents are gaining authority and influence through social media and becoming ‘network nodes’, attracting significant audiences independent of their parent brands.” Pg. 177, Social Media for Journalists.

The above quote explains perfectly and explicitly the importance of branding and how social media plays a role.

It is certainly necessary and expected for journalists today to have their own established brand, but at the same time they still desire to report the news like they’re supposed to. There’s a fine line there because when you have a brand, you try to work within that brand. When a story comes up that needs reporting and it doesn’t fit within your brand, well then things start to get a little tricky.

“Recognizing a niche in the media landscape and having the ability to fill that gap with a relevant, timely and innovative product has always been the secret to publishing success.” Pg. 197, Social Media for Journalists. This is first and foremost when creating a brand for yourself. You need to find your niche and then once that’s done, it’s all about reporting stories that match up, which can be difficult. This is something that journalists have to learn and eventually do master.

Social media and the internet have become so domineering and as so, are taking over the realm of journalism. This isn’t wholly a bad thing because it makes a journalist’s job a little bit easier, but the most difficult thing it has done is requiring a certain thing from each journalist: a brand.

Branding can be difficult because there’s so many journalists out there and your all fighting to be unique, but a story can be spun a million different ways, depending on the journalist who’s writing it. Each journalist focuses on a different angle and takes the story in a new direction from there. That’s the great thing about journalism and even branding, sometimes you don’t have to fight to be different- it just naturally happens.


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Reaction Post #4


The world of journalism has many different laws and ethics surrounding it, but this field has been changing dramatically with the introduction of social media and the internet. Chapters 8-10 in Social Media for Journalists discusses this in more detail, along with so much more.

“…The ways in which private life is increasingly on display on the internet has meant that journalists have a greater resource of material to gather and use in stories, but also a far greater obligation to ensure that they use this material both fairly and ethically.” Pg. 132, Social Media for Journalists. This is saying that journalists have easier access and an abundance in potential sources, but with this comes a lot of risk and some gray lines. Good judgment plays a huge role in this because as the book says, people may be good material, but they are still people.


Things that journalists need to be aware of are people’s privacy and using people as a source without necessarily getting permission. It is up to the journalists to keep the laws of ethics because the public isn’t going to hold them accountable. The overuse of the internet and social media are forcing journalists to think before they act.

Examples where journalism has become more interactive through the publication of online stories:

The limitations that have been created with the fast production of content alongside a distracted news audience are that journalists need to watch who they claim as their sources and they need to be aware of copyrights and people’s privacy.

Journalism has changed forever in the way of publishing with social media because stories and sources are so open with accessibility and with that comes a strong practice of ethics. Journalists aren’t just about face to face anymore, rarely are they with the internet making things so easy anymore. Making sure sources are credible are a challenge and editing almost goes out the window as they can just post their findings online instead of in a newspaper because those will soon be extinct.

Some principles that will always remain constant, regardless of posted online or put into a newspaper, copyrights and credible sourcing will always be relevant. Those are two things that can never change because if they do, then journalists won’t even be relevant.

'Moral principles' highlighted in green
‘Moral principles’ highlighted in green, under the heading ‘Ethics’

Reaction Post #3

Chapters 6 and 7 in Social Media for Journalists talk about the idea of citizen and collaborative journalism and how they, together, influence the reach in today’s market of readers.

“Citizen journalism was a movement that started in the USA as a response to a specific set of circumstances: the rise of corporate news media in the last decade of the twentieth century, and the overall lack of trust in journalists that was prevalent in the USA at the time.”

User-generated content and citizen journalism go hand in hand as user-generated content is raw news material that is given to a news outlet by the public for use within their own news product. User-generated deals more with creating mainstream news whereas citizen journalism does not.

User-generated content also plays a part in collaborative journalism because it is key to news outlets making the most out of their community as credible and helpful sources. Collaborative journalism is way more open and transparent as they are taking their efforts to the people in order to disperse better news content, overall.


Effective citizen journalism:


    1. This article talks about the rise of citizen journalism. This article is about filmmakers and how they feel about how citizen journalism has played a role in their marketing. Citizen journalism doesn’t have to play just a part in hard hitting national news.
    1. I loved this article because it talked about citizen journalism and how ordinary people are dominating the news. This article gave numerous past circumstances where citizen journalism was absolutely necessary and even a prime part of the story. It talked about the benefits of the community taking their smart phones and filming something news worthy and also the downfalls of the community as journalists because they may not care/maintain ethics like professional journalists are trained to do.Citizen_Journalism copy
    1. This article was very beneficial when talking about citizen journalism because, like the others, they used past events to make their point but they emphasized that news coverage is a partnership anymore because of social media and technology making news easy for citizens to have a hand in.

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Effective collaborative journalism:


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  1. All these articles talk about collaborative journalism and ways that it can be effective and taught since it is becoming so prevalent in journalism today.


Reaction Post #2

Something I’m starting to learn about my desired field of journalism is that journalists don’t just wear a single hat, but many. There are so many aspects, both worldly and job specifically, that cohesively work together in forming a single story.

In chapters 4 and 5, the concepts of data, crowdsourcing and distribution are only some of the many building blocks in this huge infrastructure of modern-day journalism.

Implementation of data:

“Data journalism is about stories; data can be used to tell those stories in more interesting, interactive and comprehensive ways, but data without the story can be dry and off-putting.” Pg. 54, Social Media for Journalists.

It is true that data adds bulk and substance to a story, but its rather difficult beginning with raw facts and ending in a narrative story.

Data is really just a fancy word for information so when you think of it in that context, all journalism is data journalism. This is a relief, but also a worry as I have a hard time with numbers, similar to most journalists. It’s easy to get lost in the numbers and explanation of those numbers while trying to write a story.

In the case of big stories where journalists need access about the government, they often end up facing the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This can be quite a lengthy process, but usually pays off in the long run.

Heather Brooke, an American-British journalist, fought for four years to obtain financials of certain Parliament members. The data she uncovered after winning her case with FOIA went on to be the basis for the biggest political story of the year. It’s very unlikely that the public would have ever seen the numerical data of that corrupt Parliament if Brooke hadn’t went on the mission of unearthing that data.

There is also the chance of obtaining false data, which is typically done through the use of disinformation, “the deliberate spreading of false information via the media.” Pg. 59, Social Media for Journalists. Data dups are places where random data is leaked, but sometimes this leaked data can be false and very touch to verify due to it being anonymous. A famous spot for this is WikiLeaks.

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Crowdsourcing is one of the many ways to gather data. Crowdsourcing is really cool because it uses the public to get and even share information about the community.

“Getting the local community to report what is happening in their neighborhoods can provide insight and stories, and with the application of some simple technology can provide a powerful source of data, as well as working to increase your readership’s engagement with the news.” Pg. 60, Social Media for Journalists.

A good example of crowdsourcing is the riots in various London suburbs after the shooting of Mark Duggan by police in August 2011. There was so much confusion and chaos that journalists had a hard time following secondary sources and also needed to maintain their safety, so they turned to their readers and received some amazing results.

With obtaining all this data comes ways of storing it all, which is done through use of pie charts, maps and spreadsheets with columns. It makes it easier to keep track of and also to make sense of. Graphs and charts are the most common because they demonstrate change and comparison the best. This talks about how to use various journalistic charts and also provides prime examples.

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The easiest way to define distribution in journalism is simply the reboot. What I mean by this is that the element of distribution has dramatically changed over the years. It used to be that a package would be put together and then distributed- two separate things, but not anymore. Now the journalist is also the distributor because of all the social media outlets in the world and the amazing speed at which to disperse the content. It’s all done simultaneously anymore.

“As journalism becomes more networked, the distribution element becomes much more organic and an intuitive part of the news production process. It no longer stands out as an independent element ‘after’ a news product is deemed complete. The journalist, along with users, is now a distributor. Thanks to networked technologies- and RSS in particular- there is no reason why newsgathering cannot also be news production, or news distribution,” said Paul Bradshaw, pg. 75, Social Media for Journalists.

The use of social media makes the speed of producing and distributing content monumental and an example of this is the reporting of bin Laden’s death.

Distribution isn’t crucial to only journalists, but publishers too, and search engines are fundamental for journalism distribution, surprisingly. Think about it: how are you supposed to get accurate distribution if the host for that distribution is screwed up? Google is the top favored search engine in the world and content on Google can be viewed and shared, which contributes to a story’s distribution. Bing and Yahoo are other popular search engines.

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Reaction Post #1

The book, Social Media for Journalists, greatly outlines all aspects of modern journalism, including how a professional brand is essential to competing in today’s slimming marketplace.

“This book proposes a new way of examining the practical skills that are necessary to thrive as a journalist, and the principles governing the new media ecology for those working within it, consuming it and researching it.” Pg. 1, Social Media for Journalists. This quote lays the groundwork for not only the first three chapters, but the remaining ones as well. Journalism today is not at all what it was ten years ago or even five for that matter; today it’s a whole other ball game.

Professional journalists today are successfully bolstering their presence, socially, in many ways.

First, they are finding and executing their niche in the ecology of new media. They are learning to thrive in the areas where they feel comfortable while at the same time capitalizing on their brand. Branding in the ecology of media means interacting with other people and sharing their content instead of just your own. This is key before anything else, the groundwork, if you will.

Once you find your niche, you can move on to the grit of journalism, like sourcing and verifying those sources. “The closer the journalist operates to the network, represented on the horizontal line of the matrix in Figure 2.1 the more he may rely on many people getting in touch about small issues.” Pg. 16, Social Media for Journalists. Strategist, Andy Carvin for National Public Radio is popular for exactly that as he takes information given to him through social media and uses that info as a source.

At first, that seemed a little far-fetched to me, but the more I read the more it made sense. An example of this method being successful is the Boston bombing. At the time, people that were at the attack were tweeting on sight. That first-hand information was the most trusted at the time, so trusted in fact that news stations were turning to Twitter to get their facts because all the secondary information they were getting was scrambled at best.

Social media is a fast and accurate way to get information. When thinking in context of a terror attack like the Boston bombing, utilizing social media as a source really made sense. The only thing with using media as a source is making sure it’s credible. Its easier to tell if a person is lying over a computer, so verifying information accessed online is a very big concern for journalists, as they need always be on alert because nothing can ruin a career faster than reporting backed by faulty sources.

Journalist Andy Carvin 

“There are only so many times during one’s career where an entire news operation is built from scratch — the only two that come to mind over the last generation or two are CNN and Al Jazeera — so it’s really exciting to get involved as one is being crafted and to help with that.” – personal quote in reference to designing a new media entity.



Griffon Yearbook 2016


  • Paul Dijkzeul profile: This was my first copy assignment for Griffon Yearbook. It was a little overwhelming having to interview someone for the first time, but it went better than anticipated. The interview itself went fine, it was just writing the story that was really hard for me. I stayed up nearly all night writing it because putting facts and quotes together into a story was new for me and not really my style- but I got through it and learned a lot from it.

paul dijkzeul profile final_Heather Groenke

  • Renovations story: This was actually a lot easier to do because I had four sources, therefore a lot of quotes (which is always nice). This story was probably a little longer than it should have been, but I enjoyed writing it.

missouri western renovations yearbook

  • 48 Hr Film Festival: I really enjoyed writing this story because I had never experienced a film festival before and it was all very new to me. I like getting involved in new things and meeting new people and the showing for the film festival was definitely out of my comfort zone, but I really enjoyed getting to see all the many different talents displayed through these films.

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  • Women’s Basketball Team: This is one story that I did not enjoy writing. First off, I hate writing about sports and when it came to getting interviews for this story, I could not get any of the coaches to respond to me. Only one coach and one player got back to me, and that was after two weeks of the story being overdue. This was probably my worst copy story of the semester.

women’s basketball copy draft

  • Albrecht-Kemper Museum: I actually asked to to a story over the museum because I really enjoy the Albrecht-Kemper and I was already doing a package over it for Griffon Update so I already knew everything there was to know about the museum.

yearbook albrecht kemper draft

  • “Ferguson Talks”: This is the most recent copy I’ve done and I didn’t particularly enjoy writing it. I had to attend the two hour seminar about the Ferguson shooting case and it was interesting, but there was so much info given that it was hard to write a story where I could only say so much.

ferguson talks copy


  • Keah basketball pictures: This was my first photo assignment where I had to take photos of Keah Baez, a player for the Griffon women’s basketball team. We were doing a profile on her so I got lots of shots of her shooting, etc.

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  • Living with Accents photos: This was the second photo assignment I had to do and I ran into some problems. After the seminar, I was ready to take pictures when my SD card screwed up… I barely got any photos. I definitely learned a lesson with this assignment (always carry a back-up SD card).

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  • Jomel Nichols pictures: This was my most recent photo assignment and it was a profile over Missouri Western’s new public relations and marketing director, Jomel Nichols. I couldn’t get as many pictures as I wanted because she had to get to a meeting, but for the most part this assignment went pretty well.

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  • Albrecht-Kemper museum photos: When I wrote the copy for the Albrecht-Kemper museum, I decided to take the photos, too.

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Nick Cannon show: I had to do the Nick Cannon photos and I didn’t really know what to expect since I didn’t know who he was, and the show was alright, but I did enjoy getting some good shots of the show. My pictures would have turned out better had I known a few things then that I know now, but overall I was happy with how my pictures turned out.

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Marching Band photos: These had to be sent to me from director Nathan Gay, but he didn’t really send me the pictures of just the marching band so I’m just not going to include them.

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Joy of Dancing photos: This was my last story of the semester. I was surprised when I got there because I expected it to be more of a competition, but it was just random groups from different churches dancing and I thought it was really cool. Apparently it was their 11th year of putting on this show.



Walter Cronkite Snap Story

For my social media class, we had to utilize snapchat by doing a 20 snap “snap story”and I chose to do mine over the Walter Cronkite Memorial that we have here on campus. I mulled this assignment over so much because I, for the life of me, could not figure out a newsworthy enough topic!! I thought about many different things that just never panned out, but last minute I was thinking about campus and Walter Cronkite popped into my head. That’s when I knew I had found my newsworthy topic.

Last semester I had a media class where we had to write a 500 word analysis over the Walter Cronkite Memorial here on campus. If I hadn’t had that class, I would have never explored the Memorial, let me just say that right now. But when going through the Memorial taking notes for class, I really got interested in who Cronkite was and how he came from this town. I never knew that about him. It gave me hope that if such a great journalist like that came from St. Joe, then maybe someday another great journalist could come from St.Joe (namely me).

So when this snap story assignment came about and I thought of doing it over Walter Cronkite, I actually thought about how crazy it was that the Memorial wasn’t my initial idea. There’s nothing more newsworthy doing a snap story over than Walter Cronkite, at least in my mind. Therefore, while actually taking snaps for my snap story I became even more confident in my idea because my story was piecing together nicely. I even took more than twenty snaps, which I never thought would happen seeing as how I was initially dreading this assignment. 

All in all though, I’m glad I did my snap story over the Cronkite Memorial because I would love for people who see my story on Youtube to learn more about him and also about the great things Missouri Western has to offer and the Memorial being just one of many.

Snapchat Practice 


#JOU314Hunt Analysis

The purpose of the #JOU314Hunt assignment was about more than just getting us adjusted to using Twitter as means of a branding outlet; it was meant to get us used to interacting with people and our community as well. The scavenger hunt that we had to do was a list of ten things, some of which were: take a picture of your favorite restaurant (on or off campus), take a picture of the most scenic spot on campus, take a picture of something innovative in learning on campus, take a video of someone showing school spirit, take a video of what a professor at Missouri Western thinks about social media, etc. Similar to the last Twitter assignment, this one focused on Missouri Western and issues surrounding it.

Social media is a the most prime way to get information out in the world and also receive information and Twitter is a great example. Take the Boston bombing for example: Soon after it happened, people were wanting answers. They turned to the various news networks to try and get those answers but the all the networks were wrong. Their sources weren’t credible and you could turn to 3 different news channels and all of them would give you a different description of what happened. The only source of information you could get that was accurate about the bombing was from Twitter (of all places). How could a social media platform be the only source of correct information, you might ask? Well here’s how- it’s social media! Right after the event happened, you not only had people in other states tweeting about what happened, but there were people right there in Boston that were tweeting, some probably that were actually at the marathon and saw it all go down. Learn to trust primary sources because secondary sources, especially if its soon after a story happened, are bound to give you wrong information.

As far as the assignment goes though, I saw the relevant intention behind it because as a journalist we need to be able to interact with people, obtain quotes and post to social media since that’s what the world has become. I didn’t really get to do all of the ten, but I really wish I had. I would have really enjoyed talking with a professor and getting their view because I feel like that would have given me the most out of the assignment. The ones that I did I could have done on any day at any time, but the ones about talking to professors and talking to students would have given me more fulfillment and understanding of what it’s like to talk to strangers and get their opinions.

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