Journalism and Mass Communications, College of


@Twitter Is Where J-School Students Need to Be

Date of this Version



Published in Nieman Reports | Professor's Corner, March 2, 2011


When I told students in my beginning editing class they would be required to create and use Twitter accounts, many were skeptical.

Like most 20-somethings, they were huge Facebook fans. But skeptics didn’t see the merit in 140-character tweets, the short blasts of text permitted on Twitter, a real-time micro-blogging service. They saw Twitter as streams of narcissism – patter about what people were eating or drinking – with no journalistic value.

But I had become a Twitter fan, seeing an increasing number of journalists use it to share news, find sources and connect with readers. Tweets often employ good editing techniques: finding the focus of a story and summarizing it concisely in a headline to entice others to read it.