In order for journalism schools to fully prepare their students to enter a competitive job market, they must embrace and teach the use of modern newsgathering tools and technologies. The booming popularity of social media has transformed how potential stories are discovered and followed, as eyewitnesses report developing events on social media the moment they happen. Today’s journalists must learn and master the right technologies to help them see what’s happening in the places that matter most to their reporting and get to the news first.
Social media has empowered the journalism trade by providing immediate access to a massive pool of Tweets that expose developing stories as they break in real time. The problem, of course, is that a journalist can’t be expected to monitor every Tweet on every topic. That’s where tools like Dataminr’s real-time alerts come into play. J-schools are now introducing advanced newsroom technologies like Dataminr early in their curriculum to train students on newsgathering, investigating story details and nurturing other skillsets they’ll need to be great journalists.
And how do these tools help? First, aspiring journalists needs to understand the importance of speed in reporting the news in today’s social-driven media environment. The sooner you can unearth a breaking event, the faster and more effectively you can follow up, investigate and craft your story. Dataminr provides the earliest possible tips on breaking news and events, replacing the manual process of tracking Tweets and conducting hashtag searches, making it much easier to get the ball rolling.
Second, piecing together multiple reports of breaking news can be a challenge when you’re under a tight deadline. Instructors can teach students how to refine their Dataminr alert parameters to zero in on the right types of story updates, such as Tweets from a local authority or a related event that needs to be investigated further. Journalism students can learn to connect the dots between different accounts and see patterns they otherwise might have missed. The process can be great practice in honing investigative and analytical skills that are critical for good journalism.
Finally, the art of storytelling is enhanced when a journalist can incorporate the emotion of participants who are knee-deep in a story, such as victims or eyewitnesses. Tweets these days are full of not only written emotion but also visual elements like images and video clips that can help a journalist tell a more compelling story. You also gain more time to gather relevant details that set your story apart and craft the right angle and approach.
Dataminr is that essential tool that J-schools can utilize to nurture vital skillsets in their students and help them earn their wings to succeed in the real world.