Free the Tweet: Twitter Premium & How it Affects Journalists

By: Kayla Henson | @kayla_hensonn

Twitter is one of the quickest way to get information in this day and age. As a member, people can update the world on their lives with succinct tweets, pictures, and videos. As a journalist though, Twitter is another way to both receive and relay information. There’s no doubt that Twitter has completely redefined how news is shared to the people.

However, with talk of a premium version of the application offered to journalists and other professionals alike, the relationship between journalism and Twitter may be forever changed.

twitter premium

(source: misskatecuttables)

Though Twitter has roughly 319 million monthly active users, it isn’t seeing much user growth. Its competition with Facebook’s steady user growth and its search of another source of revenue for the application has lead to talks of releasing a premium program for professional accounts, including journalists.

So what exactly would a premium account have that the free one wouldn’t?

According to Twitter spokeswoman Brielle Villablanca in a statement released this past Thursday, the company is mainly focusing on expanding their Tweetdeck to provide more analysis, advanced analytics, and tools to focus on trends and alerts. This would have very immediate affects on journalists and other professionals if the company decides to add premium accounts.

I don’t believe it would solve their problem of getting new monthly active users, though it would definitely increase their revenue.  Most professionals, journalists especially, are on Twitter already. This business tactic won’t make much of a difference when it comes to how many users will be more active monthly, but professionals would most definitely cough up extra cash to gain further insight on their audiences.

This follows in line with professional companies like LinkedIn offering paid subscriptions to professionals and businesses to give them more access to data.

The long story short is that this would be a smart business tactic on Twitter’s part because professionals are usually more than willing to have more access in order to appeal to larger audiences and figure out what is/isn’t working. On the other hand, Twitter doesn’t really have anything to lose because users would still stay on their free account, just without enjoyment of the extra features on Tweetdeck.

If Twitter were to continue with this strategy, it would definitely need to do a thorough job of reassuring its regular users that it does not intend on making the regular features of the app suddenly premium.

 

References

Murphy, Mike. (2017) Retrieved from http://www.marketwatch.com/story/twitter-exploring-premium-subscription-service-2017-03-23

Reuters. (2017) Retrieved from http://fortune.com/2017/03/23/twitter-premium-version/

 

 

Why Students Should Subscribe to The Washington Post

(Written by Jesse Priest.)

One thing that I’ve learned while studying journalism is that nobody these days wants to pay for their news. Nobody wants to subscribe to a newspaper. Nobody wants to spend about $15 a month for something they can get for free from almost anywhere else. Students my age just want to read news quick and free and take Buzzfeed quizzes about which Beyoncé album you should listen to if your zodiac sign is a Taurus.

We are too accustomed to having information for free and readily available. And we always hate having a pop-up blocking us from accessing that much-needed news of the day. But ever since the election of Donald Trump, and “fake news”, factual information has indeed been more valuable than ever.

We need to know what is actually going on in the world. We can’t just trust what Trump says because we should all know by now, that a lot of what comes out of Trump and his administrations’ mouth isn’t always trustworthy. So, students like me now have the most perfect way to get the news that they need without having to pay for a subscription.

The Washington Post now offers students free digital access subscription. All you have to do is create an account with your student email address and follow the instructions under the “My subscriptions” tab to begin reading news from one of the most respected news organizations on the planet.

the-washington-post-my-profile

With this free subscription, you can access The Washington Post’s website and mobile app for free, with unlimited access. I’m really glad that the WaPo started this initiative. College students need to know what’s going on in the world and everybody knows that as a student, funds are hard to come by; except, of course, funds for video games and weekend parties that involve lots of alcohol and drugs.

But money is still scarce even with that in mind. And college students are undoubtedly the ones who are carrying the torch into the future.

Why not give them the public good and service of high-quality information and reporting that The Washington Post offers?

Sources:

Garafano, Lauren. “Community Post: Which Beyoncé Album Should You Listen To Based On Your Zodiac Sign?” BuzzFeed Community. Buzzfeed, 4 Mar. 2017. Web. 06 Mar. 2017.

Cillizza, Chris. “Donald Trump’s Streak of Falsehoods Now Stands at 33 Days.” The Washington Post. WP Company, 21 Feb. 2017. Web. 06 Mar. 2017.

The Day PewDiePie took over gaming social media

By Daniel Portales

Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, otherwise better known as the most subscribed channel on Youtube ever PewDiePie, no doubt has a tremendous reach and audience. This is both in the Youtube sphere as well as any social media site he is involved with, most notably Twitter and his mass following on that site as well.

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He made his start as doing a series of videos called, “Let’s plays,” where he records himself playing video games while showing reactions and adding commentary of his impressions of any given game, a popular type of video to this day. However, he has recently branched out to do different kinds of content that he finds fun and would provide different kinds of content for his viewers to watch, mostly comedic and simple in nature. Often times however, being a comedy channel and the absolute most popular at that, he often threw criticism at online media that covered him and wrote about him. So he very often made tweets, and most notably videos that often poked fun at media that took certain things he has said and done out of context to put him into a bad light, and that anything ever written about him in the media are almost always written with a negative connotation.

In response, he often made jokes that he was actually a Nazi and a die hard Trump supporter, dressing up in stereotyped costumes of said people in videos, poking fun at their image as well as online media taking things out of context at times. Later on, he would make a video where he would have fun with a website he found where he would pay 5 dollars, and they would make any video saying anything he wanted. So he tested the limits of the website by having them say awful things like, “Kill all Jews.”

Normally, it can be obviously inferred that the joke doesn’t work unless what was being said to be considered awful, however the Wall Street Journal, what was seen as one of the more trustworthy publications out there, actually took many of these sets of videos and wrote a very damning hit piece on Felix. With no sense of irony, they took the many videos he uploaded for the sole purpose of parodying the things taken out of context, and used the clips out of context to frame him as a White Supremacist Neo Nazi.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/disney-severs-ties-with-youtube-star-pewdiepie-after-anti-semitic-posts-1487034533

(You must have a subscription with the Wall Street Journal to view the written article in question, but the video is public for everyone)

In reaction, the Wall Street Journal lost many subscribers, their video version of the events have been down voted immensely, and fans who already know about who Felix is and his character, have defended him fiercly on social media websites. A vast majority of gaming personalities, developers, and writers all showed support on Twitter in various ways, numerous Youtube videos were made in response to the Wall Street Journal and how they bizarrely they handled the coverage of Felix. Of course, this met with people taking the WSJ’s side on the matter as well. Most notably, J.K. Rowling herself actually debated with a large number of people on Twitter on the matter.

This would spark a really great debate on many social media platforms whether what was considered acceptable as jokes, and whether some jokes were harmful for society, and the nature of jokes themselves. Youtube itself for a week had many popular Youtubers coming to PewDiePie’s defense that would heat up the online debate and cause a pseudo intellectual/culture war on the Internet.

Since then, Felix has made a video responding to all of these articles written about him in response to Wall Street Journal, saying he apologizes for anyone he may have offended, but that he does not promote hate in any manner. But he still condemmed the WSJ and the media in general for trying to bring him down by being dishonest as well as call out hypocrites who have also joked about Nazi’s in the past. With one of them, surprisingly being Ben Fritz, one of the writers of the WSJ article.

Sometimes even the biggest names, like J.K. Rowling and the Wall Street Journal, aren’t immune to vast criticism on social media. And the exchange of ideas on Social Media might spark an otherwise interesting debate.

To Blog or Not to Blog… that is the question

By Krysta Overton

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http://www.shakespeare-navigators.com/hamlet/Hamlet_with_skull_of_Yorick_Selous.jpg

The thing about interests is, everybody has one.

(Yes, compare that to the joke about opinions and everyone having the same disposal region and this is officially the best intro of all time.)

I think that one of the best and most interesting things about humanity is that everyone is unique. So much so that according to Quora.com, in 2013 there were approximately 152 million blogs on the internet. 152 million various opinions about food, art, travel, sports, hair, socks, DIY’s, design, phobias, writing, reading, lint, paper mache crafts, bobble heads, music,  golden showers (no judgement), collecting stamps, furniture making, makeup, coffee, you, get, the, point. Every single one having a plethora of personal experiences and new outlooks to contribute to the awaiting reading.

why-blog

https://howtostartablogonline.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/why-blog.jpg

The Huffington Post produced an article about why people blog, and gave a list of reasons for this growing population of writers. Aside from sharing passions and knowledge that cover a vast amount of topics, bloggers can also make money through their endeavors. Blogging spans both the personal and professional, and can be as simple as a grandmother sharing her life and relationship with her grandchildren to a multi-billion dollar company CEO expanding on best business practices. Regardless of the reasons individuals’ blog, the big picture is that blogging is a medium to share information with world.

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https://youtu.be/0sn7eCs6nEQ

So how does one start blogging? GOOD QUESTION! I did a little research on the easiest ways to join the Blogosphere via Bloggingbasics101.com and amylynnandrews.com, and came up with some quick tips on getting you on your way.

The first is the most obvious—Pick a topic to write about. I empathize that every facet of life may be interesting and type worthy but for the sake of not shell shocking future readers…let’s hone in on one topic or genre.

The second thing is to take the steps necessary in setting it up. Both of these sites go in depth on how to find a platform and host for a future blog space. At this point, it’s important to pick a name that’s catchy, interesting, and maybe even a little obvious to let the reader know what exactly they are getting themselves into.

The last thing is designing the page to fit a theme. Depending on which platform is used, design options may be slightly limited. Remember however, the look of the page is almost as important as the content. People definitely judge a book by its cover, so make sure the cover is TOO LEGIT for them to QUIT coming back. (Get the song reference?)

Good luck!

Dekmezian, G. (2016). Why do people blog: The benefits of blogging. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gary-dekmezian/why-do-people-blog-the-be_b_8178624.html

Lee, R. (2015). How many blogs exist in the world? Quora. Retrieved from https://www.quora.com/How-many-blogs-exist-in-the-world

Knapp, J. (2016). How to start a blog: Beginner’s guide for 2017. BloggingBasics101. Retrieved from https://www.bloggingbasics101.com/how-do-i-start-a-blog/

Andrews, A. (2017). How to start a blog. Amy Lynn Andrews. Retrieved from https://amylynnandrews.com/how-to-start-a-blog/

Oscar my Tweets

By Abisola Adeyemi

This evening Oscars hosted their 89th award ceremony and i experienced it from the red carpet to the actual event from the comfort of my twitter feed. The hashtag #Oscars was pretty lit if i do say so myself.

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I experienced most from the official twitter account @TheAcademy account which was poppin’.

The page is following 1156 accounts which are majority of celebrities and other media organizations, and they are followed by 22.8k followers. The feed was updated every time there was something not to miss on the red carpet, a quote or when there was an Oscar winner.

I thought the award presentations via twitter were cool. This was a brilliant way for followers to experience the ceremony as if they were watching it or there themselves.

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https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C5o544GU4AAzoS2.jpg:large

This was the many of the twitpics shared to their twitter feed to honor award recipients.

The fact that it is a red envelope like the one presented at the ceremony was pretty cool.

They also featured quotes like this one from Emma stone, which captures in words the way she felt when she received her award for Actress in Leading Role.Screen Shot 2017-02-26 at 11.30.15 PM.png

Engagement during the show with the followers was high which ranged from 200-4.0 k likes or retweets.

I would say this was a remarkable evening for social media, a chance for the public to take part in the excitement of their favorite stars and directors received recognition of hard work.

I couldn’t help but to think of the team behind this account that made this happen. From the looks of how every moment from the show was updated The Academy’s social media team was on top of their “a game” i would say.

To show how much of an engagement twitter had on the ceremony.  Stars were chosen to read mean tweets about them. I thought this was awkwardly funny, particularly because the tweeters probably had no idea that their tweets would even make it to national television, but to see the reactions from the stars they talked about was priceless. They didn’t seem to be too bothered about it, it was all banter i would say.

Felt like we were all present and winning.

References:

https://twitter.com/TheAcademy

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C5o544GU4AAzoS2.jpg:large

https://twitter.com/jimmykimmel

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Lit

 

 

 

The Ugly Babies of Sports Broadcasting

By Cesar Valdes

@The_CesarValdes

It’s become a skill in sports media: throw it on the wall and see if it sticks.

That’s the route that many of the top network’s ‘premiere analysts’ or ‘experts’ take when discussing topics and news in the world of sports.

National talking heads like Stephen A. Smith, Skip Bayless (both of whom were once columnist and reporters for newspapers), and many other lesser known loudmouths have all sold their journalistic soul to the Fake News Devil.

What they do on their own national platform is not educate their audience, like many local beat writers do. Actually what they really do is feed their audience spoonfuls of lies and fantasies.

Image result for skip and stephen

(Photo:ESPN)

So just how are Bayless and Smith able to be so informed on over 100 professional sport teams?

Well, they just aren’t.

There is no way a single human being can cover that many professional sport teams. Heck, it’s difficult as it is covering just one professional team.

Yet they talk about the athletes, front offices, and fan bases as if they’ve spent their entire professional career covering them. What’s even uglier is that the general public believes half the things that spew out of their mouths, rather than pay attention to a less dramatic report by a beat writer who spends nearly every single day of a teams’ regular season with that team.

Why? Because it’s fun!

I mean, why wouldn’t we want to hear the same “Dallas Cowboys will/could land this free agent” claim year after (I swear I’ve been hearing that for the past seven years).

The baseless claims that national pundits put out undermine the hard, unrewarding work that many local beat writers produce.

Beat writers are the ones who know how to connect the dots, they understand what the organization they’re covering may do because they talk to the players, coaches, general managers, and other sources with extensive knowledge every single day.

Some people choose not to listen to these beat writers because they don’t always agree with their fantasy dream of what is to come or they simply love the soap opera that comes with their antics.

Ultimately, if you want to be a knowledgeable fan of a team then follow a beat writer covering that team.

Sources:

http://deadspin.com/5929361/how-espn-ditched-journalism-and-followed-skip-bayless-to-the-bottom-a-tim-tebow-story

http://awfulannouncing.com/2012-articles/espn-s-journalistic-integrity-coming-under-close-examination.html

 

The Truth Hurts: How PR Professionals Should Handle the Social Media Climate

“Things just don’t be like they used to.” You may have heard that sentence from a grandfather or other senior member of your community. Most of the time, they’re wrong, for the most part. Even Socrates talked about how the younger generation is running amok, disrespecting elders and such. But here we are, hundreds of years later, still functioning just fine. Every generation thinks that the next generation in line is ruining everything, and the end of the world is just around the corner. Fortunately, it probably wasn’t. But lately, these grandpa’s may be less wrong than usual.

The explosion of social media really is changing everything. While the expansion is still occurring, social media has been around long enough that we can, to a degree, reflect on its impact on society. And boy is it changing things.

Before the internet, the bulk of a person’s interactions and knowledge came from what they experienced or from interaction with people who experienced something. In the age of social media, knowledge and experiences can be shared with someone across the globe in seconds. Because of that, anyone can find someone who agrees with them on just about any topic.

However, this means that anyone with a wrong idea can find people who agree with their sentiment, and use that agreement to create a self-perpetuating echo chamber. This leads to less developed conversations overall, and blatant hostility towards those who disagree. People lose their desire, and dare I say ability, to think critically. They get so caught up in groupthink that they lose their sense of balance and reality.

One example is the wage gap myth. People form their own opinions such as “women are at an extreme disadvantage in society.” This statement may in fact be true in a lot of ways. But whether or not it is, the idea will get bolstered by blatantly false information until the cows come home. Women do not earn 77 cents to every dollar a male earns. Many economists agree the gap is closer to 6.6 cents, and probably lower. Even people with the best intentions can still cause harm to an idea or movement. One thing to note, every group, popular opinion, or “side” is affected by the phenomenon.

What does this mean for PR professionals? They must hold themselves accountable to distributing truthful content. A person is smart, but people are dumb. Specifically journalists and trusted organizations, they must be careful what they post. It must be objective and true, and if it contains an opinion, it should be marked as such. PR is in part conveying information to the public. This issue of being objective in touchy topics may not come up every day. But when it does, a PR professional must be able to be objective, and know that whatever they say, it is true and good. For everyone’s good.

References:

For information on the wage gap- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christina-hoff-sommers/wage-gap_b_2073804.html

For information on Socrates sentiment- http://www.bartleby.com/73/195.html

For information on group think- http://www.psysr.org/about/pubs_resources/groupthink%20overview.htm

Photo credit is from this article- http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/12/thousands-protest-media-restrictions-poland-161217033552767.html