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MDS 3130-01

Social Media Reporting

Tuesdays-Thursdays 9:30-10:45
WAC 2092
Spring, 2015
Professors: Sybril Bennett, Ph.D.
Office: Gabhart, 201-D
Office Phone: 460-6383
E-mail: Sybril.bennett@belmont.edu
Twitter: @drsyb
Skype: sybrilbennett
Office Hours: Mondays & Wednesdays 8:30-11:30 and by appointment, online hours
available also.
Attendance Policy: With regard to absences, follow the Belmont University Policy. If
violated, you will be involuntarily dropped from the course and given the grade of WF.
WF stands for failing at the time of withdrawal and is the equivalent of an F. My
classroom policy is that for every absence beyond 3, 10 points will be deducted from
your grade. If it is possible and you need to miss class, please let me know in advance.
Whether you inform me or not, YOU are RESPONSIBLE for the class work you miss.
Honor Code: Any violation of academic integrity, cheating, plagiarism, fabrication,
aiding and abetting, etc will not be tolerated. Offenses will be prosecuted through the
appropriate University channels.
Honor Pledge: I will not give or receive aid during examinations; I will not give or
receive false or impermissible aid in course work, in the preparation of reports, or in any
other type of work that is to be used by the instructor as the basis of my grade; I will not
engage in any form of academic fraud. Furthermore, I will uphold my responsibility to
see to it that others abide by the spirit and letter of this Honor Pledge.
Accommodation for Students with Disabilities:
In compliance with section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act and Americans with
Disabilities Act, Belmont University will provide reasonable accommodation of all
medically documented disabilities. If you have a disability and would like the University
to provide reasonable accommodations for your disability during this course, please
notify Tammye Tanksley, Director of Counseling and Developmental Support, in the
Office of Student Affairs (460-6875) as soon as possible.
To identify, pitch, research, write and produce content for social media distribution.
To be able to consistently meet deadlines for posting and updating online material.
To encourage students to critically analyze the impact of 24 hour instantaneous media
To prepare students for careers in multimedia environments

To better understand multimedia strategy, purpose and implementation

Aim for the Heart by Al Tompkins
Other readings will be assigned.

Daily News Consumption: Consume news on and off line!!!!!

Site Visits: You are responsible for your transportation to designated sites for
visits as well as for newsgathering.

Monitoring news and journalism websites is also necessary. Here are a few:
www.poynter.org, http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/social-media/,

Other Requirements:
Google Plus Set-Up
You are also required to join the private Google Plus community
Social Media Reporting 2015 I have created. You need a Gmail
account, click your name with the +sign at the top right of your
gmail account. Go to drop down menu, top left by HOME icon.
Choose people. On the left side, you will see the search
anyone option. Put in Dr. Syb Bennett. Add me to your friend
or acquaintance circle. Send me your gmail address when you
are finished. Please email your gmail address to
sybril.bennett@belmont.edu BEFORE class on January 13.
Then I can add you to the class community. You will need to add
Dr. Syb Bennett to your circles.
Twitter Account Set-Up
Select a Twitter handle it is your BRAND, think of a short professionally
meaningful twitter name. You may use your name. I use @drsyb for
Your account must be public. We will discuss how to use the account to
build relationships, reputation and to conduct research.

Class & Online Participation/Attendance, etc.: Your grade will reflect your class
participation. You can lose points due to lack of participation. Are you participating on
Twitter and in the Google Plus Community. Did you make meaningful contributions in
class or were on your computer or phone? Did you read, share and comment on relevant
articles, videos and posts especially from the PBS Mediashift Social Media site? Are you
an engaged student or a bystander? Was the class optional for you? Are you providing
substance? Quizzes on current events and related in class topics and posts online are fair
game. In other words, are you sharing what youre learning, reading, etc. You need to
demonstrate critical analysis skills.
Google Hangout (20%) & Twitter Chat (20%) Did you conduct research, help create
questions, secure interview guests and actively participate in the Twitter chat and Google
Hangout? We will cover the tools in class and then you will use them in the
newsgathering process. This is a group project. Each member will conduct thorough
research, you will take turns interviewing as well as producing the segments. In addition,
you will work together to choose interview questions and to determine the story angle.
Rotate leadership as instructed to do so in class. Find experts who are engaged in the
subject matter. Put forth an effort, leverage Twitter to contact national and/or international
sources. Go beyond the obvious. STRETCH you journalism skills. You just need one
person yet two would be ideal to facilitate a more meaningful discussion.
Email your research, links, questions and preparatory notes for each story/event in
advance of the event. Also, be sure when marketing date and time USE CST for
All sessions will be 60 minutes.
Preparation and research is the key.
Start Up Case Study (20%)
You may work individually or in a group to analyze, understand and explain a new media
start-up. You will present information regarding ownership, audience, competition,
vision, goals, etc. Your presentation should be creative, engaging and including your
classmates as part of the experience.
Tutorial (20%)-Each student will complete one online tutorial. Students will select an
application, for example, Slack. They will then explore the app/website and find out with
regards to journalism how to use it, why should it be used, when should it be used? Are
there any ethical, legal or privacy issues involved? You are expected to use different
storytelling tools, audio, video, still photos, graphics, interviews, etc to present the
information. The tutorial should be concise (2-3 minutes) whether it is videotaped, a

slideshow, text and graphics etc. You will need to use the tools that you will learn about
in this class. Then, you will present your tutorial to the class.
Online Portfolio (20%)
You are expected to create a blog, webpage, infographic, slideshare or some other online
creative expression to showcase your professional portfolio. Again, the key is
demonstrating your strategic knowledge of how to use the tools, when and why. The
online portfolio is an ongoing project and the initial page should be up before Spring
Break. It will be checked on a regular basis to see if you are updating it on a regular
basis. This is worth 100 points. You will be graded on content, creativity, accuracy, etc.
You will present your portfolio during the final exam period.

Google Hangout
Start Up Case Study (Individual or Group)
Tutorial (Individual)
Twitter Chat (will average both grades)
Final Exam-Online Portfolio (Individual)

100 Points
100 Points
100 Points
100 Points
100 Points

Points may be deducted for late assignments, absences and lack of constructive class
participation. In other words, dont miss deadlines, participate, do your best.

A 360-400 points
B 359-320
C 319-280
D 279-240

Class Deadlines
News Stories will be due on an on-going basis. Students are expected to meet
deadlines. Dates may change based on what weve accomplished.

Intro Social Media Reporting


Intro Social Media Reporting


Twitter/State of the News Media


Twitter /Pew Research


Twitter Chat Prep







Group Work

Twitter Chat Group 1

Twitter Chat Group 2


Twitter Chat Group 3


Twitter Chat Group 4


Twitter Chat Review/Case Study Prep


Start Ups Case Study


Start Ups Case Study


Group Meetings

Start Up Case Study

Google Hangout Group 4


Spring Break


Google Hangout Group 3


Google Hangout Group 2


Group Work


Google Hangout Group 1




Easter Break




Twitter Chat or Google Hangout Group 4


Twitter Chat or Google Hangout Group 3


Twitter Chat or Google Hangout Group 2

Deadline for Twitter Chat


Twitter Chat or Google Hangout Group 1

Final Exam Tuesday, May 5, 8am- Portfolio Presentations