Welcome to #WVUblogJ for Spring 2019

Hello, future bloggers, and welcome to the fall semester of JRL 430: Social Media Journalism. This blog serves as the mothership for your work in this class: It will link to your personal and group blogs, detail your assignments, provide your online readings, and promote your fine work. There’s even a syllabus and schedule in the links at the top.

Let’s kick things off with a subject I’m sure you haven’t heard much about: President Trump. Our president is known for his Twitter use, and he’s got a substantial following, but the news media also amplifies that following by covering every tweet he makes. The question we’ve been asking since his inauguration: Should it?

On the one hand, IT’S THE PRESIDENT. Presidential statements have traditionally been regarded as inherently newsworthy – “A president’s pronouncements will always be news” – just because of who they come from. That’s pretty straightforward, and it’s the stance of many news organizations left, right and center.

On the other hand, Trump has a habit of being … less than accurate. Further, his statements can be somewhat repetitive, which works fine in a rally speech to deliver in multiple cities but some journalists argue doesn’t necessarily merit a spot on the national stage (consider this

This week, Trump will make a televised plea for his border wall from the Oval Office. After some discussion, most networks will cover it. Should they?

Cynical, perhaps, but not unwarranted.


This next exchange sums up the discussion pretty well:

There’s no easy answer here, but as up-and-coming mass communicators, this is the media world you’re inheriting. What will your role be in it?

Back to course details! Check this blog regularly for the most up-to-date information on our class. If you’re not sure when something’s due, come here first! I’ll be posting your first assignment (for next week!) soon, so check back. Your first read and respond will be posted as well (every Friday; due Monday night). Get ready, come up with some good ideas, follow me at @thebobthe on Twitter so I can follow you (and get that account created, Twitter holdouts), start using our #WVUblogJ hashtag, and let’s get started!

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