DePaul University’s College of Communication is exploring the new frontiers of journalism through courses on Twitter, entrepreneurial journalism and backpack reporting, providing students with cutting-edge knowledge in this rapidly changing field.
This fall, DePaul University journalism alumnus Craig Kanalley will teach what is believed to be the first college-level journalism course focused solely on Twitter and its applications. Kanalley is a digital intern at the Chicago Tribune.
It is one of several innovative courses offered by DePaul’s College of Communication to help prepare students to work in the burgeoning digital landscape. Other journalism courses include niche journalism, reporting for converged newsrooms, backpack reporting and entrepreneurial journalism.
Kanalley said his course, “Digital Editing: From Breaking News to Tweets, is really about learning how to make sense of the clutter of the Web, particularly in situations of breaking news or major developing stories, and how to evaluate and verify the authenticity of reports by citizen journalists.
“Thousands share information about these stories and how they’re affected through Twitter every day, and there’s a need to sift through this data to find relevant information that provides story tips and additional context for these events,” Kanalley said.
Students will especially focus on the social networking platform Twitter and apply concepts discussed in class to Kanalley’s live journalism Web site Breaking Tweets (www.breakingtweets.com), which integrates news and relevant Twitter feedback to create a one-of-a-kind Web experience for readers by providing eyewitness accounts of breaking news stories from around the world.
Since its launch in January 2009, the site has gained an international following and had more than 300,000 page views; it has been praised by new media analysts as a major player in the social media field. Iranian authorities blocked Breaking Tweets because of its reporting on the Iranian election, and in May, the site broke a story on the attempted attack on the royal family in Holland before the story was picked up by BBC or CNN.
In April, Kanalley was named one of the 100 top collegiate journalists by UWIRE, a community-driven service for student journalists. He was one of four DePaul students who covered the presidential inauguration via Twitter and live blogging, which ran on the Chicago Sun-Times’ Web site as the “D.C. Project.”
Other College of Communication new media courses include:
● Niche Journalism: Examines the explosion in magazine and trade publication journalism that targets specific audiences with content designed exclusively for them.
● Reporting for Converged Newsrooms: Equips journalists with ability to assemble and produce stories that can be published and distributed across integrated media platforms.
● Backpack Reporting: Gives students the practical experience they need in news gathering and distribution within the converged landscape of electronic newsgathering.
● Entrepreneurial Journalism: Focuses on how journalism students can create their own place on the Internet and become known as content specialists in particular niche areas.
DePaul’s College of Communication is the fourth-largest provider of bachelor’s degrees in communication in Illinois and second-largest in the Chicago area. It is the second-largest provider of master’s degrees in communication in the state. It offers undergraduate programs in communication studies; journalism; media and cinema studies; public relations and advertising; and communication and media. Graduate programs include journalism; public relations and advertising; media, cinema and society; and organizational and multicultural communication.