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J-Schoolers at DePaul U. Study Breaking Tweets

Twitter’s power as a news source became a big story in June’s disputed Iranian elections. Now DePaul University is offering what is apparently the first college journalism class devoted entirely to the microblogging platform.

The course, called “Digital Editing: From Breaking News to Tweets,” will teach students to make sense of the “clutter” of the Internet, “particularly in situations of breaking news or major developing stories,” according to a news release.

Students will learn how to “get the most out of Twitter,” says Craig Kanalley, a Chicago Tribune digital intern who is teaching the class. Part of the focus will be evaluating and verifying material produced by citizen journalists. 

“There aren’t many opportunities like this class for students to experiment in this new media space and gain skills that will make them more marketable in the future,” Mr. Kanalley wrote in an e-mail to The Chronicle. “I know that as a student myself and having learned much of this primarily outside the classroom.”

The Web site Gawker pointed out that the course is also an opportunity for Mr. Kanalley, writing that the DePaul journalism alumnus has “wisely leveraged the class into free content” for his Web site, Breaking Tweets, an aggregator of Twitter posts. 

The idea of a Twitter class is “easy to mock,” Gawker added, doing just that with the headline, “Twitter ‘Investigative’ Journalism 101: The Syllabus.”

“But unlike a traditional j-school course on, say, magazine layout,” Gawker wrote, “this one actually might eventually provide students some return on their precious tuition dollars.” 

 

 

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