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Work with students as they select
the proper platform for content QT58

Guideline:

Students should evaluate the best tool for the content it provides. Because of this, students should use processes for brainstorming and shaping the coverage that identifies how to best show the story.

Student media should consistently and purposefully brainstorm what story ideas might be relevant and valuable to their audience.

Students should not ignore those story ideas that might be sensitive or cause offense but instead should consider how to cover these issues in meaningful, sensitive ways.

Student media should also recognize while audiences are likely to seek out news that’s personally interesting to them, news media have an obligation to also provide those stories that meet a standard for public service.

Often, these stories will fall in the “watchdog” category and include political and institutional coverage. While the audience may not be intrinsically interested in these stories, journalists must use their best news judgment to provide a mix of what consumers want to know and need to know.

Stance:

Students should brainstorm the best platform for their content. Audiences also may vary based on the platform.

Reasoning/suggestions:

If students don’t use the best venue for the content, then the story may not be told as robustly as possible. They also need to understand, as suppliers and consumers of news, that digital platforms are not reliant on editors to help select content. According to The Platform Press: How Silicon Valley Reengineered Journalism by Emily Bell and Taylor Owen, “Platforms rely on algorithms to sort and target content. They have not wanted to invest in human editing, to avoid both cost and the perception that humans would be biased. However, the nuances of journalism require editorial judgment, so platforms will need to reconsider their approach.”

Because of this, students need to understand the ways social media caters to the individual.

Additionally, as media literate consumers as Bell and Owen write, students should understand, “greater transparency and accountability are required from platform companies. While news might reach more people than ever before, for the first time, the audience has no way of knowing how or why it reaches them, how data collected about them is used, or how their online behavior is being manipulated. And publishers are producing more content than ever, without knowing who it is reaching or how—they are at the mercy of the algorithm.”

In essence, consumers often unknowingly shape the news they receive.

Resources:

Journalism Needs the Right Skills to Survive, Poynter

The Platform Press: How Silicon Valley Reengineered Journalism, Columbia Journalism Review

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