Facebook launches guide for journalism schools

by Nicole Martinelli
Oct 30, 2018 in Journalism Basics

Journalism professors may wish their students spent less time on social networks, but Facebook hopes to get educators to "like" it as a teaching tool.

Leading off with the assumption that "academia could be more social," the 14-page guide called "Facebook + Journalism 101" was developed by Vadim Lavrusik, journalism program manager at Facebook.

The content covers traditional j-school topics such as how to find new story ideas, track trends and find sources and publish real-time news updates using the social network. Other tips are decidedly journalism 2.0: how to bring attention and traffic to their work and help students create, craft and enhance their personal brand.

While some of that may seem tangential (when, exactly, did enhancing their "personal brand" become a must-have skill for journalists?) there are some old-school principles that still hold true.

In explaining the difference between profiles, pages and groups, Lavrusik notes that while "person profiles are accounts for authentic identity. However, it’s important for  journalists to still verify who they are talking to," adding that old journalism saw: “If your mother tells you she loves you, check it out.”

Some of the information, the fruit of researching what works on Facebook, goes far beyond the classroom.

"Posts about education, politics and behind-the-scenes insights and analysis from journalists received a higher amount of feedback on average. Education posts got 2X more likes, politics received both 1.7X more likes and 1.6X more comments, and a journalist sharing their thoughts had 1.4X more likes." And, interestingly, international news stories had 70% more referral clicks than average posts.

Lavrusik has also set up a group for socially-minded educators on Facebook, you can apply to join the closed group which currently numbers about 200 here.

You can download the full document on Facebook + Journalism 101 here.

IJNet also participated in one of Facebook's meetups for journalists. You can read those tips on how to use it for reporting here.