Creating Journalists at Emmanuel College

A guide for ENGL 2501 and ENGL 3801

Tweet this: Wednesday’s class speaker is The Sun’s Katie Lannan #ECKatie

An alpaca from Angel Hair Alpacas, representing the still-unfilled position of newsroom mascot demanded by Katie Lannan. Photo by Jennifer Lord Paluzzi

An alpaca from Angel Hair Alpacas, representing the still-unfilled position of newsroom mascot demanded by Katie Lannan. Photo by Jennifer Lord Paluzzi

On the surface, my Lowell Sun co-worker, Katie Lannan, is a live-Tweeting alpaca enthusiast.

Don’t let the youthful exterior fool you. She may have been out of college for just under two years, but Katie already has a great deal of experience under her belt. For both the Newtown school shootings and the Boston Marathon bombings, she was part of Digital First Media’s Thunderdome team, providing coverage of the tragedies and their aftermath for all of the company’s papers (her column about the Marathon is here). At The Sun, she covers the towns of Wilmington and Tewksbury, which popped her right into the middle of the state’s casino gambling debate when a slots parlor was proposed for Tewksbury.

A 2012 Boston University College of Communication graduate, Katie left school with considerable internship experience under her belt. You’ll find her LinkedIn profile here and you should also follow her on Twitter, @katielannan.

Katie will be speaking to students in my Emmanuel College Introduction to Journalism and Writing for Electronic Media classes on Wednesday. We will be turning the tables — the live-Tweeting, Tout-videoing reporter will be the subject of my students live-Tweets and Touts.

About Tout, by the way — it’s a real-time video publishing app that allows users to make 15 second clips suitable for sharing on social media. We use it at The Sun (certified users like us get 45 seconds — sorry) to live-report breaking news and add video to story packages on our website. Students in Writing for Electronic Media will be using it this semester, starting with Katie’s visit.

Download it now before class and pro tip: I recommend shooting video clips on your phone camera, rather than directly through Tout, since it does take time to upload the video. Save the video uploads for the end of the session and Tweet them out.

Students are going to want to reserve their time during class to Tweet as much as possible: the student who Tweets the most, one in each class, gets a prize. Hashtag for the class is #ECKatie, and I’ll be setting up a ScribbleLive to show everyone’s Tweets in real time… and since Katie has quite a few Twitter followers, we may see some non-class Tweets chiming in.

Since Katie will be talking about how we approach breaking news as digital reporters, this is a breaking news assignment for Writing for Electronic Media students.

  • By the start of class Wednesday, post a brief story advancing Lannan’s class appearance (there are links in this post you’ll find helpful).
  • By 5 p.m. Wednesday, post a “breaking news” brief on your site with details from her talk and a photo.
  • By the start of class Friday, have a full story, with quotes, photo and Tout video. You will have three stories on your blog.

Both classes: come ready to live-Tweet and take notes. Intro to Journalism students will be writing a single story, due by the start of class Friday.

Note: If you are missing class Friday because of spring break plans, let me know — and make sure your work is still in!

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This entry was posted on February 28, 2014 by in Digital Tools, Journalism, Twitter and tagged , , , , .

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