Texas New Media organization explores social media tools in journalism

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Internet-based news technologies, including social media such as Twitter and Facebook, are the focus of a new student organization on campus which seeks to explore the changing face of journalism.

Texas New Media aims to help students interested in journalism gain more access to information about multimedia that might be otherwise unavailable in traditional classrooms, said the organization’s president and multimedia journalism junior Jessica Huff. New media is defined as constant news updates through the Web and multimedia.

“Unfortunately, probably most of the platforms that journalists will work with haven’t even been created yet,” Huff said. “The social media tools — the ways journalists are going to be going about reporting — they haven’t even been done yet. There is really no way our professors can keep up with the way the industry is moving.”

Vice president and multimedia journalism junior Brianna Collins said their first upcoming guest speaker is Martin Martinez, who works for Google and previously worked for Facebook. Collins said Martinez will visit the organization at a to-be-determined date in March.

“[Martinez] was really in-the-know with new media and multimedia, and it got him some really good jobs,” Collins said. “He is going to help us learn how to be on the right path.”

Collins said the organization will host guest speakers who have insight into the real-world application of new media.

Huff said new media and old media can work together and are not at odds with each other.

“Old media is not going to completely go out the window,” Huff said. “But I think if we don’t pick up on the new media, then old media will die on its own.”

Radio-television-film sophomore McKensie Wallesen said she is joining the club because she wants to be prepared for a wider range of jobs.

“They’re actually teaching us very specific skills that I feel like are useful,” Wallensen said. “They are talking about HTML, and that is something I don’t know and I would probably never learn in my major.”

Texas New Media will meet every Tuesday night in Mezes Hall 1.216. Huff said Texas New Media will address the topic of social media next week.

“It’s a buzzword right now, and it’s easy to catch on to,” Huff said. “I think we’re going to take apart some current publications such as The Daily Texan, the [Texas] Tribune and The Horn and talk about how these publications can improve their social media.”

Printed on Wednesday February 22, 2012 as: Group explores changes in media