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Journalists to be taught how to tweet

A journalism lecturer has this week launched what he claims is the world’s first Twitter course aimed at journalists.

Cleland Thom, who runs the Sussex-based CTJT school, says the course will show students how to get the best out of the micro-blogging tool.

Among other things, it will include advice on how to make the most of Twitter’s 140-character limit and how to use it to source information and story ideas.

Twitter’s gadgets and tools and legal and ethical boundaries will also be covered.

The £175 course is broken up into 12 modules and is sent to students on email, one module at a time, accompanied by exercises and assignments.

Exercises are home based and assignments are practical with students expected to find a certain type of story and write it up.

The diploma is recognised by the Open and Distance Learning Quality Council and is aimed at both working reporters and citizen journalists.

Cleland spent 25 years working in the regional press and is now also a legal adviser to the Manchester Evening News and Essex Independent Newspapers, among others.

  • For more information on the course visit the CTJT website.


    Paul (10/09/2009 10:26:38)
    What’s Cleland’s Twitter name?

    Onlooker (10/09/2009 11:56:41)
    Almost every day, I receive emails telling me new people are following me on Twitter. Only problem is I’ve never written a word on it. I went into the system and set up an account to see how it worked, that’s all. But from the messages I get, you would think everyone and his dog were hanging on my every word. Shows how bogus the system is. Twittering really is for twits.

    Jo Wadsworth (10/09/2009 12:34:53)
    Paul – it’s Cleland.

    Nick (10/09/2009 12:38:00)
    Onlooker – if you don’t engage with it of course it’s going to be rubbish for you. Most of those followers are probably spammers or are using programs to find followers. As with any technology some like it and some don’t, get over it.

    Onlooker (10/09/2009 14:44:11)
    Nick, I engaged with it on the level I outlined and it now tells me I have followers when I don’t have any. That is bogus to me.(I try to deal only in facts) Besides which, Twitter and blogs in general are a creative drain for a lot of journalists. They suck up a torrent of energy and talent and give barely anything back. Example – I wrote a blog for a newspaper for 18 months and made nothing out of it cash wise. I stopped. The time I was devoting to the blog I then put into articles and a book and made MONEY. Lesson: if you have anything worthwhile to say, don’t waste it on a free blog or, worse, on Twitter. Simples!

    Subbo (10/09/2009 16:00:08)
    I wonder why Cleland Thom finds the ‘£175 course’ so worthwhile…

    Alan (10/09/2009 17:43:31)
    The first course devoted solely to Twitter, perhaps, but not the first to teach Twitter techniques. The University of Central Lancashire in Preston has had journalism students signing up to and using Twitter for at least two years.
    Twitter isn’t the future but it’s part of it, and it’s part of the present, too. There’s plenty more that many journalists need to know to get to grips with newsgathering, news writing and news distribution in a digital world, and a multi-platform approach might be more productive in the end.

    Realist (11/09/2009 10:32:21)
    Judging by the dreadful quality of writing and subbing on many local papers now people might be better employed learning proper English.

    Chris Youett (14/09/2009 10:24:05)
    When are all these seniors who are in their second childhood going to realise that Twitter is the IT equivalent of flairs and hoola hoops. Assuming we have any local papers left in five years’ time, most Twitterers will be rather embarrassed to acknowledge that they ever used this useless bit of technology.

    Cynical (05/10/2009 13:52:54)
    Interesting but Cleland’s Twitter page no longer seems to exist! I wonder why that is? I assume it’s because he didn’t have millions of followers and it’s hard to sell something that you’re not actually that successful at yourself!