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Social Media in the Classroom

Edited By Hana S. Noor Al-Deen

Social Media in the Classroom provides a comprehensive resource for teaching social media in advertising, public relations, and journalism at the undergraduate and graduate levels. With twelve chapters by contributors from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, this volume provides original scholarly work which encompasses a wide range of methodologies, theories, and sample assignments for implementing social media. This book is an excellent resource for preparing students to transform their personal skills in social media into professional skills for success in the job market.
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Chapter Twelve: Going on a News Consumption Diet: Engaging Students in Meaningful Current Events Discussions Through Social Media

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Going ON A News Consumption Diet

Engaging Students in Meaningful Current Events Discussions Through Social Media

MELONY SHEMBERGER

At a time when social media and other digital technologies are prevailing in the information world, the need for news literacy is growing. In fact, mobile news consumers especially are more likely to follow news frequently, use multiple news platforms/sources, seek practical utilities from news information, value portal news sites, share content with others, and be receptive to advertising campaigns, especially those via social media (Vagg, 2010). Meanwhile, social networking has increased in popularity, as the percentage of Americans using Facebook has increased from 8% in 2008 to 51% in 2011 (Arbitron, 2011). Yet, despite a growing realization that media literacy is important in the modern age of media convergence, the development of media literacy education at the university level has been slow (Schmidt, 2013).

Given this current landscape, students—many of whom have mobile devices and access social media—from all academic disciplines should know what is happening in current events. However, regardless of all the digital transformations in recent years, today’s students do not seem interested in current events and are not engaged with traditional news sources. About three-quarters of college students, typically ages 18–24, consume news through digital platforms such as news websites and social media rather than more traditional sources (Center for the People & the Press, 2012). These students are part of the “always on” world of interactive...

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