COM356 Personal Learning Plan

Well, here we are. This is my blog. One major portion of my Social Media Theory & Strategies class (COM356) this semester involves blogging on a weekly basis about various assigned topics relating to social media.

Another significant element of this class requires me to participate in a Personal Learning Project. This assignment allows students to independently explore a facet of social media that we are interested in but may not have sufficient time to fully cover in class.

As a journalism student, I chose to spend my time studying social media as it relates to news; primarily, how Americans are utilizing social media to get their news. The knowledge gained through this study will be helpful to me after I graduate and am thrown into the fast-paced world of journalism.

Although it is unlikely that print newspapers will be completely obsolete any time soon, the world of journalism is adapting as technology evolves. Through this research project, I hope to learn about the history, present, and future of the relationship that news has with social media.

Cision’s Social Journalism Study of 2013 revealed that only 10% of journalists did not spend time on social media for their jobs on a daily basis. This particular study focused on the ways that journalists utilize social media for work:


So there is no doubt that social media will be a significant part of my future as a journalist. But for my research project, I also want to consider the other side: how are my audiences using social media to get the information that I’m putting out there?

According to Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project, “news consumption varies widely across social networking sites.”


Of course there are pros and cons in this relationship between social media and journalism, but I’ll conclude my first post with a positive example.

As seen above, Facebook is a major platform that provides news. The company recently celebrated its 10th birthday and launched an app called Paper. This app incorporates not only the social aspect of Facebook (standard news feed, photo albums, etc.) but also daily news stories from major publications. Additionally, users can personalize their “Paper” with topics such as pop culture, technology, and more.

This concept is a prime example of social media and journalism working together in a way that meets the needs and desires of its audience. As this recent Ypulse study found, 68% of millennials get their news from social media. So kudos to Facebook for developing a concept that appeals to their audiences and holds their attention long enough to read about what’s going on in the world around them.

I will continue to blog on various social media topics here for the next few weeks. But to keep up with the progress on my personal learning project, follow this separate blog, where I will report my findings throughout the remainder of this semester.


2 thoughts on “COM356 Personal Learning Plan

  1. As one of those people who primarily gets my news from social media, I think this is a great topic! It’s always interesting to me to see how social media adjusts to the fact that we are getting more news through them. I think Facebook’s Paper app was a really good idea for them and I think that your choice as a journalist to study this topic will be very informative. I look forward to seeing what you learn!

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