Josh Sterns, who directs the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation’s journalism sustainability project, recently asked me to share my thoughts on teaching students how to verify social media content. In the article, How Journalism Schools Can Train a New Generation of Fierce Fact Checkers, Sterns discusses how verification of user-generated content and other social media skills are critical to be successful in journalism today, but they are not yet a key part of journalism curricula.

According to Stern’s informal survey of journalism educators, students may be introduced to the concept of verification of social media content, but may not necessarily take a deep dive into the topic by the time they walk away with a journalism degree.

I discuss these points in more detail in the article:

  • The lack of faculty members who have expertise in this area
  • The importance of flexibility in journalism programs in order for curricula to address skills needed in today’s newsrooms
  • Repetition throughout curricula of skill related to verification of social media content
  • Importance of collaboration between newsrooms and journalism programs