TL; DR: The Iowa Caucuses on Social Media

The Iowa caucuses are all over, and the social media winner of the night was Democratic contender Bernie Sanders, who was “mentioned over 77,000 times on Twitter during the caucus, while Clinton was mentioned 52,000 times”, according to social media sentiment analytics firm Brandwatch.   Sanders also beat Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump to get more new Facebook followers: 15,695 to 10,704.  What correlation is there, if any, between social conversation trends and who wins an election?  This was a question that MSNBC asked, and then answered.  Not at a lot, was its conclusion.  Mashable, however, said that Twitter nailed it.  So the jury’s still out, apparently, on whether social media performance translates into real electoral gains.

The most entertaining social media star was #stickerkid, also dubbed the “new left shark”, who upstaged Hillary Clinton with his own special brand of publicity.

We saw journalists periscoping and filing quick live hits optimised for Facebook straight from the caucus locations.  Here’s  one from Lawson Elementary School by Zoe Daniel from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.


Live video chat here at 2pm AEDT from Iowa. Hit subscribe for notifications.

Posted by Zoe Daniel on Monday, 1 February 2016

Ben Terris of the Washington Post filed a lovely twitter story about a tiny Democratic caucus in someone’s living  attended by 52 people.

And one last unforgettable moment – filmed by BBC’s Newsnight – was when Republican hopeful Ted Cruz tried to hug a little girl, and she really, really didn’t like it.  The problem for him?  It was his own daughter.

For Monday’s class, please read the findings from The Revenue Picture for American Journalism and How it’s Changing (Pew).

Assignment: radio piece of between 2 and 2’30 for Feb 9th.    Here’s a cheatsheet with some of the most basic commands/moves from today’s workshop.  Rubric is here.


Peachy Keen

Big news:  there’s a new social network that’s blowing up, but everyone is kind of clueless about what it is and does.

Buzzfeed’s explainer is itself somewhat baffled.

Where did this app come from?
I have no freakin’ clue, bro. This thing came out of nowhere and now everyone has it.

In fact Peach was started by Vine Founder Dom Hofman, and one of its capabilities, according to Tech Radar is a host of magic words.

Typing “shout” lets you write in big blown up letters on a colored background with an emoji. “Draw” does what you think it would, “song” lets you share what you’re listening to with others, who can tap on it to listen themselves, and “rate” will let you rate literally anything between one and five stars.  GIF, here, goodmorning, goodnight, battery, dice, safari are also Magic Words, and Peach promises more are on the way.

However, the Next Web warns Peach is already being taken over by people using fake celebrity names.  So is it the next big thing?  It’s big among Tech Twitter – tech journalists, investors and entrepreneurs – but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will catch on.  “What does Tech Twitter’s early interest tell us about Peach’s future success?” asks Re/Code. “Not much”, it concludes.

READING:  How Americans Get Their News.  (American Press Institute)

ASSIGNMENT:  Write a blogpost of around 400 words introducing yourself, your media consumption habits and the beat that you will blog upon in the next semester.   How do you get your news?  Have your news consumption habits changed since arriving at university?   In describing your news consumption habits, please tie them into the some of the trends described in Post-Industrial Journalism.   How do your news consumption habits differ from those of your parents?   Explain what beat you will be focusing on in your blog over the next semester and why. (Jan 12 8pm)