Jill Hopke

Environmental Communication. Social Movements. Mobile Media.

Tag: journalism

DePaul University spring 2018 online journalism courses in “Social Media and the News”

I will be teaching an online undergraduate and graduate course in “Social Media and the News” at DePaul University in the spring term.

If you are an instructor at another university, or a student interested in enrolling in either the undergraduate or graduate sections, please feel free to contact me with any questions. The course overview is below.


Graduate Section

JOUR 542: Social Media and the News

DePaul University, College of Communication

Section 301, Class # 36412, Spring Quarter 2018


Undergraduate Section

JOUR 376 “Topics in Journalism”: Social Media and the News

DePaul University, College of Communication

Section 601, Class # 32402 , Spring Quarter 2018


Instructor: Dr. Jill Hopke, Assistant Professor of Journalism

Contact: jhopke@depaul.edu (I strive to respond to emails within one business day, excluding weekends); 312-362-7641 (office)

Office location: 1123 Daley, 14 E. Jackson, Loop Campus

Office hours: TBA (and by email appointment)

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jillhopke

Twitter: @jillhopke

Course Description

Journalists use mobile devices and social media in newsgathering, distributing content and engagement with active audiences. This course blends the theory and practice of social media to provide you will a hands-on introduction to, and practice on, a digital-first approach to journalism. We will analyze and apply a range of social and mobile media tools.

This course has a duel purpose:

  • On a skills level, you’ll be able to hone your professional social media practice and to build your technical skills with social media apps and platforms. By the end of the quarter you’ll have an online professional portfolio and should have developed a “voice” on social platforms for your professional self; and
  • We will put a critical lens to social journalism and develop a grounding in social media and news concepts and the application of journalistic ethics to mobile and social media, that you can then apply as you embark on your career in this ever-evolving field.

The course covers emerging theory on social media, including: networked gatekeeping, social listening as applied to journalism, audience engagement and analytics, citizen journalism, visual storytelling, best practices for content curation and covering breaking news events with social tools, as well as verification of social content and ethics. You will develop and implement a professional social media strategy, practice with a variety of mobile journalism and social media tools and curate an online professional portfolio. For your final project, you’ll conduct a social media audit and develop a professional social media plan.

Learning Objectives

Our learning objectives for the quarter:

  • Develop a “mobile-first” mindset for your reporting and mobile newsgathering technical skills;
  • Describe the changing role of audiences and the impact on journalism;
  • Be able to assess user-generated content (UGC) from social media apps and platforms and locate reliable information from social media to use in your reporting;
  • Design and actively manage your personal professional “brand” on social media;
  • Demonstrate the use of audience analytics to improve your professional social media strategy;
  • Assess the effectiveness of news organizations social media strategies and policies;
  • Identify how the core journalistic concepts of verification and objectivity apply to mobile journalism and social media;
  • Analyze future trends in social, “digital-first” journalism; and
  • Complete the Facebook for Journalists Certificate (joint with the Poynter Institute).

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New DePaul undergraduate course in climate change communication

I will be teaching a new undergraduate course in climate change communication at DePaul University in the winter quarter. The course is part of the university minors in Environmental Communication and Climate Change Science and Policy.

If you are an instructor at another university, or a student interested in enrolling, please feel free to contact me with any questions. The syllabus is below.

JOUR 311 / CMNS 363: Climate Change Communication

DePaul University, College of Communication

Section 201 / 501, Class 2504 / 25225, Winter Quarter 2018

Room 314 Arts and Letters Hall, Lincoln Park Campus, Monday / Wednesday 2:40 to 4:10 p.m.

Instructor: Dr. Jill Hopke, Assistant Professor of Journalism

Contact: jhopke@depaul.edu (I strive to respond to emails within one business day, excluding weekends); 312-362-7641 (office)

Office location: 1123 Daley, 14 E. Jackson, Loop Campus

Office hours: Mondays 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. and Wednesdays 11:00 to 11:30 a.m. in my Loop office; directly following class in the LPC (and by email appointment)

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jillhopke

Course Description

Individuals make up their minds on climate change, energy development, and other science of pressing public policy importance through a complex set of factors: values, demographics, political ideology, and so on. Journalists, strategic communicators, scientists, and policy analysts need to be able to communicate effectively with diverse public audiences on climate and energy topics. This course is oriented from a science communication perspective and draws on social scientific research on communicating on climate change and energy issues. We will take a human perspective on climate issues and focuses on the social, political and cultural aspects of climate change. The course covers best practices for promoting and facilitating public dialogue on climate change policy and global energy systems. Topics covered include: climate change public opinion and knowledge, media portrayals of climate change and its societal effects, climate skepticism and denial, psychological factors that contribute to values and beliefs on climate science, journalism and covering climate issues, framing and developing narratives on climate impacts, and climate change in popular culture. Students will conduct original research to analyze and evaluate climate change communication. For the final project, students have the option of completing a major journalistic reporting project, designing an advocacy or marketing campaign, or conducting a research project.

Learning Objectives

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • Explain the function of communication in shaping attitudes, values, practices and policy on climate change and energy issues in the United States and internationally;
  • Understand the role of worldviews, perceptions, and beliefs in shaping public opinion on climate change and energy development;
  • Understand the roots of climate denialism in a U.S. political context and internationally;
  • Identify and evaluate mechanisms for communicating on climate science and energy issues; and
  • Identify and evaluate rhetoric and visual communication generated, and used by, those communicating about climate change and energy topics.

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Moderated panel on “Fake News: What to Do About It?” April 4

I moderated a panel on Tuesday, April 4 on “Fake News: What to Do About It?” sponsored by DePaul University’s Center for Journalism Integrity and Excellence, Journalism Program and College of Communication.

Fake News: What to Do About It? (Panel Discussion) from DePaul College of Communication on Vimeo.

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Free Speech In an Age of Campus Protest

I was recently invited to facilitate a roundtable discussion on free speech, journalism and student protests against racism on college campuses around the country. The conversation appears in the January 2016 issue of In These Times magazine. Below is an excerpt:

In November 2015, protests demanding institutional change in response to repeated racist incidents on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia, Mo., spread around the country under the banner of #BlackOnCampus and #StudentBlackOut.

On Nov. 9, 2015, University of Missouri system President Tim Wolfe resigned. His resignation came after sustained activism throughout the fall semester by Mizzou students calling themselves Concerned Student 1950 (the year that the university admitted its first Black student), a hunger strike by graduate student Jonathan Butler and a boycott by members of the school’s football team.

On the day of Wolfe’s departure, a video went viral showing University of Missouri Assistant Professor Melissa Click calling for “some muscle” to keep journalists from covering the student protest encampment on the school’s Carnahan Quad. Much mainstream media attention shifted away from student demands to journalists’ First Amendment rights to report in public spaces.

To go beyond the headline-generating viral video, In These Times invited three people to discuss connections to the broader Black Lives Matter movement, how journalists can build trust with communities of color and where the movement might go in 2016: Yamiesha Bell, a graduate student at the University of Connecticut and organizer with the Black Liberation Collective (BLC); Sandy Davidson, a Curators’ Teaching Professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism and attorney for the Columbia Missourian, the Missouri School of Journalism’s newspaper; and Asha Rosa, a Black queer writer, student at Columbia University and co-chair of the NYC Chapter of Black Youth Project 100.

What did you all make of the Missouri students and professor who attempted to prevent journalists from documenting their protest?

SANDY: After the incident with Professor Click, the media flipped the attention, and it became a question of First Amendment rights and photojournalists. But this university is home to the first journalism school. So we had some conflict. Part of the difficulty in Missouri was that a photojournalist from our school was assigned to document something that was historical and newsworthy, that was taking place in a public space. I regret that the students didn’t take the opportunity to get their message out.

ASHA: Black people have our rights violated all the time. Part of protest is taking over spaces and setting the terms of how the space is going to be used. Black organizers are working toward their own self-determination, and if they’re going to set certain rules, they don’t necessarily need to explain to people why. They don’t necessarily have to obey all of the laws. The police certainly aren’t.

YAMIESHA: I don’t blame the students at Mizzou for telling the journalists, “This isn’t your space.” Because that really wasn’t their space.

To read the full article, visit In These Times here.

On Journalism and the Long Struggle for Workers Rights

As the semester has ended, I’ve had the occasion to read for pleasure. I picked-up a copy of Dorothy Day’s autobiography The Long Loneliness, which had sat on my bookshelf unread for quite some time. Day, founder of the Catholic Worker Movement in the 1930s and before that a journalist in the radical New York press during the 1920s, writes of journalism, labor rights and community. The first two of which provide useful lessons to movements against income inequality and for workers rights in 2011, nearly a hundred years after she started out as a reporter for the New York Call, a Socialist daily newspaper.

Day can be remembered today as a journalist who lived what she wrote of—feeding the hungry, walking picket lines with strikers, challenging Church hierarchy to embody its principles in the mist of the Great Depression and opposing all wars, no matter their genesis.

On journalism, she provides a picture of the importance of the press in its heyday:

We started publishing The Catholic Worker at 436 East Fifteenth Street in May 1933, with a first issue of 2,500 copies. Within three or four months the circulation bounded to 25,000, and it was cheaper to bring it out as an eight-page tabloid on newsprint rather than the smaller-sized edition on better paper we had started with. By the end of the year we had a circulation of 100,000 and by 1936 it was 150,000. It was certainly a mushroom growth. It was not only that some parishes subscribed for the paper all over the country in bundles of 500 or more. Zealous young people took the paper out in the streets and sold it, and when they could not sell it even at one cent a copy, they gave free copies and left them in streetcar, bus, barber shop and dentist’s office. We got letters from all parts of the country from people who said they had picked up the paper on trains, in rooming houses. (p. 182)

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