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University of Missouri Uses Social News Desk to Stay Secure and Enforce Best Practices for Students!


The Opportunity and Challenge

The University of Missouri operates KOMU 8, a full-powered NBC affiliate that operates as an independent commercial property. The university uses the KOMU newsroom as a working lab for students and has a constantly rotating staff of students operating the station’s newscasts and social media sites. At any given time, about two dozen students are writing posts for Facebook and Twitter while also learning how to become professional journalists.

Keeping Accounts Secure

When Interactive Director Annie Hammock joined the University of Missouri, students were regularly added as administrators to the KOMU Facebook page and the entire newsroom of dozens of students had access to the Twitter password. It was impossible to tell with certainty who had posted what. That situation made Hammock incredibly uncomfortable, so she reached out to SND to improve security. She now can see which student posted which story, what day and time they posted it, which accounts they posted the story to and how the post performed. This allows her to provide better news coverage while also guiding her students to become better journalists.

“When mistakes are made, I can see who made them, and address it directly. SND helped us significantly boost security,”
-Annie Hammock, Interactive Director, KOMU News/University of Missouri

Enforcing Best Practices

Not only does the University of Missouri want to keep accounts safe, but the overall goal is to teach students to become excellent digital journalists. Here are some of features of Social News Desk that Annie Hammock says help to enforce Best Practices for students in the KOMU newsroom:

  • Post Frequency: Individual goals for individual students with varying schedules and skill levels
  • Quick Posts: Templates help to keep a consistent tone for a constantly rotating staff
  • Reminders: Pop-ups in Social News Desk that remind students about spell-checking, posting links and posting photos help to keep social media postings consistent
  • Monthly Webinars: SND’s monthly webinars and trainings help keep students aware of changing trends both online and in the newsrooms where they’ll eventually work professionally

“The students looooooved hearing from you in the webinar! We had a robust conversation after! Thank you for helping us,”
-Annie Hammock, Interactive Director, KOMU News/University of Missouri

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