Using social media causes some reporters to struggle separating personal & professional identities

It is common for a news agency to request or require that its journalists use social media to promote their work as well as help market the company’s brand.

Often, reporters, editors and columnists maintain two or more accounts on each social media platform in an effort to keep their professional lives separate from their personal ones.

In many cases, journalists have a love-hate relationship with social media – they understand its immense value and critical role but also know that misuse and mistakes, however unintentional, can easily sideline a career.

As social media has evolved and become a larger focus of newsroom culture, individuals who have mastered its use have been able to elevate their profiles, with a few being catapulted into media stardom.

High-profile journalists see social media as key to bolstering what are already strong personal brands. Ezra Klein, who used to write and edit Wonkblog for The Washington Post but is now at Vox, and Nate Silver, the founder and editor in chief of FiveThirtyEight, are examples.

As of early 2016, Silver had more than 1.3 million Twitter followers. CNN anchor and correspondent Anderson Cooper, who had nearly 7 million followers in January 2016, was named by Politico as Twitter’s most influential political journalist in 2015. Klein and Silver were on the list, too, coming in at No. 6 and 7, respectively.

Academic scholars have studied the role of company branding and personal branding in journalism. But communication professor Avery E. Holton of The University of Utah and journalism professor Logan Molyneux of Temple University assert that questions about the trend’s impact on journalists’ personal identities were largely left unanswered. Holton interviewed 41 reporters and editors from various U.S. publications to try to better understand the issue.

The results of their research were published in 2015 in Journalism. Their study, titled“Identity Lost? The Personal Impact of Brand Journalism,” received a Top Faculty Paper award in 2015 from the International Communication Association.

The study’s key findings include:

  • Reporters are increasingly focusing their attention on developing their professional identities on social media rather than their personal identities.
  • Reporters have been asked to make changes to the way they present themselves and their content on social media, including adding their news organization’s logo to their social media pages and providing fewer links to news items that were not published by their employers. They also have been asked to help promote events and partnerships that might cast their news agencies in a positive light.
  • Reporters struggle with balancing their professional and personal identities online. They “feel pressure to stake a claim on their beat, develop a presence as an expert in their profession and area of coverage, and act as a representative of the news organization at all times. This leaves little room for aspects of personal identity such as family, faith, or friendship to be shared online.”
  • Many reporters said they see social media as a way to demonstrate that they are true experts in their field or subject area of coverage, which they think helps differentiate them from wire reporters and other reporters who do not have as much experience and subject-area expertise.
  • There still is uncertainty among reporters and editors about acceptable practices on social media, especially as they relate to personal branding and company branding.
  • Reporters are being asked to read and respond to social media posts at all times, which they view as an added burden among a long list of job responsibilities.
  • Editors said that they are sympathetic to the branding-related demands being placed on reporters but feel “hamstrung” by the policies and expectations of their news organizations. Few said they monitor their reporters’ social media activities but acknowledged that their news agencies “made examples out of individuals who were not falling in line.”

The authors suggest that news organizations may need to reconsider how social media is used for branding, promotion and identity creation. Journalists face choosing between their jobs and personal online identities. “This choice presents a paradox: if journalists choose to present too much of a personal identity, they risk punishment by their employers,” the authors state. “If they present only a professional identity, they risk offending their audiences.”

Related research: A 2015 study published in Digital Journalism, “Branding (Health) Journalism,” looks at how journalists covering specialty areas such as health are developing personal brands through social media. A 2013 study in Journalism & Mass Communication, “Audience Response to Brand Journalism: The Effect of Frame, Source, and Involvement,” focuses on consumers’ attitudes toward and reactions to brand journalism.

Keywords: branding, identity, social media, personal branding, brand journalism


Writer: | January 22, 2016

Citation: Holton, Avery E.; Molyneux, Logan. “Identity Lost? The Personal Impact of Brand Journalism,” Journalism, 2015. doi: 10.1177/1464884915608816.

– See more at:

Source: Journalism branding: Impact on reporters’ personal identities – Journalist’s Resource Journalist’s Resource

Clinton and Sanders  argue over who’s more progressive – but what the heck is a progressive?

NBC News Sponsors The Fourth Democratic Presidential Candidate Debate
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders at a presidential candidate debate in Charleston, South Carolina, on Jan. 17, 2016.
The Progressive Party of 1912 was an American political party formed by former President Theodore Roosevelt, after a split in the Republican Party between him and President William Howard Taft.

Bernie Sanders says he’s a socialist democrat AND a progressive. In 1991, Sanders co-founded the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

More recently Hillary Clinton says she’s a progressive too.

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders Are Arguing Over Who’s More Progressive

Sanders says she only is “some days”

A long-simmering feud betweenHillary Clinton and Bernie Sandersover who is the real “progressive” in the Democratic presidential race broke into the open Wednesday, with the two rivals trading barbs on the campaign trail and in social media.

It started after Sanders, speaking Tuesday in New Hampshire following Clinton’s narrow win in the Iowa caucuses, said Clinton is only a progressive “some days.”

“Except when she announces that she is a proud moderate, and then I guess she is not a progressive,” Sanders said.

Clinton fired back Wednesday on Twitter.



So what does it mean to be a PROGRESSIVE?Teaching American History:

Progressive Party Platform of 1912

August 7, 1912

The conscience of the people, in a time of grave national problems, has called into being a new party, born of the nation’s sense of justice. We of the Progressive party here dedicate ourselves to the fulfillment of the duty laid upon us by our fathers to maintain the government of the people, by the people and for the people whose foundations they laid.

We hold with Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln that the people are the masters of their Constitution, to fulfill its purposes and to safeguard it from those who, by perversion of its intent, would convert it into an instrument of injustice. In accordance with the needs of each generation the people must use their sovereign powers to establish and maintain equal opportunity and industrial justice, to secure which this Government was founded and without which no republic can endure.

This country belongs to the people who inhabit it. Its resources, its business, its institutions and its laws should be utilized, maintained or altered in whatever manner will best promote the general interest.

It is time to set the public welfare in the first place.



Political parties exist to secure responsible government and to execute the will of the people.

From these great tasks both of the old parties have turned aside. Instead of instruments to promote the general welfare, they have become the tools of corrupt interests which use them impartially to serve their selfish purposes. Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people.

To destroy this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.

The deliberate betrayal of its trust by the Republican party, the fatal incapacity of the Democratic party to deal with the new issues of the new time, have compelled the people to forge a new instrument of government through which to give effect to their will in laws and institutions.

Unhampered by tradition, uncorrupted by power, undismayed by the magnitude of the task, the new party offers itself as the instrument of the people to sweep away old abuses, to build a new and nobler commonwealth.


This declaration is our covenant with the people, and we hereby bind the party and its candidates in State and Nation to the pledges made herein.


The National Progressive party, committed to the principles of government by a self-controlled democracy expressing its will through representatives of the people, pledges itself to secure such alterations in the fundamental law of the several States and of the United States as shall insure the representative character of the government.

In particular, the party declares for direct primaries for the nomination of State and National officers, for nation-wide preferential primaries for candidates for the presidency; for the direct election of United States Senators by the people; and we urge on the States the policy of the short ballot, with responsibility to the people secured by the initiative, referendum and recall.


The Progressive party, believing that a free people should have the power from time to time to amend their fundamental law so as to adapt it progressively to the changing needs of the people, pledges itself to provide a more easy and expeditious method of amending the Federal Constitution.


Up to the limit of the Constitution, and later by amendment of the Constitution, if found necessary, we advocate bringing under effective national jurisdiction those problems which have expanded beyond reach of the individual States.

It is as grotesque as it is intolerable that the several States should by unequal laws in matter of common concern become competing commercial agencies, barter the lives of their children, the health of their women and the safety and well being of their working people for the benefit of their financial interests.

The extreme insistence on States’ rights by the Democratic party in the Baltimore platform demonstrates anew its inability to understand the world into which it has survived or to administer the affairs of a union of States which have in all essential respects become one people.

READ THE ORIGINAL PLATFORM HERE: Progressive Party Platform of 1912 | Teaching American History












































On these principles and on the recognized desirability of uniting the Progressive forces of the Nation into an organization which shall unequivocally represent the Progressive spirit and policy we appeal for the support of all American citizens, without regard to previous political affiliations.

Source: American Progressivism: A Reader, eds. Ronald J. Pestritto and William J. Atto (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2008), 273-287.





Self-Described Union Basher is “Born Again” Through Arbitration Journey |


Genesee County paraeducator Sharon Campbell can’t help but see the irony.

For 16 years, she worked with cognitively impaired young adults, teaching them what they would need to know to successfully navigate in the world: independent living skills, such as personal grooming, cooking, and house-keeping. Plus the social skills to land a job and keep it.

“There was never a day I didn’t look forward to seeing my students,” she said.

“My students were my heart. They were like my kids. I loved them like I did my own.”

Then she was fired, and the woman whose job was to teach others how to live found her own world spinning out of control.
“It’s ironic, isn’t it? I’m getting all emotional now, just talking about it,” she said. “It was absolutely devastating to me. I still haven’t processed it all.”
The part of her story she still couldn’t process days later – what felt like a dream – was the moment she learned her deepest wish had come true. In mid-January, more than a year after her dismissal, an arbitrator ruled in Campbell’s favor in a grievance filed against the Genesee County Intermediate School District.
And there’s a deeper irony, too: Campbell would have missed out on the help she needed to win if she hadn’t reconsidered dropping her MEA membership.

Source: Self-Described Union Basher is “Born Again” Through Arbitration Journey |

From the CURMUDGUCATION blog: USED Supports Unicorn Testing (With an Irony Saddle)

USED Supports Unicorn Testing (With an Irony Saddle)

Posted: 03 Feb 2016 04:34 AM PST

Acting Pretend Secretary of Education John King has offered further guidance as a follow-up to last year’s Testing Action Plan, and it provides a slightly clearer picture of the imaginary tests that the department wants to see.

Here are the characteristics of the Big Testing Unicorn that King wants to see:

Source: CURMUDGUCATION: USED Supports Unicorn Testing (With an Irony Saddle)

Student suspension from school: Impact on academic achievement by race 

For decades, educators and policymakers have been concerned about the gaps in academic achievement that have long separated white children and minority children. Numerous efforts to reform public education programs have been launched nationally and locally to try to boost student test scores and help youth of all races and ethnicities perform at the same level. While students have made progress, disparities remain and, in some cases, still are quite large. For example, white, black and Latino students in the U.S. all had better high school graduation rates in 2011-12 compared to 2009-10. However, white students were more likely to graduate. In 2011-12, 85 percent of white students finished high school on time and with a regular diploma compared to 68 percent of black students and 76 percent of Latino students, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics.

Federal data shows that student scores on the SAT college-entrance exam have improved as well. The combined math and reading scores of white students grew from an average score of 1038 in 1986-87 to a score of 1061 in 2012-13. Over the same time period, black students raised their combined score from an 839, on average, to a 956. Puerto Rican students went from a score of 868 to a 909 and Mexican American students’ scores rose one point to a 913.

As the nation scrutinizes the academic performance of minority children, scholars and researchers have been looking into the factors that could be hindering children of color. One area of focus is instruction time — whether minority children have less time in the classroom because of illness, absenteeism, tardiness or disciplinary actions such as suspensions or expulsions. A September 2015 report released by Attendance Works and the Healthy Schools Campaign looks at how chronic absenteeism disproportionately affects children from minority and low-income families and those with disabilities. Several studies in recent years have taken on the issue of student suspension, revealing alarming trends. For example, a 92-page report from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education found that 55 percent of black-student suspensions nationwide in 2011-12 occurred in 13 Southern states. In 84 Southern school districts, black students were the only students who were suspended that school year.

A 2016 study published in Social Problems contributes new insights to the ongoing discussion about racial disparities in school discipline and academic achievement. The authors of the study, titled “The Punishment Gap: School Suspension and Racial Disparities in Achievement,” indicate that it is the first-ever comprehensive analysis of suspension as an explanation for racial gaps in student performance in math and reading. The authors – Edward W. Morris of the University of Kentucky and Brea L. Perry of Indiana University — used data from the Kentucky School Discipline Study and school records to examine how suspension affected a sample of 16,248 students in grades 6 through 10 over a three-year period.  Most of the students involved – 59 percent – were white while 25 percent were black and 10 percent were Latino. Four percent of students were Asian and 3 percent identified as being another race.

The study’s key findings include:

  • Schools with larger concentrations of black students had higher rates of suspension.
  • Black students and Latino students were more likely to be suspended than children from other racial groups.
  • Students who had been suspended earned significantly lower scores in math and reading on end-of-year exams. Students with a propensity to be suspended did worse on the exam during the years they were suspended than during years they were not.
  • Students who qualified for free or reduced-price lunches at school were more likely to be suspended than those who did not. Students who participated in special-education programs were more likely to be suspended. Students with two parents were less likely to be suspended than those with one parent or guardian.
  • Even after controlling for socioeconomic status, special education and gender, black students were predicted to be almost three times more likely to be suspended than white students. On the other hand, “the elevated risk of suspension associated with being Latino is entirely explained by this group’s lower levels of socioeconomic status.”

The authors state that while their findings suggest a strong link between suspension and lower academic achievement, they cannot prove that suspension causes poorer test scores. The authors suggest that future research should aim to assess whether other acts of discipline are associated with reduced achievement. They also recommend trying to determine whether the suspension or the missed class time is what underlies the connection between suspension and achievement.

Related research:  A 2014 research roundup explores the strategies that schools use to eliminate or prevent violence on campus. A 2014 study published in the American Educational Research Journal, “Parsing Disciplinary Disproportionality: Contributions of Infraction, Student and School Characteristics to Out-of-School Suspension and Expulsion,” looks at how rates of suspension and expulsion can be predicted by the type of infraction committed as well as demographic factors and principals’ attitudes. A 2014 study from scholars at Johns Hopkins University, “Sent Home and Put Off-Track: The Antecedents, Disproportionalities, and Consequences of Being Suspended in the Ninth Grade,” looks at how suspending students during their first year of high school can influence their academic performance and the likelihood they will attend college.


Keywords: student discipline, punishment, suspension rates, zero tolerance, racial disparity, achievement


Writer: | February 1, 2016

Citation: Morris, Edward W.; Perry, Brea L. “The Punishment Gap: School Suspension and Racial Disparities in Achievement,” Social Problems, January 2016. doi: 10.1093/socpro/spv026.

– See more at:

Source: Student suspension from school: Impact on academic achievement by race – Journalist’s Resource Journalist’s Resource

 From The Nation magazine: Trump Becomes GOP’s Newest Voter Fraud Fraudster

Donald Trump unleashed a Twitter rant today accusing Ted Cruz of stealing the Iowa Caucus and calling for the results to be nullified. I knew something like this was coming and quite frankly I’m surprised it took Trump so long to play the voter fraud card.

Source: Donald Trump Becomes the GOP’s Newest Voter Fraud Fraudster | The Nation