Best Practices For Journalists on Twitter

TweeterNumerous journalists are taking advantage of Twitter, a new social media source. As a result, blogs like Zombie Journalism and The Buttry Diary have come up with specific guidelines that judge whether or not journalists are using Twitter most efficiently. Some of these guidelines include tweeting pictures of stories that journalists are covering, sharing links to the articles that they are writing, sharing links to show their readers that they fact check, live tweeting, and using hashtags.

Adam Schefter is a journalist and analyst for ESPN and NFL Network. He is a perfect example of a journalist who follows the best practices when using Twitter. He regularly tweets pictures, shares links toschefter show that he is fact checking, and live tweets during games and during the free agency period. He retweets other journalists, and he tweets in mid-afternoon. He has been nominated for and won numerous awards for his journalism, and in 2014 New York Magazine named Schefter the most influential tweeter in New York.

Schefter has also authored four books, including Think Like A Champion: Building Success One Victory at a Time about former Broncos Head Coach Mike Shanahan.

Tweeting Pictures

Tweeting pictures is an important guideline to follow because it gives followers something interesting to look at. It is not just a link to an article. It grabs the attention of the followers. Schefter follows this guideline by tweeting pictures of the stories that he covers. For example, he recently covered a story about how Ben Roethlisberger will be the fourth quarterback in history to win his first 100 of his 150 NFL starts. Schefter tweeted,


He did it again when he posted pictures of both the Daily News and the New York Post with their headlines about Percy Harvin, the newly acquired wide receiver of the New York Jets.


Sharing Links

Schefter also shares links to the articles that he writes and different links from news sources to show that he fact-checks:


He tweeted this news story when he heard what Brian Urlacher said about his former teammate Jay Cutler. Schefter continually makes sure that he cites his sources when he tweets something. It is important that Twitter journalists share links to their sources because it allows their readers to delve deeper if they are looking for more information.

He also retweets different articles from other Twitter journalists. He recently retweeted,


Live Tweeting

Schefter regularly live tweets during games. He does so to keep his followers updated on different aspects of the game that they might not know if they do not have the game available to them. He tweeted about the aforementioned Ben Roethlisberger achievement during the game that Sunday. He posted another tweet during the game between the Patriots and the Bears:


Live tweeting during games and other events allows a journalist’s followers to receive updates in real time even if they cannot watch them.


While some journalists use hashtags religiously—which are helpful because they make pages easier to access and navigate—I have yet to see Adam Schefter use any at all. He constantly posts to Twitter, especially during the weekend, but he hardly, if ever, uses hashtags. However, despite his lack of hashtagging, his posts still get plenty of retweets from his followers. For example, his recent tweet,

Ryan Mallet

Schefter retweets other journalists such as Pete Thamel:


Schefter does a good job of giving other journalists recognition and also giving information about the news that he himself is covering.

Tweeting in The Mid-Afternoon

Along with retweeting other journalists, Schefter tweets in mid-afternoon. He always tweets the most important information between one p.m. and three p.m. It is highly important that a journalist tweets during this time period because this is usually when most people are active. He also tweets breaking news immediately. At two in the afternoon on November 4, he tweeted,

Marcus Lattimore


Overall, Adam Schefter succeeds in following the best guidelines for using Twitter. I only fault him for not using any hashtags because without them, his page is a bit harder to navigate than other journalists’ pages. Other than that, he is still a very influential journalist on Twitter and has gained millions of followers.


The Expanding Industry: Green Jobs

Are green jobs a good career choice for recent college graduates?  Green jobs have begun to expand  in the past decade and some say that it will revitalize the economy. At a seminar, which was part of the Sustainability Conference, and held in the Redmond Room, Jaime Gauthier from the Sustainable Business Network, Liz Robinson from the Energy Coordinating Agency (ECA), and Matt Walker from the Clean Air Council (CAC) spoke about the growing industry of green jobs in the United States.

All three speakers stated that green jobs have substantially increased in the past ten years with numerous opportunities in the expanding industry.

The Sustainable Business Network is a non-profit organization that helps locally owned businesses become sustainable. They help business owners give back to the community and give benefits to part time employees.

Gauthier stated that “solar energy, energy efficiency, and storm water management are the three biggest jobs in a rapidly growing industry.”

StormwaterThe federal government recently granted two billion dollars over the next 25 years for storm water management which helps cities reduce the cost to clean up floods.

The ECA has the most advanced plan for green jobs because they have a career ladder that is the pipeline of technical training. The pipeline is that the ECA reaches out to students in high school teach and give them an apprenticeship then college students get a B.S., which will take them directly into the field.

The ECA partners with both local and national agencies and they have introduced over four thousand students into the career ladder since 2010. They also have an apprenticeship program that allows workers to get college credit for on the job training which will help them get promoted faster.

The ECA creates jobs to help with water conservation
The ECA creates jobs to help with water conservation

The CAC has also expanded  their reach, and in fact has “doubled in the last five to ten years,” Walker said. The council is focused on the issue of clean air by protecting good air quality and holding polluting companies accountable. They go into communities and help fight against fracking. They travel all over the country and try to help communities that do not have the funds to fight against oil companies and other corporations.

Students interested  in green job opportunities can visit the following Web sites:

Sustainable Business Network

Energy Coordinating Agency

 Clean Air Council

All three businesses have internship programs and job opportunities for current college students and recent college graduates.

Nolan Once Again Wows the Audience with His Latest Film, Interstellar

InterstellarLike most of Christopher Nolan’s films, Interstellar will leave you trying to process what occurred and that is why it is a good film. This is not your average Hollywood film. Interstellar is about more than simply saving humanity from possible extinction; it is about the power of love, family, and what one is willing to do for survival.

Nolan creates a movie that will make the audience think.

The story follows the widowed Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), the former NASA pilot and now farmer, who is asked by his old professor to pilot the ship Endurance search another galaxy for a new planet since Earth is becoming less and less habitable for humans. The characters are going through another Dust Bowl, which severely depletes their food supply. Cooper and his team travel through a wormhole into another galaxy which was placed near Jupiter by the unknown guardians, “They,” to find a potentially habitable new home.

The film amazes its audience with visual effects, specifically the wormhole, which Nolan made understandable to all audiences. Hans Zimmer made use of new techniques in his creation of the film’s score which gives each scene a unique atmospheric dissonance. The music in this film affected me in a way that no other film scores have before. Zimmer gives every scene a sincere emotion, especially one particularly tense scene towards the end that caused my fellow movie-goers to shed a tear and even, in one case, leave the theater.

At first I was hesitant to believe that McConaughey would be able to pull off this more serious leading role

Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway
Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway

since his character is supposed to be a brilliant engineer and scientist, but he executes his performance well. From loving father to explorer, McConaughey portrays Cooper as a man who values his family over anything else. He gives his character depth, particularly in one scene when he returns to the Endurance after having spent a mere three hours on a planet to realize that, due to relativity, 23 years have passed by on Earth. He views video of his children growing up and weeps at the fact that he was not with them.

The rest of the cast also excelled: Michael Caine as physicist Professor Brand, who recites Dylan Thomas’ poem “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night”; Anne Hathaway as Professor Brand’s daughter, Amelia Brand; and Jessica Chastain as Cooper’s daughter, Murph. The characters’ stories intertwine as Cooper and Amelia form a bond while on the Endurance and Professor Brand and Murph connect trying to figure out the algorithm to save humanity.

The film is largely based on physicist Kip Thorne’s works and he was a consultant on set for the film.

An image of the wormhole
An image of the wormhole

Interstellar delivered where Gravity failed because in Interstellar, the visuals of space, the wormhole, and the theories are all scientifically accurate. Nolan makes sure that the film does not venture too far off the road of reality. For example, the principles of relativity play a role in the film when Cooper and his team go to a planet where one hour is equivalent to seven years on Earth. This drives the suspense of the film because it demonstrates how little room for error the astronauts have.

Interstellar deals with the human condition. It is a philosophical film that focuses on the power of love, survival, and the continuity of the human race. All of the characters deal with love of some kind: Cooper leaves his family to save them, Brand tries to persuade the team of the Endurance to travel to her lover’s planet, and Murph tries to figure out the algorithm to see her father again. Like Brand states to Cooper, “Love is the one thing we’re capable of perceiving that transcends time and space.”

I believe that Nolan uses this film to convey that love and family take precedence over all else and we should be willing to sacrifice ourselves for our loved ones.

Hearing Examines Digital Voting Security

Is computerized voting the best option in California? A hearing was held at the Menlo Park City Hall Thursday afternoon to debate on whether or not the state should explore other possibilities besides electronic voting.

The hearing titled “Are California’s voting systems accurate, reliable and secure? A critical look at the Federal testing and certification process” was directed by Debra Bowen, chairwoman of the Senate Menlo ParkElections, Reapportionment and Constitutional Amendments Committee.

Four experts attend the meeting: David Dill, professor of computer science at Stanford University and founder of the Verified Voting Foundation; Peter Neumann, principal scientist at the computer science lab at SRI International in Menlo Park; Aviel Rubin, professor of computer science and director of the Information Institute at Johns Hopkins University; and Dan Wallach, professor of computer science at Rice University.

“California requires vendors to come to California to be tested by an independent panel of experts,” said Rubin. “Is it federally qualified? What are the limitations of testing? “Results should be made public, and all tests should be available to the public. We can’t compromise on transparency. An ounce of audit is worth a pound of prevention.”

While some experts argued that there should be more regulations others argued that security systems will always be flawed.

“There is no such thing as perfect security,” said Neumann. Even ATMs have security problems.” With voting machines, he warned, there’s “no real incentive to do it right, but it’s essential to have full openness in the process.” Whatever machines are built should be built for “long-term life,” he says. “There are no easy answers. We’re dealing with a flawed process.”

Part of the engineering problem is controlling costs. “Paper has a long-term history of election fraud – but paper can be checked by machines,” said Wallach. The voting system is a “terrible business to be in, because every state has a different system,” he says. “We need openness, reliable and secure systems. We must design systems capable of solving all problems – and California has to initiate the process.”

The “most important thing is an independent audit of elections,” said Warren Slocum, assessor, county clerk and record of San Mateo County. “Election workers,” he added, “should be recognized for their importance, just as police and health workers are.” He notes that 13 million voters in 16 counties currently don’t have certified voting systems.

Protesters Outside City Hall
Protesters Outside City Hall

After the experts testify, 28 members of the public speak. Many of them say they find the computerized voting frightening.

“If machines are used, they should be totally public, and have parallel testing,” said Ron Crane of Santa Cruz. “Rip them to shreds. If there is a discrepancy, why did it happen?” Machines, he says, cost $3,000 to $4,000 each and are “not necessary for most people.”

“A voting-certification process should be established in California,” said Alan Dechert of Granite Bay, Calif. president of the Open Voting Consortium.

One Alternative to computerized voting is voting by mail. It is done statewide in Oregon but has been approved only in eight California counties.

Linus Pauling, Noted Chemist, Two Time Nobel Prize Winner Dead at 93

Pauling is considered by many to be the greatest chemist of the Twentieth Century
Pauling is considered by many to be the greatest chemist of the Twentieth Century

Linus Pauling a two-time Nobel Prize winner has died at his Big Sur ranch at the age of 93 yesterday after being in frail health for several months.

He won the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1954 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1962. His Nobel Peace Prize was for his crusade against nuclear weapons tests. His Nobel Prize for chemistry was for work into the nature of the chemical bond and the understanding of the structure of complex substances.

A native of Portland, Ore. Pauling received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Oregon Agricultural College in 1922 and a doctorate in chemistry and mathematical physics from Cal Tech in 1925. He was best known for his advocacy of the use of vitamin C as a preventive measure to ward off diseases such as cancer. “Pauling was the most influential chemist of the century,” said Henry Taube, a Stanford professor emeritus of chemistry and also a Nobel winner.

He founded the Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine in 1973. The institute moved to Palo Alto in 1980 where he was a professor emeritus of chemistry at Stanford University.

In addition to teaching at Stanford, Pauling was a faculty member earlier at the California Institute of Technology and the University of California, San Diego, and taught at the Study of Democratic Institutions in Santa Barbara.
In a 1993 interview, Pauling described his scientific inquisitiveness: “I think one characteristic I have always had is that I knew whether I knew something or did not, whether I understood something or did not understand it. And I wasn’t always happy if I didn’t understand something.” His interests ranged and knowledge ranged from medicine to nuclear physics.

Pauling accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in 1962
Pauling accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in 1962

He had long maintained
that extra doses of vitamins, including vitamin C, can extend the normal life expectancy by 25 years.

He is survived by a sister; four children, including Crellin Pauling of Portola Valley; 15 grandchildren; and 19 great-grandchildren.

Memorial services will be held in the near future at Stanford Memorial Church.