Social media tools are being used across all media sources including traditional news outlets and online-based resources. This program focuses on the variety of ways social media is essential to storytelling and news distribution. Each chapter highlights an element of social media used by top journalists who rely on these communication channels to both research stories and broaden their audience. It's designed to help students and educators understand the growing role of social media in the gathering and dissemination of news and the many ways to make the most of this technology. Social media has changed how we gather and report news in general. It's a crucial tool in reporting today since we receive many tips and reach many sources to confirm information even before the story ever makes mainstream media. This is more often the case especially when breaking news happens. It's important for students to use social media to gain and disseminate information and to research each topic thoroughly, read as much as they can and be familiar with every side of the issue. We'll teach students how to humanize the issues so they're not just talking about statistics or numbers. How to use Storify, Tumblr, Buzzfeed, Opensecrets.org and different websites like Mashables - that have interesting information and ways for students to get out and tell stories using audio, video and pictures. How to ensure the information they obtain is vetted and accurate and ensure the story is valuable or newsworthy. How to get as many aspects of a story as they can and how to make it different from similar stories out there to help inform their audience. We'll show students how to use their journalism skills and apply them to this new medium and above and beyond, how to capture the absolute essence in a paragraph - confirm it, attribute it and source it. Embassies and consulates are also utilizing social media platforms to communicate on a variety of levels. News and information about trade, economics, tourism and culture are being distributed through Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets. Students will learn how the Israeli and Swiss governments are using social media to educate millions around the world about their country and the news occurring within its borders. Subjects covered include: Using Social Media in Politics, Putting the Public back in Public Affairs, Social Media as a Database, The Day in the Life of an Online Reporter, Behind the Scenes of "Storify" and Diplomacy and Social Media. Includes a list of links and websites to help students investigate stories and find out more about newsgathering and dissemination practices.