Despite using social media personally, many college journalism students fail to understand its journalism uses

MediaShift has a fascinating post on how, despite embracing social media in their personal lives, many college journalism students fail to see its power for journalism:

Despite all the time they spend online, they’re behind the curve in terms of understanding the journalistic potential of social media. In fact, some of them are reluctant to recognize the connection between legacy media and web 2.0, as if in doing so, they’d be assuming a power best left to professionals.

When our recent crop of digital journalism students were asked to create their own journalistic blogs and market their content through social media, they were uncomfortable. Although they habitually post to Facebook, the thought of actually reporting on a topic and putting their work into the public domain as journalism, versus a personal narrative of candid pictures and random Friday night ephemera, was scary.

Some of the most stuck-in-the-past journalists are students and recent grads. These students and recent grads idolize the glory days of newspapers and people like Woodward and Bernstein. Those two did great work not because of the printed page, but because they were hardworking journalists determined to get a story. Young journalists should copy that spirit, not the medium those giants found success in four decades ago.