The HONY Model: Extending The Journalism Classroom Using Social Media

Dr Chindu Sreedharan @Chindu – Bournemouth University and Dr Lada Price  @jnl113 – University of Sheffield

The proposed workshop will be a continuation of a project that we have collaborated on since April 2015. The project, titled This Is Where I Study (TIWIS), aims to produce content that foreign students seeking to study in the UK could draw from—that is, information that would provide them insights into what it is to live, and study, here. For this, we used the first person, interview-based style of reporting popularised by the Humans Of New York social sites, and our core objective was to acquire a better understanding of storytelling on social media through hands-on practice.

In our collaboration over the last few months—during which BU and Sheffield students published some 54 original social media ‘native’ stories, experimented with four SM platforms, and managed to create an audience base of 12,978 on FB—it was seen that the project was useful in enhancing students’ elementary journalism skills such as interviewing and storytelling. Further, the project helped participants acquire social media skills, encouraging them to think more about content ‘native’ for different SM platforms, and, importantly, how to engage with audiences on SM.

This workshop, through hands-on practice that explores the production of one form of content that has seen much traction on a major social media platform (Facebook), aims to extend the learning outcomes of the original project to new participants. Further, it hopes to consider the usefulness of the ‘HONY model’ for journalism educators—both as an extra-curricular project to extend the classroom, and also an exercise to encourage students to engage with news values, develop stronger interviewing skills, and analyse storytelling techniques. Working from a brief distributed earlier, participants will produce content aimed at a live Facebook page and Tumblr site prior to the workshop. The workshop will be devoted to discussing the process of content creation, the artefacts produced, and the usefulness of the exercise for journalism education.

TIWIS, the project on which this workshop is based, can be viewed via the links below:

Tumblr site –

Facebook page –