Strengthening Journalism Through Social Media: Become a Social Media Ninja (for Indian Journalists in Guwahati)

Course Overview

Strengthening Journalism Through Social Media: Become a Social Media Ninja (for Indian Journalists in Guwahati)
This $250 webinar and certificate are free thanks to the support of the U.S. Consulate in Kolkata, India. You have to attend this program on location in Guwahati on May 9 at 10 a.m. Indian Standard Time.
Originally Broadcast On:
May 09, 2017
Time Estimate:
90 minutes for the main presentation and questions. Presenters may stay longer to answer additional questions from participants.

About Webinars

In this virtual classroom, participants can join in a seminar led by Poynter faculty and visiting faculty. This screencast includes live audio and a slideshow presentation in which participants can post questions and respond to poll questions posed by the host.

This Webinar was originally broadcast on:
May 09, 2017
Watch and listen to the original one-hour Webinar in its entirety. This Webinar recording features the full presentation led by Poynter faculty and visiting faculty including Q&A from the audience and resources from the presenter.

NOTE: This event is on May 9 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Indian Standard Time

The Poynter Institute and U.S. Consulate in Kolkata, India, are offering a FREE program for Indian journalists in and around Guwahati who want the latest insights into emerging technology, innovation and social networks.

Social media provide valuable tools for gathering and reporting news. Each media organization and, of course, each journalist must make decisions about which tools are most valuable. Social media can demand a lot of time, so choosing the best tools for your needs and goals is critical. In addition, journalists must learn to verify, vet and attribute any material gleaned from social media — and ensure that other journalists also follow these steps.


This is a live webinar for 50 people who are selected from an application form on this page (see below). Seating is limited to the first 50 people who are selected from the application form. You must physically attend this event. You will NOT be able to view this webinar from your own device.


Conference Hall, New Academic Building, Gauhati University, Gopinath Bordoloi Nagar, Guwahati 781014, Assam, India


The program begins at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 9 in Guwahati (Indian Standard Time). Please plan on arriving by 9:30 a.m. The program is free, but travel to the location is at your own expense. To secure your seat, please apply by May 5. The event will end by 12 p.m. Indian time. The presentation will last 90 minutes.

Application Process

  1. Apply with the application form at the bottom of this page
  2. We will send you an acceptance note on or before May 5 and enroll you in this course
  3. Come to the New Academic Building at Gauhati University on Tuesday, May 9

Related Certificate

Those who attend the live event in Guwahati will be given access to our Looking East for Digital Champs: Social Media Certification Program for Indian Journalists, available from May 2 to Aug. 30, 2017. To earn the certificate, you must pass all the assessments in the program.

A similar program was offered in Kolkata on May 2. Please see details here.

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Hashtag: #socialIndia

What Will I Learn:
  • How to use social media tools effectively
  • How to report using tools
  • How to verify images, video and information found online
  • How to continue nurturing the community around your social media presence

After completing the certificate you will learn:

  • Methods of engaging with online communities
  • How to set up consistent social media strategy
  • Best practices to build trust and credibility
  • How other media organizations manage community conversation during breaking news and other incidents
  • Conflict management on social media
  • How to nurture communities you’ve built on social media
  • How to share information with a journalistic purpose
Who Should Take this Course:

This program is for journalists and journalism educators, as well as members of the public who are interested in digital and social networks and audience engagement living in Guwahati or able to attend the event in Guwahati, India.

This project is part of U.S. Consulate General Kolkata grant program called “Looking East for Digital Champs.”

A similar program is also being offered in Kolkata on May 2. Please see details here.

Download a PDF of this flyer

Course Instructor:

Al Tompkins

Al Tompkins is The Poynter Institute’s senior faculty for broadcasting and online. He has taught thousands of journalists, journalism students and educators in newsrooms around the world. His teaching focused on writing, reporting, storytelling, ethics, critical thinking, photojournalism, social media and online journalism.

Tompkins has taught television news producers, reporters, photojournalists and managers in his workshops in 49 states, Canada, Egypt, Ecuador, Denmark, Cayman, Iceland and South Africa. He has taught and coached print newsrooms in the U.S. and abroad how to build interactive news websites, how to use video more effectively online and how to manage ethical issues that arise online.

Al is an FAA licensed drone pilot and has organized and lead drone journalism workshops around America that produced more than 325 graduates. He co-authored the drone ethics guide.

Tompkins is the author of the book “Aim For The Heart: Write, Shoot, Report, Produce for TV and Online,” which is being used by more than 125 universities as their main broadcast writing, reporting and ethics textbook.

He co-authored four editions of the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation’s “Newsroom Ethics” workbook. In 1998, Tompkins joined Poynter’s faculty from his job as news director at WSMV-TV in Nashville, Tenn. For 24 years, he worked as a photojournalist, reporter, producer, anchor, assistant news director, special projects/investigations director, documentary producer and news director.

Awards: During his two and a half decades as a journalist, and nearly two decades as a teacher at Poynter, Tompkins has been awarded many of journalism's highest honors.

Tompkins won the National Emmy, the Peabody Award (group award), the Japan Prize, the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel for Court Reporting, seven National Headliner Awards, two Iris Awards and the Robert F. Kennedy Award. Tompkins was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame and in 2008 was awarded The Governor’s Award, the highest honor given by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He has also been honored by the National Press Photographers Association and the Radio and Television News Foundation for contributions to journalism and journalism education.

Al is a juror for the Scripps Howard National Journalism Awards and served as a final juror on the duPont-Columbia Awards, and the Investigative Reporter and Editor awards.

Al earned a Master's Degree in Digital Journalism and Design from the University of South Florida and a B.A. degree in journalism from Western Kentucky University.

Consulting and Teaching in Newsrooms:

Among the hundreds of clients for whom Tompkins taught and/or consulted are: Harvard University Nieman Foundation, ABC Owned and Operated Stations, Telemundo Television Stations; Meredith Television Stations; Scripps Howard Television, NBC owned and operation stations Promotions Directors; Stations; Hearst Argyle Television Stations; Gannett Television Stations; Griffin Communications; NBC Owned and Operated Stations; New York Times Television Stations; Cox Television; Cox Cable, Cox Washington DC Bureau, RUV TV (Iceland), Belo Television Stations; Freedom Newspapers of Florida, Freedom Newspapers of North Carolina, The Raleigh News & Observer, Shurz Broadcast stations, Radio and Television News Directors Association; RTNDA Canada; Radio and Television News Directors Foundation; The Ford Foundation; Hampton University, Kings University, Marymount University, Scranton University, University of Kentucky, University of South Florida, Belmont University, Western Kentucky University, Middle Tennessee State University, The Sacramento Bee; The Scholastic Journalism Association; Global TV Calgary; Global TV Edmonton Ca, CBC Toronto, CBC Calgary, CBC Regina, CTV Toronto, Canada AM; Alabama Broadcasters Association; Arkansas Broadcasters Association; Oklahoma Broadcasters Association; Hawaii Association of Broadcasters; Texas Association of Broadcasters; Ohio AP Broadcasters Association; Pennsylvania Broadcasters Association; Illinois Broadcasters Association; Washington State Broadcasters Association; Georgia Broadcasters Association; Tennessee Broadcasters Association; Louisiana Broadcasters Association; New York State Broadcasters Association; West Virginia Broadcasters Association; Missouri Broadcasters Association; Virginia Broadcasters Association; North Carolina Broadcasters Association; South Carolina Association of Broadcasters; Wisconsin Broadcasters Association; Iowa Broadcasters Association; Oregon Broadcasters, North Carolina Press Association, Alaska Broadcasters Association, Montana SPJ, New Mexico Broadcasters Association; Illinois Press Association, North Carolina Press Association; Hoosier Press Association National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences — NATAS (Pennsylvania); PBS-Nightly Business Report, NATAS(Washington DC); NATAS (Miami); WMC-TV; WSB-TV;KXAS-TV; KHOU-TV; WNEM-TV; KPHO-TV; WEWS-TV; WPTV-TV; WESH-TV; WKMG-TV; WTVW-TV; WPBF-TV; WHO-TV; KWTV-TV; WZZM-TV; WNEP-TV; WTKR-TV; KTHV-TV; KCTV-TV; WGAL; WTVF; WSBT; Bay News 9; News 8 Austin; RNews, WTSP; KTHV; KVUE; WHO-TV, RUV-TV Iceland, WNBC, KCBS, WCBS, WMAQ, WBBM, WFOR, WBZ and WTVT.


U.S. Consulate General Kolkata

U.S. Consulate General Kolkata has a preeminent place in the history of American diplomacy as one of the oldest American Consulates anywhere in the world, and the oldest in India. President George Washington, on November 19, 1792, nominated Benjamin Joy of Newbury Port as the first American Consul to Kolkata. With the advice of Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson later the third President of the United States and consent of the Senate, President Washington commissioned Joy to that office on November 21, 1792.

Training Partner:

The Gauhati University

The Gauhati University is located in Guwahati, is the first, oldest and renowned University in the entire North East India. It was established in 1948. It is a teaching-cum-affiliating university. There are several colleges, institutes etc. that are affiliated to this university. At present there are approximately 350 Colleges/Institutes which comes under this university, which are mostly located in the districts of lower and middle Assam. In a recent survey by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Govt.