The Syracuse University journalism class assignment, where graduate students reported from a press conference with real time Tweets about a fake hotel collapse at Schroon Lake, is under review.
Last week we reported how the Twitter world that follows Schroon Lake was buzzing when several tweets described a devastating storm that caused a “Lakeside Hotel” to collapse leaving four people and a baby trapped, and 10,000 people without power.
Jon Glass, the Collaborative Media Room General Manager who taught the class, told Schroon Laker that Schroon Lake has been used as the real town in this exercise for more than ten years.
The Schroon Lake assignment is part of an exercise for our graduate students in the News Reporting class to get practice covering a press conference. The scenario of a damaging early morning storm causing The Lakeside hotel to collapse has been used for several years, however, this is the first year we've required students to post a breaking news update on their Twitter accounts. While we thought the tweets would be kept relatively close to the classroom it certainly slipped out there with the reference to the actual Schroon Lake. We'll be re-considering handling that for future assignments.
Did you think the Tweets were real? Should students use a real town in their exercise? Tell us in comments.