At McSweeney’s back in April, Robert Lanham unveiled his “Internet-Age Writing Syllabus and Course Overview” for (wink, wink) “ENG 371WR: Writing for Nonreaders in the Postprint Era, (one of the pre-reqs: “ENG: 232WR—Advanced Tweeting: The Elements of Droll.”)

Today, DePaul University’s College of Communications announces it

is exploring the new frontiers of journalism through courses on Twitter, entrepreneurial journalism and backpack reporting, providing students with cutting-edge knowledge in this rapidly changing field.


This fall, DePaul University journalism alumnus Craig Kanalley will teach what is believed to be the first college-level journalism course focused solely on Twitter and its applications. Kanalley is a digital intern at the Chicago Tribune

Kanalley said his course, “Digital Editing: From Breaking News to Tweets, is really about learning how to make sense of the clutter of the Web, particularly in situations of breaking news or major developing stories, and how to evaluate and verify the authenticity of reports by citizen journalists.

I know, it’s not an English Department offering (or a “writing” class at all) as in Lanham’s vision. And no, students will not, presumably, be “acquir[ing] the tools needed to make their tweets glimmer with a complete lack of forethought,” as Lanham’s course promised, so much as, Kanalley seems to promise, acquiring the tools needed to weed out such tweets as they learn Twitter-enabled reporting.

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.