As it turns out, the Missouri School of Journalism’s Facebook page is not actually run by the J-School itself, as you might expect.
It is instead run by a freshman journalism student at the University of Missouri who tried (and failed) to turn the Facebook page over to officials at the Missouri School of Journalism.
Here is the first email she sent to J-School Buzz earlier today, and it just gets weirder and sadder from there:
I saw your article about the Social Media issues the J-School has, mentioning the FB page, and I guess now would be a good time to inform you that the J-School doesn’t own that page… I do.
I offered to give it to them, and they said they were focusing on their Twitter and new website, so they didn’t want more to deal with.
I made the page a long ways back when FB was the new hype, and never thought anything of it. Anyone could make a page. Now it has 1,800 “likes” and I’m going to work on improving it, etc, as I mentioned in a recent post. Very few people know that this page isn’t run by the J-School. Most, as you are aware, assume that it is.
I recently emailed about an application to be involved at the J-School Buzz, and I’m wondering if we can pair whatever comes of that to the J-School page. I never had a plan for it before, but now I want it to put some focus on it, because so many people do follow it.
I look forward to the response to this message.
We were extremely surprised by this, but it makes a lot of sense.
Social media has not been the J-School’s forte, but we thought it was becoming much better. As it turns out, the J-School is completely ignoring the Facebook platform, and claims it is focusing on Twitter and its improvement of the new website.
Really, J-School, you’re focusing on Twitter? Because your following on Twitter says otherwise.
Here is the original message Krongard sent to the J-School’s Director of Planning and Communications, Suzette Heiman:
I am a second semester freshman here at Mizzou, actually a direct admittance Journalism student in the Honors program. When I first looked into coming to school here, and when Facebook had been the new hype, me and a few of my friends wanted to be able to “Like” the J-School on Facebook, but there wasn’t a Page for it at the time.
So the solution was to make one. I never thought anything would happen with it, other than it would be listed on my “likes” on my profile, but now it has 1,800 “Likes”, regular interactions, and a bit of a following. I don’t do much to maintain it, but I would like to. I realize now that this may conflict with if the J-School would like to have a Facebook page (as it does have a Twitter).
I would be completely willing to hand it over, so to speak, but I also would like to be considered for the position as a social media coordinator, even if only on the Facebook page. I am a media director for a major league gaming company (Righteous Dawn Gaming), and I enjoy doing work like that, maintaining social networks and such. Thank you so much for your time!
The J-School’s response?
Thanks for your note. We just launched the school’s new website and need to devote our resources to that for the time being. We’re not planning any social media efforts other than Twitter for now. It sounds like you are enjoying your studies here. Thanks again.
We find this e-mail a little upsetting. Why is the University of Missouri’s journalism school so determined to not utilize the single largest social media site on the internet?
Thankfully, we have people like Krongard who want to facilitate the conversation on Facebook and get the word out about what’s going on at one of the nation’s top journalism institutions.
Krongard, we appreciate you, and we sincerely hope Mizzou’s J-School quickly realizes the importance of social media.
We will update this post if Heiman ever gets around to responding to our email inquiry. She did respond to Jim Romenesko‘s request for comment though, telling his readers this:
The school is establishing a new Web presence. Once we get this behind us, we’ll discuss other ways to use social media. In the meantime, some of our more entrepreneurial journalism students may create Facebook pages on our behalf. These are owned and maintained by the students, not the school.