In-Class Assignment: Curating with Storify

Worth 15 quiz points

Your assignment is to curate a summary of a news story using Storify.

You have three story choices. Pick one.

1. During the big snow storm in January, some towns on the Jersey shore experienced flooding. Last week it is happening again. What are the flooding issues? Where are they most severe? Why is this becoming a more urgent issue? Who is working to address this? What are possible solutions? Can this be fixed?

2. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie finished sixth in the New Hampshire primary and last week formally withdrew from the presidential race. Curate a story about the rise and fall of Christie’s presidential ambitions. What were the high and low points? Why didn’t he go further? What happens next? What’s the legacy of his presidential bid? Does he ever plan to run again? What might he have done differently?

3. A UCLA gymnast named Sophina DeJesus inserted hip-hop dance moves into her floor routine at a competition over the weekend. A video of it has generated a lot of interest and comments on social media. Who is she? What did she do? Why is this interesting? How is the gymnastics world reacting? How is the wider sports world reacting?

Storify is just the tool for doing this. The main goal of the assignment is to practice the key aspects of journalistic curation, including how to:

  • Identify essential pieces information
  • Verify sources and check facts
  • Provide context to social media posts
  • Assemble a summary or narrative of a news story that makes sense of a chaotic bunch of information
  • Play to the strengths of individual media elements (text, photos, sound, video, graphics) to create the most compelling content
  • Pay attention to contiguity – how individual media elements (text, photos, sound, video, graphics) relate to each other

For this curation assignment, you are required to (and be graded on):

Include at least six (6) sources from at least three (3) different social media platforms(Twitter, Facebook, Google News, YouTube, etc).

Include at least two (2) visuals – photos, video or both. Each visual must be relevant and provide valuable insight or information to your topic.

Verify each source of information that you include in your Storify. Each source included needs to be credible and directly relevant to your topic. For example, with a Twitter source, look at their previous tweets and look at the information they are sharing. The profile information on a social media account should be clear. Would you be able to contact this source for more information or verification?

Fact-check each key piece of information by confirming it from another source.

Write text summaries that cover the five Ws. If your social media elements need explanation, clarification or connection you must write that in the space above them. For example, they can further explain the ideas from your social media elements, explain how different items are connected, and/or introduce the ideas from the elements and where they are from.

Write a compelling headline and a short summary at the top of your Storify. Your headline should include key words for search, convey the main point of your Storify, and be compel the reader to continue.

Your completed Storify should summarize the key aspects of story, provide compelling social media content, and provide links to learn more.

Get started:

  1. Before you start, read Storify’s top tips for curating with ease.
  2. Go to to sign up for an account. If you log in with a Twitter or FB account it will connect to those accounts.
  3. Click on New Story button.
  4. This will take you to the “Create a Story” screen. The left-hand side is where you build the story and the right-hand side of the screen contains a list of social media elements. You can search for content from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Google, RSS feeds and there’s also an option to paste in specific urls. The “+” sign at the right will reveal more options.
  5. Use the search features to find the best information from different sources. You can explore them and then drag and drop into your timeline.
  6. You can add text to introduce individual media elements or to advance the summary or narrative.
  7. You can rearrange the order of your elements as you go.
  8. When you are finished compiling your Storify, write your headline and 100 word summary at the top.
  9. Hit “Publish” (blue button at the top of the toolbar)
  10. Email me a link to your Storify.

(This assignment was adapted from resources by Millerbh and Kelly Fincham)

About Nick DiUlio

My name is Nick DiUlio, a freelance writer and editor from New Jersey. I have been passionate about the craft of writing since I was old enough to spell, and this love has led to a successful career in journalism and creative nonfiction. As a freelancer, I have covered a wide range of topics and personalities, as my published work has focused on everything from profiles of artists and important political figures to hard-news stories with both national and local appeal; from restaurant and beverage reviews to tips on fashion and finance; from health and wellness pieces to celebrity Q&A’s. My work has appeared in several local, regional and national publications—both in print and online—including Philadelphia Magazine,, Miller-McCune, New Jersey Monthly, Eating Well, and Delaware Today. Additionally, I am the South Jersey Bureau Chief for New Jersey Monthly and an adjunct journalism professor at Rowan University. To be sure, the broadness of my body of work seems only to be matched by my boundless interest in almost every subject imaginable (except Warren Zevon). Check out some of my most recently published work here.
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