I think most of my classmates know me, but for those that don’t and for the rest of the Internet:

Hello from Florida! Amanda Winkle here! I’m entering the third semester on my journey through the University of Florida master’s in mass communications with an emphasis on social media.

I was transplanted to the Sunshine State as a teen and have been enjoying the snowless winters ever since! I still cheer for the Wisconsin teams (Packers, Brewers, Badgers and Bucks) but I also cheer for my husband’s beloved Jacksonville Jaguars.

Since our instructor Justin Kings is based in England, that has me thinking about my plans to take a trip to the UK upon graduation. Here’s why:

amanda and karen

My cousin Karen and I in 2006. We look NOTHING alike (insert sarcasm here).

1. I would really like to visit my cousin Karen, who moved to Oxford about two years ago after she married a nice bloke named John. I never got to visit her while she was living in New York City for school, so I’d love to see her and John now that they’ve settled into married life in England.

2. The Jaguars will be playing one game a year at Wembley Stadium through 2016, so it would be awesome to see my local team on the other side of the pond.

3. I love the Beatles, whether it’s their solo or individual work (I’m going to see Paul McCartney for the third time in June). I would absolutely freak if I got to cross Abbey Road like all the other tourists.

I could go on and on about why I’d be jazzed to go to England … but now on to ethics!

I’ve spent years working in newsrooms and to me, ethics has always been very important. Much of the public already has a mistrust of media because of a few occasions when journalists/news organizations have not held themselves to a high ethical standard, thereby tarnishing the reputation of the good guys.

There are very obvious rules to follow — don’t record someone without their consent, don’t accept gifts for the coverage of stories, avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, etc. However, the rise of social media has created a new set of questions — in what context is it acceptable to use a photo Tweeted by a celebrity? When it comes to picking up a viral story from another news outlet, is asking for permission necessary? And, the almighty question, at what point can you cite a story you see breaking on social media?

These are all questions many journalists face on a daily basis, and these questions usually have to be answered very quickly in order to move on to the next story. I’m hoping this class will help me answer those questions so I may continue to be a good newsroom citizen on behalf of my community.