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For the last two years at an annual conference, publishers and editors of Missouri newspapers got a few extra hours to sit with a journalism student and learn a new skill. 

It's affectionally called their build-a-bear workshop, said Randy Picht, executive director of the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri, Columbia. The students taught either Facebook or Twitter skills. They checked in with those publications six months later, and the accounts were still active. 

"And so we thought, well, this seems to be a good way to go," Picht said. "Maybe we can expand it."

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