Tumblelog by Soup.io
Newer posts are loading.
You are at the newest post.
Click here to check if anything new just came in.

May 30 2013

12:12

May 26 2013

11:11

September 03 2012

00:16

NetSquared September update

fall leafSeptember is here, and even 'tho the new year doesn't come for another four months I still think of September as a time of rebirth and renewal (I'll always think like a student, I guess.)

read more

August 24 2012

16:49

A few thoughts about MOOCs: Massive Open Online Courses

Educators are talking about the phenomenon of large-enrollment free online courses offered by very reputable professors and universities.

Now the University of Texas “is in negotiations with Coursera and edX, two of the most prominent companies engaged in the mass distribution of course content from elite universities for free online” (source: Texas Tribune). So I have to wonder if more large public universities — such as my employer, the University of Florida — will go this route as well.

I started a six-week course in computer programming at Udacity, another MOOC provider, but I wasn’t able to finish it because of work demands. Maybe I’ll get back to it. I’m not sure. But I found the course to be extremely well presented, and I was learning new things and enjoying the process. So I must say I’m a fan.

In an article published today, education analyst Kevin Carey wrote:

MOOC credentials … will signal achievement selectivity. Instead of running a tournament to decide who gets to take the class and very likely get an A-minus or A, they’re running tournaments to decide who did best in the class.

That rang a bell in my mind — and here’s why: There’s a stay-with-it aspect to finishing a degree program. Plenty of people begin a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree program and fail to finish it. So one thing you know about a person with a degree is that he or she completed something. Then there’s the brand of the school he or she attended: good or bad? Party school or academic powerhouse? Expensive? Elitist? Etc. No one much cares about your GPA unless you’re applying to a higher degree program. Your major counts more in some career fields and less in others.

But for the free, open, online course: Did you stick to it even though there was no grade? Even though there was no degree as an end goal? I think that’s what Carey is getting at — because, yes, pressure from many corners results in far too many students getting A’s or B’s that some years ago would have been C’s. And people who get C’s today would have outright failed in some cases in the past.

It may never come to pass that people receive the same kind of credit (official academic credit, provable with a transcript) from MOOCs that they get from completing a traditional college degree. But given the way traditional education is going — I’m talking about brutal budget cuts (especially in Florida) as well as grade inflation — maybe completion of a MOOC will mean you have in fact learned something thoroughly, while completion of a degree will mean only that you showed up and took the tests.

The standard of quality indicated by Udacity’s decision (last week) to cancel one of its courses is another thing that intrigues me about these new companies focused on MOOCs. The professor had spent 45 hours recording material for the course. Udacity had edited most of the video. But then, for reasons Udacity did not clarify, the organization decided not to offer the course, even though 20,000 students had signed up for it.

16:49

A few thoughts about MOOCs: Massive Open Online Courses

Educators are talking about the phenomenon of large-enrollment free online courses offered by very reputable professors and universities.

Now the University of Texas “is in negotiations with Coursera and edX, two of the most prominent companies engaged in the mass distribution of course content from elite universities for free online” (source: Texas Tribune). So I have to wonder if more large public universities — such as my employer, the University of Florida — will go this route as well.

I started a six-week course in computer programming at Udacity, another MOOC provider, but I wasn’t able to finish it because of work demands. Maybe I’ll get back to it. I’m not sure. But I found the course to be extremely well presented, and I was learning new things and enjoying the process. So I must say I’m a fan.

In an article published today, education analyst Kevin Carey wrote:

MOOC credentials … will signal achievement selectivity. Instead of running a tournament to decide who gets to take the class and very likely get an A-minus or A, they’re running tournaments to decide who did best in the class.

That rang a bell in my mind — and here’s why: There’s a stay-with-it aspect to finishing a degree program. Plenty of people begin a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree program and fail to finish it. So one thing you know about a person with a degree is that he or she completed something. Then there’s the brand of the school he or she attended: good or bad? Party school or academic powerhouse? Expensive? Elitist? Etc. No one much cares about your GPA unless you’re applying to a higher degree program. Your major counts more in some career fields and less in others.

But for the free, open, online course: Did you stick to it even though there was no grade? Even though there was no degree as an end goal? I think that’s what Carey is getting at — because, yes, pressure from many corners results in far too many students getting A’s or B’s that some years ago would have been C’s. And people who get C’s today would have outright failed in some cases in the past.

It may never come to pass that people receive the same kind of credit (official academic credit, provable with a transcript) from MOOCs that they get from completing a traditional college degree. But given the way traditional education is going — I’m talking about brutal budget cuts (especially in Florida) as well as grade inflation — maybe completion of a MOOC will mean you have in fact learned something thoroughly, while completion of a degree will mean only that you showed up and took the tests.

The standard of quality indicated by Udacity’s decision (last week) to cancel one of its courses is another thing that intrigues me about these new companies focused on MOOCs. The professor had spent 45 hours recording material for the course. Udacity had edited most of the video. But then, for reasons Udacity did not clarify, the organization decided not to offer the course, even though 20,000 students had signed up for it.

August 21 2012

15:58

August 20 2012

13:34

Red & Black Lesson: Students Must Balance Business Needs at College Papers

There are no winners in the mess at the Red & Black. But there are lessons.

The Red & Black at the University of Georgia has long been regarded as one of America's finest college news operations. The students' journalism is consistently first class, and publisher Harry Montevideo has a track record as one of the sharpest business minds in the industry. (Disclosure: Montevideo has been a mentor of mine.)

But last week, a clumsy board memo became public, suggesting students focus more on "good" stories and granted more editorial control to professionals. Student editors resigned in protest. And Montevideo scuffled with a reporter at an open house. Montevideo has since issued a written apology for the scuffle and the board member who wrote the memo has resigned.

red&black.png

How could things go so wrong? And what can the rest of us who work in college newspapers learn from it?

On the face of it, the dispute rests on whether students or professionals "control" the editorial content. Certainly, student control is central to the mission of student media. But the reality of running an independent, self-supporting college newspaper in the digital age is more nuanced than just who controls content.

Boards, editors and publishers must figure out how to evolve from the 1990s model of a journalism lab funded by an advertising monopoly to a 2010s model of a media company fighting in a hyper-competitive market.

"Every paper in the country wrestles with that: How do we deliver what you need to know vs. what you want to know?" said Barry Hollander, a professor at the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

"If I knew the answer, I'd be a consultant ... I have no idea what the answer is, and I have my doubts about anyone who says they know what the answer is. We're all trying to feel our way along."

From lab to business

College newspaper boards and publishers must figure out the business model while still giving students the editorial freedom that they deserve and without compromising traditional journalistic values and ethics. In some ways, it's a more complicated balance than professional newsrooms where the publisher and owners get the final say on all business and editorial decisions.

In the 1990s model, college newspapers offered students and advertisers the only option for news and a local marketplace. That opened up a river of revenue that subsidized student-led newsrooms and provided nearly limitless journalistic freedom. I was a product of that system at the Oregon Daily Emerald at the University of Oregon in the late 1990s. It was the most fun I've had in journalism.

But I will be the first to admit, we occasionally produced some silly, unprofessional and self-absorbed journalism. In that model, it didn't matter. We practiced the skills we learned in class -- writing, sourcing and beats -- and didn't have to bother with advertisers, rates and readership.

But those days ended long before Myspace.

In the 2010s model, college newspapers offer one option among dozens. They compete against Facebook, Google and Twitter for students' time and advertisers' money. For many newspapers, readership and revenue are down 25 percent or more from the peak in the 1990s or 2000s.

Boards and publishers stare at those trendlines and seek solutions. But they also know they have no direct control over the most important piece of the operation: the content.

Different models at different schools

Each independent college newspaper confronts that challenge differently.

"It's the same as it has always been: education, training, persuading, suggesting. Some combination of all of those things," said Eric Jacobs, general manager for 31 years at The Daily Pennsylvanian.

At the Red & Black, the board believed the newspaper needed more professional oversight, especially online. "You've got to have people there to guide these things," Elliott Brack, the board's president, told the Student Press Law Center. "Each one of those takes its own professional."

But the students believed they were being forced into assignments that were more public relations than newsgathering, including "grip and grin" photos during sorority rush week, said Evan Stichler, the Red & Black's former chief photographer. "I think they were looking at it more from the marketing and advertising standpoint of getting viewers," he said.

At UCLA's Daily Bruin, director Arvli Ward is building a digital advertising network completely divorced from the newspaper. So far, his staff has built 60 mobile apps. His goal: to generate enough advertising revenue to subsidize the student newsroom.

"The monopoly that we owned was not on distributing dead tree products around campus, it was the advertising monopoly," Ward said. "That's what we have to regain. When we regain that, we can funnel money to our newsroom and let students do what they do. It's not going to be The New York Times, and sometimes it's going to be off color, but that's what makes a college newspaper interesting."

At the University of Oregon's Emerald, where I now work again, our student editors went on strike in 2009.

Students walked out after a consultant to the board drafted an organizational chart in which the publisher would oversee the student editor. I advocated for and later chaired an Editorial Independence Committee to protect the newsroom's editorial independence.

But my perspective evolved when I became publisher of the Emerald and was accountable for the company's financial performance. I still believe that students must retain editorial control. However, I also see the need to ensure student editors run the newsroom in a way that fits with the company's long-term business goals. It's a delicate balance that is now reviewed at least annually by an Editorial Advisory Committee led by a former Emerald editor in chief and editor at The Oregonian.

The sense of urgency is intense for independent college newspapers. Now, more than ever, college newspapers need tighter working relationships among news editors, business leaders and board members.

Or as Stichler, the former Red & Black photographer, put it: "Stick to your principles. Have some standards between board, editor and staff people ... You have to make sure everyone is in agreement."

Ryan Frank is president of the Emerald Media Group, formerly the Oregon Daily Emerald, the independent nonprofit media company at the University of Oregon. He blogs at thegarage.dailyemerald.com.

This is a summary. Visit our site for the full post ».

August 18 2012

14:09

Red & Black: For years, students have had final approval of the paper. That's over now

Poynter :: Student journalists at University of Georgia newspaper The Red & Black walked out after the paper’s board put its adviser, Ed Morales, in charge of the paper’s editorial content. The students have set up a blog and a Twitter account, which was suspended but is now back in action. Karah-Leigh Hancock reports from Athens about how things went bad.

Timeline: "Students walk out on University of Georgia newspaper" by Andrew Beaujon, www.poynter.org

Also: Ed Stamper, "Board member of University of Georgia paper steps down after call for resignation" by Andrew Beaujon, www.poynter.org

Video statement from Red & Black publisher Harry Montevideo concerning resignation of student editors Wednesday (HT: redandblack.com):

Tags: Education

August 17 2012

09:07

Some universities require students to use e-textbooks

USA Today :: While several colleges across the country are pushing electronic textbooks, touting them as more efficient and less cumbersome than regular textbooks, students are reluctant. So some schools are simply forcing them.

A report by Yasmeen Abutaleb, www.usatoday.com

Tags: Education

August 14 2012

15:10

DiAngelea Millar: The last 'Money' intern at The Times-Picayune turns out the lights

Reynolds Center for Business Journalism :: Through my brief tenure at the paper during this summer I’ve been confronted by the reality of the journalism industry in one of the harshest ways imaginable. I know the business of journalism; it slapped me in the face this summer as the paper announced they were cutting printing back and firing reporters.

[DiAngelea Millar:] I’m the last Money intern the Times-Picayune will ever have.

A report by DiAngelea Millar, businessjournalism.org

DiAngelea Millar on Twitter

August 10 2012

19:22

Free open source textbooks growing in popularity in college classes

Time :: Though paying for tuition and housing eat up more money, textbook costs are among the most groan-inducing expenses incurred by college students. With tools like Amazon and chegg.com, only the least resourceful of freshmen are blowing $200 for a brand new textbook these days.

[Victor Luckerson:] ... a new type of textbook is threatening to disrupt a $4.5 billion industry that has so far avoided the media upheavals experienced in music, movies and trade publications. Open-source textbooks.

A report by Victor Luckerson, business.time.com

Victor Luckerson on Twitter

HT: Kathy E Gill, here:

Open source academic publishing goes mainstream w/@time feature on textbooks. tip @zaibatsu #higherEd business.time.com/2012/08/10/fre…

— Kathy E Gill (@kegill) August 10, 2012

August 09 2012

13:59

Does the digital age present a “do-over moment” for continuing education in newsrooms?

Knight Foundation :: Journalists want to learn new digital tools and techniques. Will they be comfortable learning those things digitally, using webinars, e-learning and self-directed classes? If online education is easier to provide than ever, are news organizations rising to the occasion?

Download the publication for free here knightfoundation.org

HT: Jeff Jarvis, here:

.@knightfdn report on using tools to train tools to journos: knightfoundation.org/publications/d…

— Jeff Jarvis (@jeffjarvis) August 9, 2012
Tags: Education

August 08 2012

14:01

College Media Year in Review: 9/11 Anniversary, Paterno, RGIII, Sex & Satire

As student journalists across the country gear up for another academic year, it's worth looking at the most impressive feats of the last year in college media.

Over the past academic year, student news teams put together a number of editions -- in advance and spur-of-the-moment on deadline -- geared toward remembering or highlighting major anniversaries, athletic achievements, campus icons, big events, and even s-e-x.

They appeared as full-blown print issues, pullout sections, digital-only PDFs, digital-print hybrids, and temporary special websites.

Below is a sampling of the most high-profile, controversial, editorially impressive, and aesthetically innovative 2011-2012 student press special editions. They are listed in order of their publication or posting, beginning last fall and stretching to late June.

9/11 10th Anniversary Issues

Near the start of fall semester, on the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, many student newspapers published special editions or sections. The papers used the milestone as motivation for a look at how the country and their campuses have changed. They also provided glimpses into the lives of current students, who comprise what is being called the 9/11 Generation.

SpecialIssue1.jpg

SpecialIssue2.jpg

SpecialIssue3.jpg

As Indiana Daily Student editor-in-chief MaryJane Slaby wrote to readers on the front page of the first of two related IDS special issues, "We are Generation 9/11. For the last 10 years, 9/11 has shaped our lives and the world around us. Most students on campus have lived half or more of their lives since that day in 2001 and barely remember life and world events before it."

Iowa State Daily Football Edition

Last November, the Iowa State University Cyclones staged a double-overtime, come-from-behind win against the then-undefeated, second-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys. The historic victory included a narrowly missed field goal, a batted-intercepted OT pass, a calm-cool-collected redshirt freshman QB, fans storming the field and singing "Sweet Caroline" -- and a special digital edition of The Iowa State Daily, ISU's student newspaper.

iowaSpecialIssue4.jpg

As the paper's editorial adviser, Mark Witherspoon, recounted in a post-game message on a popular college media advisers' list-serv, roughly 20 staffers gathered to create the seven-page PDF "football edition." As he wrote, "The game was over about 11:30, they filled the newsroom by midnight, and worked until at least 5 or 6 a.m. ... to get the special edition out. It's filled with wonderful photos, wonderful stories, an editorial eating crow on the sports guys' wrong predictions, photo blogs, and digital highlights of the game."

Daily O'Collegian Honor the Four Issue

Late last November, The Daily O'Collegian at Oklahoma State University responded to a sudden campus calamity with a touching 10-page special issue. Articles, a poem, and a photo tribute focused on various details and reactions to a plane crash that killed the head and assistant coach of the women's basketball team -- along with an OSU alumnus and his wife.

SpecialIssue5.jpg

In the issue, the O'Colly also reported on the tragedy through the prism of a similar one that affected OSU a bit more than a decade ago: a plane crash that killed 10 members of the Cowboys community. The memorial rallying cry for that event: Remember the Ten. The commemorative declaration this time around: Honor the Four.

Daily Orange Fine Mess Edition

Over this past Thanksgiving break, Daily Orange staff at Syracuse University quickly pulled together a special edition focused on a sex abuse scandal involving its men's basketball second-in-command, Bernie Fine. The eight-page issue detailed the allegations, the circumstances surrounding Fine's sudden firing, student, player, and alumni reactions, and the inevitable comparisons to the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State University.

SpecialIssue6.jpg

A front-page editor's note shared, "The Daily Orange publication calendar did not include a paper for the Monday after Fall Break, but because of the developing story about Bernie Fine ... the editors at the D.O. felt it was important to have one. No advertisements appear in the paper to focus on content."

Collegiate Times At a Loss Issue

In early December 2011, a midday shooting and campus lockdown at Virginia Tech University brought back memories of the horrific 2007 shootings that killed 33 people. During that episode, The Collegiate Times, VT's student newspaper, provided tireless, innovative coverage unmatched by the outside media hordes that descended upon Blacksburg, Va.

Nearly five years later, on a late-semester Thursday, the CT again stepped up. As rumors and reports circulated about a fatal shooting and a gunman on the loose, staff turned to Twitter to tell the world what they were seeing and hearing and the trusted information they were receiving. They also interacted in real-time with students and other observers.

Collegiate Times1.jpg

The next day, the paper published a much-lauded special print edition. As the edition's lead story confirmed, "Yet again, Tech is shaken. Two lives are lost. And although life will go on for Tech students all too soon, it is worth taking a moment to reflect on the heartache this campus has endured. It is worth taking a moment to think about how we move forward."

Baylor Lariat Heisman Issue

Also in December, The Baylor Lariat, the student newspaper at Baylor University, produced a special "Heisman Issue" to commemorate the selection of Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III as the recipient of college football's highest honor.

SpecialIssue7.jpg

The four-page edition included highlights from RGIII's historic season, reactions from Baylor students and alumni, and a glimpse at the Heisman voting results broken down by geographic region. As one of the three standout quotes featured prominently on the front page related, "This is a forever kind of moment."

Crimson White Championship Issue

In January, The Crimson White published a special 20-page edition to commemorate the University of Alabama's historic 14th national college football championship. The standout write-up in the issue: "Zero Hesitation," a rundown of how little outsiders had believed in the Tide a few months before the title run and how big the team played when the moment mattered.

SpecialIssue8.jpg

As the piece began, "Zero. This word now has a special meaning for the Alabama Crimson Tide. Many believed the Tide had zero chance to make the BCS National Championship game after its loss to LSU on Nov. 5. Those same people pointed to the number of touchdowns scored between the two teams in their last meeting. However, when the clock struck zero, the only zero that mattered for the Tide was the one beside LSU on the scoreboard as the Tide shut out the Tigers 21-0."

Daily Collegian Paterno Edition

Near the start of spring semester, in the wake of Joe Paterno's death, The Daily Collegian published a special commemorative edition honoring the longtime Penn State head football coach. Related pieces touched on Paterno's upbringing and early coaching career, his devotion to family and charities, the reactions of his former players, and the scandal that overwhelmed his final days.

SpecialIssue9.jpg

A number of the pieces were topped by quotes from Paterno. Among them: "If you don't want to be the best, then obviously you shouldn't be associated with Penn State football ... To live the good life, we have to make sure that others have at least a decent life ... With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more."

Pitt News Sex Issue

Timed for release on Valentine's Day, the fourth-annual sex issue by The Pitt News dove with gusto into body issues, birth control, pornography, celibacy, first dates, and, as one staffer excitedly proclaimed, "lady boobs!" The overall perspective, embodied by a line in a featured column: "Human sexuality is as diverse as human beings."

SpecialIssue10.jpg

In a letter to readers, editor-in-chief Michael Macagnone wrote, "The horizontal tango, making love, doing the deed: There's no doubt our society has many means of talking about -- and around -- intercourse. And for most of the year, that is what society focuses on: the act itself, leaving the vast majority of its effects and implications unstated. Today though, with the naked intent of Valentine's Day in promoting Hallmark sales, last-minute flower purchases, and romantic gestures all around, we're going to talk about sex."

North by Northwestern Dance Marathon Site

The lone digital outlet on the list: North by Northwestern. In early March, in honor of Northwestern University's uber-popular Dance Marathon, a 30-hour philanthropy party, the online news magazine created a special site. Updated in real-time throughout the event, it featured photos, videos, blog posts, tweets, crowdsourced responses from the student dancers, haiku poetry, and a tracking of one student's heart rate while dancing and another student's calorie intake.

SpecialIssue19.jpg

As outgoing NBN top editor Nolan Feeny said, "DM provides us with an opportunity to do what we do best. We are able to be there the whole weekend and find ways to tell stories that we couldn't necessarily do with a traditional news format. It also allows us to show off our personality and our voice. The Daily Northwestern is a great paper, but I don't think they would be asking Dance Marathon students whether they would rather have sex or a shower four times that day."

Daily Free Press April Fools' Issue

In early April, the editor-in-chief of The Daily Free Press at Boston University was forced to resign following the publication of a print-only April Fools' issue that received immense reader criticism.

Spoof stories in the issue, dubbed The Disney Free Press, discussed Cinderella's alleged involvement in a prostitution ring, BU frat brothers slipping Alice in Wonderland LSD, and the dwarfs from Snow White participating in a group rape of a female BU student.

SpecialIssue20.jpg

Critics condemned the content for perpetuating a campus rape culture and mocking victims of sexual assault. BU has been especially attuned to such issues due to recent campus events, including a high-profile scandal involving sexual assault charges brought against a pair of university hockey players.

In a letter posted to the Free Press website soon after the issue premiered, the newspaper's board of directors wrote, "We cannot apologize sincerely enough to all those who were offended by the inexcusable editorial judgment exercised in Monday's annual print-only April Fools' Day issue of the Daily Free Press ... Considering the events of this semester and the increasingly vocal, constructive climate of conversation about sexual assault and many other important issues on campus, much of the content of Monday's issue was incredibly harmful, tasteless, and out of line."

Daily Cardinal Anniversary Issue

In April, The Daily Cardinal at the University of Wisconsin-Madison celebrated its 120th birthday with a resplendent special issue reflecting on its past and predicting its future. As the paper confirmed, "Since the 1890s, the Daily Cardinal has been a lens through which Wisconsin students have seen their world ... For the past 120 years, students have produced the Daily Cardinal through wars, protests, and tragedies."

SpecialIssue11.jpg

Among the issue's highlights: a Q&A with an alum who edited the paper in the early 1940s (following an all-staff strike in the late 1930s over the firing of the executive editor for being Jewish); a full-page, two-story tribute to former staffer Anthony Shadid, who died earlier this year in Syria while reporting for The New York Times; and a piece from current executive editor Kayla Johnson headlined "The Next 120 Years."

Crimson White Tornado Reflection

In late April, a year after "one of the deadliest, costliest, and most widespread tornado outbreaks ever to hit the United States" struck Tuscaloosa, The Crimson White at the University of Alabama put together a comprehensive multi-platform news package reflecting on the storm's impact and the challenges CW staffers faced covering it.

SpecialIssue12.jpg

The three-pronged effort: a temporary special homepage featuring content from a year before and the present, including 10 new web-only articles and a few multimedia projects; an ads-free commemorative print edition with more than 20 storm-focused features; and a 15-minute documentary video outlining the staffers' natural disaster reporting experience. The doc's title: "Harder Than We Thought."

The print edition included individual spotlights on how different communities are coping with the long-term aftermath; reports on how other areas hit by tornadoes in recent years are coping with their recoveries; and a story mentioning that pieces of an art professor's sculpture caught within the swirl of the tornado have been found as far away as Georgia.

University Press BOT Special Investigation

In May, The University Press at Florida Atlantic University unleashed a special issue that oozed investigative awesomeness and revealed some unsavory, ironic truths about those in power at the Palm Beach County public school.

SpecialIssue13.jpg

The issue's aim: providing the down-low on the FAU Board of Trustees, the 13-member body that holds ultimate sway over the university's infrastructure, finances, and future. UP staffer Karla Bowsher unraveled "so many bankruptcy filings, foreclosures, liens, and lawsuits in our trustees' pasts that I needed another researcher [James Shackelford] to get through it all -- and an entire issue of the newspaper to cover it all."

Ubyssey Return Yearbook

Also in May, The Ubyssey at the University of British Columbia published a commemorative yearbook for 76 Japanese-Canadian students who were forced off campus and held as "enemy aliens" during World War II. It provides a fascinating history about both the school and the affected students.

SpecialIssue14.jpg

Page after page after page features people whose lives were forever altered by a decision made during a moment of "frantic military mobilization." Timed to appear at a UBC ceremony presenting the former students -- living and deceased -- with honorary degrees, it was titled simply, "Return."

Daily Emerald Revolution Site

The web address: future.dailyemerald.com. The one-word header atop the homepage: Revolution. And the tagline just beneath it: "The Oregon Daily Emerald, reinvented for the digital age."

The student newspaper at the University of Oregon -- best known for its five-day-a-week print edition -- is morphing into a more wide-ranging, digital-first "modern college media company." On a special site that went live in late May, publisher Ryan Frank and top editors outlined a number of major new initiatives that will be rolled out in full force this fall.

SpecialIssue22.jpg

Among them: a print issue that will appear twice per week, with new size, design, and content specs; the creation of an in-house tech startup and a separate marketing and event services team; and a ramp-up in "real-time news, community engagement, photo galleries, and videos on the web and social media."

As Frank shared in a MediaShift post soon after the site premiered, "We're about to close the book on the Oregon Daily Emerald. After 92 years, the University of Oregon's newspaper will end its run as a Monday-to-Friday operation in June. Yes, it's the end of an era, and we're sad about that. But it's also the start of a new era, the digital one."

Daily Collegian Sandusky Issues

In mid-June, a special issue of The Daily Collegian appeared on newsstands across PSU and State College, Pa., focused on the criminal trial of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. Due to the reduced summer publishing schedule, Collegian staffers were not planning to put out a print edition until month's end.

SpecialIssue16.jpg

In a note to readers, the paper's editor-in-chief, Casey McDermott, wrote, "Call me old-fashioned, sure -- but I stand by the idea that there are certain moments that deserve to be documented beyond narratives told in 140-character bursts or minute-by-minute updates alone. This is one of those moments ... Until now, our coverage of the Jerry Sandusky trial since the end of the spring semester has been online-only. This has its advantages ... [b]ut we also wanted to note the start of this trial -- an event that's been preceded by seven of the most pivotal months in university history -- in a way that could serve as an all-in-one reference as the trial unfolds."

Along with recounting various aspects of Sandusky's first day in court, the issue featured a rundown of the main prosecution and defense arguments, individual glimpses at all the trial participants, a timeline of events, and pieces on the courtroom's social media ban and the withholding of the identities of some of the alleged Sandusky victims who testified.

Soon after, at the trial's conclusion, the paper published a separate special issue documenting the story behind -- and the implications surrounding -- the guilty verdict. In its front-page summation, the paper rightly hinted that the story is still undoubtedly far from over. As the piece stated, "Seven months since the first arrest, eight days of testimony, 10 stories of abuse, 21 hours of deliberation, and one verdict. What's next?"

SpecialIssue17.jpg

Dan Reimold is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Tampa. He writes and presents frequently on the campus press and maintains the student journalism industry blog College Media Matters, affiliated with the Associated Collegiate Press. His textbook Journalism of Ideas: Brainstorming, Developing, and Selling Stories in the Digital Age is due out in early 2013 by Routledge.

This is a summary. Visit our site for the full post ».

August 06 2012

18:29

Investing in the investigative in an age of alternative media

Polis LSE :: What happens to investigative journalism when traditional trade craft is disrupted by a diverse range of new platforms with different principles and practices? Polis Summer School student Rahul Radhakrishnan reports.

Rahul Radhakrishnan on Twitter

A report by Rahul Radhakrishnan (guest blog), blogs.lse.ac.uk

August 03 2012

09:15

Check your tools: 9 top tips for the journalists of tomorrow

The Guardian Media Network :: We round up the best comments, questions and answers from our recent live chat on tomorrow's journalist – what tools and skills will they need to survive and thrive?

[Hannah Waldram] I was recently covering the English Defence League protest in the city centre – I was live tweeting, using Audioboo to get short clip interviews with the police, using Bambuser to live stream some video when the protesters broke the police line, while also taking still video on a Kodak HD camera which I knew I could edit and upload later using iMovie and Youtube. ...

Summary of a recent live chatA report by Matthew Caines, www.guardian.co.uk

Tags: Education
05:59

Low-priced tablets in emerging economies profitable for panel makers, say sources

Digitimes :: Panel makers are producing low-priced tablet panels for usage in the educational sector within emerging economies, according to industry sources. Sources said the makers believe tackling niche markets in emerging economies is more profitable at present as there is more growth compared with mature economies.

A report by Sammi Huang, Taipei | Alex Wolfgram, www.digitimes.com

July 27 2012

14:00

Student Journalists Go Global, Think Locally in #Olympics Coverage from London

Amid the thousands of professional journalists gathered in London for the start of the Summer Olympics will be a handful of journalism students with the unusual opportunity to work in school-sponsored teams to cover the high-profile games.

Several U.S. universities have launched new programs to bring journalists-in-training directly to the scene of the giant international sporting event, where they have set up working newsrooms to create content for news media partners, school outlets, and in one case, for the U.S. Olympics Committee itself.

olympics digital 2012 small.jpg

Boston University's College of Communication, for example, has created a six-week study abroad program that brings 14 journalism majors and grad students to London. They'll primarily be producing sidebar coverage of New England athletes for half-a-dozen media partners.

News outlets the BU team will be reporting for include Boston's CBS network affiliate WBZ TV and Radio. Boston.com, MetroWest Daily News, WBUR's Only a Game, and other outlets in Providence and Worcester, Mass. The BU students will also tweet to their own Twitter account, and post to their own website, which launched July 25.

"We're trying to teach real reporting...It's a great exercise for the students," said Susan Walker, an Emmy Award-winning TV journalist who teaches at BU and is supervising its London newsroom. "The idea is to give them a great education in how to cover an international event, cross-platform."

[DISCLOSURE: I'm a graduate of Boston University's journalism program, but have had no formal and little informal contact with the program since graduating 30 years ago].

Putting games in context; covering 'backyard heroes'

london-group-bigben.jpg

The student team -- made up mostly of broadcast journalism majors, with a few print journalism majors and one or two photojournalists -- will operate as a multimedia newsroom for the partner sites and its own outlets, Walker said. That means tweeting, blogging, and filing video reports, still photos and audio slideshows, as well as written articles.

Walker also added that the first three weeks of the program were organized as a for-credit summer course into the history, politics and issues surrounding the Olympic Games, with the final three weeks of coverage structured as working internships.

"Student[s] need to learn the context before they go out to cover [the Games]," she said. For example, students learned about the history of women in the Olympics prior to covering one of the first female members of the Saudi Arabian team. They also did classroom work on the Munich massacre, Olympic judges, doping, and presidential politics around the Games, to create long-form reporting projects prior to the start of the games.

But Walker said her team is focused on carving out coverage of Boston's "backyard heroes" at the games. One example is a video report on a Rhode Island boxer who barely missed making the U.S. team and must now decide whether or not to go pro. Another is a report on a local high school choral group that is raising money to go perform at the Olympics.

Walker is under no illusions her student journalists will get big stories that other journalists can't, if only because her reporters could not be credentialed by the International Olympic Committee.

But the challenge of sidestepping Olympics security has already been the source of much resourcefulness in the team's coverage, she added. For instance, students are getting information directly from Olympic athletes who are using social media to share their views on their housing, the Olympic Village, and more. They've also pigeonholed athletes crowding a nearby shopping mall in the days before the Opening Ceremonies. And numerous stateside interviews were also arranged, some with athletes even before they made the U.S. team.

Scripps program an 'opportunity to take risks'

ScrippsLondon_logo2.jpg

A similar team of 16 students from the Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University has also formed an Olympics summer abroad newsroom in London, where they will be reporting for a school-sponsored news site and Twitter feed.

Hans Meyer, a one-time community newspaper reporter who now teaches online and multimedia journalism at Scripps, called the school's Olympics initiative "the perfect opportunity for students to take risks. They'll be in an environment where there are a wealth of stories and reporters. I'm urging them to tell different stories than all their counterparts."

His students will report a range of spot news, long-form features, and sidebars on local athletes, and he said he's encouraging students to use as many multimedia tools as possible to experiment with backpack journalism. The stockpile brought on the road include digital SLRs with boom mic attachments, digital audio recorders, and video editing laptops.

Meyer said, "I'm pushing them as much as I can to think differently about their work... I really want them to try something they haven't, such as video if they are primarily a writer, or social media tools, such as Storify."

Like their BU counterparts, Meyer said the Scripps students dedicated themselves ahead of time to researching athletes of local interest, along with issues affecting the games. As part of the preparation, they took a spring semester course covering Olympic history, issues and media coverage, and Meyer worked with them on web-first reporting approaches.

Also like BU, Scripps reporters lack credentials, something Meyers said almost derailed the program before he got offers of help to submit one-off media requests for individual events and was reassured by sports journalist alumni that there were many stories beyond officially sanctioned events; students just needed to keep their eyes and ears open.

For instance, Meyer said he and student Melissa Wells were on a tour bus that was diverted off a bridge, so the two of them jumped down to start reporting, and then put together a soon-to-be-published story on a London cabbie protest.

Meyer added in an email from London shortly after arriving and getting online: "The most important measure of success for me, and I hope for the students, is the experience. As a reporter, I attended only a handful of events where there was more than one media outlet present, but I always remember those events as good gauges of my reporting ability. I could compare my coverage against those of more seasoned professionals and identify what I did correctly, and on what I could improve. For students, I think this opportunity is invaluable. I'll consider the program a success if students come away knowing how they stand in their preparation for a journalism career."

Testing the waters at Olympics trials

Among other Olympics-related programs is one at Penn State, where the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism has a sent a team of five undergrad and grad students to London to produce feature material for the U.S. Olympics Committee's press service, as well as for a school outlet and as freelancers for news organizations (More here, plus a video).

Another initiative involved the University of Oregon. Prior to the games, the school's Daily Emerald had a small team covering the Olympic trials in Eugene, an experiment publisher Ryan Frank wrote about earlier in a PBS Mediashift column.

Frank explained that for the project, "Our big focus was local athletes, especially ones with UO ties. Most of the fans were from within our region." But he added that the team also tried to cover major news and tried to compete with the local professionals and the nationals for the big stories.

The project also aimed for a 50-50 digital-print mix, said Frank. One or two longer daily print stories were matched by a series of what he called short web-based "stub" pieces for each significant event as it concluded. He added that the team live-tweeted almost every development, that by the end it was live-streaming every press conference, and that it developed a stream of user-generated Instagram pictures of the action.

A. Adam Glenn is associate professor, interactive, at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, and a longtime digital journalist and media consultant. Connect with him on Facebook or LinkedIn, and follow his Twitter feed. This monthly column draws liberally from conversations about digital journalism teaching practices on the online educators Facebook group of the Online News Association. The ONA Facebook group is currently a closed group but you can view ongoing conversations (see our group Q&A tracker), or join in via ONA membership.

This is a summary. Visit our site for the full post ».

May 03 2012

06:58

edX: Harvard and M.I.T. offer free online courses via a new nonprofit partnership

New York Times :: In what is shaping up as an academic Battle of the Titans — one that offers vast new learning opportunities for students around the world — Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Wednesday announced a new nonprofit partnership, known as edX, to offer free online courses from both universities.

HT: Rex Hammock here

Harvard and MIT announce new nonprofit edX, a partnersip to offer free online courses from both universities.04p.blork.ly

— Rex Hammock (@r) May 3, 2012

Continue to read Tamar Lewin, www.nytimes.com

Tags: Education

April 30 2012

14:00

Student Photojournalists Arrested; What Are Their Rights?

As student journalists increasingly arm themselves with mobile phones for multimedia newsgathering in the field, more may find themselves on a collision course with local authorities unenthusiastic about having their actions captured in living color.

A reminder of that comes in the pending criminal trial of Pennsylvania photojournalism student Ian Van Kuyk, arrested earlier this spring while shooting a routine traffic stop. That case and others like it also spotlight how important is for journalism educators to make sure student journalists know their rights and how to stand up for them.

Van Kuyk, a Temple University film and media arts major fulfilling an assignment for his photojournalism course, was reportedly left bloody and bruised after being arrested mid-March while taking pictures of police at a routine traffic stop outside his home in Philadelphia. He was arraigned on criminal charges April 16 and faces trial June 13.

The case has drawn the attention of free speech advocates such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), according to the Student Press Law Center, or SPLC. The general counsel of the National Press Photographers Association wrote in protest to the Philadelphia police commissioner: "There is no excuse for your officers to intentionally disregard a citizen's right to photograph an event occurring in a public place."

And in a piece in Philly.com, Larry Atkins, a lawyer, journalism professor at Temple, and member of the First Amendment Committee of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, wrote that "while the public should be respectful of police and refrain from interfering with their work, officers must not harass citizens engaging in First Amendment-protected activity. The public has a right to photograph police activities in public spaces, and police officers must respect that right."

But the Van Kuyk case is far from the only instance of arrest and alleged harassment of student photojournalists tracked by the SPLC, which says prosecutions of those who record law enforcement activity appear to be on the rise.

Occupy protests spark round of arrests

For instance, several student journalists covering Occupy Wall Street-related events were arrested last fall -- among them two from colleges in Atlanta, and another from New York. They join the ranks of working journalists taken in during Occupy-related protests around the country (including Kristyna Wentz-Graff, a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter whose arrest was recently written about extensively in Editor & Publisher).

Hunter_studentphotographer.jpg

Other examples abound. In late 2010, a California student photographer faced criminal charges after snapping photos of a car accident, and had police in his newsroom demanding the pictures be turned over. In fall 2009, two student photojournalists at the University of Pittsburgh were arrested, along with fellow students and other journalists at a G-20 protest. And in 2008, a Penn State student journalist was arrested and faced criminal charges after photographing a post-football victory riot at the school.

Sometimes, the confrontations are with campus police. In spring 2010, for instance, an Ohio State student photojournalist was detained by university police while covering the attempted roundup of two escaped cows.

More recently, students at Hunter College in New York have encountered harassment of student photographers by school security, according to a faculty adviser. After a photo of the harassment (see image) was posted on Facebook, the problem stopped, the adviser added.

The right to record is clear, but not absolute

So what should journalism educators teach student photojournalists about shooting police activities? Bottom line: They have every right to do it -- with some exceptions.

"Here's what [students] (and even more, the police) need to know," wrote Curt Chandler, a senior multimedia lecturer at Penn State University, who has had two student photographers arrested in the last five years and cited this passage from an ACLU briefing on photographers' rights in a recent exchange on the Online News Association's Educators Facebook group: "Taking photographs of things that are plainly visible from public spaces is a constitutional right -- and that includes federal buildings, transportation facilities, and police and other government officials carrying out their duties."

But there are limits, advised the SPLC. Students, for instance, need to beware of what may be considered interference with police operations. "[E]ven if there is a First Amendment right to photograph and videotape law enforcement officers, this right is not absolute," warned SPLC. "Actions that constitute disorderly conduct, refusal to follow lawful police directives, harassment, stalking, trespassing, or other similar crimes may result in criminal prosecution."

In addition, since many cameras record not just stills but also video and audio, student videographers may face different legal considerations around wiretapping laws -- a number of states require consent by both parties to have their conversation recorded. Those laws may be changing, however, in the wake of a U.S. Court of Appeals ruling last summer that helped settle a Massachusetts cell phone videotaping case in favor of the videotaper.

"Knowing your rights means knowing the law," emphasized Poynter's Howard Finberg, who offered up to student journalists and instructors a free self-directed NewsU training module, Newsgathering Law and Liability.

But some educators believe it's not enough to know the law. Student journalists must also be willing to assert the rights they have.

Steve Fox, multimedia journalism coordinator at UMass-Amherst, wrote on the ONA Educators group: "I don't think that students don't know their rights. They do. It's more a state of mind that is lacking. Students seem unwilling to challenge authority, challenge the status quo, challenge the party line, afflict the comfortable."

Added Fox: "More times than not, students faced with confrontation from authority figures become compliant -- all while fully knowing what their journalistic rights are. It's frustrating and a fundamental disconnect that I see with many young journalists of this generation."

What's your experience as a journalism educator or student journalist? Are student journalists willing to confront authority figures to assert their free speech rights? And do students actually know the nuances of their rights in covering police action or not? Do you know of other student journalist arrests or cases of intimidation of student journalists by police or other authorities during news coverage? What approaches does your school use to teach about photojournalist rights?

For more information on student free speech and photojournalism rights, visit the Student Press Law Center, which tracks freedom of speech cases involving student journalists, and offers extensive resources such as this legal guide for photojournalists recording police action, a student media guide to newsgathering, as well as practical tips for dealing with police when covering protests (PDF). (Hat tip: Andrew Lih of USC and Frank LoMonte of SPLC.)

A. Adam Glenn is associate professor, interactive, at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, and a longtime digital journalist and media consultant. Connect with him on Facebook or LinkedIn, and follow his Twitter feed. This monthly column draws liberally from conversations about digital journalism teaching practices on the online educators Facebook group of the Online News Association. The ONA Facebook group is currently a closed group but you can view ongoing conversations (see our group Q&A tracker), or join in via ONA membership.

This is a summary. Visit our site for the full post ».

10:50

Shorthand: Still an essential part of a journalist's toolkit?

journalism.co.uk :: The National Council for the Training of Journalists, or NCTJ, still include shorthand as a key component of the Diploma in Journalism, and many editors wouldn't consider hiring a reporter without it. But is it worth the weight given to it?

Continue to read Tom Rouse, www.journalism.co.uk

Tags: Education
Older posts are this way If this message doesn't go away, click anywhere on the page to continue loading posts.
Could not load more posts
Maybe Soup is currently being updated? I'll try again automatically in a few seconds...
Just a second, loading more posts...
You've reached the end.

Don't be the product, buy the product!

Schweinderl