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September 28 2010


Emmy win showcases potential of j-school partnerships

The Emmy win by UBC journalism students and faculty for an investigative documentary on e-waste is a prime example the emerging partnerships between schools, foundations and the media.

The documentary, Ghana: Digital Dumping Ground, was produced by students of the International Reporting class, under the supervision of Professor Peter Klein, for PBS Frontline/World.

It was made possible by  a $1 million donation from Mindset Social Innovation Foundation to fund an international reporting course for 10 years.

The funding is designed to give students an opportunity to study international reporting techniques in the field and report on under-covered global issues.

The partnership between the school, PBS and Mindset shows how journalism schools can help to fill a reporting gap due to newsroom cutbacks in staff and budgets.

Many journalism schools are exploring similar partnerships, along lines of what Len Downie and Michael Schudson proposed in an influential article for the Columbia Journalism Review.

But this role has its challenges – from balancing the demands of professional work with educational priorities to sustaining coverage once a course is over.

On a personal note, I am very proud of our students and faculty have accomplished with the well-deserved Emmy win.

July 21 2010


IAMCR 2010 talk on journalism education at UBC

On Wednesday 21 July, I’ll be talking at the IAMCR conference in Braga about our integrated journalism programme at the Graduate School of Journalism, University of British Columbia.

Here are my slides:

March 29 2010


Blogging 101 for science and health researchers

On Friday, I gave a presentation to science and health researchers at UBC about blogging. The purpose was to discuss how blogs could help them share their research and engage with others interested in the same areas.

Among the examples I cited as different approaches to blogging were Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science, BBC environment correspondent Richard Black’s Earthwatch, the Knight Science Journalism Tracker, and the Neuroethics at the Core group blog at UBC.

My five tips for successful blogging:

  • Have a focus
  • Offer a critical perspective
  • Create value for your audience
  • Engage with the community
  • Make it personal

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