Tomorrow morning I’m headed to the ONA conference in Washington, D.C. I will blog and Twitter on occasion as news warrants and technology allows.
Also, on Friday at 2:30 p.m. I will be moderating a panel about the possibilities and challenges of newsroom-classroom partnerships.
Full coverage of the conference is here. UNC-Chapel Hill junior Alex Kowalski is one of the student journalists staffing the event.
I’m speaking today at two seminars at UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication: the Chuck Stone Program for Diversity in Education and Media and the Institute for Midcareer Copy Editors. For a white guy who can’t spell, this is an intimidating day.
Thinking about what to say to these groups, I began to think about how important it is for each journalist who lives in a world of accuracy and accountability to personally venture in to the uncertain waters of online social networks and user-generated content. Among other things, it is a journalist’s job to give voice to the voiceless and to hold powerful people accountable. Wikipedia and Facebook are two places where the voiceless are stretching their vocal chords and where accountability is taking on new methods. If a journalist is to perform his or her job above a minimum standard of competence, it’s important to dive in to these worlds and understand how they work.
Continue reading “Your Assignment for Today Is …”
One of the reasons I’m so struck that online journalists in North Carolina have such an emphasis on traditional skills and duties is that it starkly contrasts with the skills I hear editors at top national sites tell me that they are looking for in recent j-school grads. The Knight Foundation believes that programmers are in such high demand in newsrooms today that they gave Northwestern $638,000 to fund nine full-ride scholarships for programmers who want to get a master’s degree in journalism at Medill.
One of the scholarship recipients, Brian Boyer, writes about his career prospects over at the MediaShift blog.
Listed below are the job titles he thinks are available to him. He’s most interested in becoming a “applications developer” or a “hacker journalist.” Are any of these jobs available in North Carolina?
Continue reading “Journalism Programming: Supply and Demand”
Once again in my survey of online journalists at North Carolina newspapers, we see a return to tradition. They say that news judgment and the ability to work under time pressure are the concepts that are most important to their jobs, while community management is far and away the least important of the 10 choices I gave them.
Also bringing up the rear of concepts that online journalists said were important to them: the ability to learn new technologies and awareness of new technologies.
And, interesting to note for those of us who teach students that it is more important to get it right than to get it first, the online journalists in my survey said that ability to work under time pressures was more important than attention to detail. As a group, they gave deadlines a higher average importance than details. As individuals, 63 percent of the respondents ranked time pressure more important than accuracy.
At this point in my analysis, I have to conclude that one of two things is happening here:
- EITHER There is wide disparity between the skills, duties and concepts that I personally think should be emphasized in online newsrooms and in the skills, duties and concepts that are perceived as the most prominent and/or important in actual online newsrooms at North Carolina newspapers.
- OR This survey is totally FUBAR. Perhaps I asked the wrong questions of the wrong people.
To help me sort this out, I’m going to turn to a panel of experts — both in survey methodology and in online newsroom leadership. And, of course, your comments below are always helpful.
Continue reading “Traditional Concepts Most Important to Online Journalists”
Earlier today I wrote about the duties of online journalists. One of the underlying purposes of my survey is to find out how journalism schools can better prepare students for the near future, and there were two popular duties that stood out as “soft skills” that are not emphasized in classrooms — teaching and training other people in the newsroom, and “project management.”
Continue reading “Journalism Education: Training the Trainers”
Several participants from last weekend’s Future of Journalism conference are beginning to blog. While I sit here in my pajamas, sucking my thumb (as all good bloggers do!) and pondering the topic by my lonesome, I wanted to share with you two good post from people who’ve already weighed in.
Continue reading “More on The Future of Journalism”
This post is a written version of comments I presented yesterday at the Future of Journalism conference sponsored by The Carnegie-Knight Task Force on the Future of Journalism Education and organized by the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy.
Continue reading “Citizen Journalism and Authentic Leadership”
I had nothing to do with it, but I was happy to see three students I had in my Online News Writing and Editing classes this year get a shout out on newsobserver.com for their work this semester with the Under the Dome blog.
That partnership was a great example of what can happen when good students get paired up with a patient, energetic and innovative journalist like Ryan Teague Beckwith, the reporter who minds the blog.
In Just Seven Easy Steps
For anyone who has ever been to an online journalism conference, you know Adrian Holovaty. He’s either on a panel, winning an award or being referenced by newsroom mangers, usually with some phrase similar to “we need more people like Adrian Holovaty”
Continue reading “Win $1M the Holovaty Way”
Ken Sands, executive editor of innovation at Congressional Quarterly, sent me this BusinessWeek article.
“Last fall, psychologist B. J. Fogg taught a class at Stanford University in which he assigned students to develop Facebook applications. During the 10 weeks of the class, 73 students developed applications such as Kiss Me, Oregon Trail, and Secret Admirer, that have since resulted in 25 million installs and, by the end of the class, were attracting about 1 million daily, active users. These applications have generated more than $500,000 in ad revenue since September. At least three companies were formed by students in the class.”
Sometimes I drone on about j-schools needing to be R&D shops for industry. This is what I’m talking about.
If you have other examples, please send them my way.