Chat

What students need to know about code and data viz

A stunning amount of data is available to journalists these days, and it is growing exponentially. Not surprisingly, the need for data journalists is expanding as well.

Data-driven journalism is a diverse field that involves interpreting data, developing programming code, and creating databases, maps, charts and other visualizations. Some of the skills required take considerable study. But we often overlook the complexity of data journalism and leave our young journalists without the knowledge they need to succeed.

What should students know about code and data visualizations? What skills should be taught to best prepare them for jobs in data-driven journalism?

Northwestern University Medill School professor Jeremy Gilbert, University of Southern California Annenberg School professor Robert Hernandez, ringleader of For Journalism Dave Stanton and I got together to discuss the tremendous possibilities at the intersection of data, technology and news.… Read more

Tools:
4 Comments

Monday, Nov. 04, 2013

The Daily Bruin's reporting on the struggle of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in Malawi to gain health care was supported by the Bridget O'Brien Scholarship Foundation. (DaiyBruin.com)

UCLA reporting honors photojournalist’s memory

In their last year of college, a reporter and photographer spent 24 days in Malawi conducting interviews and taking photographs to create an ambitious newspaper report about a sensitive human-rights story. But to pay for the trip, they didn’t have to hit the lottery or save money by sleeping in their cars.

Presented by the Daily Bruin, UCLA’s student paper, “In the Shadows” is a story of vulnerability, isolation and prejudice. Homosexuality is illegal and stigmatized in Malawi, so all the people who 2013 UCLA graduates Sonali Kohli interviewed and Blaine Ohigashi photographed had to remain anonymous. The three-chapter story details the challenges Malawi’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community faces in getting health care, including HIV prevention and treatment, and obtaining mental-health and addiction services.… Read more

Tools:
0 Comments

Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013

searchlights_small

Journalism textbooks have seen their future and it is digital

An animated, thickly illustrated website freckled with hyperlinks doesn’t say “textbook” the way a musty hardcover does. But Eric Newton wants you to see “Searchlights and Sunglasses: Field Notes from the Digital Age of Journalism” as a model for what the textbooks of the future could be.

“There isn’t a name for what it is,” Newton, journalist and senior adviser to the Knight Foundation president, said in a phone interview. “It’s a digital book and a teaching tool – an HTML5 website designed in parallax so you have that 3D immersion. We call it a demonstration project.”

Eric Newton, journalist and senior adviser to the Knight Foundation president, leads a Poynter Institute/NewsU webinar, “Six Things Educators Can Do Right Now to Go Digital,” on Oct. 28.
Read more
Tools:
1 Comment

Wednesday, Oct. 09, 2013

Serious student working with a computer

Journalism program takes lessons from teaching hospitals

What’s happening in journalism education sounds eerily like what’s happened to the newspaper industry over the last decade-and-a-half: While the talk in academia is of adjuncts and buyouts instead of freelancers and layoffs, professors are hearing more and more that commentators predict serious trouble for the journalism degree.

Meanwhile, every year for the last seven years, a small paper in Anniston, Ala., has been able to afford to devote six to eight reporters to yearlong, multimedia enterprise stories. And the University of Alabama boasts a job-placement rate above 90 percent for its community-journalism students.

How have these young Alabama reporters bucked grim trends in journalism? By following a model of education patterned after teaching hospitals.

The Alabama model

This fall, seven students began their master’s coursework in Alabama’s community-journalism program.… Read more

Tools:
4 Comments

Wednesday, Sep. 18, 2013

SONY DSC

How editing processes are evolving at college-media outlets

A guest lecturer told my students last month that one of things he was most excited about in his new job covering Ohio State athletics was working with editors again.

Thinking I’d misunderstood him, I asked if his stories were edited before being published online.

The answer was no.

This was a recent alumnus working for an online-only outlet that required dozens of stories per month, but I was still surprised. Surprised, but also reminded of an exchange with the sports editor during my first summer as adviser for The Lantern. He had been posting content — often well-done stories and commentaries — without anyone else on staff seeing it first.

As adviser, that made no sense to me for journalistic and legal reasons. The more editors involved the better, for everything from copy-editing to fact-checking.… Read more

Tools:
2 Comments

Wednesday, Sep. 11, 2013

2013 Cover

University of Oregon students embrace iPad-only publication, challenge traditional storytelling methods

Nathan Wallner is punching me in the face.

Again and again, the mixed martial arts fighter jukes, jives and aims jabs directly at my jawbone. Or so it seems, thanks to an eye-opening, interactive reading experience courtesy of OR Magazine.

Conceived and assembled each spring by upperclassmen at the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication, OR is the first and most prominent student publication produced exclusively for the iPad. It’s also one of the most innovative student-media and journalism-education initiatives in the U.S., an effort that seeks to “challenge the traditional approach to classroom instruction” and pioneer new methods of content production.

Or, as a student staffer on the magazine put it last year, “I really feel like I’m working for The Daily Prophet from Harry Potter.”

The Wild West of a learning curve

The reader’s journey with OR doesn’t begin in a cupboard under the stairs but in the iTunes store on the iPad.… Read more

Tools:
3 Comments

Friday, Aug. 16, 2013

Emailinterviews2

College media outlets work through evolution of email, social media interviews

“I don’t allow email interviews in any of the classes I teach — except one. If I didn’t allow email interviews in the class tied to The Lantern, we’d never put out a paper.”

I’ve recited those lines to students and others here at Ohio State many times in the three years I’ve served as student media adviser.

Am I being dramatic? I’ve been told I can be.

Am I exaggerating? No.

Some college newspapers have made headlines in the last year for “banning” email interviews: This Poynter story has a nice roundup of bans announced by three of them.

Reading about such edicts, I wondered how the papers could truly ban email interviews and continue to function. With that in mind, I spoke to and, yes, emailed with the editors of 10 prominent college-media outlets.… Read more

Tools:
1 Comment

Friday, Aug. 09, 2013

Serious student working with a computer

Journalism schools need to adapt or risk becoming irrelevant

The scary thing about a disruption is that you don’t know where it will go.

Forty years ago, we didn’t realize the first cellphone call would lead to mobile computing and smartphones. Twenty years ago, we didn’t realize that Amazon would transform retail shopping. Ten years ago, there was no Facebook or Twitter.

You just don’t know where disruptive innovation will lead.

What we do know, however, is that the future of journalism education is at a critical point for two reasons.

1. Time is running out. Disruption, driven by economics and technology, is coming to the university system much more quickly than most administrators realize.

2. Journalism education will undergo fundamental shifts in how journalism is taught and who teaches it. Those who don’t innovate in the classroom will be left behind — just like those who chose not to innovate in the newsroom.… Read more

Tools:
16 Comments

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Women working in office.

In many college newsrooms, women hold top leadership roles

The story is that men control the media, with surveys of professional newsrooms continuing to paint a bleak picture for women and minorities — especially those who aspire to hold leadership positions.

But in college newsrooms, the story is different, as I found in discussions with representatives from 11 schools — Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, Oregon, Harvard, Iowa State, Tampa, Maryland and Wisconsin-Madison. At those schools and others, women increasingly lead — and the gap may be widening in their favor.

“I’ve had some females in the newsroom I would put in a bar fight with a guy any day,” said Laura Widmer, general manager at the Iowa State Daily, who previously worked as director of student publications at Northwest Missouri State University for 29 years.… Read more

Tools:
5 Comments

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Resume Fill Opening New Position Job Interview Experience

Why students who want to land an internship next summer should start preparing now

Whether currently interning for a news organization, taking classes or enjoying a vacation, journalism students seeking some of the best internships next summer need to start planning — now.

That preparation should include meticulously researching markets where you may want to intern and establishing portfolios with examples that show you’ll be ready to start producing professional-grade content from day one.

I talked with journalists from The Columbus Dispatch, The Dallas Morning News and the Indianapolis Star for their insights on what aspiring journalists should be doing this July to give themselves the best shot at an internship next July. Here’s what they had to say…

Get some experience, clips

Even if you didn’t have an internship this summer, apply for a position at the school newspaper and start building an online presence.… Read more

Tools:
2 Comments