Journalism education and training

‘Man Bites Dog’ headline resurfaces, in Utah

Deseret News

Police say 27-year-old Erasmo Guadalupe Garcia-Serna bit a police dog in West Valley City, Utah. He was naked at the time, they allege.

The charges allowed the Deseret News to use a headline of mythical importance in journalism — one that is elusive but not unheard of.

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David Carr, Andrew Rossi

David Carr joins Boston University

The Boston Globe

New York Times media reporter David Carr will become a professor at Boston University’s College of Communication, Marcella Bombardieri reports. Carr will continue to write for the Times and will teach one class per semester at BU.

His job “appears to be among the first professorships dedicated to evaluating how media organizations can sustain themselves financially as readers and advertisers migrate to the Web, a crisis that has doomed some news organizations and threatens the viability of many others,” Bombardieri writes.

Carr, who once wrote “Having seen many journalism programs up close, I can say that most are escalators to nowhere,” told Bombardieri “a lot of journalism education that is going on is broadly not preparing kids for the world that they are stepping into.” He will teach a class in media criticism next year. Read more


Ball State students will cover Olympics in Sochi

The Associated Press

Students at Ball State University will cover the Sochi Olympics from Sochi early next year, the Associated Press reported Wednesday. BSU at the Games will take 22 students to Sochi with the “student-managed freelance news agency that will produce stories, photos, videos and graphics from the Olympics.”

Students from Ball State University took some time off of reporting to cheer on the U.S Women’s Soccer team at the London Olympics. Photo from BSU at the Games.

There, as part of the school’s immersive learning experience, students will “gain unparalleled career experience in journalism, telecommunications, digital sports media production, photojournalism, public relations and graphic design,” according to the project’s web site. The program is part of a class and costs students extra, said journalism instructor Ryan Sparrow in a phone interview. Read more


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

Occupy Oakland

Journalists under attack: Pros offer safety advice

Look at this page on the Committee to Protect Journalists’ website and feel a pain in your gut. The site documents the 45 journalists who have been killed on the job worldwide this year. Most were covering human rights, politics and/or crime when they died.

If you think the only journalists who face danger on the job are those working in Syria or Egypt, you’re wrong. Last week, WDAZ reporter Adam Ladwig was attacked by three people while covering a fire. Last month, a woman attacked a WUSA9 crew. A CBS2/KCAL9 reporter and photojournalist were attacked while covering the Zimmerman verdict protests in July. In August, told you about the San Francisco area attacks on news crews. In a six-week period, thieves attacked journalists six times, targeting cameras, computers and tripods and taking gear at gunpoint in at least one case. Read more

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. (

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


Tips for Storytellers: How to make photos better

As a designer and editor, my projects have been made infinitely better because I’ve worked with stellar photojournalists. They’ve patiently schooled me on the importance of capturing the moment, finding the best light and thinking about composition. Here are a few tips. Part of a series of graphics with tips for storytellers, think of this as bite-sized inspiration. Next Friday: How to create your online portfolio and personal brand.

Quinn-fo-graphics: How to make photos better

For a PDF: Quinn-fo-graphics: How to make photos better

Related: How to make the most of your tweets | How to get your video right |
How to polish your writing Read more

icon for writing

Tips for Storytellers: How to polish your writing

Lucky me. My office is two doors down from one of the world’s best writing coaches. I go to Roy Peter Clark often when writer’s block hits me. Here, you’ll find a few particularly helpful tips. Part of a series of graphics with tips for storytellers, think of this as bite-sized inspiration. Next Friday: How to make your photos better.

Poynter Quinn-fo-graphic: Polish your writing
Poynter Quinn-fo-graphic: Polish your writing

For a PDF: Poynter Quinn-fo-graphic: How to polish your writing

Related: How to make the most of your tweets | How to shoot great video Read more

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Indiana University alum on j-school’s new home: ‘Trust but verify’

Indiana University’s board of trustees voted Friday to approve a new Media School, which will combine the old journalism school with the departments of Communications and Culture and Telecommunications. The new school will officially open on July 1, 2014. Lesa Hatley Major, currently the journalism school’s interim dean, will be the new school’s associate dean.

The move will take the journalism school from its current home in Ernie Pyle Hall to Franklin Hall. In response to the possible merger and the move, a Facebook page launched in February to Save Ernie Pyle Hall, or at least get the new school named after the famous newsman.

Owen Johnson, associate professor in the school of journalism and also leading the Ernie Pyle Legacy Committee, said he was initially concerned about the merger “because it seemed as if it was tilting away from a professional/academic balance into an academic bias,” Johnson wrote in an e-mail to Poynter. Read more

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How journalists can learn statistics through real life, not abstractions

If you were never good at math as a kid, you can still be a successful, award-winning data journalist. Matt Waite is a prime example. Waite, journalism professor at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, told Poynter that the way he wrapped his head around statistics in college was to apply them to real life, such as test scores, rather than learning abstract terms.

NewsU training: Matt Waite teaches Drones for Reporting and Newsgathering: The Promise and the Peril. Use code 13POYNTER100WAITE for a free webinar replay.

Related: Nate Silver: Eight cool things journalists should know about statistics Read more

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