Last week saw the start of this year’s online journalism module: second year students, some on a specialist journalism degree, others studying media or television (last year all but one were journalism specialists, which perhaps indicates how students are beginning to realise the importance of online).
I kicked off the session by asking them why they felt they needed to study online journalism. Encouragingly, their responses were well informed. Then I gave them just 20 mins (hence typos) to write an op-piece-style blog post on why people needed these skills.
As you’d expect, these ranged from the dry factual-based approach to a more wit-based posts (it could be said that the latter is more appropriate for blogs). I particularly liked:
“For those who have not experienced online journalism you have suffered long enough, the time has come to don your spectacles and embark upon a life of microwaveable meals in front of your computer screen.”
“Not only do readers have a heightened level and speed of news intake on the internet, they have the ability to interact with the news inself. Posting responses to breaking news bulletins, and being involved in news forums and developing further informed disscussions within an ‘online community'” (Link)
“this is pretty good right? You get the chance to have your say and some hillbilly from the other side of the world with a computer can hear your voice. Or are you guys taking our jobs away from us? With the accessibility of this new technology, opportunity in journalism has never been so broad, right now not only am I and the rest of us alcoholic hacks competing against each other we now have to compete against any old joe with something to say. But this is ok. You guys have just raised the bar, and a bit of healthy competition is always good chicken soup for the soul.”
Interestingly, the students seemed to equate “online journalism” with being taught to “write for the web”. That’s one lesson (one and a half if you include last week’s introduction to blogging). As for the other nine… well, more on those as the weeks go by.
Meanwhile, please click on the links below to go to those blog postings – please post a comment if you can so the students know they’re not typing in a vacuum: