Students blog about why online journalism skills are necessary

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.”

Or:

“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)

Or:

“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:

Charlotte’s post

Why online journalism skills are essential in the news industry

Rant #1: A student studying a ‘dino’-profession

Online Journalism

Why are online journalism skills essential?

Todd Nash’s entry

WHY?

Tapi’s entry

Why are Online Journalism skills essential?

Online Journalism…Why???

On the Line

Why Online journalism skills are essential in the news industry

Why online journalism skills are essential in the industry?

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18 thoughts on “Students blog about why online journalism skills are necessary

  1. Pingback: Online journalism is more writing for the web « reportr.net

  2. Martin

    This is a great idea — and there’s some good stuff in the responses. But also a lot of strange stream of consciousness stuff.

    I think you should encourage your students to realise that everything they post to a blog is published in a way that will be online for a long time, and that they need to get into the fame of mind that they should only post things online that they would be happy to see published under their byline for everyone (including future employers) to see.

    Get them to put their real names on their blogs — it has an amazing way of concentrating the mind on quality.

    Reply
  3. Pingback: Martin Stabe » links for 2007-02-17

  4. paulbradshaw Post author

    Thanks Martin – a very good point, although to be fair I did emphasise the importance of being entertaining in your blog posts. Perhaps I might hold back on that in future!

    Reply
  5. Pingback: Wordblog » Blog Archive » Students blog on online skills

  6. Pingback: More SOJos » SOJo: Student of Online Journalism

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  8. Peti

    I only skimmed this article (is it still fair to comment?) and couldn’t help wondering what a class on blogging might be like. I wonder how many of the rules I unwittingly break every time I write.

    Another thought, unrelated: The reference to bloggers as “competition” by one journalism student startled me. Are blog writers doomed to infamy as witless hacks? Or is a writer a writer? We’ve all read some pretty ignorant material online, and I suppose you could make a case either way.

    Reply
  9. paulbradshaw Post author

    You’ll find out soon – I’m going to post all my lectures from this year at some point, as I look to rewrite them completely for a new intake come February. Preview: there are no rules, only tips.

    Reply
  10. Pingback: Teaching Online Journalism the open source way: week 1: “Why?” « Online Journalism Blog

  11. Pingback: Blogging in (and out of) the classroom

  12. Julia Bender

    As a journalism student myself, I’m quickly learning the importance of online media. Writing for the web is proving to be kind of hard. I think it’s a hard adjustment for us to try to lose quality writing in exchange for convenience for our readers.

    Reply
  13. ali0482

    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.

    Reply

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