My class of 16 online journalism students have been posting to a live news website – the originally-named UCE news – covering West Midlands stories. Each student has been given a ‘correspondent’ role, so for instance there is a transport correspondent, politics correspondent, education, health, sport, fashion, music, and so on.
In addition, each student is supposed to maintain a ‘correspondent’s blog’ commenting on what they’re doing.
After a slow start the students seem to be posting articles pretty regularly, with some particularly prolific contributors (the sports correspondent posted six articles on Friday alone – mainly as the Birmingham-hosted European Championships was drawing to a close). I’ve been impressed with some of the online research techniques of some of the students too – for example Todd Nash’s article on speed cameras which came from a policeman’s blog, and Rachael Wilson’s piece on risks highlighted by an ambulance worker blogger. Todd may also have scooped the Birmingham Mail by spotting a story about illegal goods on their own forum – a search of their own site suggests they didn’t spot it themselves.
The quality of the blogs is mixed, but top of the pile is Charlotte Dunckley’s blog as music correspondent. Charlotte is recording her progress with lots of links and reflection on her role. Felicity Drinkwater is doing a similar job with her blog, as is Todd Nash. Jessica James’ blog, meanwhile, is a good example of journalistic transparency.
If you can take a look at either the site or the blogs and post some comments to the students, or to this post, that would be grand. Some still don’t seem to realise their work is on show for the world to see…
Note: the Interactive section has no entries yet for this year as the students won’t be producing those for another 8 weeks or so (although it may feature audio or video as they begin working with that).