This year’s reading list – an OPML file

In addition to the usual reading list I give to students on the new MA Online Journalism, I also provide an OPML file of around 50 RSS feeds they should be subscribing to – broadly, 5 feeds each in 10 categories.

I thought I should make it available here, so: here it is.

The idea is that a) they get instant access to up-to-date news and analysis of a range of relevant areas; and b) it introduces them to the concept of RSS, if they don’t already know about it, and how to share OPML files.

It seems a no-brainer that we should be doing this on all courses.

Oh, and if you think there are better feeds, let me know.


5 thoughts on “This year’s reading list – an OPML file

  1. Josh Braun

    This is a nice idea – and a nice list of feeds. Have you ever considered installing a piece of Web software that lets your students curate an RSS feed?

    Reblog is a great tool for doing this. On the backend it serves as a Google Reader-style feed reader, inhaling any feeds that students give to it. On the front end, it kicks out a combined RSS feed that includes only the items from the inhaled feeds that students decide everyone should see. Students can also post one-off URLs as items in the combined feed, or even write their own posts as feed items. It works really well as a nice social tool for reading feeds as a group and outputting the best-of. It’s also non-commercial and open-source, so you can host it yourself and not have to worry about University policies against forcing kids to sign up for third-party services for course credit.

    Scuttle is an open-source, locally installable version of that is also a nice way of doing stuff like this.

    Lastly, if your University doesn’t mind commercial solutions, there are plenty of polished, professional social bookmarking and social news services where students can also curate a list of links, including (of course), Newsvine, etc. Google Reader itself is also becoming more social.

  2. Paul Bradshaw

    Thanks Josh – those are really useful pointers. Students can of course share items in Google Reader but not collaboratively in the way you indicate; we’re also building Delicious networks – the typical way is to have a publication account which follows all the individual journalists’ accounts plus others.

  3. Josh Braun

    Glad to be of service. I should note that Reblog was written for PHP 4 and is incompatible with PHP 5, which is an especially big issue since PHP 6 is on the horizon.

    I thought the software had been updated to correct this issue, but upon closer inspection it hasn’t. The fix that’s needed isn’t a big one. The back end works fine, but the Magpie module that pushes out the front end RSS feed needs to be updated to a later version. Bump the forum on SourceForge if you’d like to see it fixed. It also wouldn’t be too hard for a PHP person to create a similar piece of software from scratch if this one turns out to have been orphaned.

    If any of you PHP developer types are interested, drop me a note: joshua dot a dot braun at gmail dot com. Maybe we could join forces and put something together.

  4. Pingback: Online journalism student RSS reader starter pack: 50 RSS feeds | Online Journalism Blog

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