If you have a few minutes to spare this afternoon, log in to Twitter and look for the hashtag #twask. What is #twask? Well, anyone wanting to ask a question about Twitter can use the tag – and anyone answering those questions can do the same.
I’ve just been casting my eye over the Magazine Production work of two groups of second year students on the journalism degree I teach on. In addition to design and subbing, they were assessed on ‘web strategy’ – in other words, how they approached distribution online.
To give this a little context: early in the module ideas for magazines had to be pitched to the student union for financial backing in a Dragons’ Den-style competition (where among other things they had to address web strategy and business model). One idea per class ‘won’, which the whole class then had to work together to produce.
The winning ideas were: Nu Life – a magazine aimed at international students; and Skint – a money-saving guide with a particular focus on food. This is what they did…
The social network as web hub
Both groups created a Ning social network as the hub of their activity. Nu Life‘s pulled RSS feeds from the magazine blog and from local news services, in addition to having blog posts on the Ning itself, hosting images, originally produced video, an event, and forums. Continue reading →
“Let’s be clear that I’m not saying “code” as in “get deep into C++ or Java” … I mean it in the sense of having a nodding acquaintance with methods of programming, and perhaps a few languages, so that when something comes along where you’ll need, say, to transform data from one form to another, you can. Or where you need to make your own life easier by automating some process or other.
” … None of which is saying you shouldn’t be talking to your sources, and questioning what you’re told, and trying to find other means of finding stuff out from people. But nowadays, computers are a sort of primary source too. You’ve got to learn to interrogate them effectively – and quote them meaningfully – too.”
As a new semester begins it seems a good time to finally post about how my second year journalism degree students approached the ‘interactive’ element of their portfolio way back in May (yes, everything they do is interactive, but bear with me).
For the first time I gave them an open brief in terms of what they did interactively (in previous years I asked them to produce Flash interactives). Having been taught how to create everything from audio slideshows and image maps to multimedia interactives, Google Maps and Yahoo! Pipes mashups, I was curious to see what they would pick. Would they all plump for the same option? Continue reading →
What’s the BBC’s approach to training for online journalism? Alex Lockwood spoke to Nick Shackleton-Jones, the BBC’s Manager for Online & Informal Learning and lead behind the BBC College of Journalism.
What is it you do, and what’s the BBC’s approach to multimedia training, development and learning? Continue reading →
Next Wednesday I’ll be teaching a small group of newspaper journalists about using social media to track breaking news. I’ve noticed that most of the attendees are employed by one particular publisher. Other publishers are conspicuous by their absense, as are broadcast journalists. Are employers cutting training? Or just doing it in-house? Has training matter changed to keep up with changes in the media, or does it remain largely traditional? As always, I’d love to know your experiences.
J-schools are generally set up to prepare students for the mainstream news industry: print and broadcasting, with a growing focus on those industries’ online arms. There’s just one small problem. That industry isn’t exactly splashing out on job ads at the moment…
Given these depressing stats I’ve been conducting a form of open ‘panel discussion’ format via Seesmic with a number of journalists and academics, asking whether journalism schools ought to revisit their assumptions about graduate destinations – and therefore what they teach. The main thread is below.
The responses are worth browsing through. Here’s my attempt at a digest: Continue reading →
If you want to pick my brains on using various online tools to track breaking news and pursue stories, I’m going to be teaching a one day course on the topic next month. You can find more details and booking here.
This may be something I do more of, so if there are any areas you’d like to see me do a training course/open session on, let me know in the comments below.