From the convention in Chicago, award administrator Susan Keith announces the winners and offers a PDF TNT21 winners booklet from the Newspaper and Online News Division’s “Teaching News Terrifically in the 21st Century” teaching ideas competition. TNT21 was founded in 2009 to acknowledge good ideas for foundational journalism courses (newswriting, reporting and editing) from faculty members, adjunct professors, and graduate-student instructors.
This year’s winners…
- First place: Jennifer Brannock Cox, Salisbury University, Salisbury, Md., ”Better Media Writing is Just a Click Away”
- Second place (a tie): Amanda Sturgill, Elon University, Elon, N.C., ”Covering Class: Tweeting to Practice Social Media Reporting Skills,” and Michael Longinow, Biola University, La Mirada, Calif., ”Sidewalk-Level Teaching about Truth, Quotes and Plagiarism”
- Third place (a tie): Jennifer Kowalewski, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas, ”Using Social
Media in Your News Stories,” and Sue Burzynski Bullard, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, ”Comparing Coverage: You be the Judge”
- Paul Atkinson, Arizona State, Phoenix, ”Using Twitter to Teach Story Pitches”
Graduate student division
- Robert N. Spicer, ”Pressing Politicians: Participation and Writing for Campaign Press Conferences”
TNT21 has been administered since 2009 by Susan Keith, an associate professor in the Department of Journalism and Media Studies in the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J.
Note: File updated 08132012
Before and during the Chicago convention, the Newspaper & Online News Division’s email list had a spirited discussion inspired by Howard Finbeg of Poynter in response to an “open letter to university presidents” from executives of several foundations.
The foundations endorsed a “teaching hospital” model of journalism education and cautioned university administrators, “Schools that do not update their curriculum and upgrade their faculties to reflect the profoundly different digital age of communication will find it difficult to raise money from foundations interested in the future of news.”
Here are some key links for the discussion:
- Open Letter to University Presidents
- Knight Foundation blog by Eric Newton
- Finberg’s article about it at Poynter
- August discussion email list archive, with contributions from Howard Finberg, Dane Claussen, Bill Reader, Carrie Brown, John Russial, John Zibluk, Bob Stepno, Ann Brill, Chris Roberts, Andrew Ciofalo, Gary Kebbel, Brian Baresch, Skye Dent, Kathleen Hansen, Howard Schlossbert, Michael Abrams, Larry Dailey, Robert Picard, Maureen Croteau, Daryl Moen, and perhaps more by now.
The original foundation letter signers, and their organizations:
- Eric Newton, senior adviser, Knight Foundation
- Clark Bell, journalism program director, McCormick Foundation
- Bob Ross, president and CEO, Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation
- Mike Philipps, president and CEO, Scripps Howard Foundation
- Linda Shoemaker, president, Brett Family Foundation
- Davis Haas, chair, Wyncote Foundation
There’s a whole lot of tweeting going on this week from the Newspaper Association of America and American Society of News Editors event in Washington, President Obama speech included… and some excellent use of their conference “hashtags” on Twitter, with links to stories by student journalists and others.
Even if you don’t have a Twitter account (but you should!), you can follow the links from the event-specific tags NAAmXc, ASNE12:
- Note that organization-name hashtags are risky… producing links to everything from aviation to the National Autism Association https://twitter.com/#!/search/%23NAA
- Other confusion “@asne” is not the American organization; it’s someone in Osaka who hasn’t used the address, but got there first. The American Society of News Editors website is asne.org (not .com; that’s someone else again) and its Twitter handle is @NewsEditors: https://twitter.com/#!/NewsEditors
Samples of what’s going on, in no particular order — also interesting folks to follow if you do have a Twitter account. (Mine is https://twitter.com/#!/bobstep) Admittedly, this is not journalism; it’s cutting-and-pasting links so that I can find them later myself…
Employees at both MediaNews Group and the Journal Register Company are being invited into an ideaLab — a group of company employees promised “the latest tools and… the time and money to experiment with them.”
“Each member of the ideaLab will be equipped, initially, with a Smartphone, tablet and laptop,” CEO John Paton said in his blog, announcing the addition of 25 MediaNews employees to the original Journal Register ideaLab project, begun last year. He added:
“The Company will carve out 10 hours a week from their regular jobs to allow them time to experiment with these tools and report back on how we can change our business for the better. And we will add an extra $500 per month to their pay. Other than that – there are no rules.”
Following his own “digital first” philosophy, Paton invited employees to apply for ideaLab membership by posting responses on his blog or sending him an email message answering the question, “In about 200 words or less, what would you do with the tools and time to improve our business?”
Discussions and links:
Following a pattern set by many blogs and online journals, The New York Times has launched a policy of “trusting” some readers to post unmoderated comments on its content, as well as allowing “threaded” comments-on-comments.
More of the story:
While Patriot-News reporter Sarah Ganim has earned plenty of well-deserved attention and praise for breaking the story of alleged sex-abuse and coverups at Penn State, TVNewsCheck.com tells the story of the first runner-up.
Gary Sinderson, who covers the area for WJAC-TV, the Cox station based in Johnstown-Altoona, Pa., told TVNewsCheck that he had heard similar rumors but couldn’t verify them because:
1. Penn State is a tough nut to crack. (“You had a better chance of getting the truth out of the Kremlin than getting it out of Old Main or athletics.”) Perhaps that will change, because a bill would end the university’s exemption to Pennsylvania’s open-record laws.
2. His job meant he didn’t have time to pursue what has become the biggest story in college sports in decades. Sinderson wrote:
We both knew the truth of the story was in Harrisburg with the grand jury. The Patriot-News, to its credit, gave her the time necessary to work on the story.
Why couldn’t I report it? I didn’t have the time to get the needed verification to move the story ahead or to convince my bosses it’s not a rumor, but a real story. It’s just the nature of my particular job. I’m a one-man band, expected to crank out several stories a day. I may get a day or two to work on a large story, but not the time afforded to Ganim.
What lessons can we tell journalism students?
- Where you went to school doesn’t matter. Both Ganim and Sinderson are Penn State graduates. As journalists, our ultimate loyalty must belong to the public, not our alma mater.
- Age doesn’t matter. Ganim is 24; Sinderson has been reporting from Happy Valley since 1983.
- What matters is time. It’s important to feed the beast, but sometimes we have to be able to convince our bosses that a potentially bigger story is more important.
- Local reporting by full-time reporters has never mattered more. This wasn’t a story that a “citizen journalist” likely could break, given the time required, the need to understand the judicial system, the roadblocks thrown up by the University and the judicial system, and the conflicted loyalties between a journalist and an all-encompassing university and football dynasty.
- The research remains consistent: When it comes to providing new information, print journalists provide more new information than any other source.
“Convoluted” is the key word in this graphic portrayal of the life of a news story today, thanks to our new post-blog, mid-Twitter, online universe:
Lauren Michell Rabaino of The Seattle Times raises fascinating issues in that illustrated article at MediaBistro’s “10,000 words” blog, opening with the observation that, “News must be really hard to follow for an everyday consumer of a newspaper website.”
As an online producer for the Seattle paper, as well as blogger at laurenmichell.com and an active Twitter user as @laurenmichell, she gives examples from the BBC and Los Angeles Times sites, as well as her own publication. She reports on a recent critique of “episodic” news reporting and throws the idea of more wiki-like publications into the mix, along with a discussion of how to implement updates in content management systems.
Rabaino’s item also suggests there is plenty of room for descriptive and comparative research by AEJMC Newspaper & Online News Division members. After reading her piece, I just kept coming up with more questions… Read more
The “Who Needs Newspapers?” project is closing in on the last frontiers of its map of the United States, with only three states left to be profiled. If , like me, you missed the related presentation in St. Louis, weekly reports are spread via a Facebook page linked back to the home page, which houses profiles, PDF state reports, and video recordings of interviews with journalists and news execs. (For background, see the summer Leadtime.)
The Web-savvy Lawrence Journal-World was added this month, along with the latest in a series of “bonus interview” videos. Some examples:
- Tom Rosenstiel of the Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ; www.journalism.org) on the revenue crisis for American newspapers and the strengths of local papers.
- Philip Meyer on the research process and the question of operationalizing “quality journalism” that contributed to his book The Vanishing Newspaper.
- Ken Doctor, author of “Newsonomics: Twelve New Trends That Will Shape the News You Get”; topics include audience expectations of fairness, professionalism and the “great age of accountability.”
- Rick Edmonds, media business analyst for the Poynter Institute, on the profit margins, audience impressions and watchdog reporting.
Note: Academic researchers could use some citation “metadata” on a resource like this. It’s not always clear when the interviews were recorded or who was asking the questions, although Sara Brown and Paul Steinle are clearly listed as the site’s reporters. The project’s state reports, meanwhile, have covered all but the Dakotas and Minnesota.
From the site’s history page:
“Six media colleagues created a 501(c)(3) corporation called Valid Sources. Its first project is www.whoneedsnewspapers.org – this Internet-delivered report on the status of 50 newspapers in 50 states. ‘Who Needs Newspapers?’ has three main goals:
- Provide the newspaper industry fresh information about how change is being managed — with an emphasis on what works and what doesn’t work;
- Clarify the value of local newspapers for the public; and
- Collect useful insights for students considering journalism careers.
“To achieve these goals, we are traveling to 50 states and visiting one newspaper in each state in order to report how these newspapers are recasting themselves in the digital age. We also intend to document what unique community roles these newspapers fulfill.”
Updated later in the week without changing the date-stamp above. Do add additional Twitter links in the comments area if I left out your best Tweets, and feel free to add all of the @-marked division members to your own “follow” list — for example, I’m http://twitter.com/bobstep
Alas, your mild-mannered Web editor is staying in Virginia the week of the St. Louis conference.
Would anyone using Twitter from the soon-to-be Newspaper and Online News division please use the official hashtag #aejmc11 to report on this week’s doings — especially to spread the word about division plans for the future. Just click that #aejmc11 hashtag marker to see what people have been saying about the convention, even if you don’t have a Twitter account of your own.
Please do either add some comments to this blog post or e-mail me information to share with other homebound division members. And if anyone wants to use this space to live-blog panels or meetings, ask a division officer on site and/or contact me.
Meanwhile, I’ll add some tidbits from the tweets here:
- Due to Twitter’s length limitation, @Steve Fox tweeted the address of his Slideshare “Panel on Partnerships” presentation without its full title, which clearly makes it appropriate for this division: Challenges to the City-Based Newspaper Business: Opportunities for Journalism and Mass Communication Programs. Also some nice symmetry, if you glance down to the last/first tweet on this list.
- @garykebbel: “Knight Foundation is funding a contest for educators to use Knight News Challenge innovations. #aejmc11 #knightfdn” (Until someone offers a more specific link, try KnightFoundation.org Innovating Media page, or KCNN.org or the KCNN’s Things We Like page.)
- Mark Coddington: Just saw the presentation on this study at #aejmc11. Very smart tweak to previous research. slate.me/r3NN7U” (Slate article referring to Brendan R. Watson: “Article on my research at #aejmc11 RT @jackshafer: New @Slate: “Bloggers, Not Parasites” http://slate.me/pkMVAm)”
Andy Bechtel: “Newspaper Division of @aejmc and ACES are teaming up for an award for research about editing. Details, paper call coming this fall.”
- @BillCelis: Compelling convo abt Latino newspapers and impact on past and present by @USCAnnenberg Prof Felix Gutierrez #aejmc11 #ascj
- Hard to tell from the retweets who on what panel actually said, “Be weekly in print and daily online,” and whether they were talking about changing daily newspapers, weeklies or magazines… but the line developed tweet-legs around the time my tired eyes had me “weakly online.”
- Also hard to tell whether this is LJ Thornton commenting on or quoting from Merrill Perlman’s presentation: “ljthornton: Any journalism school that doesn’t teach students to self-edit shouldn’t call itself a j-school/@meperl” (Good thought, in either case.)
- @andybechtel shared addresses of additional editing champs on Twitter: ACES president Teresa Schmedding is @tschmedding; Merrill Perlman is @meperl; Joy Mayer is @mayerjoy
- Two tweets from @steveklein after discussion of journalism faculty not being on Twitter: “There is a real lack of intellectual curiosity when it comes to technology and changing communication platforms in academia…. Very sorry to say it, but I see far too many similarities in the journalism industry and academia. It’s scary, really.”
- ralphehanson Ralph Hanson tweets on community newspapers, apparently from panel on online initiatives at community papers:
- “Use website to publish public meeting minutes. Use newspaper to publish stories.”
- “Look at houstonherald.com for successful online community paper site.”
- “Be a weekly in print, a daily online.”
- “Big online issue for community papers: Should obits be behind pay wall?”
- “Community paper editors should be sure to present news about safety/disasters to everyone, not just subscribers.”
- Thanks @JoMCParkLib Stephanie Willen Brown for link to Penny Abernathy’s newspaper-related biz model / community journalism material — second section here: http://ow.ly/1vCSDr
- Twitter can be quite an echo-chamber for gasp-prompting sensational statements like the one below… without room for clear sources in its character-count limited space. So thanks to LJThorntion for mentioning that grading stats being tossed around are at GradeInflation.com by Stuart Rojstaczer
- Ditto Dale Cressman for telling us:
“Slides from the #aejmc11 panel on grade inflation are here: http://bit.ly/oZTwQH”
- @jbatsell: Gasps in the room as speaker’s research shows that 43 percent of all college grades are now A’s. #aejmc11
- @journtoolbox Journalist’s Toolbox
Nice tool for the #aejmc11 crew: http://newspapermap.com/ #newspapers #journalism
- A Matter of Life and Death? Examining the Quality of Newspaper Coverage on the Newspaper Crisis tweeted by Seth C. Lewis
- @genevaoh Geneva Overholser:
“Educational institutions are ripe for disintermediation, says #aejmc11 keynoter. I couldn’t agree more, having lived thru it in journalism”
- Transformation of leading journalism schools detailed in a new report released today. knightfoundation.org/blogs/knightbl… #CKJED #AEJMC tweeted by Eric Newton (@EricNewton1) of Knight Foundation
- Blogging about journalism history — why and why bother? tweeted by Joe Campbell, with yet another Twitter hashtag of #aejmcblogging
- “D’oh! “@stretchphoto: #aejmc11 “Holy 20th Century, Batman. There’s no wifi in the hotel rooms!”" Retweeted by Andy Bechtel
- “Valuable intel RT @Brizzyc: Learned that Budweiser is $5 at conference hotel (Renaissance). In ST. LOUIS. Bud. Good grief. #AEJMC” Retweeted by Steve Fox (but without the convention-specific hashtag)
The last two items may explain a lot… (Our WordPress software turns the : – ) characters into automatically, by the way.)
– Bob aka @bobstep on Twitter
A new American Civil War Newspapers website has been launched by Virginia Tech in time for observance of the Civil War Sesquicentennial.
William C. Davis, professor of history and director of programs at the university’s Virginia Center for Civil War Studies, says graduate students have thoroughly indexed the site’s first journal, the Macon, Ga., Daily Telegraph for the period July 1860 to June 1865.
“There are already some excellent website newspaper resources for Civil War newspapers,” said Davis, in a Virginia Tech press release, “but most have limitations.”
Rather than rely on a headlines-only index or a keyword search program, Davis says Tech’s approach can produce cross-references and locate concepts or ideas. “Our graduate students have greatly enhanced the digital search for Civil War newspaper clips,” he said, “as their own eyes have captured every name and keyword.”
The Tech press release said the project plans to index 10 or more papers –”Northern and Southern, Eastern and Western, urban and rural, white and black — for a balanced cross-section of opinion, observation, and experience.” As each journal is completed, its index will be consolidated with the master index, accessible in a single search.
Access to American Civil War newspapers was been funded in part by a grant from the Watson-Brown Foundation with the cooperation of ProQuest of Ann Arbor, Mich.