Teaching News Terrifically in the 21st Century call for entries
Deadline: 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, Thursday, June 13, 2013
Do you have an innovative idea for improving the teaching of newswriting, reporting or editing in the digital era? If so, enter it in Teaching News Terrifically in the 21st Century, the teaching-ideas competition sponsored by the Newspaper and Online News Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.
TNT21 was founded in 2009 to publicly acknowledge good ideas for teaching three types of foundational journalism courses – newswriting, reporting and editing – by three types of instructors:
- Full-time faculty members
- Adjunct professors
- Graduate-student instructors
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
At the start of our meeting we’ll honor Brooks — and present plaques, certificates, and/or checks to winners of our academic paper and TNT21 (Teaching News Terrifically in the 21st Century) competitions.
The meeting begins at 8:30 p.m. Friday in Chicago G&H, which is on the fifth floor of the convention hotel.
See you there.
Chris Roberts, Ph.D.
Head, Newspaper and Online News Division
Assistant professor, University of Alabama
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.
What can journalism learn from programming? The Nieman Lab has a fascinating, philosophical piece by “news hacker” and New York Times programmer Jacob Harris that seems to address just that. One notion Harris limns quite forcefully is the idea of technology-based cure-alls for journalism’s ills:
Every few weeks, the new media hype cycle begins again. Some new tool or website comes out that makes some technically difficult aspect of news-gathering or production much simpler, and then that old question — Will it save journalism?— gets asked again, analyzed for a few days, and kicked to the curb under ridicule from obnoxious snarkmongers like myself.
One lesson I draw: as so many smart journalism educators have stressed in recent years, we and our students both need to learn to code – at least a bit.
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
At many colleges and universities, expectations for research and innovative teaching are increasing just as opportunities for external funding to support such work are declining. The Newspaper Division of AEJMC is stepping into that breach with a new program of small grants.
The program will offer two grants for the 2011-2012 academic year:
- A $500 grant to support research on newspapers or their online units
- A $200 grant to support innovative teaching in courses related to newspapers or their online units
Click here to download the grant applications. Deadline for applying is 11:59 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time on July 1, 2011. Applications should be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The research grant could be used to cover some or all of the cost of such scholarly expenses as a research assistant, a subscription to an online survey program, travel to an archive, copying, mailing or transcription. The teaching grant could be used to cover such expenses as part of the cost of a piece of equipment or software, a student reporting trip or an honorarium for a professional who can teach students specific skills.
To qualify for consideration for a grant, applicants must be members of the Newspaper Division of AEJMC as of July 1, 2011. You can check your membership status by contacting AEJMC Membership Manager Pamella Price at email@example.com or 803-772-3507.
To apply for a teaching grant, applicants must, in addition, plan to be involved in teaching journalism or mass communication at the post-secondary level, as a full-time faculty member or instructor, adjunct professor, graduate-student teacher of record or teaching assistant between Sept. 1, 2011, and July 1, 2012.
Full-time faculty members, adjunct professors, graduate students and independent scholars are eligible to apply for the research grant. Members of the Newspaper Division’s executive board for 2010-2011 are not eligible to apply for either grant.
Grant recipients will be asked to provide a report on how they used grant funds to the head of the Newspaper Division by July 1, 2012.
If you have questions about the grant program, please contact Newspaper Division co-teaching chair Susan Keith of Rutgers University at firstname.lastname@example.org
Teaching News Terrifically in the 21st Century — plus five weeks
The deadline for TNT21, the Newspaper Division’s teaching ideas competition, has been extended to July 1. That means you have five more weeks to put together a submission that might earn a cash award.
Entries should be about teaching newswriting, reporting or editing.
A prize of $100 will be awarded for the best teaching idea from each of three groups of teachers:
- full-time faculty,
- adjunct professors, and
- graduate students.
Ideas will be judged for their originality, innovative nature, ease of application, completeness, writing and whether they would work in more than one course and/or at different types of schools. All entries should reflect:
- Original teaching ideas that have not been published elsewhere or adapted from another instructor’s work
- Ideas that have not been winners or finalists in other teaching awards competitions
- Ideas that have not been simultaneously submitted to other 2011 AEJMC division or interest group teaching awards competitions. Ideas that have been submitted, for example, to the 2011 Great Ideas for Teachers competition sponsored by the Community College Journalism Association and AEJMC’s Small Programs Interest Group, Scholastic Journalism Division and Graduate Education Interest Group are not eligible.
The new deadline is 11:59 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time July 1. Attendance at the AEJMC convention in August is NOT required to receive the award.
For an application and full information, go to