Wednesday, 07 July 2010 17:25

Who's afraid of big bad (face)book?

An earlier post pinpointed some of the challenges that surfaced in a WJEC syndicate discussion around the topic of social media(SM) and the implications for journalism educators (J-Eds). But as everyone knows it is one thing to  ask the questions; it is often something quite different to find answers.

However, an attempt was made to suggest a way forward if JEs are going to recognise SM as a worthy ingredient in  any well-rounded  journalism training recipe. To this end then Julie Posetti, who had chaired the syndicate, presented a list of six recommendations.  While not exhaustive and somewhat skeletal (they await further fleshing out when the final syndicate report  appears  at a later stage), they do nevertheless present current J-Eds with something to chew on. So what do J-Eds need to do?

1.    Accept that as a result of new media developments , SM should  increasingly be considered an essential component in any journalism training initiative, even where lack of connectivity  seems to pose problems, and especially in view of the fact that the ubiquitous cellphone has levelled the playing fields.

2.    Such acceptance requires that J-Eds themselves, although perhaps not directly involved in training, have an abligation to keep  abreast of SM developments.

3.    The onus would appear to fall on J-Eds to find ways of embedding SM practice into aspects of the so-called ‘traditional’ journalism curriculum.

4.    J-Eds need to be sensitive to the debate surrounding journalism ethics and professionalism especially as it pertains to the use of SM in journalism, what Posetti calls “managing the Personal/Professional divide”.

5.    Be prepared to teach and support students, through SM use,  in building networks of professional contacts that extend beyond  friends and local news.

6.    Explore the use of SM as a vehicle to get students excited about  topics which interest them and engage in, and collaborate with, local communities.

Published in Bloggers
Wednesday, 07 July 2010 11:09

CNI networks global student journalists

College Newsnet International (CNI) is exciting, because it gives global exposure to students. “Student journalism is the purest, freshest and most exciting voice out there,” says Mary Cardaras, head of Digital Media and Communications at the New England Institute of Art in Boston.

CNI is a global approach to the practice of journalism – by students for students. Cardaras is partnering with Dr Robyn Goodman, head of Communication Studies at Alfred University in New York, to create an online global website. Here, student journalists can submit news articles, photographs, podcasts, videos and cartoons, with their news attracting global audiences and international exposure. The website is set to launch in September 2010 but, student journalists are encouraged to register before this, so they can submit their work when CNI makes its much anticipated debut.

Cardaras modelled CNI on CNN’s World Report which welcomes viewpoints from TV networks across the world. Its approach allows student journalists from all over the world to see what’s going on in other countries and continents. This international forum will change perceptions about countries outside Western Europe and North America and provide journalists with information to learn, share and connect. Cardaras told Open Source, that CNI can eradicate some of the stereotypes of the African continent. “Africa gets bad press in the Western world. The presence and voice of Africa on CNI will change the perception to something positive and exciting,” she says.

Cardaras explains how the creation of a global platform, to showcase student work, will change the perception of journalism itself. “Students have a passionate, no-nonsense approach to journalism. They are still learning and have the presence of mentors to keep their work responsible.” Cardaras stresses that CNI is not citizen journalism. Instead, stories are vetted before online publication and student journalists have the potential to mimic real-life journalistic practices, “CNI will be structured around being fair and balanced,” says Cardaras. Cardaras is hoping CNI will attract giant media employers like CNN, BBC, the New York Times and other publications and networks from around the world.

The fresh student voice is usually hidden by big networks which dominate the airwaves and online reach. Cardaras’ brainchild is likely to push journalism into new directions where stereotypes are broken and where connecting teaches the world about the world. Student journalists are taking over via the digital revolution.

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Published in Bloggers
Tuesday, 06 July 2010 13:53

"We're building a movement..." (video)

Head of the School of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University, Guy Berger discusses the importance of hosting the second World Journalism Education Congress in Africa and how it has been received so far. "We're building a movement of teachers from around the world," he tells us in this video. 

Published in Bloggers