There’s been a lot of talk within the department here about what/why/how the curriculum should change to include more instruction dealing with Online Journalism and its buzzwordy comrades — Convergence, Multimedia and Interactivity.
Although I’ve been nudging a few faculty members in directions regarding my ideas on the topic, this is the sort of thing I simply don’t have the time to really lay out in some sort of grand, all-encompassing presentation that will automagically explain what I think, what everyone else in the world of the Internet and Journalism thinks, and what should be taught about it all.
That said, here’s my short list of DOs and DON’Ts, not that you asked. Okay, some of you asked, but here it is anyway…
- Do – Create an Online Journalism track, with its own 61-level writing class, 132, 134, and a final production class where students design, layout, and edit an online “magazine” using content created by students in the department and from across the university (think Access).
- Don’t – Teach HTML to every incoming undergraduate.
- Do – Develop the online presences of the Spartan Daily, Access Magazine, and Update News
- Don’t – Eliminate print editions of existing publications.
- Do – Use blogs in the 61-level Writing for Online class to introduce students to content managment systems, very basic HTML, and allow students to give each other feedback.
- Don’t – Worry about privacy. We’re here to become journalists, to write in public, not to hide our work behind a firewall.
- Do – Create podcasts and video podcasts in 163 (Audio and Video streaming for the Web). This is the current technology in the medium, and it’s not that hard to learn. There are some great software tools out there to make this more of a cut-and-paste process than some elaborate code jockeying ordeal.
- Don’t – Assume every student walks in the door with a blog and expertise in Photoshop. I’ve watched undergraduates and graduates alike struggle to figure out why Microsoft Works is different from Word and why it matters to their instructors.
- Do – Push the wireless program, but keep the computer labs up-to-date with hardware and software. Leasing computers makes sense to me as a way to keep hardware fresh. Communicate with alumni at software companies to work out deals for software.
There. That’s more DOs than DON’Ts. How’s that for optimism?
My next post will juggle some ideas about where Online Journalism is going and who is paying attention to it… I’m off to class.