A few ways to teach the Pro side of Pro-Am Journalism to J-School students

Jay Rosen was just on stage talking about NewAssignment.net (see his lessons learned post at PressThink), and one thing that comes up is training on both the Pro and the Amateur side to smooth the process of writing/editing stories and gathering/parsing data.

So how can J-School students who need to learn these new skills (this would be the Interactivity part of the trinity) pick them up in school?

A few ideas:

  • Create Facebook and MySpace identities for your student media outlet and then manage/promote them.  Start discussions about campus news and find the online communities that are already in your neighborhoods, then tie into them.
  • Create a Ning social network for a niche at your school:  Club sports not getting enough coverage in your paper?  Ning ’em.
  • Find a tool to gather data from your campus community.  It can be simple as a Google Map or as complicated as a database project, but take a common problem or question on your campus (parking, for example) and start asking your readers to contribute answers to those questions.

Does anyone have examples of student media taking these steps? (I know you do…)

And maybe more important, is this something you teach in a class, or are your students pretty much left to figure this out on their own?

1 thought on “A few ways to teach the Pro side of Pro-Am Journalism to J-School students”

  1. You know, it may be better advice to tell student newspapers to use Social Engine to create their networks. It costs some money to set up, but I think it would pay off better than Ning. With Ning, you must pay $20 per month for the ability to place your own advertising on your network to make money. That sort of sucks because you may not even make $20 worth of advertising for a brand new network.

    With Social Engine, you must pay about $300 up front, you can host it on your current web host, then you’re scott free to place as much advertising as you want. It’s also possible to change the design and branding.


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