On the importance of being a doodler: “The act of doodling is the mind’s attempt to engage before succumbing to mindlessness.”
Remember the whole ‘Should schools podcast lectures / will kids show up for class’ question? So 2005. Here’s UCB lectures on YouTube. In full.
Most of these apply to all students and all professional journalists, but I’m all for getting a life, learning to spell, and making contacts. (Note to self: Get a life.)
News from San Jose State’s J-School:
- Kyle Hansen is skipping town, headed for Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive to work with Rob Curley. The Spartan Daily’s loss is internology’s gain.
- SJSU is hosting an NPPA Flying Short Course in October. Daniel Sato is furiously wrangling multimedia shooters behind the scenes to set up an awesome program.
- I take full
responsibilityblame for the completely inappropriate title on Daniel’s blog post that closes with the following incredibly intriguing announcement:
“The San Jose State photojournalism department will be holding multimedia workshops during the two summer sessions each year. Each session will be three weeks and will take place in a foreign country. The kicker, as if working on stories abroad was not enough, is that our school has two partners in this project. The Mercury News and National Geographic will each be sending either a photographer or an editor for one week to assist students as they learn multimedia storytelling techniques.”
The moral of the story: This is a really good time to be a J-School student at San Jose State University.*
*Disclaimer: I have every reason to be kissing up to certain faculty members right now, but really, I mean it!
As much as I might wish for a blog intern, I’m talking about interns at your newspapers with blogs of their own (not someone I hired to read my feeds and post wittier-than-thou Tweets for $10/hour).
Let’s start out at a major metro in the west, where an SJSU student on the sports copy desk is working hard to steer clear of the layoff downers and rants against ESPN. Her latest post weighs the pros and cons of a proposed switch off the slow-in-the-summer desk to the multimedia department:
“I don’t want to completely give up on the copy-editing because 1) that’s what got me here, 2) I feel like if I am going to put “Dow Jones intern” on my resume, I should have completed my internship as such, and 3) I am still attempting to get credit for this internship through the English department, and, while I know they would be willing to accept copy-editing experience, video-editing might not be so welcome.”
Hey C-Gull, go for it. The Dow Jones bit looks good on the resume, but trust me, “video editing” is a skill that far fewer job applicants have on their list. Do it. Tell Joe M. I sent you.
A little closer to home, The J Junkie, a Missouri J-School student interning at a small daily in the Bay Area, has also done a good job of dodging the downers and finding her voice. Check out her almost-a-manifesto rundown of her own news consumption habits:
“I typically get woken up by my cell phone beeping. That’s my weather forecast from the Columbia Missourian. As soon as I’ve regained sufficient consciousness, I listen to a couple podcasts as I get ready: always the New York Times’ front page by the fascinating voice of James Barron, and a few others depending on my mood. I check my e-mails and get daily newsletters from the New York Times and Le Monde….”
There’s more, of course.
And there are more intern blogs out there — share your favorites in the comments, and let’s get some of our friends in high places and glass offices paying attention to what their youngest (temporary) employees think of their newsrooms.
Talking about Tianamen in a Chinese classroom…
But just a little lower on the list, you’ll find the future in the form of a grant to the Medill J-School at Northwestern to, well, for lack of a better explanation, Make More Holovatys.
This is exactly what a number of folks, myself included, have been advocating for a while: Teach programmers journalism and/or teach journalists programming. With at least one of those steps built into this Master’s degree, things are looking up in Evanston.
If I were still spending any time at all on campus at San Jose State, I’d be bugging the J-School to talk to Google or Yahoo about throwing around the small amount of money necessary to fund a few graduate fellowships for programmers. The campus is already teeming with excited young coders — it shouldn’t be that hard to reel in three or four.
No, not me. I’m still firmly planted a short walk from Monterey Bay, but a group of SJSU students spent Spring Break in the land known casually as Back East in these parts.
DC and New York, to be more precise.
Photojournalism student Daniel Sato has started to tell the tale. The students visited the New York Times, washingtonpost.com, CNN, Rolling Stone, and National Geographic among other OMFG-would-I-love-to-take -that-tour spots.
Sato credits Prof. Michael Cheers as one of the brains behind the trip, and as it turns out, Prof. Cheers gets to spend the summer as a faculty fellow at National Geographic.
Of course, if I went on a trip like this, hypothetically speaking, I’d probably be spending my evenings at bars with friends, dinners with family, and Wrong shows.
Note to New York friends: Next time I make that trip, I’ll have an interesting little accessory around.
To be perfectly honest, I have a lot to learn, even if my punditry gets me mentioned in Top 10 lists or gets my name breathed in the same sentence as the incredible people I’m learning from just by reading their blogs and following their careers.
And unless I’m going to move to an executive position tomorrow, where my jack-of-all-trades, master-of-few schtick goes the distance, it’s time for me to pick up another skill. (Hint: I’m not going anywhere for awhile.)
Here’s my background: Writing this blog for over two years. Four years of film school. Raised by a photographer and a data analyst (pardon the simplification, Dad) in the wild. Okay, the suburbs. Whatever. The point is, I’ve been around visual communicators, maps, and databases since I could see. I’ve been using computers since the words “Press play on tape” meant something.
Here’s what I know: How to write good clean semantic HTML, CSS, Photoshop, copy editing, WordPress (and other database-based content management systems that involve knowing how to use a search engine to find the code you need), how to use a search engine to find any code I need, how to record and edit stills/audio/video, and how to tell newspapers what they should be doing to innovate instead of stagnating while they watch a 200-year-old business model crumble around them.
Trust me, that last one has little practical value.
SO, dear readers (all three of you), I’m looking for answers here: What should I learn next?
And if your answer is database-driven, so to speak, where should I start? MySQL/PHP, or straight to PostgreSQL, Python and Django? There’s obviously demand for folks with chops like this, and I certainly like the sort of journalism it turns out, but I Am Not A Programmer.
Chime in below…