Category Archives: technology

College journalists get 24/7 news cycle

While some traditional print journalists might not be catching on to the 24-hour news cycle (Buffalo News, why don’t you have Twitter updates yet?), I’m happy to report that some up-and-coming journalism students get it.

Most students at The College at Brockport, where I teach, won’t return until the spring semester at the end of January. No campus newspaper comes out until then, either.

That didn’t stop the college’s student newspaper, The Stylus, from sending out a breaking news email and updating its web site with the news that Third Eye Blind is tentatively scheduled for the spring concert. (Full disclosure: I advise the newspaper, but I knew nothing of this until the e-mail hit my inbox, just like the rest of the Brockport community.)

These students realize that journalism is a 24-hour-a-day job, regardless of the medium, and that when they find out big news, they can’t wait for the print edition or even, in their case, for when they return to school. I am confident they are not the only college journalists who work this way.

They are thinking “online first, print once or twice a week” as Martin Langeveld preaches. And that gives me hope for the future of journalism.

NYT columnist just NOW starts Twittering?!

I got tweet from Romensko today about the fact that Times columnist Nicholas Kristof is now on Twitter. Romensko wonders if other Times columnists will follow.

You are kidding me, right? Just NOW getting on Twitter? I don’t blame Kristof. He’s actually doing it. I do blame the New York Times. Writers at local papers are on Twitter. Reporters at TV stations are on Twitter. Thanks for joining the crowd, NYT. I can’t imagine why newspapers are in trouble. (And believe me, I love newspapers and want them to survive!)

Let’s hope this is a case of it’s better late than never.

Fascinating Blog Battle on Fate of Newspapers

Bloggers are taking on the American Press Institute’s “crisis summit” on the future of newspapers and one can only hope that in the end the winner will be news consumers.

API’s summit, “Saving an Industry in Crisis,” ended with no real plan or ideas — except to meet again in six months. That no-solution solution got on several bloggers radars–and under their skins. (See Martin Langeveld, Steve Outing, and Kristufek’s We Media.

I’m going to ask my convergence journalism students tomorrow what ideas they would take to a Manhattan project. I’ll let you know the results tomorrow.

Soundslides, my hat’s off to you

I’m going to be teaching my convergence journalism students about Soundslides tomorrow. For those of you who don’t know what it is, here goes. Soundslides is a super easy, super cool way to make slide shows with photos and sound, whether that sound be music or audio of someone speaking.

It wasn’t that long ago Soundslides used to be free. Now you have to pay for it, but it’s well worth it. (Price $40 to $70 depending on how complex you want to get.) You can try out a demo for free.

If you want to learn all the tricks of Soundslides Plus without stumbling through them yourself, here’s a helpful tutorial on the subject.

Twitter and newspapers

Tom Cheredar writes an interesting post about how newspapers should use Twitter for a conversation, not just as an alternate RSS feed.

I must confess I like getting links and news through Twitter, but I tend to follow the links sent with personal, conversational comments. It fits right with his research found.

Oh so not teckie

I asked students in one of my classes today how many knew how to do a screen capture. One. One student out of 30 knew how to do a screen capture.

I shouldn’t be shocked, yet it always seems to surprise me when they don’t know tech tools, especially simple ones. Are they just not curious? Are they afraid? Neither attribute is a solid start for a journalist.

I prefer to think they simply believe that some IT/computer whiz works his/her magic and makes all these online things happen. And I’m determined to show them that they, too, can be this mysterious IT/computer whiz. (And I’m happy to report almost all took notes on how to do screen captures.)