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Posts Tagged ‘journalism school’

Are You Ready to Pitch for ONA’s Challenge Fund?

ONA Challenge FundHave you been wandering around your j-school campus, mulling over a good idea? It’s time to get a team together — applications opened this week for the Online News Association’s Challenge Fund for Innovation in Journalism. ONA is rewarding 15-25 micro-grants, up to $35,000 each, to ‘live news experiements’ to be completed in the 2014-2015 academic year. You have until February to get your project toegther.

It’s all about ‘hacking the curriculum,’ and they’re not looking for projects that are already flushed out or have matching funds. From their website:

Your project should stretch the limits of what you think you can do. Don’t be afraid to fail. We’re looking for projects that implement live news experiments in a variety of ways by empowering journalism schools to lead professional innovation and thought leadership. The size of your school or program shouldn’t limit the project’s ambition.

ONA makes it clear that they want teams to be collaborative — mixing students, faculty, developers, and your local news outlet and community is mandatory. You should also be ready to test run your project,  publish the results, and add it to the curriculum. The Challenge Fund website says they’re looking for teams that:

  • encourag[e] collaborative, student-produced local news coverage
  •  bridg[e] the professor-professional gap
  •  us[e] innovative techniques and technologies
  • and produc[e] shared learnings from their digital-age news experiments

One grand prize will be given to the project most likely to change the newsgathering status quo, and another large prize will go to the team with the best project evaluation, regardless of the outcome. It’s a win-win all around.

You can apply here and follow the competition at #hackcurriculum. The contest is run by ONA and funded by the Excellence and Ethics in Journalism Foundation, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Democracy Fund.

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NYWICI Career Conference Inspires and Prepares Media Students

NWIC logoNew York Women in Communications, Inc.,  is always up to something — whether it’s industry focused ‘Twitter Chats,” sponsored networking events or running their blog with insider information and tips for the career oriented.

This past weekend, they hosted a Student Career Conference at New York University, where over 300 students gathered to listen to keynote speakers such as Reshma Saujani, the founder of Girls Who Code and Eva Chen, editor-in-chief of Lucky.

Students attended break out panel sessions throughout the day with industry professionals — all women, of course — covering topics ranging from “Blogging 101″, “Digital Marketing and Advertising” and “Careers in Broadcast Television”  among others.  Read more

The Debate Rages On: Do Journalists Need To Code?

Do journalists need to know HTML? What about CSS? Javascript? … Python?

The debate rages on, with the flame fueled again this week by journalist Olga Khazan writing about how she resented the time she spent learning how to write bad code in journalism school instead of doing something more in-line with her specific career goal of writing. Her article for The Atlantic led to Twitter debates for and against. The merry go round of yes, no, maybe goes round and round and round.

hernandezquoteI’d join the fray (beyond my comments on Twitter earlier this week) except that I think Robert Hernandez, an accomplished web journalist who actually also teaches at the j-school that writer attended, does a great job explaining why learning code (or at least exposure to it) matters for journalists. As he writes: I’ve had an incredible career because I learn the power behind the phrase “Hello World.” Or as he says later in the post in reference to j-school students who don’t want to learn, “It’s 2013 — are you really arguing against learning technology?” Read more

USC Annenberg Announces 9-Month Masters Degree in Journalism

USC Annenberg announced a new, nine-month long master’s degree program set to replace their old, two-year program come Fall 2014.

If that’s not the best evidence that the industry is transforming and the barriers to entry for aspriring journos are crumbling, I don’t know what is.

And it’s not just an expedited M.S., there’s also a fancy building, the Wallis Annenberg Hall, 88,000 square feet of “professional-quality video, radio and vodcast studios and a digitally converged newsroom for the school’s award winning, student-run online, broadcast television, documentary and radio news outlets.,” according to the release.

USC Annenberg Dean, Ernest J. Wilson,  is quoted as saying that the newsroom is meant to break down the ‘silos’ of print, broadcast, and online journalism. There’s a 360 assignment desk that serves as the ‘nucleus’ for student run publications, where students can ‘seamlessly share’ audio and video.

It actually sounds like a summer camp I’d want to go to — and if I hadn’t already wasted two years of my life for a media studies degree, I’d be all over it.

It’s brief, innovative, and to the point. All good lessons for aspiring journos or professionals who want to get back in the game; there’s also an M.A. in Specialized Journalism — like the arts, natural sciences, or sports.

School of  Journalism Director Michael Parks says in the release that:

People want their news where they want it, when they want it and the way they want it, and deserve to get that news and information with all the values that American journalism provides. We’re producing journalists who can deliver what the consumer wants in an ethical and comprehensive fashion.

Maybe you don’t need a degree — just good internet — to be a journalist anymore. But even if it is all about the actwe might as well teach people how to do it well.


The Top 50 Undergraduate Journalism Schools?

Here’s a link to send on to all the aspiring journalists in your life, especially if they haven’t picked a school yet. Dan Reimold of College Media Matters, sponsored by Associate Collegiate Press, updated his list of top journalism schools for 2013. It’s a broad list of 50 undergraduate programs with a few notable exclusions — Columbia, Georgetown, Stanford, etc. — mainly because their j-schools are graduate programs or they don’t have specific journalism majors.

Top 50 Journalism Schools

[Top 50 J-Schools word cloud created with Wordle]

If you’re looking to major in journalism or know someone in the hunt for the right college now, this is a solid list to start from of accredited institutions with solid programs beyond the few that people typically toss out as “the best.” Obviously, it’s a subjective list, but based on his perceptions and feedback from alums. And from reading the comments on the post, there’s a lot of discussions on who else should have been added and lots of additional ideas and recommendations for those that were included. It’s a good starting place. I know when I was looking for a j-school I started with a list of reasonably close accredited schools and narrowed it down. This list would have been more useful. And I like that he emphasized digital programs and practical experience — as Reimold put it, “It is strongly biased in favor of programs exciting me in the digital journalism realm and in some way aligned with quality campus media and professional publishing opportunities.” — since that’s what will get the grads hired.

Read the full list: 50 Best Journalism Schools and Programs at U.S. Colleges and Universities [Updated for 2013]