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j-schools

HootSuite University Moving into J-School Classrooms

It’s back to school time and the debate about how to teach journalism is already underway. As academics debate the ‘teaching hospital model’ and hackathons, there’s some real time relief for professors at the 101 level– and it’s coming from a brand. HootSuite, the social media management system, has long offered certification programs and paid pro-package ‘educate yourself’ content. Now, they’re moving into higher education.

Launched in 2011,  HootSuite University has already partnered with over 350 universties, including NYU, Syracuse, and Columbia. The program is more than just product training, though that’s included. There’s also a tailored curriculum for journalism and communications professors, which covers topics from the easy stuff like maintaining a social media presence and best practices to story tracking and analytics.

Lesson objectives cover a variety of topics from “How to Live Tweet an Event With Integrity” and “Compare Social Media Analytics with Site Traffic Using Google Analytics. The curriculum follows the “Read, Watch, Do” format, so professors have an archive of articles, videos, and examples to share with students and suggestions for homework assignments like setting up a Tumblr blog and tracking it, or revising a Twitter bio. Professors can follow the curriculum rigorously, or just use it as inspiration. Dr. William Ward, a professor at at the Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse, uses HootSuite’s program to make more time for other things, he told me via email: 

I integrate HootSuite into the curriculum of all my courses because it frees me up to focus on higher level strategic concepts. Students receive recognized, industry leading professional credentials that give them a competitive advantage in the job arena.

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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.

 

9 Ways for Journalists to Continue Their Schooling While Working

So you’re a working journalist. But J-school undergrad degree under your belt or not, if you’re not actively seeking new ways to sharpen your digital skill set, you’re behind.

But, come on. Who wants to make a cross-country move for another degree?

Luckily, more and more online masters programs have popped up over the years to remedy that. If you happen to be thinking about going to school for a second (or third) time, or are just looking to take a course for fun via a non-degree track, here are some options:

  1. University of Florida Web Design and Online Communication Masters  — The curriculum consists of basic HTML and coding practices, as well as a solid basis of digital communication theory and branding. There’s also a certificate option.

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How to Land a Journalism Fellowship

Scoring a fellowship can not only boost a journo’s career, but provide valuable resources to carry out a project in this cash-strapped industry. From year-long stints at Ivy League schools to short-term projects, there are many options for those looking to enhance their skills. In the latest Mediabistro feature, veteran journalists and fellowship directors give tips on what you can do to make your application stand out. Here’s an excerpt:

Come up with a doable project.

Some projects sound great but are far too ambitious, dangerous or simply not feasible to pull off within the confines of a fellowship program.

“Sometimes people have this idea that if they just come to Stanford there’ll be computer science geeks falling over to work on their project, but that’s not necessarily the case,” said Jim Bettinger, director of the John S. Knight journalism fellowship program at Stanford. “You have to show in your application that you have the skills to do what you’re proposing and that you are the right person to carry it out.”

For more, read 6 Tips for Landing Journalism Fellowships. [Mediabistro AvantGuild subscription required]

Washington Post Joins Forces With Medill To Help Programmers Earn Journalism Degrees

Computer programmers looking to move into the news industry have a chance at getting their full tuition paid — that’s right, free grad school — at Northwestern’s Medill program, plus an internship at the Washington Post after graduation, thanks to a new partnership.

Washington Post joined the Knight Foundation in the scholarship program that lets computer programmers earn a master’s degree in journalism in a 12-month program at the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications.  The scholarship program, previously only funded by the Knight Foundation, has so far supported 9 programmers-gone-journalist since 2008, who are now some of the industry leaders:

Spread the word to all your programmer friends.

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