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I'm an assistant professor at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, where I teach and research how news sites can better reach their audiences. I received my Ph.D. from the Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri where I was one of the founding editors of MyMissourian.com, a citizen journalism site for Columbia, Mo. Before graduate school, I worked as a community newspaper editor in Southern Utah and Southern California.

Hesperia Star: Follow your dreams

I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, but I finally got around to finishing the first of several videos I will showcase here and on the Scripps Journalism School page. I’m always lucky to get great guest speakers to address my classes via Skype. When I was looking for a community newspaper that was using the Web and social media to the fullest, I had to look no farther than my old newspaper, the Hesperia Star.

I’d love to take credit for the innovative ways Peter Day, editor, and Beau Yarbrough, staff writer, are using Facebook and Twitter, but I can’t. They are much smarter than I am. They embody the can-do spirit that makes community newspaper’s like the Star flourish amid an uncertain time in journalism.

When they addressed my J314: Online Journalism class last May, they were frank in explaining how they just tried tools to see if they’d work, and worried about the consequences later. I’m not sure if it’s in the video embedded below or the longer version I’ve added to my YouTube channel, but we laughed when they talked about getting chastised for using Twitter one week and then being encouraged to do the exact thing that got them in trouble the next.

Please watch the clip embedded below. It’s just over two minutes. If you are interested in the longer version, visit my YouTube channel.

P.S. Sorry about the audio and video. We conducted the interview on Skype. Look for videos from Tom Merritt, Jason Weaver, and Robert Padavick soon.

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