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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.

Carnival of Journalism makes journalists, educators, editors talk to each other

In my rush to beat the posting deadline yesterday, I forgot to mention what I was doing. It’s such a unique opportunity that I think it deserves its own post. Yesterday, I joined scores of other bloggers, educators, journalists, and researchers to discuss “the changing role of Universities for the information needs of a community” as part of the Carnival of Journalism. David Cohn, founder of Spot.Us and a Reynolds Journalism Institute fellow this year, organized the effort.

It was gratifying to see the amount of participation based on Cohn’s first summary post. A number of friends, colleagues and former students at the University of Missouri responded. What I appreciated most about the carnival, especially after reading most of the first 50 or so posts, is how Cohn is encouraging us to practice what we preach. He brought so many people together from so many different places that I’m confident positive change will come from our discussion. I know I will at least make better contacts and add some new ideas to the way I teach journalism. I’ve added at least half a dozen new blogs to my Shrook account.

For example, Erica Zucco and Juana Summers, two former Missouri students,  stressed the need for media literacy to start well before college. Zucco underscored that young people today consume more media than ever, and Summers emphasized it’s vital to reach young people before they are overwhelmed.

If we wait to teach the foundations of digital and media literacy until students reach college, we will lose a generation of thinkers and innovators to the information overload. We also leave behind the tens of thousands of students who might not ever see the inside of a university classroom.

From the industry side, Brian Boyer, a Chicago Tribune news application developer, referenced Battlestar Galactica and classic cyberpunk novels to conceptualize the journalism of the future.

And it’s where we’re headed. Totally immersive immediacy. I don’t know what the technologies will be. The data will ride on my 3d goggles and my conductive underwear, or my surround-view Kinect room, or my sensory deprivation in-ear headphones and holographic display… whatever the medium, I’m gonna *feel* it.

Brian, I suggest you add Extras by Scott Westerfeld to your list.

I haven’t met Megan Taylor before, but I love her idea:

What if the school news outlets were open to anyone in the community who wanted to participate? Much like the idea of the newsroom cafe. Since these are teaching systems as much as they are journalistic endeavors, someone from the outside could easily participate. Most student-run news organizations within universities are open only to students, which limits both the quantity and quality of output.

Those examples are the tip of the iceberg. Other posters and friends include Carrie Brown-Smith, Seth Lewis, and Jen Reeves. To follow the conversation, visit the Carnival of Journalism online or search for the hashtag #jcarn in Twitter.

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3 Responses to “Carnival of Journalism makes journalists, educators, editors talk to each other”

  1. This post makes my insides smile! Thank you…..

    January 21, 2011 at 6:00 pm
  2. Hans #

    That means a lot coming from you Dave. Thanks!

    January 27, 2011 at 5:49 pm


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