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A New Editor & A Growing Journal

Brian Steffen

It’s with great pleasure that I inform you that the Fall 2014 edition of Teaching Journalism & Mass Communication is now live and ready for you to read.

As editor of the journal, there are so many people to thank for their help in putting together the first issue I’ve edited that I couldn’t possibly list them all. However, special thanks go to…

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Your Brand, Their Product: A Critical Look at Teaching Personal Branding in Journalism Education

Susan Currie Sivek Abstract: Journalism instructors today often teach the use of social media for the purpose of personal branding, or the strategic crafting of an online identity for career gain. However, this instruction has implications for students’ understanding of themselves, their participation in journalism, and for the integrity of the profession itself. This essay […]

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Integrating Legal Theory and Technique in the Reporting Class Curriculum

Rebecca Taylor
Like journalists, lawyers deal in facts. Both professions require the ability to transform complex fact patterns into compelling narratives to engage an audience. While the legal community in recent years has embraced storytelling techniques (Levitt, 2009) often employed in the journalism curriculum, this essay suggests that incorporating legal pedagogy in the journalism class also may prove beneficial in enhancing the student journalist’s analytical skills and writing process, in addition to furthering their ability to recognize risks of legal liability in content creation.

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Developing Collaborative Simulations to Benefit Multiple Classes

Marsha Ducey and Karen S. Olson

Abstract: This article describes the process used to develop a collaborative simulation for college students taking advanced-level courses in public relations (PR) and journalism. PR students organized a news conference to convey information to “the media” about an evolving crisis, and journalism students reported on a situation where the final outcome was unknown. This interaction of students from multiple classes resulted in both expected and unexpected learning opportunities. The involvement of nonstudent role players added to the effectiveness. Collaborative simulation may be of particular interest to teachers in small programs because of the ability to utilize one simulation for multiple classes.

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Dismantling the Crisis of Journalism: Outline of an Analytical Approach

Maarit Jaakkola

Abstract: Today, the word “crisis” is prominently used to address changes in journalism, the media, economy, and society. However, due to a dispersed and diluted use of the term, a differentiated analysis of the concept is required, particularly for journalism education. Taking this challenge as a starting point, this article provides a conceptual analysis of crises in order to arrive at a pedagogical perspective of addressing the crises of journalism in a more informed and diverse way. Having discussed the spatio-socio-temporal dimensions of the concept, the functions of crises are then discussed from the point of view of change, continuity, metacriticism, and ethics. These perspectives underscore the need to raise journalists’ and journalism students’ awareness of their own role as defining their position through crisis discourse.

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Using Short-Form Video in the Multimedia Journalism Classroom

Jodie Mozdzer Gil

More adults are watching news video, and at the same time online attention spans are shrinking. It’s no wonder several major news outlets have started experimenting with Instagram, Vine and Tout videos. The video social networks have tight time limits—15 seconds for Instagram and Tout, and six seconds for Vine. The demand for short videos creates a challenge for journalists to be efficient with images, words and their audience’s time.

That direct and punchy storytelling is now a requirement of journalism graduates. That’s why I’ve started having my students dissect, evaluate and emulate good video blurbs from these social media platforms.

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Making the ROPE Process Real: Using Time Cards to Analyze Student Knowledge and Implementation of the ROPE Process in the Public Relations and Advertising Campaign Class

Tricia Farwell and Natalie Tindall

Abstract: In many universities, the public relations or advertising campaigns course is the senior-level capstone course for majors specializing in those areas. Prior to reaching this final stage in their education, many public relations students are introduced to the concepts of research, objectives, programming, and evaluation (the ROPE acronym) to describe the process of public relations campaign development and plan- ning. For advertising students, faculty members introduce a similar acronym—RACE—to describe the four-step process of research, action, communication, and evaluation for creating advertising campaigns. Yet limited work has been done to understand how future practitioners (current students) understand and apply the steps in the ROPE process. Additionally, little research has been found that examines how much time is allotted to these steps in campaigns classes as compared to recommended time allocations by practitioners. The purpose of this pilot project is two-fold: first, to know how students apply the ideas contained in the ROPE process and second, to determine how students are allocating their time to create campaign plans.

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