Tag Archives | journalism education

‘Taking the J out of the J-School’: Motivations and processes of program name changes

By Matthew Haught and Erin Willis

Abstract: As student enrollments, industry trends, and professional demands embrace the digital media landscape, journalism schools throughout the country are reconsidering their own brands. Specifically, many are asking if the program’s name accurately reflects its course content and curriculum, but also if the program projects an ideal image to the profession. The current study questions administrators at schools that changed names and asks what motivated the name change, as well as the processes by which name changes were considered and approved.

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The JMC introductory classroom with and without Miley Cyrus: An experiment in undergraduate media research

By Doug L. Mendenhall

Abstract: In the crowded syllabus of the introductory undergraduate course in journalism and mass communication, media research often receives little attention, although it is one of the 12 ACEJMC core values. To investigate one method for injecting into the curriculum a greater understanding and appreciation of research, a comparative study was made between students (N = 48) in two sections of an introductory course in the JMC department of a small Southwestern university. Students in the section that learned about media research primarily in relation to a class topic of their choosing exhibited slightly more positive attitudes than students in the section whose study of media research was not related to a self-selected topic, but rather received standard lectures and textbook readings. Although these differences failed to meet the level of significance (p < .05), students in the section that selected actress Miley Cyrus as its research topic were found to be more intellectually stimulated by the class, more interested in the field of media-related research, more confident to conduct research, and more likely to enter a research festival. However, students in this section also received slightly lower grades on multiple-choice exam questions about research than students in the other section.

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Exploring the Use of Personalized Learning Plans in the Journalism Capstone Environment

Sally Haney

Abstract: This paper assesses the role of student-authored Learning Plans (LPs) in a senior journalism capstone course at an undergraduate university in western Canada. Students, working as senior editors of a community online news publication in a masthead course, developed and regularly updated individualized LPs. Their LPs were used as a means to strategize and revise learning activities, assess progress, and negotiate grades. A qualitative analysis of data revealed ways in which students engaged with their LPs. Results suggest the plans played a role in increasing student responsibility for learning, creating flexibility for students to manage their unique roles, and helping students to better identify their learning achievements and challenges. The analysis also showed a high degree of alignment between student-proposed evaluations and professor-determined evaluations of student learning. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of ways LPS could be incorporated in other environments, as well as some cautions about implementation.

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Developing and Assessing Experiential Learning Opportunities

Cindy Royal

Abstract: Classroom experiential learning projects can extend the benefits of student media to more participants. Social media tools offer efficient and cost-effective ways to engage students that allow them to publish their work, promote events, and enhance their professional networks. A case study of one such project is performed to provide a framework for assessing the ability to create engaging and productive experiences within journalism curricula.

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Mobile Journalism 101: Teaching Students to Use Mobile Devices to Produce News Content

Dianne M. Garyantes and Mark Berkey-Gerard

Abstract: The findings from this study underscore the need for journalism educators to train students on the use of mobile devices to produce news content. A survey of journalism students found that they regularly use mobile devices for personal use, but not necessarily for reporting assignments. After being taught by faculty how to use mobile devices for content production, however, most students were adopting mobile technologies to cover news, including recording audio for interviews and shooting photos and video. The advantages of using mobile technology, according to the students, were convenience and accessibility, ease of use, speed, and familiarity. The main disadvantages included specific technical problems and perceived low quality of the media produced. The study highlights the need for educators to encourage and train journalism students on the use of mobile devices to produce news content to best prepare them for a more technologically sophisticated news environment.

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More than Writing and Reporting: Examining the Overall Media Literacy of Today’s Journalism Students

Hans C. Schmidt

Abstract: The highly visible decline of print-based journalism in recent years is increasingly being matched by the dramatic growth of digital news operations and the establishment of new Web-based journalism enterprises. Aided by social media and mobile technologies, these developments are making news content omnipresent in the modern world. Yet, while this shift from traditional models of reporting and storytelling to new digital platforms is helping to keep journalism relevant in the 21st century, it has also created a new set of challenges for today’s journalists, who are increasingly expected to possess a diverse mix of skills ranging from writing and reporting to multimedia production. Many journalism education programs have adapted to the changing field by introducing coursework associated with a variety of media literacy competencies. However such training is not universal. To investigate the extent to which journalism students are developing the overall media literacy competencies that are increasingly important, this study involved a survey of journalism students (N = 312) and an analysis of multimedia content on student newspaper Web sites (N = 128). Data indicate that many journalism students are developing only limited media literacy competencies, and that additional training, especially related to the creation of digital media, could be beneficial.

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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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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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Book Review: Searchlights and Sunglasses: Field Notes from the Digital Age of Journalism

Searchlights and Sunglasses: Field Notes from the Digital Age of Journalism
By Eric Newton
Knight Foundation & Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, 2013

Journalism is experiencing an era of significant upheaval. Long-established business models that relied too heavily on advertising revenues are breaking down; journalism organizations are cutting resources and employees; and audiences have developed different habits and expectations when searching for information. The digital age has presented journalism with an array of significant challenges, but it also has brought great opportunities, and it is crucial to recognize them.

That is the overarching theme of Searchlights and Sunglasses: Field Notes from the Digital Age of Journalism by Eric Newton.

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Adapting to ‘Post-Industrial’ Journalism

Vivian B. Martin

Like many tasks these days, the writing of this Editor’s Note got sidetracked due to some of the time I spent poking around the Internet, especially following projects like the continually surprising data visualizations on the London riots at the Guardian’s data hub or taking Google Fusion Tables tutorials. I spend way too much time just playing oldies on Youtube, too, but for purposes of this Editor’s Note I just want to point to the more purposeful procrastination I do.

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