College journalists embracing new media

Sometimes, great things are going on in your own backyard and you don’t even know about it. Except now I do know about it. For the next couple of days, college student journalists, advisers and faculty members from around the country will be in Nashville to participate in a workshop on using new media tools: audio, video, advanced multimedia, advanced online storytelling. It is being hosted by the Center for Innovation in College Media that is headquartered on the campus of Vanderbilt.

I am very glad such a program has been created to support university journalism programs that are encouraging their students to view themselves as reporters, story-tellers, truth-sharers, analysts — who do not have to limit themselves to words and photos on paper and traditional broadcasting.

A bonus for me: The program is headquartered a few blocks from my office.

I’ll be dropping in and out of today and tomorrow’s workshops and will be posting notes, photos — perhaps some innovative new media — later today.

Later: First, let me send out some major props to Paul Conley, my friend and fellow business media blogger who has been hammering on the topic of j-schools and new media for years. Paul wasn’t actually here at the workshop, but I thought about him so much during the time I was there, that I felt the need to give him a shout-out — Paul, you would have been happy.

The best way I can describe what this workshop is — and a way some of you can replicate it regionally or locally — is to describe it as a Podcamp specifically for college journalists. However, it was highly structured and organized and a little more “officially run” than a true podcamp, the essence of what was covered and how the information flowed was podcamp-like. This workshop — and the incredible new facilities at Vanderbilt where it is being held — may be a little bit more formal than a podcamp, but the idea of using a college facility for a weekend podcamp for student journalists, is an idea that I’m sure someone else must be already doing — if not, why not?

While I’ve met lots of professors and educators through this blog and get a steady stream of email from college students, I haven’t really been on top of this specific topic — college journalism and new media. However, last fall I visiting the City University of New York’s journalism facilities in mid-town where Jeff Jarvis’ interactive journalism program is, and then, today sitting in a half-day with the students and faculty from 40 or so colleges attending this workshop, I can affirm that the evangelism of people like Jeff and Paul and several people I’m now learning about like Bryan Murley at Eastern Illinois University and Ralph Raseth at Ole Miss and an entire community of educators who are very aware of what is taking place — and are now wanting to lead, rather than follow (or worse, merely watch) the parade. I’ll be blogging on this topic more, I’m sure.

  • Thanks for writing about us, Rex. This is the way it goes now. Real-time news. Rob Curley of
    WAPO says a change in mindset may be the single most important tool in the new world of journalism.

    Thanks for being here, Rex.

    Ralph Braseth
    Ole Miss

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  • Cool! Sounds fun.

  • Rex Hammock

    @Rex Pechler – I thought of you while there. For others, Rex is a friend of mine (we met on Twitter because he has the rather envious username, @rex, and helped me obtain the username @r) who is a student at the University of California, Santa Clara studying business management economics. However, like several university students I’ve met over the years via this blog, he’s a natural “journalist” who instinctively embraces new story-telling tools.

  • Hi Rex,
    Thanks for the shout-out. More importantly, thanks for being at the workshop. The students need to meet folks like you — industry pros who aren’t afraid of the new world.
    I’ll be co-hosting a workshop as well as two panel discussions at the College Media Advisers convention here in New York starting later this week. I’m sure I’ll run into some of the same students you met in Nashville. You’re a tough act to follow, but I’ll do my best!

  • I wish I could have been there. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Conley not long ago as the keynote speaker at the Southeastern Journalism Conference in Oxford, Mississippi. He recommended your blog among others, like micropersuasion, so I know I missed some serious enlightenment.

    It was refreshing to hear someone say there was possibly a future in the cyberfrontier. Since the .com “pop” of the last decade it seems like there has been a sneaking spectre haunting any confidence in cyber coming from the elder gens.

    Of course, that’s not true of the CyberGen–my appellation for these darn MyFace kids–people like you, Conley and Junta42 recognize that this new generation is not only comfortable swimming in silicon, they’re also the bulk of early adopters and so you are helping professionals monetize and crystalize new ways of using tech.

    All of this I say by the way of thanks.