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.