Thursday, September 10, 2009

For student journos, it's time to learn some new tricks

The Entrepreneurial Journalism looks like a successful launch. We've got a good mix of students and interests, and we're going to have some fun studying the emerging models of online journalism and figuring out where we all fit in this new world, and what skills we'll need to make a living in it. I'm looking forward to seeing the projects students come up with.

In my writing for the web class in the afternoon, we looked a a few of these new models on a Poynter Institute NewsU Webinar called Big Ideas with a Payoff, which looked at how newsrooms are adapting to changing technologies and coming up with different ways to aggregate content and generate revenues.

The common thread is that all of these sites go beyond text to integrate video, audio, digital images and user generated content, along with social media apps to reach a particular audience.

These sites included:
  • CatchItKansas.com, a high school sports site that covers every sport at 140 schools in Kansas. Each school has its own page, with photos, videos and social networking apps.
  • FridayNightOhio.com was another sports-oriented site that drew some attention--in football-crazy Ohio, the site drew 3 million page views very shortly after it went live.
  • Politifact digs into the facts behind speeches, ads and claims by political candidates in a playful, edgy way.
  • 7-7Breaking News Blog at projo.com shows how the Providence Journal structures its need to break news online while also enabling reporters to work on longer stories.
  • Radiojax.com is a site that takes the Florida Times Union into music broadcasting territory in Jacksonville, Florida
  • Today in Brevard is a daily newscast written and produced by newsroom staffers at Florida Today and broadcast through the local community college's television studio.
One takeaway quote for journalism students is this: "The days of the single-skilled journalist are over." You need to be able to do a little bit of everything.

On the way out of the lab, I ran into one of our own UMass entrepreneurial journalists, Zac Bissonnette, who's been blogging since he was, like, five, and recently completed a book manuscript on managing college finances (for parents).

He was looking for someone to write the forward for the book. Sigh.

Anyway, he sent me this link this morning, which I just had to share, about some interesting ways to make extra money as a college student. And there are some REAL interesting options if you're a guy.

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