Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Two new panelists for teaching abroad panel at NCMC

Unfortunately Dan Reimold is stuck in Atlanta and won't be able to join us for the Thursday morning panel on International Teaching/Research Opportunities for Journalism Educators at the Associated Collegiate Press/College Media Advisers National College Media Convention in Louisville.

But two globe-trotting CMA members have stepped in to fill the void.

Come hear how Brian Steffen of Simpson College has led a number of study-abroad programs, including an intercultural communication tour of England, France, Austria, Germany and Switzerland for 37 students.

You'll also hear from David Arant of University of Memphis, who has taught two three-block seminar courses for the Johannes Gutenberg University,  U of Memphis' sister school in Mainz, Germany. He'll offer some suggestions on how faculty can explore new relationships with overseas schools where partnerships already exist.

We'll miss Dan but this should still be a terrific Professional Development panel for journalism educators interested in teaching abroad.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

National College Media Convention sessions on study/work abroad

Hope to meet many of you at the Associated Collegiate Press/College Media Advisers National College Media Convention in Louisville later this week.
Journalism educators and students who are interested in studying or working abroad should know about two sessions -- one geared toward advisers and one for students. Dan Reimold of College Media Matters, who has taught in Singapore, and I will present at both sessions.

I'll be presenting information about the Institute for Education in International Media (ieiMedia)'s summer programs in Istanbul, Turkey; Perpignan, France; and Urbino, Italy at both sessions. Students in these four-week programs not only study media skills and the local language and culture but they produce online and sometimes print publications about the communities they are living in.

Please tell your students, friends and colleagues and refer them to the ieimedia website ( for more information.

Thursday, Oct. 28
9-9:50 a.m.

International Teaching/Research Opportunities for Journalism Educators
Collins, 2nd Floor
Many journalism educators dream of teaching or doing research abroad. Where do you find these opportunities? Is there funding? How difficult is it to step away from your regular life -- and then step back in?  Bob Bergland of Missouri Western University, Dan Reimold and I will share tips on breaking into the world of international education.

Saturday, Oct. 30
1:30-2:20 p.m.

Study/Work Abroad Opportunities for Students

McCreary, 3rd Floor (Conservatory/Skywalk Level)
Do you fantasize about becoming a foreign correspondent? Do you hope to study abroad? Representatives of several international programs for students will describe opportunities to study overseas, with a focus on media-related internships and field-study programs. Patrick Armstrong, a student who participated in ieiMedia's Urbino Project in 2009, will share his experiences studying in Italy.

IeiMedia, which has been co-sponsoring programs with San Francisco State University for the past two years, is expanding this year and forging partnerships with Iowa State University, James Madison University and other schools. The organization is also hiring instructors for summer programs abroad. Read more about these job and institutional partnership opportunities.

Interested students and journalism educators can contact me by leaving a voicemail message in my room at the Galt House (502) 589-5200 or contacting me on Twitter @ieimedia.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Teach videojournalism in France this summer

IeiMedia is looking for an instructor to teach videojournalism in Perpignan, France, for a month this summer. Instruction will be in English to mostly North American college students (although English-speaking students from other parts of the world are welcome to attend).

The instructor will train students to produce short videos for the Web. You can view student work from the summer of 2010 at

Find out more about the job and ieiMedia programs for summer 2011 at the ieiMedia website.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Contest for student photojournalists

I'm looking for a photo for the cover of the second edition of The Student Newspaper Survival Guide, so I'm organizing a contest. The winner will get a $50 prize, two copies of the book -- one for the photographer and one for the student newspaper of his/her choice -- and the satisfaction of knowing he or she is inspiring the next generation of student journalists.

You can see the image from the first edition of the book here.

What I'm looking for this time around is a photo that says: STUDENT JOURNALIST AT WORK. Ideally this will be a shot of a photographer or reporter (or multiple student journalists) covering a campus news event. It could be a rally or a speech or a crime scene but it should look like a news event on a college campus. Ideally I'm looking for a horizontal, but a vertical shot might work.

I'd also consider the approach of the original cover -- a campus news event without the student journalist in the photo. In that case I would want a great shot of something that says: NEWS EVENT ON A COLLEGE CAMPUS.

It can be something that's already been shot or something that is shot for this purpose. The photo should look natural and candid -- nothing staged or posed, no smiling for the camera. It should look real.

Deadline: Nov. 15.

Please email submissions to me at kanigel at

Thanks. I look forward to seeing your entries.

Note: If no appropriate image is submitted, no prizes will be awarded.

NPR: What's the Point of Journalism School, Anyway?

NPR has an interesting piece on why students spend thousands of dollars to get a degree that prepares them for what many believe is dying profession.

Several people in the report question the conventional wisdom that journalism is on the skids.

"It's a renaissance, a re-creation," says Geneva Overholser, director of journalism at the USC Annenberg School, where NPR based its story. "I don't mean to sound blithe about this," she says. "It's unsettling, but my favorite word for it — and I'll carry this one all the way – is promising. And these students know that they're going to re-create it."

What do you think? If you're a journalism major, why do you go to j-school? What do you expect to do with the degree when you graduate?

Study media in France, Turkey or Italy this summer

As many of you know, when I'm not blogging or teaching journalism at San Francisco State University I'm directing a summer media study-abroad program sponsored by the Institute for Education in International Media (ieiMedia).

ieiMedia programs are open to English-speaking students from colleges and universities all over the world, who gather to study media skills, as well as the local language and culture, and spend four incredible weeks reporting on the city. Students create a website or print magazine about each community. Participants earn 3 transferable credits from a university.

We've just announced the programs for summer 2011:

Urbino, Italy

(Section 1: Multimedia Reporting or Section 2: Magazine Publishing)
June 9-July 7, 2011

Urbino lies in the northern part of central Italy’s Marche Region, nestled between the Apennine Mountains and the Adriatic Sea. Many say the Renaissance started here under the patronage of Duke Federico da Montefeltro, whose twin-turreted palace still houses an outstanding collection of period art. Other attractions include a unique botanical garden and the boyhood home of the Renaissance artist Raphael. Lively beach towns are a bus ride away. Students will live and learn at the University of Urbino, with all meals included. Students who sign up for the magazine publishing project will produce Urbino Now, a digital English-language magazine. Those who sign up for Multimedia Reporting will study photography, international reporting and video and produce a website about the city. The programs include full room and board in a recently renovated, air-conditioned dormitory.

Perpignan, France

June 23-July 23, 2011

Study multimedia storytelling and French language and culture in this charming Catalan city near the Spanish border. Students will study blogging, shooting and editing video, and international reporting and create a multimedia website about the community. Perpignan lies in the Languedoc region of southwestern France, 8 miles west of the Mediterranean Sea and 19 miles north of the Spanish border, within sight of the Pyrenees. The city features a charming, pedestrian-friendly historic quarter; a daily market; numerous summer arts festivals and lively night life. Many attractions in France and Spain are only a short train ride away. Students will live in air-conditioned studios in a modern hotel and study French at respected language academy.

Istanbul, Turkey

Dates TBA

Come report on this exotic yet sophisticated city, the only major metropolis that straddles two continents, Asia and Europe. While steeped in history, Istanbul is an energetic modern city where people from around the world still come to make a future. You can explore it easily by public transportation and on foot. Students will cover street life, politics, culture and the arts, while learning about blogging, basic multimedia techniques and Turkish language and culture. Stories will be published in a digital magazine and considered for inclusion in a book about the city.

Find out more at our website,

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Students newspapers should take mobile-first approach

You’re at a major intersection near the entrance to your campus and you see that a car has collided with a motorcycle. An ambulance is on the scene. What do you do?

If you don’t have a conventional camera, whip out your cell phone and snap a picture. Send it back to the newsroom with a text message reporting the basic details of the accident. Within seconds you can have a brief news report up on your news website. If the accident is causing a traffic jam you may want to send out a news alert via Twitter or short message service (SMS).

That’s mobile journalism.

Mobile technology puts the basic tools of multimedia journalism into every journalist’s – really every person’s -- pocket.

The trick is knowing when and how to use these tools.

While some journalists carry a backpack of equipment – a digital camera, a video camera, an audio recorder, mics, cables and tripods -- with them at all times, others rely on their cell phones to help them capture the news.

But to be a true mobile journalist, you don’t just need the right equipment, you need the right mindset. You have to think: There’s news here. I’m a reporter. I need to cover this. Now!

Report what you know

Mobile journalism means not waiting to get the complete story, the verification from police, the quote from the official source. You need to go with what you have. That doesn’t mean spreading groundless rumors. But if you see fire crews in front of a building with smoke coming out of it or you witness police arresting a man outside the Humanities Building, you can report that and get additional facts and details later.

Steve Buttry, director of community engagement for TBD, a local news operation covering the Washington, D.C., area, says news organizations need to take a “mobile-first” approach at every level. “Reporters, editors and visual journalists need to think first about how to package and deliver news for mobile devices,” he wrote in a post for his blog, The Buttry Diary. “Information technology staffs need to work first on development of mobile applications for popular devices.… Designers need to present content that is clear and easy to read on the small screen (even if this means spending less staff resources on design of print or web products).”

As Buttry notes, mobile technology isn’t just changing the way journalists collect information, it’s changing the way they distribute it. You no longer can assume that readers are looking at your site on a wide computer screen; they may be checking you out on their cell phones or iPods. That means you need to optimize your site for mobile devices, simplifying your pages so they are easy to read on a 1- or 2-inch screen.

Devise a mobile strategy

If your news organization doesn’t already have a mobile strategy, it may be time to craft one. Think about who your readers are and what will be useful to them. Keep in mind that mobile readers tend to be more local than online readers. In that way, they’re more like your print readers.

But they also tend to be younger and more technologically savvy – more students, less faculty and staff. And they're constantly plugged in. You want to be one of the sources they scan regularly, whether it's on Twitter, Facebook, SMS or your website.

Think about what your audience wants. “Mobile users like local information, video, breaking news and weather,” Regina McCombs, who teaches multimedia at the Poynter Institute, writes in a column for PoynterOnline. “Mobile users are socializing, multitasking, and passing time. And they're conscious of data rates and battery life, so they want it fast.” Check out McCombs' "10 Questions to Help You Craft a Mobile Strategy (Before it's too late)."

What do readers care about?

College news organizations should consider what their readers care about: on-campus activities, sports, building or campus closures, traffic conditions, disruptions in public transportation, crime, bargains.

If you're at the on-campus farmers market and a merchant is offering everything half off for the final hour, snap a picture and tweet it. If you're on the train to school and the driver announces a 20-minute delay, let your readers know.

The more you use mobile technology to report what's happening, the more your readers will look to your news organization as the definitive, can't-live-without-it source on the information they care about.

How is your news organization using mobile journalism? Respond to this post and I may use you in an example in a future column.