Saturday, September 05, 2009

Journalism students across the globe share a reporting project

This looks very interesting... An online discussion among journalism students has produced a road map for a "global collaborative reporting project."

The timely topic is health, with sub-topics for feature writers, beginning reporters, "data miners" and investigative reporters.

Suzanne Yada at at San Jose State University has this page about the project: Journalism students across the globe, here is your reporting assignment.

Sarah Jackson at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in British Columbia has this: Eye to eye: #Collegejourn crew is planning a global collaborative journalism project

Josh Halliday at the University of Sunderland (UK) posted the plans to the Online Journalism Blog: The CollegeJourn global reporting project.

That "#Collegejourn" they mention is a Twitter "hashtag," the key to an online discussion conducted via Twitter.

Some participants also will be using the UK site Help Me Investigate, which I haven't had time to investigate myself. (It's partly the work of Paul Bradshaw, online journalism prof at Birmingham City University and publisher of that Online Journalism Blog mentioned above.)

Maybe between h1n1 flu (my school just had its first case) and the U.S. health insurance debate, enough journalism students have become health-issue conscious and will take up the challenge to come up with school newspaper and school website stories, class projects... or maybe to get something published in the off-campus media.

Coincidentally, there's a free 60-minute webinar Wednesday (Sept. 9) on Health Reform Coverage: The Key Issues with Trudy Lieberman, contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review; Kay Lazar of The Boston Globe; Karen Tumulty of TIME; and Robert Laszewski of Health Care Policy and Marketplace Review. Mike Hoyt, editor of CJR, will moderate. Register in advance at the link above. The webinar is also accepting early questions.

Here are a few other places students might browse for health-reporting inspiration:

Friday, September 04, 2009

100 Best Blogs for Journalism Students??

2013 Update: Better late than never, after four years,  I have just received an email note from the keepers of this site saying that they plan a substantial redesign, and requesting that I remove the link to its old address. 

Just a little bit of critical thinking will help journalism students identify the flaws in this list of the 100 Best Blogs for Journalism Students. [Link removed by request.]

Here are my top 10 clues:

10. It misspells the name of #14 Harvard's Nieman Foundation and Nieman Journalism Lab. (Remember "i before e..."?)

9. It identifies the #12 Columbia Journalism Review as a blog in the "educators" category, when it's a leading magazine in the field.

8. The site is entirely silent about its ranking methodology. Stacking a bunch of categories, starting with "general" and "educators," suggests that numerical rank isn't really the point. And UK journalism blogs are omitted. (See this UK list.)

7. There is no contact information to respond to the creator of the list.
The "reply" area at the bottom of the list says you must be logged in to comment, but offers no way to log in.

6. Descriptions of the sites are very thin, often just the keywords from a site's self-description (including mine).

5. The name of the blog is "Learn-gasm." How serious can you take that?

4. The list does not include a link to this page, at either or , which has been my main blog for the past year.

3. The list also does not include a link to or, the archive of my old blog posts, whose original server is being discontinued later this year.

2. The list does link to that old blog of mine (#10), on its soon to be discontinued server.

1. Last but not least, it lists my blog (that old one) in the world's top 10 blogs for journalism students! Gotta be something wrong there.

Actually, the list of 100 does include a lot of blogs that journalism students should know about, even mine. I'm happy to be in such good company, but can't imagine how I wound up above most of them (including those Harvard and Columbia sites, Mindy McAdams, Jeff Jarvis at CUNY, Jay Rosen at NYU, and many more.

Here's an idea: Take the numbers off the list, replace them with bullets, and run some program to randomize the order! (But, in my case, if this essay doesn't get me bumped off the list entirely, please use my current address or its shortcut,, not the one that will evaporate in December. )

Monday, August 31, 2009

Picking the best in online journalism

Here are the finalists for the 2009 Online Journalism Awards by the Online News Association.

Close to 100 sites are on the finalist list under dozens of award categories, from major news organization sites (,,, to individual stories and multimedia presentations, all organized by topic and size.

Candidates for the Knight Award for Public Service include one site I've blogged about before, The Chauncey Bailey Project, named for -- and continuing the work of -- a former newsroom colleague of mine who was murdered while on the job in Oakland, Calif.

Other public service nominees are Michael J. Berens and Ken Armstrong at The Seattle Times, for Culture of Resistance
, The Toronto Star, for Crime and Punishment, and The Wisconsin State Journal for Down to a Whisper: State's Native Languages Threatened with Loss.

ONA says many of the finalists are "pushing the envelope of innovation in digital storytelling and information sharing."

Student online journalism projects up for awards are:

Small Team

Large Team
The winners will be announced at the 2009 ONA Conference and Online Journalism Awards Banquet on Oct. 3, at the Hilton San Francisco. The organization's partner in the awards is the School of Communication at the University of Miami.

More information about the awards, judging and organizations is available in the ONA press release.