A Forum Dedicated to Teaching Convergence Journalism Internationally. Robert R. Mercer, Administrator, ude.egellocsserpyc|recremr#ude.egellocsserpyc|recremr
Cypress College students and Lutsk Liberal Arts University students worked together in April, May and June, 2010 thanks to a Fulbright Follow-On Project.
The project grant was awarded to Robert R. Mercer, chair, Cypress College Journalism Department, and a 2007-2008 Fulbright Scholar who taught that year at LLAU. The follow-on project consisted of four Skype Seminars between campuses and publishing by students in the other campus' publications. Mercer hosted part of the project from the Cypress College campus and part from the LLAU campus.
DEADLINES ARE DEAD!
My latest media heresy. Deadlines are dead.
I believe students' use of social networking sites for news will prove more forward-looking than using College Publisher or other portal sites. In 2007, I coined the term, "WhackAMole Journalism" at an EU conference to describe putting out news virally (even avoiding a dictator's censorship as journalists do in Belarus).
We have now developed a PR class at Cypress College for the fall that will be based upon this idea, JOUR 140c. We already have a seminar to teach the use of Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.
Using social networking, as well as fixed web sites, stories go live when they are ready, not when an artificial gatekeeper, i.e. the printing press and "appointment television," demands.
Another heresy: The printing press deadlines do not enhance journalism quality.
Tuesday night I read the comments about my colleagues newspaper deadline scrambles at other colleges while sitting at my home surfing the web for news and streaming a movie on demand on my big screen. My students no longer "publish a daily newspaper once a week;" they do it every day. We'll even have a virtual summer staff for CyChron.Com. Thus we brag, 24/7/365.
Even Divergence, the monthly magazine, sets the press date well before the distribution date. Disaster in the newsroom or in the pressroom? There's always enough time to get it right.
MEDIA AS A RESEARCH TOOL: How a small program can participate in the age of International, Post-Convergence Journalism
Convergence journalism is dying with every newspaper that closes, every TV station that presents late-night advertisements in prime time, and every radio station that is automated.
Even before the idea of convergence has been fully adopted in the United States, American media have entered a post-convergence era.
Plus, with most new media on the World Wide Web, all media is international and all students should train in international journalism.
This new age of journalism is in search of a name: “Journalism Innovation,” “Integrated Journalism?” “just Journalism.”
Cypress College has participated in convergence journalism since 1998. Any media program can contribute to media innovation no matter where the college or university is located or how big its enrollment. more about Post-Convergence Journalism Potential Research
Lutsk LIberal Arts University Hosts Distance Education Class in Convergence
Lutsk Liberal Arts University and the Cypress College Journalism Department have created a working partnership.
Robert R. Mercer, department chair, is currently teaching a weekly distance education class in convergence journalism at the invitation of Vice Rector Larissa Nizhegorodtseva. The class is a reprise of his fall 2007 class that he taught on the LLAU campus.
James Mosher, economics professor at LLAU and a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer gives the class technical support. He also obtained a significant Peace Corps grant that bought the equipment used on campus.
The class has 11 students who meet for a weekly half-hour, live video lecture using Skype. They also exchange work with the instructor using email. Separate, scripted PowerPoint lectures are emailed to the students to read at their own pace as part of the students' English Language education. The class is conducted in English. English is a required subject at LLAU.
Skype teleconferencing has many advantages over asynchronous Blackboard style classes. The instructor can see the students as the lecture is delivered. In this bi-cultural situation, students can immediately tell the instructor they do not understand. The instructor can change his delivery. Skype teleconferencing is very intense work for the instructor and the student. That is why the lecture is limited to 30 minutes. The result is more focused presentations.
LLAU and Cypress College have learned technical support is very important to successful classes. Having a technician set up and test the links prior to starting the class is as important as having the technician nearby during the class. Journalism Mashup will modify its Successful Teleconferencing guidelines on this site. The virtual classes are an education for everyone involved. Read complete Distance Education Class in Convergence
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer of Jan. 7, 2008 reports the continuing closing of many community college newspapers across that state.
Amy Rolf writes, "One by one, community college papers around the state are tacking up their going-out-of-business signs after years of wrestling with undernourished budgets, high staff turnover and one undeniable fact that can't be trumped.
"Nobody's reading anymore." Read complete Media Potlatch Needed
Volodymyr-Volynsky Ukraine) School #5 High School students are currently hanging their photo exhibition, “A Day in the Life” of their school as the final lesson in their fall photo workshop.
moc.liamtoh|ewohjr#ewoH nayR, a Peace Corps Volunteer at the time, initiated the workshop Nov. 19 after hearing about the “photo excursions” Robert R. Mercer Robert R. Mercer was conducting with Lutsk Liberal Arts University students. Read more of Volodymyr-Volynsky Photo Workshop
Despite talk of the country being an “emerging democracy,” broadcasting in Ukraine does not appear technologically behind the United States based on a tour of Volhyn TeleRadio Company in Lutsk, Nov. 29 and 30, 2007.
Volhyn Press Club, Lutsk, Ukraine, is establishing on its premises a Television Reporter Training School using a grant award from The Embassy of the United States of America.
Read more of Volhyn Press Club Master Classes
Convergence Journalism has been invited to Ukraine by the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.
Journalism is no longer web-first; it's micro-blogging first!
Cypress College is now using Twitter-first reporting.
When student journalists see something of interest happening, they are to immediately tweet a headline about it.
It requires nothing more than the student's own Twitter account and the use of a codeword. For example, "Firetruck in front of Cypress College Gym II. Does anyone know why? #codeword" This tweet is immediately picked up on Twitter system with the hope the question will bring an immediate response from someone inside the building; or a re-tweet.
However, on The Cypress Chronicle is a Twitter widget that automatically streams any Tweets bearing the #codeword which is put into the search function of the widget. The #codeword should be obvious so the citizen journalist will put it into any reply message; meaning the Twitter widget search function will find it. Almost instantly, anyone viewing CyChron.Com will see the alert about the firetruck.
But wait, there's more.
The Cypress Chronicle media group (There has been no printed newspaper for four years.) has contracted with iCampusTime for an APP. The APP currently lists many universities and colleges who have joined this two-month-old start-up company. The smartphone or tablet user can hit the APP at any time and touch their campus' name and see an RSS feed of the latest news on the student media site. Among the feeds will be a standing "story" that links to the CyChron.Com Twitter feed for instant news they can follow as the student journalist Tweets it.
The APP user can also click on "Deals" and take advantage of discount coupons sold by the student media advertising department. The coupons can be redeemed using the smartphone and a QR Code on the retailers' cash registers. A GPS function guides the APP user to the nearest "Deals."
The Cypress Chronicle has just started. There are student journalists who don't see this as journalism and act like they are on personal social media. Ethics must be embedded in every part of the curriculum. There a likely risk of hacking. Court decisions have found, so far, if one does not moderate postings, one is not responsible for what is posted. A disclaimer and changing out #codeword regularly may be a solution. However, only by letting this student-designed system play-out will the students learn what is possible in instant, microblogging journalism.
Post Your Teaching Ideas Here
Watch as the Lutsk Liberal Arts University students experiment with building a web publication for the first time. We don't hide the scaffolding. And you can be a sidewalk engineer. It's an experiment—this is why we call it school. "View the Lutsk Suchasnist Gazette"
Student media advisers often have no idea what an image is worth. They often come from the newspaper world where deep staffs mean few outside stories are purchased. For any student media adviser, permit me to discuss the formula for pricing student photographs.
One must take the following into consideration:
* One must first determine the amount of equipment taken to the shoot.
* One must determine the time it took to shoot.
* One must determine the use to be made of the image.
* One must determine the amount of time it takes to prepare the JPEG for the client.
"Read the complete article, Fair Pricing of Student Photography"
Education is going global Newsweek reported in a special double edition Aug. 20, 2007.
"A fancy name like Yale or Oxford doesn't cut it," the editors write. "College kids are now global consumers, ready to buy the best academic package, be it in Australia or Singapore…American and British schools now face rivals with huge potentials."
Community Colleges are joining this global marketing of education using online classes. However, more and more, colleges are teaching real-time classes conducted over common computer software (Yahoo Messenger, Skype, Google Talk) for international course credit or for giving the students on each continent a shared international classroom experience.
After testing software with technicians, knowledgeable students on two continents, software engineers, and faculty on two continents, the consensus is that Skype is the easiest to set up and use.
One can have up to 10 stations talking live on Skype. And Skype will instantly link two stations with video. And when the broadband falters, one can always type into chat, "Can you hear me now?"
"The complete Successful Teleconferencing You Can Use Today"
It is someone who is academically and emotionally connected to a people and place. It is a person who sees the whole world as one place.
In five months, one becomes part of a place. While the sailor, student and ex-pat may only see one part of a nation, the Fulbrighter seems to move in several strata at once.
We knew students. We partied with business people. We attended charity auctions and concerts with politicians. We did cocktails at the embassy. We know more about good restaurants than any of the citizens of Lutsk. We told our Ukrainian friends about the catacombs and tombs under their own castle.
NPR calls you for backgrounding on a Ukraine story.
"The complete What is a Fulbright Scholar?"
Writing a simple, quick video script can be done by simply answering the basic questions any viewer wants to know about a story. One can expand the format infinitely. This scripting format uses software every student owns—Microsoft Word. "The Complete Teaching Basic Video Script Writing"
Photo by Шевчук Мар'яна
Basic caption writing for photographs and video introductions and multi-media presentation introductions on the web seem to appear as a mystery to most students, no matter in which nation they are studying. By answering seven basic questions, a caption can be written almost automatically. "The Complete Teaching Basic Caption Writing"
Photo by Шевчук Мар'яна
Photojournalism is the heart of convergence journalism. The classic definition was put forth by Cliff Edom; pictures supported by words. This applies to convergence journalism where images tell many of the stories more quickly and with more detail than long, New York Times' columns of type. To teach students self confidence when reporting, I take students on "Photo Excursions." "The Complete Teaching Basic Photojournalism"
While researching a speech on Whack-A-Mole publishing in developing democracies, the editor discovered Reporters Sans Frontieres, (Reporters Without Borders) have created the "Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents".
The text's table of contents reveal the subversive intent of this free press tome. Read more about Whack-A-Mole Publishing
The journalist today is often the last to know and the last to publish. The WIKI publishing model appears to allow "doing business at the speed of modern communication." It is time to let everyone be a reporter and an editor. Read more about WIKI Media Model
Robert R. Mercer, M.A. & Rachel K. Mercer, B.A.
Publishing online can be a very expensive process. For $15,000 one can purchase commercial software and put it on a $2,000 server or students can publish online relatively free using a barter advertising agreement site. Or, in the tradition of convergence journalism in which we teach that any student at any time can publish from anywhere using the “Wiki” and the “Mashup." "The Complete Multi-Media Wiki Mashups for cheap journalists"
Soundslides is the popular free software that permits the photojournalist to build a slide show from the photojournalist's take and adding location sounds, interviews and music.
Two other software programs that one wants to download with Soundslides are Audacity® and Switch. Audacity is an audio editing software and Switch changes most any audio file to the MP3 file required by Soundslides. Read the Entire Explanation of Soundslides
"Freedom of the Press belongs to those who own a press." — an American Maxim.
With the advent of free internet tools such as Wikidot.Com, YouTube.Com, etc., freedom of the press has never been more free to those who live where it may be practiced. The Journalism Mashup is an attempt to permit students and academics to to create a news organization without an office door or an internet address. Read the Entire Explanation of Journalism Mashup
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