Saturday, March 23, 2019

CSPA Spring 2019: New Media Classroom

In summary of my presentation at the CSPA's spring conference for 2019, I discussed the incredible benefits of publishing student journalism online. For starters, young journalists can build online portfolios for themselves that can speak volumes of their skills and abilities. Some website programming allows each user to create a biography that features picture, bio, and a links list of all stories published by the student journalist. Imagine the positive impact students can have on college boards and future employers when reviewers can easily access student work published online. Carefully produced portfolios online can significantly help students in future endeavors.

In addition, writing online also allows for hyperlinks that can be used to connect readers to related materials including expert sources. While credibility can be achieved through narrative style, citations, and source lists, hyperlinks can put readers in touch with sources immediately. Internet inner-connectivity adds value to a journalist's ability to inform, persuade, and/or entertain. Students using hyperlinks have more to offer their readers.

Publishing online has the potential for widespread appeal. "All news is local news" may appear to be something of an online cliche, but it can certainly ring true. When students write stories about their communities that resound with universal meaning, they can reach the world when they publish online. Articles about climate change, politics, social trends, and health are sure to engage readers beyond local communities. When publishing online, you just don't know who you might reach. While it is absolutely critical for student journalists to abstain from publishing personal information online, the potential for social influence through new media journalism is incredible.

For instructors who may be debating about whether to teach print or broadcast journalism, consider teaching both in the same course. Science teachers can "flip" their classrooms by having class time for labs and homework time for reading and writing. Journalism instructors can do the same. I call it: Write by Night, Film by Day. Students can work on broadcasting projects during class time. For articles, the planning, interviewing, drafting, and finalizing for online print publication can happen outside of class. While some class time may be needed for story discussion and peer review, this hybrid approach can help students achieve print and broadcast learning goals in one comprehensive journalism course.

Finally, I'm happy to share these helpful sites for anyone interested in freelancing for their schools and local communities:

For Breaking News:

For Feature News:

For Opinions:

For Sports Writing:

For Arts & Entertainment, check out these examples:

For Humans of Your School Stories, learn from HONY:

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