Entries from September 2008 ↓

Coming out party

The grand announcement for the Reynolds Journalism Institute’s innaugural class of fellows took place during last Friday’s dedication of the RJI building on the University of Missouri campus. I’m lucky to be part of this class. If you’d like to meet everyone, visit this link.

I consider this an awesome opportunity to take my Smart Decision ’08 tool as a way to engage a regional audience. I hope to have more time and resources to push this project into a high place than I could have done if I had continued working on the project in my spare time. At the same time, I get to hang out with a really great group of people who are my “fellow fellows.”

In the aftermath of the Missouri School of Journalism’s centennial celebration, I’m happy to say I had a pretty successful experiment during the event. I had 114 freshmen, gave them access to WordPress, told them to attend sessions and asked them to blog about the various events. Some of the students were given the task to take Flip cameras and talk to journalism school alumni and collect answers about their careers and lessons learned during those careers. It’s all gathering into a pretty great channel on YouTube. We also had a backchannnel on what was going on during the event on Twitter. All in all, it was a lot of fun. Exausting but fun.

Getting ready for a big deal

This week is a very historic week for the Missouri School of Journalism. We are celebrating the school’s cenennial and dedicating the Reynolds Journalism Institute. I’m very lucky to be a part of this event in many ways. The coolest is how I’m helping manage 100+ freshmen and a handful of upperclassmen who will pour through the events, document them and post what they gather to a blog, Flickr and YouTube. I’m exhausted with all of the planning but I look forward to finding out what we can do with this project.

In its simplest form, students will document the sessions. In the extreme form they will do that and collect photos, additional interviews and video. While some centennial reporters blog, I have another group of teams who will take Flip cameras and interview alumni for a massive YouTube project that I’ve mentioned on this blog before. I’m looking for alumni to share their experiences gained through the Missouri School of Journalism and their many jobs that followed. (Most journalist don’t stick around in one newsroom for long… Others are fortunate to work in the same one for a long time. I’m hoping we get all kinds of perspective) In the end of the project, I and a small team of students hope to create playlists of these interviews that have useful insight for the many industries represented by J-school graduates.

I will probably blog here with more insight after the event since I can’t even think right now due to the many logistics that go into this!!

Blogging isn’t dead… Yet.

Of all the things I do online, I’ve found this blog is the one that gets the least amount of attention. It’s too bad since it’s the one place where I can really think about my career and the many projects I work on. This summer was not boring. I helped a group of students blog from Beijing while they worked for the public relations arm of the Olympics. They blogged about their experiences for two months in China. From time to time they also shared news reports that I used on the air. It’s so cool to be able to share video from across the globe so easily.

I’ve thought a lot about why I don’t seem to blog enough in this space and I realized why — I spend a lot more time on Twitter and Facebook. It’s a way I share and communicate my thoughts and ideas. But I’ve pondered over whether that is productive or not. To me, Facebook is more personal and not as professional (although I try to keep things relatively professional on my page). Twitter is a great space to share and communicate with professionals AND people with similar interests outside of work. I am able to learn about so many things and share many thoughts in a quick manner. That simplicity allows me to stay in touch and see what is important to so many people compared to the time it would take to read each person’s blog posts. But that got me thinking about this blog. Twitter seems so fleeting. The information shared is brief and often not a full thought. Blogs allow those ideas to flesh out and breathe.

I asked around Twitter to see how many other people have noticed a decrease in their blogging – and many consistent Twitter members agreed their blogging has taken a hit. It makes me think that I should try harder to break free of the 140 character discussions and share my thoughts here. I’m sure someone else would shudder when I say this, but I think blogging is more permanent. It’s a distinct record of thoughts from a moment in time. I should try to commit to spending more time here!

I have some big changes as a new semester starts at the Missouri School of Journalism. For this school year, I have a chance to focus on some pet projects and less time in the newsroom. I’m not leaving it completely, but I will be able to spend more time on Smart Decision 2008. I have some big ideas and I hope to be able to share those big ideas here soon.