Teach a little, learn a loT
Keywords: multimedia, infographics, timeline, poll, maps, interactive
One of the benefits of online newspapers is the potential for interactive infographics. My students have used infographic generators like Piktochart, Easel.ly andCanva, but we haven't experimented as much with other tools. This week, I tried out three new-to-me tools to see how they might work alongside those we already have: customizedGoogle maps, Polldaddy polls and surveys and Tiki-Toki timelines.
Key Words: camera operations, photography, photojournalism
Dear Journalism Students,
I have a confession. Until the past two weeks, I really didn't know how to use a camera. I mean, sure, I knew how to point and click and use those handy automated settings — I even knew, in theory how to use the more sophisticated automated settings of aperture and shutter priority. But full manual mode? Let's just say that I've been faking it until I make it.
Keywords: advising, multimedia, journalism
When I started advising a scholastic newspaper, I was pretty sure that if I learned how to write like a journalist, I would be well on my way to a successful program.
I wasn’t entirely wrong. Mastering news-writing skills is crucial for new journalists, and learning to write like a journalist means learning how to write well. As Tim Harrower points out in “Inside Reporting,” the lessons Hemingway learned during his time on the Kansas City Star “were the best rules [he] ever learned for the business of writing.”
But the days when narrow rows of text ruled journalism are past. Today’s journalists need more than words to engage and inform their readerships.
Teachers and administrators want to help our students. We want to give them the tools to succeed, but we also sometimes want to protect them — to shield them from harsh truths and difficult situations.
When I'm teaching my journalism students about the social role of the mass media and their own societal role as young journalists, I also think a lot about my role as their adviser. I argued earlier this year that if we want students to value citizenship, we must let them be citizens, but citizenship isn't easy, and it isn't "safe." Citizenship means taking an active role, speaking truth to power, and taking risks. If I want them to learn to be citizens, I must resist that urge to shield and protect and instead empower them to make their own decisions and take responsibility for the outcome.
I wish journalism was a required core subject. I wish we could help every high school student dive into the process and joy of determining what is newsworthy, learning what constitutes good reporting versus repeating rumors, developing the confidence to interview adults and peers and ask hard questions, considering the foundational pillars of ethical journalism, writing and editing and editing and editing and proofreading until an article is truly clear, and learning all the other skills and ways of thinking that happen naturally when a student is actively engaged in news-production.
Since every student at the school can't be on staff, however, how can we get the rest of the school engaged in news?
“And though she be but little, she is fierce!” -A Midsummer Night’s Dream