As I begin this blog in June 2009, the news industry is in financial meltdown. Layoffs, shutdowns, contraction at every turn. The audience for news has never been greater. But finding money in that audience seems to be a riddle.
You’d think the air of gloom would send any bright, motivated student running to study law or environmental studies. But, as a journalism educator, I see eager, curious young minds each day. And lots of them. They’re excited by new ways of telling stories and intrigued by evolving technologies. They see promise in new tools — not only as playthings — but as means to bring about transparency, collaboration and social justice. They see bright employment prospects in small enterprises not monolithic news organizations.
How do we teach these students? As I talk to my academic colleagues, I realize how new media online journalism educators all struggle with similar challenges: keeping up with technology, teaching real-world skills within the structure of academia, finding resources to try new things.
This blog is an attempt to broaden the conversation … and to sort out my own thoughts.
As the icons at the top of this page suggest, I believe the next phase of the news industry is intertwined with the evolution of mobile devices, social networks, geo-data. How exactly? I hope you’ll help me find out.