Archives for category: Teaching

A really good session, in my opinion, is not about the how, it’s about the why. … A really good session, through arguments and examples, stories and slides, humor and deep thoughts, compels you to try something new. A great session exposes you to something you haven’t done before and inspires you to take action, change the way you do things.

— From “What I learned at An Event Apart Minneapolis” by Marc Drummond, via zeldman.com

Down in Miami, people are recovering from a massive power outage.

Now that the power’s back to most of the city, I expect We Media Miami will be kicking off.

In addition to scanning Twitter and following Web posts by other attendees, conference organizer iFocos has an embeddable widget that carries the latest from the official blog.

Not a bad way to spread the word.


In January, an ad on the Poynter Online CareerCenter that gave me a jolt:

Poynter Online Ad

The New York Film Academy and NBC News have teamed up for a one-year training program: “Learn Digital Journalism.”

The promotional video is exciting, sexy. And it makes me wonder if I should celebrate, because somebody finally gets it, or if I should cry, because, like all film school advertising, it makes getting the gig look so easy.

Producing broadcast-quality video for a TV network is expensive, but producing it online has become less so, with the advent of prosumer hardware, and high-quality editing software.

Why was this course put together? What would the students learn? What did it mean for camera operators already in the business?

My phone calls to the school went unanswered.

For some outsider perspective, I talked with Jim Long, a veteran NBC cameraman based in Washington and the blogger at Verge New Media.

Though Jim said he knew little about the film school program, he could offer me his thoughts about the lowered barrier to entry and the challenges broadcasters face on the Web.

But first, he wanted to be clear: these were his personal opinions, and he was not in any way speaking for NBC.

Broadcasters, I observed, have been looking for ways to increase their online revenue through their strength, video. But running a television operation, especially a network, is expensive. Not only are there high capital costs, there are pesky personnel costs.

“At some point I think we’re going to have to examine paying gazillions of dollars to the people who are in front of the camera while decimating the ranks of people behind the camera,” Long said. “You’re going to be left with robotic cameras and highly paid talent and nothing in between, and I don’t think that’s a good strategy.”

These new digital journalists could fill the hole, I suggested.

User-submitted video footage has proven to be an effective way to cover breaking news. News operations nationwide are using user-submitted videos as a way to retain viewers and to cut costs, among other goals.

CNN’s I-Reports is one high-profile example, but local stations are trying it too. All that video, however, has to compete with all the other video available on the Web.

“Broadcast is based on the economics of scarcity. They’ve got to learn how to make a play in the economics of abundance,” Long observed.

So how will offering a one-year course in digital journalism change online broadcasting in general? Stay tuned.

The Knight DMC started a series of multimedia webcasts. Tuesday and Wednesday sessions will be available live online. (Turn your sound down if you click the link — the video autoplays.)

Remaining sessions are as follows (all times Pacific):

Tuesday, Dec 18
12:30 p.m. — “The Economics of News” with James T. Hamilton, Charles S. Syndnor Professor of Public Policy, Economics and Political Science, Duke University (approx. 1hour)

7: 15 p.m. — “A Multimedia Approach to Covering Breaking News” with Regina McCombs, senior producer for multimedia, Minneapolis Star Tribune (approx 2 hours)

Wednesday, Dec 19
1:30 p.m. — “Deepening Engagement with Your Audience” with Neil Chase, vice president of author services, Federated Media (approx 1 hour)

Medill at Northwestern University has two openings for professionals interested in teaching multimedia journalism, both starting in 2008 (though yes, the Knight Chair post does say 2007…).

MediaStorm has details. The listings, from the Medill site, are below.

Knight Chair in Multimedia Journalism

The Medill School at Northwestern University seeks an outstanding professional who has a distinguished reputation in multimedia journalism to fill a new chair at one of the nation’s pre-eminent journalism schools.

We are seeking a professional who has created new knowledge and/or advances in multimedia journalism and the presentation of news using different media: writing, sound, moving and still images, and interactivity. The chair holder will help Medill explore new and emerging ways of delivering news and information on digital platforms. He or she will provide hands-on, full-time instruction to undergraduate and master’s students and be capable of teaching entry-level as well as advanced courses.

A person selected to hold this chair should plan to provide leadership on journalism issues and should have a background in applied or academic research. Continued professional or research accomplishments are a requirement. So is ability to engage with students. Advanced degrees are a plus, but not required. This candidate must be tenurable as a full professor and outstanding professional accomplishments that have demonstrably created multi-media advances will qualify.

Northwestern University is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer. Women and minorities are especially encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent on eligibility to work in the United States.

Anticipated start is September 2007. To ensure full consideration, applications must be received no later than Jan. 15, 2008. Send letter, c.v. / resume and a statement of teaching philosophy to Martin Block, chair, search committee, Medill School of Journalism, 1845 Sheridan Road, Evanston, Ill. 60208-2101.

FACULTY MEMBER – Multimedia Journalism

The Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University seeks an outstanding professional or scholar who can teach sophisticated multimedia journalism to graduate and undergraduate students. The person we seek must be a hands-on multimedia journalist, meaning he or she is proficient with the tools but more importantly is able to use them and teach students how to use them to create effective journalism. More than craft, however, we seek a person with a vision of the future and the ability to do original theoretical or applied research and contribute thought leadership to the academy and the professions. Faculty rank and track (tenure or non-tenure) are open. Both professionals and academics can earn tenure at Medill; criteria for promotion and tenure are available from the School. Thus, while a Ph.D. is preferred for this position, it is not necessary. As always, global interest and/or experience is a plus at Medill.

Anticipated start is September 2008, but an earlier start is possible. To ensure full consideration, applications must be received no later than Jan. 15, 2008. Send letter, c.v. / resume and a statement of teaching philosophy to Search Committee, Medill School of Journalism, 1845 Sheridan Road, Evanston, Ill. 60208-2101, or to medillfacultysearch@northwestern.edu

Northwestern University is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer. Women and minorities are especially encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent on eligibility to work in the United States.