The Future of News

Ryan Thornburg

Posts Tagged ‘JOMC491.3

Notes From a Semester

The semester at UNC-Chapel Hill is done and the students in “Public Affairs Reporting for New Media” have put together a wonderful resource for learning about and engaging in efforts to curb the state’s high dropout rate.

You can read my notes about their work at http://www.ncdropout.org/node/415
or visit the site’s homepage at http://www.ncdropout.org.

Among the pieces I’ve enjoyed the most are the online journalism tutorials that the students themselves created based on their own experiences hashing through their first efforts and multimedia, interactive, on-demand news story telling. You can see their tutorials here.

Written by Ryan Thornburg

May 6, 2009 at 5:03 pm

Innovative Student Journalism in the Works

The students in JOMC 491: “Public Affairs Reporting for New Media” are developing some bang-up stories and tools. For anyone interested in the future of news, in North Carolina civic life or in education policy, their projects are worth reading … and engaging.

More here.

Written by Ryan Thornburg

March 25, 2009 at 11:49 am

FAQs on North Carolina’s Dropout Rate

An earlier post provided a quick introduction to writing FAQs, and how they can be used to apply several concepts of online news writing.

The students in Public Affairs Reporting for New Media have posted their FAQs. They’re a good example of explanatory journalism and online news writing. They’re also the kind of evergreen content that can be re-used when there’s a strong news peg for the topic.

Our next step? User-generated content. More on that tomorrow.

Written by Ryan Thornburg

March 2, 2009 at 9:34 am

Posted in N.C. Journalism, Top Menu

Tagged with ,

When Everyone’s a Publisher, Who Will ‘Convene’ The Public?

Last week, Richard Hart of MDC, Inc., kindly came to speak to my Public Affairs Reporting for New Media class. He led us through an illuminating conversation about the nonprofit’s recently released report on the Triangle’s “Disconnected Youth.” (PDF)

At the end, I raised this question: If government is already publishing a lot of raw data online, and if organizations like MDC are already put together in-depth, relatively objective analyses of public policy issues like this, then what does he — as a former journalist and the nonprofit’s communication director — think is the role for journalists? How do we fit in to his overall communication strategy for this report, I wondered.

That was a good question, Hart said. He noted that his primary focus now, after an initial and relatively small media hit, was convening small groups of influential and interested area leaders from various sectors to discuss how to implement some of MDC’s recommendations.

That made me wonder: Should journalists be doing that? Presuming we think that the subject of high school dropouts is an issue that is relevant and important for our audience, how much effort should news organizations be putting in to creating conversation around content that is created elsewhere? Should journalists be conveners?

Read the rest of this entry »

How to Report for New Media

Written by Ryan Thornburg

February 10, 2009 at 8:04 am

Site Critiques and Story Ideas

Our Public Affairs Reporting for New Media class is transitioning from the first to second phase of the semester, and I’ve blogged about it a bit more over at http://www.ibiblio.org/newsdesk/apples/sp09/blogs/ryan-thornburg

In the first phase, we’ve been cramming on learning more about the topic of dropouts in North Carolina and also cramming on learning the tools and techniques of online journalism. We’re now starting to think about some of our initial content creation.

In two blog posts, I summarize our critiques of other online news projects as well as our initial brainstorm of story ideas.

Written by Ryan Thornburg

February 4, 2009 at 9:03 am

Cooperating Across Newsrooms

The newspaper partners for our Public Affairs Reporting for New Media class joined the students and I in Chapel Hill this week for a discussion about how a collaboration would work. I was interested in hearing about content ideas as well as logistics. I think we had an incredibly engaging and informative conversation about story ideas. Logistics seemed to be less of a concern.

Here are some of the angles to the dropout issue that our partners were interested in pursuing:

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ryan Thornburg

January 29, 2009 at 1:23 pm

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