Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What is online journalism?

Online journalism is the ability to take some of the older lessons of reporting, writing, and editing into stories but with a quicker style. Online journalism isn't entirely writing anymore; it is also about the ability to post quick thoughts, take photos, some mastery of the internet, and the ability to navigate different online sources quickly.

In the older style of journalism, the sources used were simply as a reference point. But now, it is possible to bring the audience directly to those sources and to comment on the validity of that source.

Online journalism is in a lot of ways, the same thing as convergence because it is the application of several skills to build a certain package for a story. Sometimes, online journalism doesn't even mean writing a full article. It can be quick, but short takes on a certain issue or several photo captions lined up together to tell a story.

Every editor tells their writer to show, not tell. In online journalism, that is especially important because of how easy it is to add graphics or pictures to a site.

There is also the art of blogging, which is making a post that either tells news, gives an opinion, shares something unique, or can even be all of the above. Blogging appeals to every kind of person because a good blog post can have videos, links, sound, and text.

Good online journalism, although faster than traditional journalism, should be equal in quality as any newspaper. Good online journalism simply makes the article more reader-friendly, but does not take away from the skill of writing a good article. When done well, online journalism can reach a wide audience and be equally as engaging as a several thousand word feature piece in The New Yorker.

Monday, December 8, 2008

End of the Year Collegian Thoughts

If you include tomorrow, there are only four more papers left to this semester. The Score, which is the Collegian's yearly magazine and has features on at least one player from each team was released Saturday at the game against Boston College. It will officially be released Tuesday at the Score party which this entire class is invited to (we'll be in the same place anyway). 

My last article for the Collegian is going to be Wednesday night's wrap where UMass basketball plays Holy Cross. Here are some superlatives (good and bad) for my coverage of women's soccer and men's basketball this season. 

Best Article: Score Feature (women's soccer)- Home Again
Worst Article: Sept. 5- Patry sparks struggling offense
Best Interview: Vanessa Lima for the Score
Worst Interview: Meghan Collins for sidebar on playing her sister.
Best Game I Covered: Sept. 26- Women's soccer defeats Saint Bonaventure in double-overtime.
Worst Game I Covered: Nov. 29- Men's basketball loses to Wisconsin-Green Bay by 15 points.
Funniest Moment: Vanessa Patry tilting her head to the side to explain her header in the overtime win over Holy Cross.
Game I Wish I Saw: Women's soccer beating Dayton on Oct. 12.
Most Surprising Moment: Kellogg walking over to press row before the game against Dowling
I Wish I Talked To...: Tony Gaffney
Most Media Friendly: Mel Toulouse (duh)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Beating the recession

I found an article on CNN today about how one teacher is selling ad space on his tests to get money for exams in an AP class. The teacher wanted to find an innovative way of making money without making the tests shorter. The ads allow for either inspirational quotes or promotion.

I thought it was pretty interesting because the article states that he needed the money since it was Calculus and he didn't want to hurt the students. 90 percent of his class got a 5 on the AP exam, which is pretty remarkable considering how hard those tests are.

One person said, "too bad you're not a bank, because you might qualify for $700 billion." I thought that was pretty clever.

It seems pretty obvious that he cares a lot about his class and he wants to give his students everything that he has given other classes. It doesn't seem ideal to sell space on tests since it's distracting, but given the current economic situation, I don't think it is a bad solution.

I wonder if professors at UMass would ever do this for their tests.