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Archive for March, 2012

Steve Buttry speaks at Northern Kentucky University

Thanks to Tira Kitchens Rogers, Ryan Cahill, Stacey Barnes and De’Sean Ellis for Storifying the live-tweeting from my workshops at Northern Kentucky University yesterday.

Thanks also to NKU student Darren Jones, who shot the photo below, and Randy Little, academic coordinator for the NKU Communication Department, who shot the photo above. (I originally misidentified Darren as the photographer for Randy’s photo, but Darren sent me a photo that I have added.)

Thanks also to Gil Asakawa at the University of Colorado for sharing one of my slideshows yesterday with his students.

Thanks especially to my tweeps, who shared good advice for the students on finding jobs in digital journalism: (more…)

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Journalists learn (or could be learning if we took the time) about new tools almost weekly. As I started writing this Sunday morning, I had already learned about a couple new tools this week: Facebook’s Timeline Movie and Screenr, the screencasting tool I used to record my Facebook Timeline Movie and upload it to YouTube and embed it below.

But some journalism skills are timeless. They were as important when I started my career using a typewriter and fat editing pencils as they are today. And I think they will be important 40 years from now, when today’s journalism students are men and women of middle age, teaching the skills to young journalism students.

I will be leading four workshops today for students at Northern Kentucky University. The first three workshops will deal with issues of digital journalism. For the final workshop, we will deal with timeless skills that should serve them throughout their careers:

Get your facts right

Accuracy will be as fundamental to these students’ careers as it has been to mine. Trust still matters and you build trust by the diligent, unglamorous work of accuracy and verification. As Craig Silverman teaches, a simple checklist helps you ensure the accuracy of your work. (more…)

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I will be leading a day of workshops for Northern Kentucky University today. Here are the links relating to the workshops:

Becoming a digital-first journalist. We will discuss how to think and work like a digital-first journalist. Here are the slides for that workshop:

(more…)

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A fatal fire that eventually killed nine people showed how the Charleston Daily Mail is making progress as a Digital First newsroom.

The Mail has an unusual situation that presents challenges that other newsrooms don’t face. It is part of a joint-operating agreement with the Charleston Gazette, and the Gazette publishes the weekend print editions Saturday and Sunday. So, where many print-oriented newsrooms spend a lot of Friday attention on the huge Sunday paper, the Mail staff is working Friday on its Monday edition. With no Sunday paper, the news staff pretty much takes Saturday off.

In a November visit to the Mail, I encouraged a stronger digital focus, especially on Fridays. In a workshop, I taught about the value of Twitter in covering breaking news, about liveblogging and about using Storify to curate social media content. (more…)

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I wrote last week about the work of an engagement editor (or social media editor or some related titles), a fairly new job in lots of Digital First Media newsrooms. Today, I turn the blog over to some of those editors to explain their roles (lightly edited by me):

Karen Workman

Karen Workman

Karen Workman of the Oakland Press:

When I became community engagement editor, one of my longtime sources asked me what that meant. This was my response to him:

I care about our audience. I care about engaging them, getting news delivered to them across a variety of platforms, expanding the diversity of voices on our website, making use of their comments and contributions, audience building and in general, making sure we’re fostering that all-important community conversation that is the essence of what we do.

Lisa Yanick-Jonaitis

Lisa Yanick-Jonaitis

Lisa Yanick-Jonaitis of the Morning Sun in Mt. Pleasant, Mich.

I find this job to be incredibly exciting so far. I don’t know a journalist who doesn’t say that one of the reasons they love their job is because they get to meet new people and be involved in the community; this job is the ultimate opportunity to be intricately engaged with and inspired by my community. I love the creativity it allows, and I find the “uncharted territories” of a brand-new position motivating and invigorating. (more…)

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Gathering String by Mimi JohnsonMy wife, Mimi Johnson, last week published her first novel, Gathering String.

Acknowledging my obvious bias and my financial stake in the success of her book, I want to share some writing lessons from her book experience:

Rewrite. I don’t know (and I’m sure she doesn’t know) how many times Mimi rewrote this book, but she rewrote multiple times: restructuring the whole thing, polishing chapters and individual sentences, updating, working out wrinkles in the plot. Rewriting is one of the most important and certainly the most neglected step in writing. As Forrester (Sean Connery character in the video clip below) says, you write the first draft with your heart and you rewrite with your head. Mimi did the heart part of this story years ago. But she had to finish the head part before it was ready for publication. Even if you’re blogging or tweeting, I recommend taking the time to rewrite. For a blog post or tweet, the rewrite might take minutes or seconds, rather than years. But rewriting is nearly always time well spent.

(more…)

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Congratulations to the American University School of Communications on the launch this fall of its new master’s degree program in media entrepreneurship.

The MA/ME program will offer students a master of arts degree starting this fall, with 10 courses presented over 20 months. I will be an adjunct faculty member, scheduled to teach in the final course for the first class of students, spring of 2014. The program is a partnership with the Kogod School of Business, with courses designed and scheduled for working professionals, meeting evenings and on Saturdays.

Congratulations to Amy Eisman and her AU colleagues on the development of this program.

 

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