With the changes in news, many reporters, editors and producers are looking to academia for their next job. After all, how hard can it be to teach? Plenty, especially for someone who is not prepared for the classroom. What does it take to teach these days?
If experienced journalists have a collective fault, it is that we are always in a hurry. How often do friends and family hear: “If it weren’t for deadline, I’d never get anything done?” That may be OK for some things, but not for covering issues involving diverse populations.
As the Deepwater Horizon oil spill refocused public attention on the environment this spring and summer, students in my environmental reporting class got real-time lessons in the critical importance of accurate reporting on the topic. They saw related issues that cut a broad swath through modern life, including politics, business, transportation, health, economics, energy policy and even national security.
The buzzword in academe these days is assessment. Today, accreditation organizations require institutions to have assessment methods in place for accreditation consideration. University administrators are asking departments to provide evidence that students are learning and applying what they’ve learned before granting a degree.
Kate Lewanowicz, a junior at Virginia Commonwealth University, knew she had a compelling story when she witnessed a shouting match between a fiery street preacher and sign-waving students in VCU’s free-speech zone. There was just one problem when Lewanowicz pitched the idea to the editors at the campus newspaper, the Commonwealth Times: They had recently published a similar piece.
You, too, can be a Fulbright scholar. The Fulbright Scholar Program is not just for educators with Ph.D.s. Journalism practitioners and students can apply to participate, too. One just needs patience, a worthwhile proposal and/or professional skills that other countries want to tap — and now’s the time to begin the application process.
When I first heard about a grant for college courses focusing on community collaborations — a grant that would give students the chance to award a non-profit of their choice with $2,000 — I didn’t see an immediate connection with journalism.
More than a month has passed since our 2009 Convention. The unusually early convention gives us plenty of time to put into action this year the things that we learned at professional development sessions. But, do you still remember all that you heard in Indianapolis?
Perhaps you recently cleared your desk and waved goodbye to your colleagues. Or maybe you’re planning your escape. Either way, you’ve decided that it’s time for a change, and more of the daily news grind is not in your immediate future.
President Barack Obama won the White House by promising to change Washington. Now he will try to revolutionize a place that historically has rewarded convention over innovation. Almost six months into Obama’s hope and change presidency, a part of Washington has already changed; recent news bureau closings mean fewer reporters covering this president.