What Kind of Tech User Are You?
The Pew Internet & American Life Project asks this in a quiz you can take to get a sense of where you fit in the tech spectrum.
Here are my results:

You are an Digital Collaborator
If you are a Digital Collaborator, you use information technology to work with and share your creations with others. You are enthusiastic about how ICTs help you connect with others and confident in your ability to manage digital devices and information. For you, the digital commons can be a camp, a lab, or a theater group – places to gather with others to develop something new.”

To all of my students: What are you?


We’re requiring students to include key words and a Tweet for every story they write in class. Two interesting ethical issues came up in my labs. First, students wanted to know what their goal is for the key words — are they supposed to use words that accurately reflect the story or should they sex their tags up to grab the most hits?

How do we balance those goals, they asked. What’s the ethical decision, they wondered. If you can work ‘Paris Hilton’ into your key words, even if it requires the most bizarre stretch, do you go for it to increase your SEO? Is that wrong? Don’t you want viewers/readers? If using certain words gets readers, why not? But what about credibility, accuracy and truth? But does your truth count if nobody reads its?

The second issue that arose was students’ tendency to accidentally libel subjects in their Tweets. In their actual stories they’d correctly write “arrested in connection with” or “allegedly such and such” but their Tweets were full-on convictions of nearly everyone.

“Allegedly” is just too many characters to fit in a Tweet’s 140-character limit.

Both issues sparked lively class discussions and raised all the right ethical and practical questions.

I am thrilled to report the news that I am home, which means back in Evanston and back at Northwestern University’s Medill School — my favorite place to commit journalism.
The revival of this blog offers a way for me to continue chronicling my hike up the learning curve of new media. Just when I thought I’d rocked the whole social media Twitterverse, it’s time to shoot some vimeo for the vlog.
In my neverending pursuit to find more ways to tell people stuff, I’ll drag you along for this, too.
Medill offers faculty and staff a wide range of technological seminars and classes to keep us all upgraded.

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Just What are They Teaching Future Journalists?

asked 10,000Words.net

Friday, December 26, 2008

One of the biggest complaints about modern journalism schools is aren’t equipping the next wave of journalists with the skills they need to compete in today’s newsrooms. So what are they teaching students? The online course description for several J-schools were run through Wordle. Here are the results.



Here’s an interesting take on how the Clintons missed the New Media machine and couldn’t get their message out. It’s written by Joe Garofoli, a terrific Old School journalist I went to college with. He’s all about New Media now. I’m going to shoot him a note and see how this happened. He stayed in reporting during the time I’ve been teaching. I’m eager to hear from him about his experiences in the news trenches.

San Francisco Chronicle online:


Friday, June 6, 2008 (SF Chronicle)
How new media affected Clinton campaign
Joe Garofoli, Chronicle Staff Writer  
 The rise and fall of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign can be
traced through video – from her first announcement to the apparent
suspension of the campaign. Some of the video was scripted fare, much of
it wasn’t. Some of it aired on network TV, much of it spread virally
   And each of the videos was viewed enough to dominate the news for at least
a day. Collectively, they helped shape the narrative of her campaign.
   What hurt Clinton most, political analysts say, is that she couldn’t
consistently use the newfound ubiquity of video to soften her image with
voters. Or, as George Washington University Professor and new-media
analyst Michael Cornfeld said, “It’s like the Clintons, both of them, had
sort of a ‘Sunset Boulevard’ thing going on. They were silent screen stars
who couldn’t make the transition to talkies.”