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Archive for the tag “Journalism”

$3,000 scholarship

Enter the Freedom of Speech PSA Contest for a chance to earn a $3,000 scholarship.
PSA contest

Each entry should creatively address “What does freedom of speech mean to me?” or stress the importance of the First Amendment.

One winning entry in each category — radio and television — will receive a prize of $3,000 in scholarship money.

Winning PSAs will be distributed to broadcast stations nationwide, as well as carried on the NAB Spot Center and on the “First Amendment Center’s One For All” website.

To enter the contest, create a 30-second public service announcement on the freedom of speech for radio or television broadcast to win scholarship money. Entries are due by May 9, 2014. More details are available on the contest website.

The PSA competition is presented by the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation (NABEF) and the Broadcast Education Foundation (BEA).


Ethical extra credit

Yes, doing the right thing can earn you extra credit. Just attend the sixth annual Spuler Ethics Symposium on diversity in the media, write a 350- to 500-word news story, news release or reflective essay about it, and post it on your blog … and earn up to 15 points extra credit.

Spuler Ethics SymposiumThe focus of this year’s symposium couldn’t be more timely: Diversity in the media, including how issues of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious cultures and disabilities are portrayed and conveyed in advertising, journalism and public relations.

The guest panel includes: SJSU graduate Janelle Wang, TV news anchor, NBC Bay Area Channel 11; JMC Lecturer Lloyd La Cuesta, former South Bay bureau chief, KTVU Channel 2; Dona Nichols, JMC “Diversity in Media” lecturer; and Dr. Vernon Andrews, SJSU kinesiology lecturer. The panel is moderated by JMC Prof. Matt Cabot.

The Spuler Ethics Symposium, which is sponsored by the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, will be held 6-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 30, in Engineering Hall 189.

The Spuler Symposium is named for Phil and Dean Spuler, who met at San Jose State in the late 1940s as staff members of the Spartan Daily newspaper. Both the Spulers had successful careers as journalists. The Spuler estate created an endowed fund for media ethics in 2008 to help students who are passionate about journalism achieve their goals.

CCMA highlights

14095_110434648992550_4289460_nYou may already have heard that some of your classmates who toil away at the Spartan Daily were recently honored for their work at the California College Media Association’s annual awards banquet in San Diego.

Spartan Daily staffers received nine CCMA awards, including:

  • Stephanie Wong and Christiana Cobb shared the first place award for Best Special Section for putting together the Daily‘s food issue
  • Raphael Kluzniok took two awards — first place for Best Sports Photo and third place for Best News Photo
  • Codi Mills won two awards — a second place for Best Photo Series and third place for Best Sports Photo
  • Carolyn Seng took second place for Best Features Photo
  • Leeta-Rose Ballester was honored for her story on a family of farm workers

Keynote CCMA speaker was Margaret Sullivan of the New York Times. She recently posted a column, “Lodestars in a murky media world,” based on her CCMA presentation and some of the discussions she had with those in attendance. In it, she talks about the changing media landscape and what it means for recent grads and current journalism majors. She also highlights the journalistic values she thinks will remain important for the next generation of journalists. Check it out.

Interviewing tips

When we talked about interviewing, I used to show a Pew Center for Civic Journalism videotape on conducting better interviews. It’s titled “Interviewing: New Questions, Better Stories.” Now you can find it online on Vimeo at

TBoxlogoThis video demonstrates how you can develop more complete and accurate stories by asking better questions and by listening for patterns of thought, instead of just listening for good quotes. And it suggests one general type of question that you can use to improve almost any interview.

Frankly, I wish someone had taught me this stuff back when I was working as a reporter. Check it out.

Essential skills recently published a post on the essential digital skills all college students should master before they graduate, including branding yourself and monitoring your online presence.


To read the rest, check out: Don’t Leave College Without These Ten Digital Skills.

Covey to speak at JMC

Extra credit opportunity: Lou Covey, a 1974 SJSU Journalism graduate and former member of the Spartan Daily, will speak at JMC at 12 noon, Tuesday, March 19 (Room TBA).

Covey will discuss his newspaper and online career, and reflect on working with his JMC mentor, Dr. Dwight Bentel. Covey served as Dr. Bentel’s teaching assistant while attending SJSU.

For up to 15 points extra credit, you can write either: 1) a news story about his presentation or 2) a reflective essay on the media industry trends he discusses and how those trends could impact your planned career path. Your news story or essay should be 250-350 words; it is due by the start of class on Wednesday, March 20. (Yes, tight deadlines are a fact of life in the media fields.)

Read more about Covey and explore his website, Footwasher Media. You might want to get started by watching “Journalism is Dead,” a recent video commentary by Covey:

Researching digital media

Can a Facebook post be more memorable than a professional news report? What makes a FB post memorable? The content, the social connections … or a combination of both?

That’s just one of the research studies highlighted in the blog post “What’s new in digital scholarship?” on the Nieman Journalism Lab blog.

Other recent research summarized in this blog post includes studies on:

  • Online news consumption
  • Digital media and U.S. political participation
  • The role of citizen journalists in reporting on the “Arab Spring” protests
  • Communication about inequality and health disparities in the mass media
  • How to produce more user-friendly front pages for online newspapers

The Nieman Journalism Lab, a project of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University, is focused on the future of journalism in the Internet era. The Nieman Foundation is also home to the Nieman Program on Narrative Journalism and the Nieman Watchdog Journalism Project, which encourages reporters and editors to monitor and hold accountable those who exert power in all aspects of public life.

I hate to be a downer, but …

I’m sure it’s no news to any of you that the job market for journalism and mass comm. grads is very tough right now.

A recent AEJMC (Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication) survey of the job market, focusing on how 2008 grads have fared, found that “six in 10 of the graduates had full-time employment six to eight months after graduation” The article noted this is “the lowest level of full-time employment reported by graduates of the nation’s journalism and mass communication programs in the 23-year modern history of the Annual Survey of Journalism & Mass Communication Graduates.”

Here are some highlights of the report, titled Job Market Turns Much Worse:

  • “In contrast to the experiences of graduates with a print journalism or a telecommunications preparatory track, those who had studied for entry into advertising and public relations had more success in 2008, and their level of full-time employment was closer to that of their 2007 counterparts.”
  • “As in the past, female students (who disproportionately seek work in advertising and public relations) had more success in the job market than male students.”
  • “…graduates have increasingly reported that the work they were doing involved various uses of the Internet…. Those graduates who found work with a daily newspaper actually were more likely in 2008 than in 2007 to do writing or editing for the web.”

Wish we had better news.

Defining what’s news

“News is current information that interests or affects us.” That’s Dona’s definition of news, and it’s a good one.

If you haven’t done much newswriting (yes, advertising majors, we’re talking to you!), you can get more information about news and news values by downloading this one-page summary of news values.

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