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Archive for the tag “Media”

Vargas update

vargas posterIf you were on campus last March, I hope you got to attend the West Coast debut of “Documented,” a film about US immigration by Jose Antonio Vargas, a journalist who is also an undocumented immigrant.

Vargas was awarded the School’s 2014 Hearst Foundation Award that night, and spoke to a large crowd of students, faculty and community members after the screening.

His film was broadcast nationally on CNN in June.

Now, Vargas is continuing his focus on immigration in a new venue: He is partnering with the Los Angeles Times to create a new section of the Times website devoted to race, immigration and multiculturalism. The Vargas/LA Times partnership will be called #EmergingUS.

In a recent article on CNN Money, Vargas described the new venture as “a multimedia platform that, through articles, original videos, shareable data and graphics, will focus on the intersection of race, immigration and identity and the complexities of multiculturalism.” In addition to the website, #EmergingUS will also produce videos and hold events.

Because LA Times logoVargas is not a U.S. Citizen, the LA Times could not legally hire him. So, said Austin Beutner, the publisher and CEO of the Times, the media company decided to develop a business partnership with him instead.


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.

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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