The work of transforming journalism to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing information environment begins in the classroom. That's where young journalists learn new, creative ways to tell compelling stories and engage the public in important news, and it's also where news consumers learn how to sort through, critically evaluate, and gain insight from a flood of information.
I've spent the last five years at the University of Texas teaching these skills to undergraduate and graduate journalism students, through four courses:
– Reporting: Words
, the School of Journalism's fundamental reporting class, for which I am serving as an instructor of record this fall. Students report and write six original stories throughout the semester, including ones on business, crime, and government. They also collaborate to cover a live local event through liveblogging and social media, and produce multimedia reports on three of their stories.
– Reporting Texas
, a capstone course for graduate students and upper-level undergraduates in which students work to produce stories for a class-run news features website
. The stories are then made available to professional news organizations across the state and published in outlets such as the Austin American-Statesman
, Dallas Morning News
, and KUT News
in partnership with those organizations. I served as a TA for the course and editor of the site for three years.
– Social Media Journalism
, an online course in which students run several round-the-clock social media news accounts covering general news, sports, and culture, learning how to use social media to find reliable news in real time and inform and engage audiences there. I served as a TA for this course for one semester, giving students feedback and advice as they learned to run the news accounts themselves.
– Intermediate Reporting
, a predecessor to Reporting: Words in which students reported and wrote stories throughout the semester on government, crime, education, and the courts. As a TA for two semesters, I ran a lab section and came up with original classroom exercises to guide students through the process of producing and revising stories.