Monday, April 14, 2014

April 2014: J-Schools must improve in collaboration, digital signage


News organizations are just beginning to scratch the surface of the possibilities of digital signage. But in this issue, Jennifer Meadows of Cal State Chico argues that it is time to pay attention and that with campuses increasingly installing such signs there may not be a better place to start experimenting with digital signage than in student media.

Meadows lays out the basics of digital signage and how it is being used and says this technology promotes combining media to create new ways of story telling and interactivity.

Also in this issue, The Convergence Newsletter talks with Matt Waite about collaboration and his view that it needs to be an urgent priority in journalism education. He also talks about the importance of data journalism and some of his work experimenting with the use of drones in journalism .

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Feb. 2014: Engaging a Digital Audience

Like all for-profit businesses, news organizations are selling a product. But perhaps where they failed the most, at least comparatively speaking, was by having a massive disconnection with their customers. For years, media were able to ride the monopoly of the product, largely ignoring the needs and wants of their customers.

Massive shifts in the news industry have been well documented, but the importance of re establishing community relationships has largely flown under the radar. In this issue, Jake Batsell talks about "engaged journalism" in news organizations. He sees five specific practices, both short- and long-term that can benefit such organizations and says that, in the end, engaged journalism is an absolute must in today's digital age.

Respond to Batsell's thoughts at The Convergence Newsletter blog and at the newsletter's Facebook or Google+ pages. View the full archive of newsletters at

Monday, February 24, 2014

January 2014: The battle of converging college newsrooms

Journalism schools across the country are constantly tweaking their programs to provide students with the most realistic foundation possible. Even when I received my bachelor's degree in journalism in 2010 from The College at Brockport (N.Y.), the program was in the midst of an overhaul, attempting to broaden the curriculum similar to what every single J-school has been forced to tackle over the past few years.

By nature, this change in curriculum forces undergraduate students out of their academic norms. With the continuing debate about journalism education embodied in the push for a "teaching hospital" model, journalism classes increasingly require outside work and the need for students to learn skills they may have never considered.

In this issue, Norm Lewis offers an inside look at the University of Florida's recent switch to a converged newsroom. While forcing students out of their comfort zones hasn't been easy, it's been for the better of the individual student, he says – and may have help propped up the tissue industry.

Be sure to visit and respond to Lewis' thoughts at the newsletter's Facebook or Google+pages. 

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Friday, January 17, 2014

December 2013: Utilizing Social Media

Are newspaper's utilizing social media sites to the best of their ability? Considering there are many uses for popular sites such as Facebook and Twitter, how are those in the industry using them, and are they effective?

In December's issue of The Convergence Newsletter, Jennifer Cox of Salisbury University takes a closer look at what some of the industry's biggest companies are doing on social media.

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Monday, December 9, 2013

October/November 2013: The issues of hyperlocal journalism

It's no secret the newspaper industry has faced increasingly difficult economic restrictions over the past two decades. Regardless of size or quality, every newspaper has dealt with severe cutbacks. One of the proposed solutions has been "hyperlocal" news sites. In larger areas, they have been touted as a way to restore the community connections that metro dailies lost as cities spilled over into ever-widening suburbs and newsrooms struggled to keep up. In smaller areas, while community journalism has remained relatively strong, such sites have been tried as a way to help those smaller organizations retain relevance in an always-on online world.
In this issue, we have two pieces that deal with hyperlocal coverage and its challenges. K. Paul Mallasch started the Muncie Free Press in 2005 and while financial success has been low to moderate, the website can lay a foundation for future local news sites. Richard Puffer runs through the recently departed Harstville Today website, which he believes can still be an influential example of local journalism.
Respond to Mr. Mallasch's and Mr. Puffer's article at The Convergence Newsletter blog and at the newsletter's Facebook or Google+ pages. View the full archive of newsletters at

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Readership Survey Now Posted

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Friday, April 12, 2013

March 2013: Common Issues Face Journalism Programs Today

While attempting to shape curriculum, journalism programs across the country face similar, complex issues to keep pace with today's evolving field. With more skills required for entry-level journalists, one of the challenges is shaping classes to not onlywhat students need to know but also the skills they already bring.

In this issue, Dr. Jeff Wilkinson of Houston Baptist University writes about the effective steps for building a better journalism program, the decisions that need to be made in the trenches. He says it's vital for educators to assess their program in three areas. Once they've done that, the proper steps can be taken to get a program to the next level.

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