Tuesday, May 20, 2014

May 2014: Farewell

In July 2003, in conjunction with Newsplex, the University of South Carolina launched The Convergence Newsletter to provide a forum for discussion regarding the meaning of media convergence. Over the years, we've had commentary and contribution from some of the most respected and well-known journalists and journalism educators and researchers. So it is with mixed emotions that this is our final issue.

Dr. August Grant pioneered the newsletter and supervised it until 2007. Senior instructor Doug Fisher took over the reins and has turned the newsletter into what we see today. Our final issue shares their thoughts on what we have learned along the way.

On behalf of Grant, Fisher, and nine past editors, I want to thank all our loyal readers for following along each month. It has been a pleasure to serve in this capacity and to pass along fascinating information of an ever-evolving field.

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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 http://sc.edu/cmcis/news/convergence/index.html.

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 http://sc.edu/cmcis/news/convergence/index.html.


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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Readership Survey Now Posted

We'd like your help in improving The Convergence Newsletter. We've posted a 14-question survey that takes less than 10 minutes to complete. The information you give us will be invaluable in helping us chart the newsletter's future.

Please follow the link below. The survey does not contain any personally identifiable information, and there is no tracking of who has taken it (which means you might get a reminder message from us even if you've already taken it – we hope you'll understand).


- Doug and Chris

Recent and archived issues of The Convergence Newsletter