CommTogether right now, over…journalism

I’m a student in the School of Communication at the University of Miami, but you would think that the various journalism programs (print, broadcast and visual) speak different languages sometimes from the lack of collaboration that is present.

Yes, there have been several notable successes — and I’ve been lucky to be in three classes this year that focus on convergence (In-depth reporting for convergent media, online journalism and interactive storytelling) — but the level of cooperation is still not where it should be.

I kept all this is mind while devising a new final project for my CNJ 442 online journalism class, after the first plan regarding the new TheMiamiHurricane.com didn’t work out a planned.

The result is a social networking site the class is developing using Ning:

CommTogether

The general idea came to me one night as I was chatting online with Hurricane Visuals Editor Will Wooten (check out his recent site redesign). Regarding the group name, which I love, credit goes to Kiersten Schmidt.

Here are details from the CNJ 442 proposal that I drafted and the class helped refine:

Goals

  • Bring together in one forum the three journalism programs at the University of Miami School of Communication: print, broadcast and visual
  • Recruit students, faculty, staff, alumni and prospective students
  • Begin a conversation about the future of school’s journalism programs
  • Conceptualize collaborative projects for classes, students, media outlets, etc.
  • Take ideas and turn them into reality

Elements

  • Profile pages: students, faculty, administrators
  • Groups: programs, classes, projects, media
  • Feeds: blogs, news, etc.
  • Photos and videos
  • Blogs: internal
  • Comments

Action plan

  • Discuss and decide on name for group (complete)
  • Create network (complete)
  • Create profile pages (complete)
  • Create groups within network: programs, classes, media, organizations, etc.
  • Invite/recruit students, professors, administrators, staff, alumni and prospective students (in progress)
  • Table in the SoC courtyard
  • Solicit ideas from everyone regarding the future of curriculum, organizations
  • Conceptualize possible collaboration projects, way to converge
  • Maintain the discussion
  • Continue to recruit new group members

UPDATE: I forgot one very important reason for this site:

Students should have a voice in the development of curriculum.

Weigh in:
Any suggestions/ideas for this site?

2 thoughts on “CommTogether right now, over…journalism”

  1. Great idea! We have the same problem at San Jose State. Even though the three areas (reporting/editing, broadcast, magazine) are all in the same building and share some classes, there is no communication or collaboration between them. Some of the broadcast students were really upset when the newspaper started doing video on its Web site. That’s their department and how dare we compete with them. Of course they have no Web presence at all. Anyway, good idea to try and get people to work together.

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