Ideas for visiting Virginia Commonwealth University graduate journalism class

I’ll be trekking down to Richmond, the capitol of the commonwealth I now call home, to speak with a graduate-level online journalism class on Friday evening. My esteemed Publish2 colleague (and all-around awesome dude) Ryan Sholin was not able to attend and I’ve been invited to discuss what we do, how journalism is changing and whatever other topics can fit into the session.

Maybe I’ll even throw in some of the ol’ tips.

As would be expected, I posed a question on Twitter about what I should discuss.

(Tweets curated and published with ease courtesy of this and this.)

Thanks to Craig Kanalley, Adam Glenn, Vadim LavrusikMike Higdon and Yuri Victor for their advice. These are all great topics and I hope to touch on as many as possible.

As I read the responses, I thought more about the best approach for the visit. Here’s what I’m thinking now:

  • Introduce myself
  • Ask students to introduce themselves
  • Discuss their interests and goals
  • Ask what they want to discuss
  • Maybe show some things on the screen
  • Challenge assumptions, if warranted

The last point bounced around my head as I asked the question and read the answers, most likely because it was the topic of my Skype video chat with Dave Stanton‘s senior-level journalism class earlier this month.

Then I saw this and laughed:

  • danielbachhuber: Questioning the assumptions will always produce mind-blowing results.

Daniel and are often on the same wavelength, but this was just a funny coincidence. He sent that tweet via text message and wasn’t responding to me (I doubt he even saw the question).

I will qualify and say I don’t think you will always get mind-blowing results, but we could all use a little more challenging of assumptions now and then. Particularly when it comes to journalism education and how we deal with related conversations.

So let me know what you think of this approach and what would you discuss if you were speaking to a graduate-level online journalism class.

Follow tweets related to Knight News Challenge and Future of News and Civic Media conference 2009

I’m not actually there — I’m at my Web internship at The Dallas Morning News. So, what did I do?

I set up this CoverItLive blog to automatically aggregate all the tweets tagged #knc09 #fncm09 #kncmit (translation: Knight News Challenge, Future of News and Civic Media and Knight News Challenge Massachusetts Institute of Technology) so I (and others who can’t follow all the awesomeness minute-by-minute) can read them later.


I’ve been selected for the Poynter Fellowship for College Journalists 2009

I learned Tuesday by e-mail that I’ve been selected as one of 40 students to participate in the Poynter Fellowship for College Journalists this summer. It takes place May 17-29 at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla.

poynter_mapI doubt that it needs to be said, but I’m extremely excited. As I wrote in my essay, I’m looking forward to not only learning from some of the most respected journalists in the field, but also to learn from my peers.

Oh, and did I mention, the tuition is free!

After a little research, I’ve found 10 others who have been accepted, nine of whom I found through Twitter search.

One of my tweeps is listed as alternate. We’ve never met, but I hope she has the opportunity to attend because I know she’s a very talented college journalist.

As for how this effects my summer plans, it doesn’t change anything. I will go to my internship at the Dallas Morning News, which I am also eagerly anticipating, soon after the fellowship.

In short, I proclaim this the summer of Greg!

PS. I can’t believe I’m graduating in a little more than two months. Where have the college years gone?

Leaving to cover Special Olympics World Winter Games in Idaho

I’ll be off the usual radar for 10 days as one of about 30 University of Miami students participating in the 150-student webcasting team at the Special Olympics 2009 World Winter Games in Idaho.

The games run from Feb. 7-13, but we’ll be there from Feb. 5-15. Students will be split across newsrooms in Boise, McCall and Sun Valley.

(Somehow I have a knack for taking trips that require really early flights, as evinced by the post time.)

The Job

Rich Beckman, Knight Chair of Visual Journalism at UM, is the executive producer for Special Olympics Live, a site we will update with photos and videos daily. I’m on Rich’s team in Boise and will be documenting the team’s efforts with other a couple other Miami folks and a couple students from Universidad de los Andes in Chile.

In addition, I’m in charge of social media for the site, which isn’t really “live.”

I’ll post some updates on my @greglinch Twitter account, but I’ve created @soilive to handle our general webcasting team coverage.

You can follow the hashtag #soi and/or subscribe to the RSS feed for a Twitter search of #soi. If you’re interested, you can also join the official Special Olympics community, where fans post blogs, photos and videos.

The Tech

I’m bringing my Canon Rebel XT (15-55mm and 75-300mm lenses), in addition to one of the broadcast department’s Sony DSR-PD150 to use for the video work. Other UM students will use thePanasonic AG-DVX100, which are shared between the visual journalism and motion pictures programs.

I typically use the Panasonic, but have a good amount of experience with the Sony, so I’ll be ready to rock once we’re wheels down in Idaho.

The Sony kit is in a huge Pelican case and comes with:

  • It’s standard shotgun mic
  • Sennheiser ME-66 shotgun mic
  • Sony ECM-44B wired lavalier mic
  • Electro Voice EV-50 hand mic
  • Sennheiser headphones
  • 50-foot XLR cable
  • Spare battery
  • DC charger

As you may remember, I was also part of a volunteer team from the UM School of Communication that shot the Special Olympics torch run in Miami in January.

Full disclosure: Special Olympics is covering all of our travel and lodging expenses for the World Winter Games, but we are not being paid.

CoPress announces hosting plan for college newspaper Web sites


(Full disclosure: I’m the CoPress community manager, as well as a core team member.)

In a major move to help college newspapers thrive online, CoPress has announced a plan to move interested papers to WordPress and host the sites for a low monthly fee, plus a minor initial setup cost.

Or, if you’re just looking for low-cost hosting sans WordPress, that’s also an option. If you go that route, you don’t pay the initial setup cost.

What’s the advantage? Well, when you consider how much money your college news site could generate if you sold all the ads, and therefore took in related revenue, choosing CoPress could pay for itself.

Not to mention the fact that you have complete control over your site. That, in my view, is the most attractive reason. I oversaw The Miami Hurricane‘s move from College Publisher to WordPress last summer and wish CoPress existed at the time.

But, whereas our situation allowed us to make the move on our own, many school papers don’t have a server or the technical know-how to make such a move. Or, if you do, you can avoid a possible headache (particularly in transfering your College Publisher archives) with a little help from your friends.

That’s where CoPress comes in – we can do all that. Check out the post about the hosting plan.

For more information, visit the CoPress hosting page.

Leave a comment on the CoPress post or e-mail with any questions. Also, you can follow us on Twitter.