About Jim Stovall

Jim Stovall, (JPROF.com) a retired journalism prof, is now a novelist, self-publisher, watercolorist, gardener, woodworker, and beekeeper -- among other things. Subscribe to his weekly newsletter at http://www.jprof.com .
Author Archive | Jim Stovall

Writing for the web: guidelines for an introductory writing class

The following are some notes I have made for a discussion I am having with the JEM 200 writing instructors about what we are teaching concerning writing for the web. I invite your comments. As we move from writing in print mode to writing for the web, here are some general principles that we should […]

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Review: Jacoby says Hiss case is ultimately about us and the U.S., not Hiss

Alger Hiss and the Battle for History by Susan Jacoby Susan Jacoby, a former Washington Post reporter and now a keen observer of the American intellect and intelligencia, has examined the strange case of Alger Hiss and the hold that his perjury conviction nearly 60 years ago has had on the minds of the political […]

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A page from Leonardo da Vinci's journalis

Leonardo and the ‘fleeting quality of imagination’

Procrastination is a sin. That’s what we’re taught anyway. Putting things off, not getting things done — those things mark you as a slacker, a nere-do-well, a skylarker (military), a goldbrick (also military), a bum. And around the part of the country where I live, you’re just plain “sorry.” W. L. Pannapacker, an associate professor […]

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American Lion by John Meacham: review

American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House by Jon Meacham Politicos who believe the American presidency wields too much power can blame Andrew Jackson. American Lion, a biography by Newsweek editor Jon Meacham, argues that Jackson transformed the presidency from being subservient to Congress to an independent and vital factor in government by crisis […]

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Audio journalism III: Teaching j-students about recording, editing and distribution

Beginning journalism students, in their first news writing classes, should be taught the basics of audio journalism and should put those basics into practice. The concept of audio journalism takes us beyond the medium of radio and requires that we think about sound itself as an increasingly available and important tool of the journalist (as […]

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Audio journalism II: Forms and formats

Creative journalists can use the tool of sound as an effective in their reporting. They can start with traditional formats, but the web will allow them to develop their own. Reporters and journalism students must stop thinking about sound as an exclusively radio format — an argument made in the first of these three posts […]

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Audio journalism I: Defining the field – the power and importance of sound

A clarion call for journalism instructors to think beyond the strictures of radio and to teach audio journalism — using sound as a reporting tool — to all of their students. Now that the web has freed sound from the confines of radio, audio journalism needs to be a part of the skill set of […]

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New York Times coverage of Obama’s speech – a different reporting form

The New York Times used the tools of the web to bring the story of Barack Obama’s speech to Congress last week in a different and innovative way. The web offers journalists many opportunities to report on events in ways that we never could have done with another medium. Witness the New York Times coverage […]

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A superior user experience

Those of us who struggle every day trying to figure out this new media thing and worrying about economic models for journalism get distracted by many ideas and lamentations. Thanks, then, to Jonathan Rosenberg, senior vice president for product management at Google, for this long, thought-provoking, and perceptive piece that helps to refocus on what […]

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Reforming the J-curriculum: beginning at the beginning

To really reform a journalism curriculum, you have to begin at the beginning. The faculty of the School of Journalism and Electronic Media at the University of Tennessee decided at its first faculty meeting of the semester in January to make some definite moves toward revising our curriculum to recognize the realities of the changing […]

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What’s right with J-education at Tennessee

The call has gone out from Innovation in College Media for journalism profs to come together on Sunday for a chat on journalism education. It begins with a blog post, and one of the suggested topics is “What’s going right at your school.” Here’s what’s going right at Tennessee: The Tennessee Journalist (TNJN.com) TNJN.com is […]

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The demise of newspapers means better journalism

We who contemplate the importance of journalism look at the future with trepidation. What happens to journalism, we ask, when newspapers continue on their inevitable decline? The question assumes that journalism itself will be diminished.I am coming to a different conclusion: Journalism will improve once newspapers die or decline to a minor medium. Note that […]

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25 random things about me

Now that the 25-random-things rage on Facebook is about spent, it’s about time I got in on it. Here’s what I just posted. 1. I keep bees. That usually starts a conversation. 2. The TNJN.com kids make me look like a wizard and a genius every day. I am in awe of them. I wouldn’t […]

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Qualities of the digital journalist

Steve Outing, a well-known thinker and writer about online journalism, has envisioned the not-so-distant future digital newsroom in his January 28 column for Editor and Publisher. (The All-Digital Newsroom of the Not-So-Distant Future) The whole thing is well worth reading and, journalism profs, recommending to your students. Of particular interest is what Outing says will […]

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Editing for the web: discussion notes for journalism instructors

These notes are designed for editing instructors who want to conduct a section on editing for the web or online journalism instructors who want to teach their students about the special considerations for editing for a news web site. An example of taking a “for print” story and making it into a “for the web” […]

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It’s coming – Mobile as the seventh mass media

A healthy portion of ink, airtime and web electrons were expended by the news media during the last week on the subject of Barack Obama’s Blackberry. Would he be able to keep it? He certainly wanted to and said so publicly. The Secret Service, it was reported, worried about security (as it should) and made […]

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America reclaims its true story

My friend Chuck Warnock (Confessions of a Small Church Pastor) says that Tuesday saw more than the inauguration of a new president. America, he says, reclaimed its “true story.” I believe that we as a nation returned to our story on Tuesday. America’s story had been one of creation, not destruction. Our story had provided […]

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William Hazlitt on the lot of the writer

William Hazlitt is a name we hear little of today, but in the first quarter of the nineteenth century, he was a well-known and well read journalist and essayist (when those people were really valued) in England. Here is what he wrote on the lot of the writer: An author wastes his time in painful […]

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Congratulations, President Barack Obama

A remarkable feat by a remarkable man who will take the oath of office on Jan. 20, 2009. An author and college professor, he is now at the pinnacle of political power. We join with the world in wishing him well. And congratulations to the United States of America.

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ICONN: First take on the final day

The prevailing feeling I absorbed from the second day of the founders conference of the Intercollegiate Online News Network (ICONN) was this: A good time was had by all. We see a bright, innovative, exciting time for us (educators, professionals, students) and for our avocation (journalism). We look forward to an age of creativity and […]

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