JN-21.com launched to help journalism teachers, students

JN-21.com is here. This site, a part of the Intercollegiate Online News Network (ICONN) and its subsidiary, the Interscholastic Online News Network (ISONN, is devoted to building a new journalism curriculum that breaks the bonds of print and broadcast media and emphasizes online media and the convergent aspects of 21st century journalism. Our goal is […]

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Intercollegiate Online News Network conference set for January

The Intercollegiate Online News Network (ICONN) will hold its third annual conference on Jan. 13-14, 2011, in Athens, Ga. Mark Johnson, journalism professor at the University of Georgia and faculty adviser to the GradyJournal, is the conference chair. ICONN is an association of campus news websites that was formed at the University of Tennessee in […]

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Seven steps to the audio slideshow

Getting prepared for the upcoming semester, I took a shot at codifying the procedures for creating an audio slideshow. If any journalism instructors out there want to use this, they’re welcome to it (credit JPROF.com). Seven steps to the audio slideshow JEM 200 and 230 students (and beyond) An audio slideshow is a journalistic form […]

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JEM 200 photo story day semifinalists

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Photo story day – JEM 200’s in-class lecture assignment

Lecture assignment, March 25, 2010 Students in the JEM 200 course at the University of Tennessee were assigned to do a photo story of the lecture itself last week. Here’s a short video of how the class went. Below are some of the instructions students received about the assignment. Students, You will be asked to […]

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Crowdsourcing the Civil War

In the video below, George Rable, University of Alabama history professor, discusses the sources of information that newspaper editors during the Civil War used for their reports about battles and the war in general. One important source was letters from soldiers — a form of what we could call today crowdsourcing. This means using the […]

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Kiffen pre-presser video – last century’s journalism

The YouTube video above shows the eight minutes of controversy surrounding Bud Ford, the news reporters, and Lane Kiffen’s lack of cooperation with reporters in dispensing information about his resignation as Tennessee’s football coach last week. The video has been racing around the web (more than 175,000 views as of this morning), and lots of […]

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JPROF.com celebrates 5th anniversary

JPROF celebrates its fifth anniversary today. In the past five years the site has grown in size (more than 400), expanded in purpose and reached around the globe to people I never would have touched or heard from. JPROF was originally conceived (in my small study in Emory, VA, where we were living at the […]

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Content production is what we should be teaching

Two of the most memorable lines that have come from the movies in the last 40 years are: “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.” (The Godfather) “If you build it, they will come.” (Field of Dreams) Those lines came to mind as I considered the implications of the Associated Press analysis […]

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A new edition of Fowler

Early in my academic writing career, I met Fowler. I was putting together the first edition of Writing for the Mass Media and was looking for some basic writing references and somehow — I don’t remember how — came upon Fowler. It was, the parlance of that day, the real thing. Fowler is an “it,” […]

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An almost new way of organizing news

The way a news organization arranges its content — news, business, sports, editorial, etc. — has been a standardized and unquestioned mantra of journalism for many decades. The front page, or in the digital age the “home page,” had a mix of stories and subjects, but each section such as sports had stories that could […]

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Bad news

Journalists have to tell their audiences bad news. It’s not fun or pleasant to do this, but you’re going to be a journalist, that’s what you have to do.

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Niles: Murdoch thinks he can screw Google. Think again.

Bob Niles is taking Microsoft and News Corp. to task for trying to restrict access to content. Their agreement, he says, is oh so 20th century — when you could get away with creating content and then parceling it out. Not any more: But, today, it (the deal) illustrates just the latest example of backward-thinking […]

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Stepping on the Big Feet of Washington journalism

David Sirota, writing for Salon.com, steps on a couple of the Big Feet of Washington journalism for supporting the Idiocracy: First came a now-famous column about Afghanistan by the Washington Post’s David Broder. The “dean” of the press corps attacked President Obama not for choosing any particular policy, but for simply taking time to meticulously […]

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University of Tennessee proposes new curriculum for journalism students

UPDATE: The college faculty just voted to approve, with minor changes, the proposed changes in the journalism curriculum and requirements. (Nov. 20, 2009, 10 a.m.) The faculty of the School of Journalism and Electronic Media at the University of Tennnesse has proposed a number of changes to our curriculum. These changes are based on the […]

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The demise of newspapers – revisited

A few months ago, I wrote a piece about the demise of newspapers being a good thing for the future of journalism. Today, I am using those ideas — and a new more — as a basis for a speech I am giving to the Knoxville Torch Club. Here is the basic text of the […]

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The Intersection of Journalism and Fiction

The Ossoli Circle — one of the oldest women’s clubs in the South — has asked me to speak today. The invitation came because of the mystery novel, Kill the Quarterback, which was published last year. The following is a text of some of what I plan to say: When people ask what Kill the […]

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TNJN Nutshell – a new form for getting information on the web site quickly

One of my big concerns is that our journalism students (at the University of Tennessee and elsewhere) do not understand the immediate nature of the web. As a news medium, the web has more immediacy than even broadcasting. But the students don’t seem to get that. And, of course, that means we’re not doing a […]

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Writing for the web: making a (bulleted) list

The list is one of the most important aspects of writing for the web that the writer must master. A well-formed list not only adds visual variety to the writing but aids in comprehension. The list invited the reader to scan the text, but it can offer the visual cues to arrest the eye. Lists […]

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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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