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It’s a new game: Teaching the next generation of journalists

By Serbino Sandifer-Walker, Texas Southern University Journalist and Journalism Professor, DJTF V.P.

Journalism professors must be willing to step out of their comfort zones and teach their students skills they will need to compete for 21st century job opportunities.  For over 10 years, I’ve been teaching students how to merge traditional storytelling with not so traditional technology.

In my online journalism course, I’ve pushed the envelope on how news stories are covered and presented.  Students not only learn journalistic reporting and writing techniques, they also learn how to integrate web-based technology, social media and video into the final piece.

For 15 weeks, I require the students to probe their topics thoroughly. I teach them how to use a variety of research tools including virtual libraries. Then they must go into the community and spend a considerable amount of time interviewing sources.  Once the reporting process is completed, the students write the stories.

Now the story must be written for a multimedia platform. This means students must incorporate Hypertext Mark-up Language and or web authoring software like Dreamweaver to deliver engaging content, dynamic images, audio and video to the Internet and other media platforms like smartsphones, DVDs, etc.

First, I teach them how to use hypertext markup language (HTML).  I provide them with a tutorial and walk them step-by-step on how to code.  The is one of the resources I use.

Next, I teach them how to use Dreamweaver, which is a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) program. Adobe TV is one of my resources. Click link

I also show them how to use Photoshop. Adobe TV is one of my resources. Click link

I also show them how to use the iPhone, traditional video cameras and digital audio recorders to capture dynamic images, video and audio.

Additionally, I introduce video editing programs like Final Cut Pro, Avid and Adobe Premiere.

It is a requirement for them to tweet daily using the hashtag #twitternewschat.

Of course, there is more; however, I will share that in the next post.

I know this is a weighty schedule; however, if you guide the students every step of the way, the results can be amazing.

These skills are absolutely necessary in this changing media landscape.  If they don’t learn them now, it may be impossible for them to make the cut in the future.

In the next post, I will share several j-student multimedia projects.