Posted on June 3, 2010
Is J-school relevant? (#wjchat)
@killbutton Q1 Yes, because the foundation of journalism is SO important. Journos need a strong foundation in ethics! #wjchat
@dnvolz Brian Williams never got any college degree and is considered a top journalist even in an ever-changing market #wjchat
@mhinojosa Q1 Yes, I think it’s more important now to go to J-school. More and more we work alone and don’t have others to teach us the ropes #wjchat
Last night I helped to moderate an organized Twitter chat. (Here’s how a Twitter chat works.) Robert Hernandez (a k a @webjournalist) is the juggernaut behind #wjchat; he’s aided by a cheery posse including @killbutton, @kimbui, and @RobinJP.
Here’s Robert’s own account of how and why he launched #wjchat.
@wcochran Q2 What would replace J-school? “Indentured servitude”? #wjchat
@rohanv Q2 English majors w/PoliSci minors. People are not going to shed the idea of a degree. #wjchat
@PDXdrew Q2 Nothing can replace real-world experience. Apprenticeships are a good idea. But you need a rounded education for balance #wjchat
We met up at TypeWith.me a few days in advance to discuss the topic of the chat and to come up with some questions. This provides a no-frills environment for group authoring in real time. I hadn’t used TypeWith.me before (thanks, Robert!), and I’m already thinking of some ways it could be used by students to rapidly produce some brainstormed work.
The topic of the chat is set, but the questions remain fluid and flexible up to and during the live chat itself. Robert ran the chat last night (as @wjchat) and also participated as himself. My role was less that of a moderator, I think, than that of a facilitator. I re-tweeted the Q’s, responded to various tweets and re-tweeted others as they struck my fancy. I tried to highlight remarks made by different people — there were a lot of people in the chat!
@alexisgrant Q3 Biggest regret re: J-school experience? Wish I’d learned more technical skills. And how to edit video — but it wasn’t big yet. #wjchat
@justinNXT Q3 Biggest success in J-school? Finally understanding data, databases and how to use numbers thanks to a CAR class! #wjchat
One of my favorite Q’s asked the crowd to list the top five skills, ranked in order of importance, for a student of journalism to learn:
@kbeninato Q4 1) Empathy 2) Grammar 3) Skepticism 4) Creativity 5) A Sense of Humor #wjchat (Can drinking be an alternate?)
@lisawilliams #wjchat Q4 Basic grounding in how to launch & run a sit that’s more sophisticated than a Tumblr blog. Flash, not so much.
@Amadeus3000 Q4 1) curious 2) organized (of information and yourself) 3) unselfish – what others want, not you 4) driven/innovative 5) transparency #wjchat
If you want to review last night’s chat, see the “room” at TweetChat (you can also use TweetChat to follow during the live chat; it updates in real time) — but be warned, new tweets with the hashtag #wjchat will come in at the top, so next week all the tweets from last night will be buried under the new ones. You can also search #wjchat at Twitter.
Update (June 4): See a transcript of the complete chat — provided by What the Hashtag?!
A few people said the chat was hard for them to follow at Twitter. I used a new column in TweetDeck and found that worked well, but if you don’t use TweetDeck, you could just use TweetChat in your browser.
@brookevandam Q5 As a Journ Prof I would say students are more tech and SM savvy but only when it serves their self interests #wjchat
@notblue Q5 Fiction. It’s not if you’re older/younger; it’s how adaptable you are. An “ooh, what does this do?” mindset doesn’t hurt #wjchat
@kimbui Q6 When I was in school, my irritation with some tenured profs is that they had too little real world experience #wjchat
@Scheopner Q6 when I was in J-school, one tenured prof worked summers in TV newsrooms as a grip, carrying camera equipment, to stay current. #wjchat
There were nine primary questions, with a couple of secondary Q’s thrown in. You can read them here (at Google Docs).
I’ll bet some clever programmer has devised a way to scrape Twitter for all tweets including a particular hashtag, but after some sincere searching, I wasn’t able to find anything that was plug-and-play. See the link at the end of this post — complete transcript!
@AsianStig Q7 Given that the platforms keep changing, J-schools could place more focus on social media sites that have the most impact. #wjchat
@McKennaEwen #wjchat Schools should reward students who work outside the curriculum to master 1 or 2 skills. There should be room to specialize.
@CindyRoyal Q7 challenge is teaching broad range of skills while integrating w new concepts, trends, ideas – perspective. Can be done, though #wjchat
@andymboyle I also wish that professors forced kids to learn to write on deadline. What’s this two weeks to write a 500-word story shit? #wjchat
@BrianManzullo Q8 Newspaper layout teaches core design skills, which still apply to Web/iPad/mobile/etc., even if in a different way. #wjchat
@jaosullivanx Q8 Things like layout and video should be integrated into every class, not set aside specifically for a semester. #wjchat
@glennluther I think a class on the business side of freelancing would be so amazing. I wish that I could take that today #wjchat
@laurakeeley Q9 I’m not sure dividing J school further is the way to go. I like the idea of less concentrations, more overlap #wjchat
@dblanchard Q9 I’m just worried the new options will actually pigeonhole many students, depending on how easy it is to mix and match. #wjchat
@ZTracer Q9 Specialization is important – I think Mizz decision calls into question the notion that J school is best prep for journalism #wjchat
Thanks so much to everyone who participated in #wjchat No. 17 — I really enjoyed it! Hope to see you all again next Wednesday at 8 p.m. EDT (5 p.m. PDT).