Alabama Journalism Grad Students Catch the Blogging Bug

Journalism graduate students are blogging with more frequency, intensity and passion after more explicit suggestions about how to use this interactive medium to the fullest.

Two weeks after a not so complimentary write-up on the first blogs by graduate students in my journalism class, the posts are looking a lot better.

Some are posting pretty frequently– an indication that they just might have caught “the blogging bug.”

Either that or they’re just trying to impress their professor– who they know will be reading their blogs (smile).

Whatever the circumstance, I am glad to see some of these students’ contribution to the blogosphere.

Figuring Out The Twitter World

With a blog, “What She Said,” Sarah Cole’s has decided that she’s now an official tweeter, as opposed to a twitterer.

The official Twitter Glossary says you can use either.

“Now that I am an official “tweeter,” it’s important that I understand the concept a little more,” said Sarah Cole.

In a recent post, she works through the process of explaining

When I teach Twitter,  I often quote my friend and colleague Sybril Bennett, better known as “Dr Syb” who has the “THREE R’s of Twitter: Research, Relationships and Reputation.”

Cole adds a “P” to that– Promotion, but with one admission–

“I’m more into Facebook when it comes to that kinda stuff.”

Cole is just the opposite of me.

I have a Facebook account, but I am often turned off by the mindless chatter on mundane, unimportant things from my friends who I perceive as “over-sharing”

Read Write  Edit

Though she’s not officially a member of the American Copy Editors Society, Christine Cowan has developed a knack for editing other  people’s writing.

But, she’s still developing a level of confidence, which was on display in one of her latest posts.

On Those Whitney Photographs

After visiting two grocery stores this weekend where I saw the photos of the late singer Whitney Houston in the casket, I was not surprised to see Michelle Darrisaw commenting on the photos on her blog.

My lack of surprise was not because of the author of the blog as much as it is the topic is one that one would expect a lot of us journalists to be talking about around the Internet.

“I guess I’m more upset that someone from her circle, or perhaps the funeral home workers sold this photo,” Darrisaw wrote. “I mean at the end of the day, she was a person.”

Defensive Walking

Besides the talk about Whitney Houston casket photos, there are the random everyday events that occur in the lives of my students.

Take Erich Hilkert for instance,  he was nearly by a pizza delivery truck.

Hilkert decided to blog about it.   In the process, I learned about a concept called “defensive walking.”

“In Tuscaloosa you not only have to be a defensive driver, ” Hilkert said. “You have to practice defensive walking.”

His blog post directs readers to two other blogs on this issue.

A Classroom Exercise Works–MAYBE?

How interesting to see the students talking about things we did in class, without being forced to do so or told to fulfill and assignment.

Well, the graduate students have to maintain a blog.  But, I leave the specific topics up to them.

In one case, the blog post helped me to see how students were adjusting to a new technology that we’re using to collaborate, Google Docs.

Author: George Daniels

George L. Daniels is an associate professor of journalism at the University of Alabama. After spending eight years in the local television newsroom working as a producer at stations in Richmond, Virginia; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Atlanta, Georgia, Daniels moved from the newsroom to the classroom. He’s conducted research on diversity issues in the media workplace and change in the television newsroom as well as media convergence. Before going to work in television news, Daniels worked briefly as a freelance writer for The Richmond Free Press in his hometown of Richmond, Va.

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