Saving Scholastic Journalism in 2012: A blueprint to move online

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This is a presentation I gave the the Scholastic Journalism Division mid-winter meeting of AEJMC in Tampa in January of 2012.

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Saving Scholastic Journalism in 2012: A blueprint to move online

  1. 1. Saving Scholastic Journalism in 2012 start here
  2. 2. #sjd2012 @manfull [email_address] aaronmanfull.com
  3. 4. <ul><ul><li>Problems today </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Budget cuts eliminate electives </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Budget cuts eliminate subsidies </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Non-networked teachers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Technology Divide for Teachers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Minimal Recruiting </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No way to publish work </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Skittish districts </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 5. Class Structure newspaper yearbook Writers Designers Photographers Writers Designers Photographers
  5. 6. <ul><ul><li>Rethink your newsroom </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rework your playbook </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Refresh your content </li></ul></ul>Advising a 2012 Newsroom It’s not 1993 anymore
  6. 9. Class Structure newspaper yearbook photography broadcast web
  7. 10. For Scholastic programs as they move online. The Roadmap
  8. 11. Define your purpose. What is your mission? <ul><li>How do each of the student media at the school differ? </li></ul><ul><li>What niche will the Web find itself fitting into? </li></ul>1
  9. 12. Everything must revolve around it. This is not an extra appendage. 2 <ul><li>Put an editor in charge </li></ul><ul><li>Offer incentives for students. Writing for the Web shouldn ’t be used as punishment. </li></ul><ul><li>Create web-specific positions </li></ul><ul><li>This is probably the toughest thing to grasp for advisers </li></ul>
  10. 13. Get an easy, memorable URL. 3 Our progression: FHN026.com Northstartoday.com Excaliburyearbook.com FHNtoday.com (considered francishowellnorth.com)
  11. 14. <ul><li>Ways of going about it: </li></ul><ul><li>Putting PDFs of your publication online ( issuu.com ) </li></ul><ul><li>Using an application like Dreamweaver </li></ul><ul><li>Using a CMS like my.hsj.org, Joomla, Drupal or Wordpress </li></ul>Choose your platform 4
  12. 15. <ul><li>Find free tutorial handouts and videos by searching the Web </li></ul><ul><li>Pay for video tutorials from some place like Lynda.com </li></ul><ul><li>Hire someone in your community to come in and train you and your staff (they may even do it for free) </li></ul><ul><li>JEADigitalMedia.org </li></ul>Learn all you can about the platform you choose 5
  13. 16. Develop a sitemap and choose a theme. 6
  14. 17. <ul><li>Make it a part of your news organization, not just a novelty or an “extra” – establish beat reports </li></ul><ul><li>Teach them how to post their own content </li></ul><ul><li>Make Web postings part of grading criteria – don ’t use Web work as punishment </li></ul><ul><li>Plan special coverage for the Web. Don’ t just regurgitate. </li></ul>Develop a system for generating frequent updates 7
  15. 18. <ul><li>Start trying to just get a new story and photo up each day </li></ul><ul><li>Each month, try something new: add Twitter, Facebook, short videos, photo galleries, etc. </li></ul>Start small and add in small increments 8
  16. 19. <ul><li>Work with existing events first and tie in with the print publication </li></ul><ul><li>Expand to include other, web-only stories </li></ul><ul><li>Coveritlive, Livestream, Ustream, Soundslides, Smugmug, hyperlinks </li></ul><ul><li>Tools such as ‘College Guide’ or ‘Guide for New students’ </li></ul>After you get a solid foundation, look to add bells and whistles 9
  17. 20. <ul><li>Wait to promote widely until a system is in place and working </li></ul><ul><li>Email alerts, Text Messages </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter & Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>News website as in-school home page </li></ul><ul><li>Contests </li></ul><ul><li>Cross-promotions between Print, Web </li></ul>Promote what you do every chance you get 10
  18. 21. Common questions and concerns in the scholastic realm that keeps them from moving online. What’s holding people back.
  19. 22. <ul><li>Better than it was, still crazy. </li></ul><ul><li>Students should run accounts. </li></ul><ul><li>Advisers need to follow and coach and have their own, separate accounts </li></ul><ul><li>“ Now, social media is a job. Soon, social media will be a skill…You know what else used to be a job? Typing.” – Jay Baer </li></ul><ul><li>Should be teaching best practices, not avoiding it. </li></ul>“ Social Media is the Devil’s tool.” Yah, but didn’t I see your church on Facebook and Twitter? 1
  20. 23. <ul><li>What puts students in the best possible place? </li></ul><ul><li>What does your audience want? </li></ul><ul><li>Revaluate the program to figure what to dump, what to remain committed to, and what to try out. </li></ul><ul><li>We’ve got to get beyond the fact that learning new skills takes time. </li></ul>I’m too busy to add more. ‘ Busy’ is such a relative word. 2
  21. 24. <ul><li>The laws for printed press and web press are the same. </li></ul>“ You can’t put faces and names of high school kids online.” Actually, you don’t know what you’re talking about. 3
  22. 25. <ul><li>What puts students in the best possible place? </li></ul><ul><li>What does your audience want? </li></ul><ul><li>Revaluate the program to figure what to dump, what to remain committed to, and what to try out. </li></ul><ul><li>We’ve got to get beyond the fact that learning new skills takes time. </li></ul>I’m too busy to add more. ‘ Busy’ is such a relative word. 4
  23. 26. <ul><li>Teachers need a rough idea of how this works. </li></ul><ul><li>Districts tend to not want to deal with databases. </li></ul><ul><li>Upload videos to places like Youtube or Schooltube. </li></ul><ul><li>They need to understand how FTP works. </li></ul><ul><li>It helps to not bother overly stretched tech people. </li></ul><ul><li>Hosting offsite is like printing offsite (np/yb). </li></ul>“ The district said they’d host it.” Make sure you read the fine print they didn’t show you. 5
  24. 27. <ul><li>Platforms change. Programs change. </li></ul><ul><li>Most beneficial classes: “Build an Online Presence” & “We Have a Site, Now What?” </li></ul><ul><li>I’d teach Wordpress. It’s the “Best Buy” in terms of ease of use and flexibility. </li></ul>Planning for summer workshops These classes aren’t ones you’re going to just dust off each year. 6
  25. 28. <ul><li>Free Alternatives like Wordpress.com </li></ul><ul><li>Hosting @$65/year </li></ul><ul><li>Premium Theme @$70/one-time fee </li></ul><ul><li>Ads could easily support that (not the larger program though) </li></ul>We Can’t Afford This. Actually, you can’t not afford it. 7
  26. 29. <ul><li>We need to be more networked between high school, college and the professional levels </li></ul><ul><li>If the bleeding continues in high school, it definitely will trickle upwards. </li></ul><ul><li>Valerie Kibler, former DJNF TOY has talked with me about creating a network to help tackle this divide. </li></ul>What Can I Do To Help? You just actually asked this question. 8

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