Dateline: Library Services Supporting a Proposed Journalism Program


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Dateline: Library Services Supporting a Proposed Journalism Program

  1. 1. Dateline: Library Services Supporting a Proposed Journalism Program Aimée deChambeau and Barbara Selvin 15 June 2006 deChambeau & Selvin SUNYLA 2006
  2. 2. Journalism Program Background The mission of the program is to educate the next generation of American journalists and news consumers at a time when an unprecedented flow of information and disinformation threatens to overwhelm the body politic. Both a corps of well-trained and independent-minded journalists operating in the public interest, and an audience of discriminating and discerning consumers of news, will be essential for democracy to flourish. The journalism school will also become the home for a general education program in news literacy deChambeau & Selvin SUNYLA 2006
  3. 3. Journalism Program Future Eventually the program will also offer a five-year combined undergraduate and master’s degree in Science, Health and Technology Journalism. It is possible that this program will begin as early as 2007- 2008. At this point the library will need to make the appropriate adjustments to the collection development policy and the services provided to the program. deChambeau & Selvin SUNYLA 2006
  4. 4. Chance favors the prepared mind As a member of the Committee on Academic Planning and Resource Allocation (CAPRA) I was involved in the early stages of review for the proposed journalism program. The program, as presented, would be very strong in the area of media literacy. The description of media literacy in the proposal was so close to the definition of information literacy that it was very easy to initiate discussions and recommend value-added library services to the program. deChambeau & Selvin SUNYLA 2006
  5. 5. Media Literacy and Info Literacy Media Literacy: The ability to access, analyze, evaluate and create media in a variety of forms. (Center for Media Lit) Information Literacy: a) Information literacy includes the abilities to recognize when information is needed and to locate, evaluate, effectively use, and communicate information in its various formats. (SUNY) b) Information literacy is a set of skills that enables a person to recognize a need for information, locate and use resources to fulfill the information need, effectively evaluate and synthesize the information found, and apply it in an ethical and responsible manner. (ACRL Information Literacy Standard) deChambeau & Selvin SUNYLA 2006
  6. 6. From Media Lit to News Lit News Literacy course description: How do you know if you’re getting the truth from the news media? This course is designed to prepare students to become more discriminating news consumers. It will examine standards of reliability and accuracy in news gathering and presentation, and seek to establish the differences between news and propaganda, assertion and verification, bias and fairness, and infotainment and journalism. Students will be encouraged to critically examine news broadcasts, newspaper articles and Web sites. Visiting journalists will be questioned about the journalistic process and decision-making. deChambeau & Selvin SUNYLA 2006
  7. 7. Opportunity Defined SUNY’s Council of Library Directors supports an initiative to promote the adoption of information literacy competencies across the curriculum throughout the SUNY system. Information literacy instruction is most effective when combined with discipline-specific work. The establishment of a new Journalism program, with a fresh curriculum and with the desire to be the News Literacy Resource for campus as a major goal, offers a unique opportunity for collaboration. A very brief survey of the literature shows that when journalism faculty incorporate info lit instruction into their courses student research improves. Also, one survey of editors showed that it is awareness of resources rather than access that determines what journalists will use. deChambeau & Selvin SUNYLA 2006
  8. 8. Be careful what you ask for! Once the library determined that we wanted to pursue this opportunity, things quickly became very busy! • Meetings, Meetings, Meetings • Developing Research Modules • Teaching • Consulting & Advising • Drafting a collection development policy • Creating budget proposal • Selecting materials deChambeau & Selvin SUNYLA 2006
  9. 9. Team Teaching the Research Modules An experiment initiated by the program director Collaborated with Barbara to create relevant research modules for JRN 387: Advanced News Reporting and Writing Looked at course syllabus, text, and expectations and decided on 5 modules – taught as part of the lab component of the course Picked a local school district as our specific beat to follow through all 5 modules as the example deChambeau & Selvin SUNYLA 2006
  10. 10. JRN 387 Research Modules The 5 research modules covered finding and using: • Biographical information • Demographic information • Legal and Court information • Business information • School districts, school budgets, and related local information deChambeau & Selvin SUNYLA 2006
  11. 11. JRN 387 Research Midterm Research modules were tested as part of the course midterm exam (17 questions). Some example questions: You’re developing background information for a story about race and school districts on Long Island. Give me 10 keywords or phrases you could use for an online search. One of the foundational cases of modern libel law is NY Times v Sullivan. Find the legal citation for the case and the date on which it was decided by the Supreme Court. Regarding the company that owns Newsday, find: the name; the ticker symbol; its income for the year ending Dec 2005; the net income for the year ended Dec 2003 … deChambeau & Selvin SUNYLA 2006
  12. 12. Summary Evaluation of Modules Develop curriculum for the skills classes that precede JRN387: JRN 101-B News Literacy - basic searching, evaluation, and information use skills JRN 110 News I: Basic News Reporting and Writing - build on searching skills, specifically in Lexis-Nexis products and on the open Web JRN 210 News II: Beat Reporting - advanced searching skills for topic specific research areas such as business, government and law, and education deChambeau & Selvin SUNYLA 2006
  13. 13. Near Term Instruction Direction Further develop/polish JRN 387 modules, particularly the legal research component Pursue integration of skills into more courses (prev. slide) Create targeted tutorials (Camtasia) for any instructor to include in their course site Develop stand-alone research modules that instructors can use with or without a librarian Ensure continuity between dept website and library resources sites deChambeau & Selvin SUNYLA 2006
  14. 14. Budget & Collection A draft collection development policy was required before we could begin estimating the cost of building a proper collection to support a journalism major We briefly looked at collections at institutions with programs, especially for serials and non-print media Spoke with Dorothy Levin at Newsday to get an idea about what a news organization’s library provides Generated a variety of lists in YBP’s GOBI system for estimates deChambeau & Selvin SUNYLA 2006
  15. 15. Draft Collection Development statement: The collection is in support of the journalism program at the undergraduate level. As the stated goal of the program is to educate both journalists and news consumers, the collection supports teaching and learning within the field of journalism, as well as news literacy instruction across the curriculum. The basic collection supports an undergraduate curriculum that provides a firm foundation in reporting, writing, ethics, critical thinking, and basic journalistic values and principles. In addition, diverse library resources enable students and faculty to explore the changes in journalism brought about by the digital revolution. At the upper undergraduate level the collection supports student concentration in broadcast, print, or online journalism. At the undergraduate level there are four inter-disciplinary concentrations: Public Affairs, Science and the Environment, Race and Diversity, and Global Issues and Perspectives. The library collects in these areas as pertains to the journalism profession, and will necessarily rely on materials collected for related subjects. A core of historical treatment of the American press is required, but the emphasis of the collection is on contemporary practice. Biographies are collected, with an emphasis on living journalists. Other than retrospectively collecting a small core of recognized anthologies very little retrospective collecting will go further back than 2000. Publications collected will be primarily from the USA, with some international publications at the basic level to support an introductory-level course on the global press. deChambeau & Selvin SUNYLA 2006
  16. 16. Near Term Collection Direction Write final version of collection development policy, including the additional criteria needed to match SBU format for CD policies Work with dept liaison to establish level of, and method for, faculty input in collection decisions Craft library resource web pages for journalism Select, collect, and then collect some more! deChambeau & Selvin SUNYLA 2006
  17. 17. News Literacy Task Force A task force comprised of faculty from across the disciplines has been formed and will begin meeting in late summer/early fall to plan a university-wide news literacy program. The library is represented on this committee, and is tasked with providing an introduction to information and news literacy in higher education to the task force members as well as compiling a list of recommended readings. deChambeau & Selvin SUNYLA 2006
  18. 18. Going Organic One unique aspect of this project has been ability to participate in nearly all aspects of the program as part of the team and not as an add- on or after-thought. Services from the library are integral and have perceived value within the program. Just as when farming organically, this level of attention to a program does require time and attention. deChambeau & Selvin SUNYLA 2006
  19. 19. Summary Parallels between information literacy and news literacy provided a springboard for collaboration Provides a perfect incubator for integrated instruction Provides an opportunity to work on creation of campus-wide news literacy project Services include collection development, instruction, advising, and active participation Benefits to the library include increased visibility, increased materials budget, some personnel support, and a great deal of personal satisfaction deChambeau & Selvin SUNYLA 2006
  20. 20. Questions? Comments? Please feel free to contact me with questions, comments, and/or words of wisdom: Aimée deChambeau Electronic Resources Acquisitions and Access Librarian Stony Brook University Libraries Frank Melville Jr. Memorial Library Stony Brook, NY 11794-3300 631.632.1811 deChambeau & Selvin SUNYLA 2006