| ASNE's annual convention is the largest annual gathering of newsroom leaders from daily newspapers and other news organizations. At ASNE 2012, editors and leaders in the field of journalism education will gather for programs focused on "What It Takes" to lead the digital and mobile transformation of a modern newsroom.
Partnering with journalism schools
By Varun Saxena
Communication and clarity of mission are the keys to a successful partnership, according to leaders of journalism schools and newspapers who spoke in a panel discussion Wednesday.
Northwestern University's students in the Medill News Service Washington program pitch a story to a media partner that falls within a prespecified beat, said Ellen Shearer, its director and bureau chief.
Beats have included national security and immigration. Partners range from McClatchy Newspapers to MarketWatch.
"Both sides need to understand each other's goals," Shearer said. "If you go in with different outcomes in mind, it can get tricky."
Martin Kaiser, editor and senior vice president of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, agreed, saying, "You just cannot emphasize enough how you need to overcommunicate."
Students at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication help the paper cover the Milwaukee Brewers during spring training by writing a blog called Peanuts and Cracker Jack.
It "gets kinds of things that we just wouldn't get otherwise from our own staff," Kaiser said.
The features include what players do while on the bus or their most embarrassing baseball moments, Kaiser said.
The students cover things that the regular fulltime staff doesn't have time to cover.
The students' youth is another advantage because it enables them to connect with players they cover, Kaiser said.
Sometimes they scoop the professionals.
They were the first to get the reaction of the girlfriend of left fielder Ryan Braun after his recent suspension for steroid use was dropped, Kaiser said.
Moderator Christopher Callahan, dean of the Cronkite school, said it is important that the partnerships be led by a faculty member who feels responsible for the quality of the content produced.
"Journalism schools do more than news," Shearer said.
Arizona State and Northwestern run experimental media laboratories that create apps and news products, some of which have been commercialized, providing another avenue for partnership with journalism schools.
Varun Saxena is a student at the University of Maryland. He is one of several local university journalism students reporting live from ASNE 2012 in Washington, D.C.
Apr 04 2012, 05:03 PM
About Amanda Knowles
Amanda Knowles is Web & Social Media Manager at the Newspaper Association of America. Before coming to NAA, Amanda spent four years working in print journalism, both at the college and professional level. She has worked as a copy editor and news page designer for two daily newspapers in northwestern Pennsylvania, The Erie Times-News and The Meadville Tribune. Most recently, she collaborated on The American Observer, the online magazine edited and produced by graduate journalism students at American University in Washington, D.C. Amanda believes strongly in the secure future of the newspaper, and is excited to be a participant in the movement to integrate traditional print media into the burgeoning digital world.