Archive for October, 2007

Coming Soon

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

In development (but in no particular order):

– the IPPIES of the Independent Press Association of New York

– the WORD print – an independently run, student newspaper with a loose affiliation with this WORD – bites the dust

– a commentary (maybe more than one) on requests from students and former students (who were interviewed for WORD articles as long as two years ago) asking/demanding/begging that their comments in articles or the articles with their comments be deleted, expunged, disappeared because they don’t want potential employers or graduate admission committees to know that they experimented in bi-sexual fun or that they partied all night, every night, until they couldn’t distinguish between the moon and the sun or that they engaged in other forms of behavior that some might call risqué – and which definitely cannot escape the URL tenacles of Google; what to do, what to do; definitely worthy of some pondering considering the ethical dilemmas brought to bare.

Gregg Morris

Antediluvian Thinking

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

So many students are using blogs (for commentary and opinion), myspace and facebook (to communicate), Youtube (can you believe documentaries and broadcasts), cell phones (to communicate and to make pictures and videos to disseminate) that I’m planning to revise my journalism writing/reporting courses.

I plan to add to my course syllabi that students who take my classes can learn to write scintillating and compelling commentaries and opinion pieces for their peers to review and admire as well as develop a sharper edge – a news edge – for their other media activities.

It seems to me that many students engaging those endeavors described above believe they are involved with forms of enterprise journalism or that they are involved in making news. They are most certainly involved in disseminating and receiving disseminated information in this period when the concept of news is undergoing radical change.

There was this intense discussion at a department meeting many months ago over my using the word “multimedia” for this multimedia ethnic journalism class I wanted to teach. One colleague (obviously out of touch with reality) announced that students in my reporting/writing classes should not be using recording devices because that kind of activity was reserved for a particular film/video course. As images flashed in my head of students using MP3 recorders and digital voice recorders as well as cell phones for digital imagery, single and moving, I didn’t have the presence of mind to say something witty like, “That kind of antediluvian thinking should cost you a …”

Gregg Morris

Crunch Time

Saturday, October 20th, 2007

Several years ago, Hunter started ranking in the top five colleges with students receiving paid summer internships with the Business Press Education Foundation. Hunter at times raked in more internships that the journalism programs, graduate and undergraduate, at Ohio State University, NYU and Columbia University. There were usually 50-60 campuses represented in the competition, and Hunter for years ranked in the top five.

Hunter students awarded the internships at the best of the trade publications (AKA business-to-business media) had been required to have stories published in either student-run news media like the Hunter Envoy, or, subsequently, as things turned out, in a faculty-supervised, student-written online zine, the WORD (now temporarily located at Other students who had published portfolios from those J-classes that required students to publish, won  journalism internships that had direct effects on their careers. And, it has to be said, many who did not win the so-called prestigious internships, did well. That is, got on career paths because of their portfolios which helped get them internships and jobs.

Then, of course, a new sheriff came to town a few years ago, and “things” begin to jump. One has to wonder why the Department of Film and Media Studies was and has been sooooo slow about getting with the program.

Anyway, it’s crunch time, that period when students must begin applying for the best of the J-internships offered in the country and also that period when students in my classes are realizing, if they haven’t already, that the deadlines and requirements for my writing/reporting classes are for real.

Gregg Morris

The New WORD

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

If the Department of Film and Media Studies is really serious about journalism education as well as improving student writing, it should seriously consider requiring students in its approximately 15 journalism-related and dozen-plus media theory classes to submit articles and papers to the student-run news media for dissemination. This initiative could be a significant educational catalyst, and F/M could nurture independent student journalism without being intrusive.