Antediluvian Thinking

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

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