Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Some interesting sessions coming in Chicago

The Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications convention is in Chicago from Aug. 6-9 this year, and this is an invitation -- and a challenge -- to all professionals in the area to make time to drop by some of the sessions.

I've written here and in other forums before how too few journalists pay attention to the research being done about their business (and then they are surprised when the sky falls in, even though it's been predicted for a decade). And we in academe -- even those of us who spent decades in the business -- need to have more conversations with the pros to keep us honest.

Sure, there are going to be the papers and panels that will make you roll your eyes; you don't have to go to those. There are probably 100 or so sessions. But consider taking a look at anything the broadcast or newspaper divisions, or the community journalism or civic/citizen journalism interest groups are involved in. (There are a bunch of other divisions you might find something interesting in, also.)

Take a look at what the COMJIG (that's what we call the Community Journalism Interest Group) program will have:

Wednesday, Aug. 6:
  • A session on anonymity in the news
  • A session on publications centering on Chicago's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community
  • A major session on "The Transformation of Print Journalism"
Thursday, Aug. 7
  • A session on how to deal with offensive postings in the comments area. (I'm tentatively on that panel.)
Friday, Aug. 8
  • "Case studies of courage in community journalism" featuring several of the community editors telling their stories.
  • How to incorporate digital media into teaching civic journalism
To my friends at ACES, I issue a special challenge to come if you live in the area. Copy editing is going through tough times now. It's worth dropping in to learn more about what the researchers see happening in this business.

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