by Julie Dodd
JEA Mentoring Committee co-chair

If you want to provide a tour of a newsroom and hear from a number of experts in the media without having to take your students on a field trip, PBS Teachers has a great video for you.

Newspaper in the Digital Age is an insightful discussion of trends in the news/newspaper industry in just seven minutes.

Reporter Antonio Neves interviews editors at USA Today, The Washington Post and TBD.com (a micro news site). The video also includes an interview with a researcher with Project for Excellence in Journalism, a college journalism professor and college journalism students.

This information-packed video highlights a number of key issues and trends in the news field and provides a great foundation for a lively class discussion.

Topics include:

– 2-way communication between the newspaper and the readers – Something that hasn’t really been possible before.

– User-generated content – Using material provided by the readers, which can mean reporters are aggregating material from readers rather than creating the content themselves.

Geotargeting – News organizations can customize content and advertising as they know where a reader is when they log on to the news site with their computer or phone.

– Micro news sites – News organizations that narrow their coverage to a specific community or even neighborhood.

– Role of social media in news coverage – Using Twitter to seek readers who can provide photos or video.

– Creating content and apps for delivery on tablets and smartphones.

– Changing role of news consumer in being able to assess reliability of news sources.

– Curriculum in college media programs to include social media but continue to include foundations of journalistic reporting and writing.

The length of the video makes it a good one to use during class, as there’s time to provide a lead-in, viewing, and then time for class discussion. The video also could be a homework assignment, with students watching it on their own and then arriving in class ready to discuss.

Thanks to Peggy Gregory for relaying the link to this video for me to share.