Teaching Literary Journalism in a Multi-Platform World: Survey Results of Educators

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Presented at the 97th Annual Conference for the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication


  • 1.Teaching Literary Journalism in a Multi-Platform World: Survey Results of Educators Mitzi Lewis, Midwestern State University John Hanc, New York Institute of Technology Scott Ramsey, Midwestern State University Calvin Hall, Appalachian State University 97th Annual Conference for the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Teaching the New Narrative August 2014 Panel

2. Presentation: bit.ly/aejmc14-litjourn OR Contact info: Email: mitzi.lewis@mwsu.edu Twitter: @mitzilewis 3. Organization Affiliation 0 20 40 60 IALJS Magazine Division Small Programs Interest Group Other 4. AAUW American Association of University Women ACCM Advisers of Christian Collegiate Media ACLA American Comparative Literature Association AEJMC Commission on Status of Women AEJMC Cultural & Critical Studies AEJMC Cultural and Critical Studies Division AEJMC History Division AEJMC Newspaper & Online News Division AEJMC Religion and Media Interest Group AEJMC Visual Communication Division AJHA American Journalism Historians Association AOJ Association of Opinion Journalists (formerly NCEW National Conference of Editorial Writers) 5. APSA American Political Science Association ASJMC Association of Schools in Journalism and Mass Communication Aust Prof Writers Association BAAHE Belgian Association of Anglicists in Higher Education BLASA Belgian Luxembourg American Studies Association Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center CCA Community College Association CMA College Media Advisers ECRA European Communication and Research Association 6. EPA Evangelical Press Association IAMCR International Association for Media and Communication Research ICA International Communication Association IRE Investigative Reporters and Editors ISA NAHJ National Association of Hispanic Journalists NASW National Association of Social Workers? NAWE National Association of Writers in Education Newspaper Online Division ONA Online News Association Other AEJMC sections Other emerging media groups 7. PCA Popular Culture Association RSAP Research Society for American Periodicals SANEF South African National Editors' Forum Some Norwegian organizations for reporters and authors SPJ Society of Professional Journalists SXSW (South by Southwest) Interactive TWUC Writer's Union of Canada 8. Countries represented Norway Poland Portugal Several South Africa United Kingdom United States Australia Belgium Brazil Canada China Finland Germany 9. Age in Years 20-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+ no response 10. 20-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+ Age in Years excluding non-respondents average 51.9 median 53.5 min. 20 max. 70 11. Years teaching 0-4 10-14 15-1920 or more 5-9 no response 12. Student level taught both graduate undergrad no response 13. 0 20 40 60 80 100 print (text) video audio slideshows other #ofresponses In what form do you have your students produce work (as class projects or assignments) in multi-platform journalism (and if you stick to one platform, please check just that one). 14. Select comments I incorporate audio, video and slideshows in my capstone course, but not in my longform course. I require a multimedia of their choice of platform to accompany a print piece. Most assignments are written for print, but one assignment is to be done using video and/or still shots with an audio track and narration. 15. Select comments, contd. We use platforms like The Creativist to create long-form, digital and cinematic stories that are native to mobile and eReader environments. We also use programs like the InDesign to create some basic prototypes for interactive stories. We will be working with the Adobe Digital Publishing Studio as well. 16. What platforms do you teach students to use to deliver long-form narrative? 0 20 40 60 print book ebook print newspaper online newspaper print magazine online magazine class blog/website students own blog/website another publishers blog/website student media Facebook Twitter Tumblr Pinterest YouTube/Vimeo other (please specify) # of responses 17. Select comments I'm involved in a program that teaches new forms, although my own teaching concentrates on words and still photos, with occasional forays into video. I don't teach platforms, just how to write a long-form story. I've also started using Cowbird.com for shorter narratives in class. 18. Select comments How does not do "long-form narrative" 140 characters at a time on Twitter??? Not clear what you mean here since you can't really DELIVER long-form narrative on Facebook and Twitter. You can promote it on those social media channels and I encourage students to do that. 19. What do these new platforms offer long-form narrative? Increased Likelihood for Publication New platforms offer venues for publication and dissemination of texts that would otherwise remain unknown Additional Publication Space Unlimited space on the Internet, with the exception of the insipid Twitter Opportunity to Promote Work The capacity to advertise long-form narratives at other sites Broader Audience Broader audience, broader way of telling a story 20. Do these new platforms change the stories we tell? If yes, how? Enhancement More intertextuality, via technological enablers Engagement They throw up new juxtapositions of image and text, and digital reading has different affordances Dimension The new platforms literally open up the world of potential stories Exposure Provide opportunities to catch the attention of potential audiences who may not have otherwise been exposed to the story 21. How do these new platforms change how we work with the long-form conceptual essentials of character, setting, plot, theme, voice, and structure? Essentials Remain Unchanged New platforms do not change the above-mentioned essentials, as [a] new platform is not a stage for narrative metamorphosis Challenges They force students to think as multiplatform editors Improve Storytelling Additional ways to develop and display these essentials 22. How do these new platforms change how we work with the long-form conceptual essentials of character, setting, plot, theme, voice, and structure? (contd) Change the Form With multimedia we can now emphasize capturing audio or video clips [that] highlight the most dramatic moments. This will change the form Persona Characters, possibly including the writer/narrator, are literally seen, which may change the persona the writer chooses in the prose Expanded Possibilities The platforms are like tools in a toolbox, and the more tools one has to work with, the better the story will be 23. Are there any new conceptual essential(s) that these new platforms introduce? If yes, please list. Equality More equality between writer and reader in terms of accessibility to sources Interaction They allow interaction, very short but very quick bursts of information, meshing of e-media with writing, photography, basically classic magazine and news journalism Engagement I find the opportunity for engagement to be a new concept, the idea that one can read, watch, hear about a topic and then also become engaged in it as a citizen or participant 24. Are there any new conceptual essential(s) that these new platforms introduce? If yes, please list. (contd) Change Interactive media is an untapped resource for long-form journalistic storytelling, and is useful for reaching younger online-fixated audiences Accessibility Multiple points of entry Consistency New platforms require and promote consistency across media Editing New platforms force students to think as multiplatform editors rather than traditional print media editors 25. How can these new platforms help to sustain the viability of long-form narrative? Dissemination Dissemination, at national and international levels Increased Readership You get readers who didnt read these long stories to read them because they are promoted on social media and available in multiple formats (like on tablets) Appeal I believe they will make it more appealing to certain audiences that might not select to read a long-form piece otherwise Profitability By giving them space and cutting costs 26. There are some who would argue that digital or multi-platform journalism cannot by definition, be literary journalism. Do you feel that new forms of narrative journalism can be considered under the rubric of literary journalism? no yes no response 27. Whats so good about the emergence of new media platforms for literary journalism? Greater access to younger, more diverse audiences Allows for new dimensions of story telling Presents new challenges, develops new skills for students Not only for the good writers: Teaching multiplatform enables students with other skills to learn about and participate in narrative journalism 28. Challenges Increased demands Writers are now forced to be videographers, photographers, audio engineers, etc. Although the newshole is, theoretically, bottomless, the pressure is to keep it short and snappy Story selection It may be that the new platforms privilege story topics that are more easily illustrated visually, so that important but complex issues that cant be easily supported with images and video are overlooked Importance of editing is marginalized Long is not a good in itself, it if it not also EDITED. This does not always hpapen on digital platforms 29. Challenges Profitability I am not interested in blogging for free Distraction Sometimes, when youre into a narrative, the last thing you want is to be interrupted. It makes you lose focus. The difficulty is the jammed airwaves Keeping up There is little training to allow faculty to make the leap. 30. Interview Findings: Collaboration is Key Within courses Between courses Between schools Three elements are essential 1)Positive interdependence between students 2)An outcome to which everyone contributes 3)A sense of commitment and responsibility of the group's preparation, process and