J-Students: The Social Media ‘Haves’ and ‘Have-Nots’

UCLA Daily Bruin EIC Anthony Pesce was disappointed at the lack of practical advice and support provided by speakers, overseers, and his j-student peers at the 2008 ACP/CMA national conference (basically *the* annual get-together of U.S. j-students and the people who love them). 


In a post for the MediaShift Idea Lab group blog, he singled-out a keynote speech in which wondrous student-created multimedia examples were shown.  The problem: They were so high-level professional that their was no real relevance to what can be done on deadline with a typical, multi-tasking student staff.


It’s a complaint I’ve heard more and more from students in recent years: The talk about new media’s potential and the here’s-what-you-can-do examples are inspiring but the actual ground-level instruction is often missing or only hinted at.


A screenshot of some video that Pesce captured from the ACP/CMA national conference keynote speech. Click on pic to check out vid.


Pesce wrote that j-students’ flagging social media awareness also left an impression:


[At a meeting he attended with other student eds. during the conference] I started to see how simple knowledge of social media can start to divide news organizations into haves and have-nots- even people my age, and even in college newsrooms. I hear from a lot of people that J-Schools aren’t teaching social media tools, and aren’t doing a great job of teaching multimedia either. Everyone keeps saying . . . that my generation needs to be the one that teaches the professionals how to use social media and create interactive content online. But who is going to teach us? Many of the papers that sat in on that technology roundtable, and a number of other people I have met at this conference, didn’t know how to use Twitter or an RSS feed, didn’t know what a CMS is, and had no idea where to begin with multimedia content.


And the man is one to talk: He started and is overseeing Project Populous, a user-generated online network aimed at creating and sharing Web page templates of use for college and community news outlets. In Pesce’s words: “There is a true need out there for a simple and powerful tool for newsrooms to use to create a great website.”

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