Partnering with local media great experience for Cedarville journalism students

Developing partnerships with local media outlets for students to gain reporting experience away from campus takes time. When I came to Cedarville University to teach journalism in 2009, it was a primary goal.

In those first five years of the program, we averaged about one student a year gaining experience through an internship, practicum or freelance work in our local area. Finally, this semester we have nine students doing work for academic credit for outside agencies. Five of them are reporting for the Springfield News-Sun, two for the Xenia  Daily Gazette and two for the Athletes In Action website in Xenia.

These are great opportunities for our students to develop their journalism skills, to learn professional skills and to build their portfolios. And it’s great for the News-Sun, the Gazette and AIA because like all news and information businesses they don’t have the amount of staff members they once did.

This past weekend, two of our students covered weekend events for the News-Sun. Lauren Eissler covered the Fair at New Boston at George Rogers Clark Park in Clark County. And Kathryn Sill covered the CedarFest community church service in Cedarville.

If you are interested in learning more about the Cedarville journalism program, there is more information on the CU website or you can write me with questions by clicking on Contact on the side menu on this website.

Cedarville students learning to be mobile reporters

What students do outside the classroom is so important. I am teaching a class in mobile reporting this fall, so we will be outside of the classroom on a lot of assignments. But the outside-of-the-classroom aspect I am talking about is the work that isn’t for a grade.

The more students understand the value of co-curricular activities the better portfolio they will build and the more ready they will be to excel at internships and jobs. Cedars, our student newspaper and website at Cedarville University, is a great outlet for gaining experience. Writing traditional print stories has been our strong suit and what students gravitate toward. But students are starting to get more interested in online multimedia.

Cedarville held its annual Involvement Fair this weekend. Student organizations and local churches and ministries come to campus to recruit students to volunteer with their organizations. Emily Paul and Lauren Eissler put together the video below by asking students what they like to be involved in at Cedarville.

The video was shot with an iPhone using a Rode smartLav mic and a Rode RODEGrip+. These are great tools for doing spot and breaking news interviews. I will be sharing much from our mobile reporting class this semester. This is just a preview.

Rode smartlav rodegrip

Learning to write well takes practice

Learning to write well takes practice. No one sits through a lecture on writing and becomes a good writer that day.
The above presentation is one I have shared twice this week as fall semester has begun at Cedarville University. And I emphasized that it takes a lot of practice to become a good writer. One aspect about writing that I love is that you are always learning new and better ways to express yourself to be more clear, concise and precise.
Mark Weinstein is the public relations director at Cedarville, and for, I think, the third straight year he invited me to his yearly training session for student PR writers. This year he has a crop of first-year employees. Most of them I have had in journalism classes, so some of the things I said they had heard before. For the others, a lot, if not all, of what I shared was new.
My goal with this group and every time I teach writing skills and theories is to teach the process. And to provide some tips and tools that will push them toward practicing the art of writing clear, concise and precise.
I also teach a writing class for our applied communications majors. Some come to the class with some good writing skiils, others do not. So I shared this presentation with them the first day of class as an overview for all of the things we will dig into this semester.