David Baines – An outline argument for dropping shorthand

David Baines – An outline argument for dropping shorthand

I have never heard anyone demanding that, we teach our students how to use an em-rule, sizing wheel and font book before we let them get to grips with InDesign or QuarkXpress. Or that before they learn how to record and edit video, they should learn to shoot, develop and print 35mm film - and edit it with a razor blade. But it remains an article of faith for some in journalism education and in parts of the industry that, even in the digital age, they must be taught shorthand, says David Baines. [Image - Roger H. Goun / Flickr] In an interview on the BBC’s Today Programme a few years ago, the NCTJ’s chair Kim Fletcher said that beyond its practical implications, ‘the notion of learning shorthand - I think it demonstrates a real dedication to the craft. And it means in a day when so many people are jumping up blogging, calling themselves journalists. You go and take the...
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Ben Falk: new recruit to Coventry

Ben Falk: new recruit to Coventry

Coventry's rise up the university league tables has astonished many in academia. Positioned at 15, it ranks well above Birmingham, York, Edinburgh and many other 'old' universities. New recruit, Ben Falk, explains the transition from London Met to starting as senior lecturer in the journalism department and discusses the challenges ahead. There’s few things more nerve-wracking on your first day at a new job than sitting in an all-staff meeting. Looking around the room, seeing people reminiscing about their summer, glance furtively at the notes they’ve scribbled down on the train or just shovel a sandwich into their mouths before it all kicks off. You don’t bring a sandwich in case some mayonnaise ends up on your freshly-ironed shirt. But as the meeting progresses, it soon becomes apparent that regardless of the institution, the same concerns, goals and desires remain. What do the students need? Are they getting it? How can we provide it for them? How do we improve ourselves? Moving to Coventry...
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Journalism students cover #GE2015

Journalism students cover #GE2015

Journalism students used Periscope, Skype and Whats App to broadcast live from election counts across the UK. Birmingham City, Bournemouth, Leeds Beckett, Salford, Sunderland, Westminster and Winchester were among the universities who had journo students covering election night. Brunel journalism students were perhaps the luckiest of the lot with the Uxbridge and South Ruislip count occurring on campus. BJTC accredited courses shared multimedia content (search #BJTC for examples) and did live two-ways via a dedicated election hub. Sky and ITV recruited students from journalism courses to help out with their broadcasts.   Thank you to our 116 #bjtc reporters at counts and the hundreds back in newsrooms for helping with our Election Hub! pic.twitter.com/ygxAAWTMy0 — BJTC (@BJTC_UK) May 8, 2015 A lot can be done using cheap or free apps and many universities experimented with mobile journalism. As always, the main problem is access to bandwidth (mobile broadband and wifi) which was a key challenge at some election counts. A few highlights: In no particular order.... Your Election 15...
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New site for EU student scholarships

We have been notified of a non-profit EU-funded student finance portal European Funding Guide (www.european-funding-guide.eu). The platform helps students in 16 EU countries access more than 12,000 scholarship programs and other forms of financial aid, worth a total of 27 billion Euros. Financial difficulties are still the number one reason for students aborting or never even starting a higher education course and this new portal aims to help. The portal has researched and categorized over 12,000 scholarships, grants and awards across the whole EU worth more than 27 billion Euros per year. The platform is completely free of charge and can be used by students at the bachelor, masters and doctoral level. The site also includes information about scholarships (for example, the most common myths, such as:  not all scholarships are granted on a merit or need-base) with the help of currently more than 6,880 supporters....
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NCTJ report lists key skills for student journalists

NCTJ report lists key skills for student journalists

J-schools should be teaching 'new and enhanced skills' in areas including ethics, fact checking, digital skills, PR, freelancing, entrepreneurialism, time management and audience relationships according to a new report from the NCTJ. The accrediting body that is probably best known for its dogged commitment to 100-WPM shorthand (sorry, this writer only managed 80), states: Change happens to all jobs over time. For some occupations, the change is such that the job all but disappears from the economy, to be replaced by jobs that emerge. For other jobs, such as journalism we presume, it is the nature of the job that changes. It expresses concern about 'shrinkage' that has meant that local newspapers are perhaps no longer the main route for students to get jobs in professional journalism. It also turns rather NUJ when it states: There is a changing age balance of journalists, with older, more experienced, journalists being replaced by younger workers. This is driven both by costs (younger journalists being, on average,...
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A training day for new hackademics?

The AJE Committee is seeking views on holding a training day aimed at journalists looking to find work lecturing and those in the first few years of teaching. It is in the very early stages of planning, but we are keen to establish if there is demand for such an event. It is likely there would be sessions on getting into teaching, university structures and education jargon, assessment, research, planning teaching etc. So if you have colleagues that don't know the difference between their summative and formative assessment methods and think the NSS is a rival to CNN, why not mention this to them? The event would be promoted to practising journalists and among early career AJE members. If you would like to attend the event, would like to contribute to the day as a speaker or simply think it is a great / terrible idea - please email the website editor and he will forward messages to the Committee. Email: theajeuk@gmail.com    ...
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