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Journalism Experts Gather to Discuss Challenges in the Digital Age

February 13, 2013

Dave Ottalini 301-405-4076

Note: Some content provided by the Journalism Interactive 2013 website and Gary Green.

Journalism Interactive Conference 2013COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Faculty from the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism traveled to Florida this past weekend for the second Journalism Interactive Conference - designed for educators, journalists, scholars and students to explore how journalism schools are meeting the challenge of the digital age. The focus was specifically on Data, Design, Mobile and Participation.

The Merrill College and University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communications formed a partnership last year to rotate the conference every other year between the two schools. The first Journalism Interactive event was held in College Park in 2011 and it will return to campus in 2014.

At the time the partnership was announced, Merrill College Journalism Dean Lucy Dalglish said, "We created the conference in 2011 with the aim of improving journalism education by fostering dialogue about new ways of teaching digital media and we are pleased to partner with UF in continuing these discussions in 2013."

Attendees came to this year's event from as far away as Kuwait. The program schedule featured some 46 academic and industry speakers from throughout the U.S. Social media was used extensively as the interactive sessions took place, including Twitter and a live blog.

Ronald Yaros, professor of new media and mobile journalism at the University of MarylandSessions included discussions about the journalist as coder, what journalists can learn from each other, landing cool jobs, student reporting in the real world, Tweeting your assignment and an exploration of the strengths and weaknesses of Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premier.

One of the highlights was the "7 Minute Tutorial" in which 10 tutorials offered 10 skills over a 70 minute period.

One of those speakers was Ronald Yaros, professor of new media and mobile journalism at the University of Maryland. He offered the top ten lessons for mobile journalism, including:

1. It's not just production of mobile content, it's the assembly of it for news consumers.
2. A live event for students to cover is not the same as classroom practice.
3. Practice, practice, practice…hold the device steady!
4. Conduct brief interviews. It's not a mobile interview for "60 Minutes."
5. No, viewers won't turn their screen sideways.  Hold your device horizontal, not vertical.
6. Pay attention to lighting and framing.
7. Most mobile video has poor audio. You must stand close to the interviewee
8. Think about adding audio with photos
9. Learn the skills but think out of the box. The audiences are changing.
10. Be prepared for more changes in mobile technology. It will only get better.