THE FIRST ROUND of CAO acceptances have filtered into Tipperary Institute and it looks like 22 new faces will meet me for Media Writing. I'm getting the inside scoop on these first year students by paging through Managing Generation Y by Carolyn Martin and Bruce Tulgan. They say that members of Generation Y "want to be 'paid volunteers' - to join organizations not because they have to, but because they really want to, because there's something significant happening there." Gen-Yers may share their lecturers' passion for multimedia but with a twist. They don't do things exactly the way they're told. They don't expect a long apprenticeship doing on the way up the payscale.
Some things I have noted about this slice of the Irish population:
THE FIRST TV signal I got in rented accommodation deep in the valleys of Tipperary came from Tralee where Ray d'Arcy hosted the Rose of Tralee competition. Although I've lived in Ireland for 10 years, I have not watched more than an hour of this traditional Irish event. Not knowing what to make of the current edition, I turned to United Irelander who explained, "it's a great traditional show and, if nothing else, it gives all those lovely girls a break from making the tea".
United Irelander -- "Top ten Tuesday: Roses of Tralee"
LONG-TIME BLOGGERS have an assortment of reasons to explain why they write online. I do it because good writing inspires. It feels like art. One of the reasons for maintaining a classroom blog is that it offers a forum to practise writing. In the newspaper industry, where training is woefully underfunded, sharing the lessons of great reporting and writing remains one of the best ways to learn the craft. It's the spirit behind the "Best Newspaper Writing" series, The Providence Journal's "Power of Words" site, Lee Enterprises' "Writing Matters," Bob Baker's "NewsThinking" and "No Train No Gain," home base for newspaper training editors and coaches. All of these sites deserve frequent visits by those beginning to learn Media Writing.
ONE ADVANTAGE of a virtual newsroom for Ireland would be comments back to the writers. I don't know if that's a major deliverable for Damien Mulley's Newsroom.ie but it's essential in my book. Several prominent Irishblogs don't have working comments. The comments section falls over or the comments get edited without a clear set of guidelines. Poynter's writers have made this functionality an essential element when talking about effective online sources of local information. Newsroom.ie needs to take this structure on board from the outset.
I THOUGHT THAT I was among a small minority when it comes to using Skype and Instant Messaging in a study environment. Every time I sit down at my work desk, I click through a half-dozen IM texts and about the same number of Skype voice mails. Nearly every one of them deal with third level questions or queries about possible research projects. Less than a hundred miles away, there's a hive of study buddies using Skype, according to Robin Blanford.
JOE BLOGGS BRINGS Rupert Murdoch into the frame during his weekly selection of Irishblogs. Sigla, Dick O'Brien, Damien Mulley, Gavin Sheridan and Alive in Limerick get mentioned in the two items covered by the paper's "News Features" section.
OBSERVING THE DEATH of ABC News anchor Peter Jennings, Bob Garfield in the Philadelphia Inquirer observes, "Too much has been made of 'the end of the anchor era,' There will always be anchors. Audiences demand the authority, stature, and celebrity that anchors confer to the reporting of what now passes for network news.
DUKE UNIVERSITY'S experiment with iPods now includes a deal with Public Radio International to provide digital audio files for classroom use. Duke professors will use portions of public radio shows "This American Life" and "Studio 360" for no charge. Students will be able to download the shows into their portable MP3 players--they won't need an iPod.
SPAM ASSASSIN has killed several press releases sent via email during the past month. Here are the reasons for the kills:
- Reason 0.1 NO_COST: The body of the press release said "No such thing as a free lunch".
- Reason 2.1 NA_DOLLARS: Text mentioned "a million North American dollars".
- Reason 1.7 INFO_TLD: The press release cited an URL in the INFO top-level domain.
I avoid all these things in mailings that I generate.