October 31, 2007

TIME OUT: Fall Internship/Fellowship Deadlines

More info from NAHJ:
Postmark deadline: Nov. 15, 2007
The St. Petersburg Times' internship program introduces college students to careers in the newspaper industry. The paper offers internships in News reporting, copy editing and experience working with the editorial board.
Click here for more information.

Requirements include a timed newswriting test
Postmark deadline: Nov. 15, 2007
This summer internship program is a highly selective, 12-week, individually tailored training program for aspiring print, photo, graphics and multimedia student journalists. The internship is open to full-time juniors, seniors (including fall 2007 graduates) and graduate students at U.S. colleges and universities.
Click here for more information.

Requirements include a writing test sent upon receipt of each application.
Postmark deadline: Nov. 15 (application and writing test)
Interns work as reporters, photographers or artists, and prepare assignments for publication. Applicants are encouraged to designate a preference in areas such as news, sports, entertainment, features and business. However, editors make final determination. Selection is based on application and other submitted materials, and are announced in March 2008.
Click here for more information.

Postmark deadline: Nov. 15, 2007
The six-week summer program at Poynter teaches young journalists the skills they need to become a better writer, designer, or photojournalist. The participants in the program spend six weeks covering a community beat in St. Petersburg, a city of 250,000.
Click here for more information

Postmark deadline: Nov. 16, 2007
This is a 10-week internship for the summer 2008. We're looking for college students interested in a career as a reporter, photographer, copy editor, page designer, graphic artist, multimedia producer or web developer. Open to full-time juniors, seniors, graduate students and from those who have graduated within six months from the start of the internship. Previous professional daily deadline experience preferred. Must have worked on the campus newspaper or other publications.
Click here for more information.

Postmark deadline: Nov. 16, 2007
This fellowship program begins at the NAA Marketing/Connections Conference in Orlando, February 2008. The year-long fellowship provides women and minority professionals with a thorough comprehension of the digital newspaper operation. Fellows participate in a series of workshops designed to assist them as they create a strategic business plan for a newspaper site within a mid-sized market. The goal of the program is to identify and develop women and people of color to become the next generation of digital media leaders. There is no charge to the fellow or their newspaper to participate.
Click here for more information

Postmark deadline: Dec. 31, 2007
The year-long fellowship begins Aug. 25, 2008. It offers a stipend of more than $40,000, plus benefits, which includes paid vacation. Fellows get rigorous, hands-on training in every aspect of public radio journalism -- writing, reporting, producing and editing, for both radio and the Web. KROC Fellows work primarily at NPR headquarters in Washington D.C., though each Fellowship will include an assignment to an NPR member station.
Click here for more information.

October 24, 2007

OPINION: No Shield for J-Students

Walking on the Ledge
Sheilding Student Journalists

Last month, the US House of Representatives passed the first part of a long overdue federal shield law for journalists.

by Miguel M. Morales

Not all journalists celebrated when H. R. 2102, known as the Free Flow of Information Act of 2007, or FFIA, passed Oct 16.

I was one of them.

A statement issued by the
Society of Professional Journalists says that as written, FFIA protects bloggers and freelancers.

However, as written, the House version of FFIA covers “a person who regularly gathers, prepares, collects, photographs, records, writes, edits, reports, or publishes news or information that concerns local, national, or international events or other matters of public interest for dissemination to the public for a substantial portion of the person's livelihood or for substantial financial gain.

Most bloggers and freelancers do not fall into this category, nor do student journalists.

Adam Adam Goldstein, attorney advocate for the Student Press Law Center, an organization advocating the legal rights of student journalists, agrees.

"The [House] language would exclude the vast majority of student journalists," he said in an e-mail. "but it's not as grim as all that."

Goldstien is referring to another shield law, S.2035 (also known as the Free Flow of Information Act of 2007), that is currently in the Senate.

My knowledge of how bills become laws amounts to this 'Schoolhouse Rock' cartoon.

What Goldstien and other student journalist advocates find hopeful is that S.2035 covers “a person who is engaged in journalism.” This would truly cover bloggers, freelancers and student journalists.

However, S.2035 also has a major drawback in that it only applies in cases where a journalist explicitly promises confidentiality.

"At some point, the versions will have to be reconciled," Goldstien said. "The reason for the disagreement is the difficulty in attempting to define who is or isn't a 'journalist.'"

"The problem is that, with everyone communicating online, everyone is a publisher in a sense," he continued, "and if you define 'journalist' that broadly, then instead of a reporter's privilege, you end up with a universal privilege not to answer to a judge, which isn't the goal."

The longest-incarcerated journalist for contempt of court in U.S. history, Josh Wolf, spent 226 days in federal prison for his refusal to cooperate with law enforcement. Wolf's blog, Media Sphere, explains why journalists need a federal shield law -- but not FFIA.

"There's a sense that student journalists could be covered in the eventual law, it's just a question of finding the right way to do it and making people in the House aware of the problem," Goldstein added.

In the long term, students should join professional journalism organizations and urge them to advocate protection for student journalists.

In the short term, we need to urge Congress to include bloggers, freelancers and student journalists in the final version of the federal shield law. If not, we’ll follow the Schoolhouse Rock lead and yell a few interjections of our own.

October 17, 2007

TIME OUT: Latino Citizen Journalism

More from NAHJ:

QuePasa News Network (QPNN), part of QuePasa.com one the largest Latino on-line communities, seeks student correspondents. It also has an awards program to encourage student-generated content for the new Citizen Video Journalism website, QPNN.tv.

October 11, 2007

Commentary: Town Hall notes

Below is a summary of the Town Hall meeting that took place yesterday. The summary comes via the college's electronic mail server, Infolist.

Man, I should have been at this meeting. Note: my sarcastic comments are in red.

Terry Calaway held his third town hall meeting at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10, in Craig Community Auditorium. These were the topics covered:

Dr. Calaway reviewed some of the actions taken in response to questions from the September Town Hall meeting:
  • Regarding the lack of enforcement of the smoking policies, if you see someone smoking in an area not designated for it, please contact Dennis Day or Gus Ramirez. I'm glad those individuals responsible for enforcing the policy are only here during the day because everyone knows smokers don't attend evening or weekend classes.
  • Meetings about the proposed reorganization continue with Instructional deans, the vice president and the executive vice president. Meetings with assistant deans and deans are still to come, as are meetings with faculty and administrative support staff in the Instructional areas. Plans are progressing, Dr. Calaway said, but we still need more input. He anticipates an update on the next steps in mid-November.
  • Facilities is also looking into concerns about the elevators in the Regnier Center and the procedures to follow to help disabled people out of the building if the elevators ever go down. Maybe someone should ask disabled students which elevators routinely break down. I know in years past the elevator in the Commons building that leads to the Student Senate office has been a problem. The advertising manager of The Campus Ledger was trapped in it several times.
Dr. Calaway thanked faculty and staff for their feedback regarding the draft of the AQIP systems portfolio. He encouraged people to get involved in AQIP, especially in the yearly progress update on the college’s action plans and to speak up if they see something they disagree with. Speak up if we don't agree with something? Yes, that worked so well for Teresa Lee, Andrea Evans and Sonia Hall -- all alleged victims of sexual harassment and who were terminated or resigned their positions at the college. Look, just because we have a new president doesn't mean we still don't have all those jerks the old president hired.

Dr. Calaway then asked for new questions.

Q: Where are we in dealing with underprepared students and helping them succeed in class?
Following a discussion on how JCCC currently assesses students’ abilities and the current attrition rate for both students overall and first-term students, Dr. Calaway asked what would be the long-term solution for students. If learning comes first, then we need to do what it takes to truly make learning come first, which would mean more emphasis on reading and basic skills. He feels we could be doing a disservice to students if we’re not testing all students, enforcing prerequisites, and requiring certain skill levels to enroll in a class. One fear is that if we were to do this, enrollment would decline. But if that happens, he says, we would live with it, and in the long run we would have better prepared students. Learn to live with a decline in enrollment? OK, I'll give that one to you, Mr. President. That takes some stones even though JCCC's enrollment has declined steadily for the past three semesters.

Some of the strategic plan initiatives involve working with underprepared students, and the Underprepared Student Committee will propose to the Strategic Planning Council an advocacy center for students who run into difficulties, which would be a joint project with Student Services and Instruction. And, it was noted, Student Services would need more staff. Are they really working WITH underprepared students or just on their behalf? There is a difference.

Q: Will diversity training be mandatory?
The diversity committee is discussing plans for a multicultural resource center for students, faculty and community; the job description for the new diversity officer that will be hired; and training activities. The new diversity officer will work with Human Resources and Staff and Organizational Development on developing training. We need to establish baseline training needs for everyone on campus. But first we have to identify what we want to do and how. That means 'yes.'

Q: The new vice president and dean positions that have been announced seem more “topical” than “area-based”, as they have been in the past. What’s the faculty relationship in such an environment?
Take away the silos, Dr. Calaway said. In a quality organization, any individual in the organization should be able to give input to any other part, and the silos start to disappear. We also have to get out of the dynamic of hierarchy and into one of shared vision.
Silos? Does he mean since both silos and hierarchies are vertical, they're bad things? I grew up as a migrant farm worker and I know that silos store foodstuffs like grain and feed. As a community, we'd want to 'store' our 'grain' so when an area needs help (like our poorly funded arts programs), we can dip into our reserve to sustain it until 'spring' arrives. I guess the analogy doesn't really matter because it didn't answer the question.

Q: You’ve described your role as someone who brings energy to a project. Can you elaborate? What happens if someone doesn’t assume the energy level you’re projecting?
It’s important for people to see energy in the president. It helps them get motivated. But you can’t see it as an affront if some aren’t as motivated as you are. Everyone has energy about something here. You have to find out what it is and keep it going. It’s okay that not everybody is motivated about the same thing. You just need to be motivated about something. Conversely, we cannot punish individuals who's passion/motivation/energy is to challenge the system. Creating cadre of Head Nodders and Yes Men (and Women) is what ultimately brought the college to its knees last year. BTW, energy is neither good nor bad. Our reaction to energy dictates a positive or negative outcome. Those critical of the college provide an essential service as do those who cheer from the sidelines.

Q: Why is the “flash cube” (RC 270) in the Regnier Center locked up? It was intended to be for student collaboration and impromptu meetings.
It was noted from the audience that the room is being converted to a high-end conference room, which prompted another question about why that was done without consultation. Dr. Calaway said he would look into that. This brought up a larger issue of the lack of student space. Bill Osborn noted that the new library project could help resolve that lack of student space and asked for input. What the heck is a Flash Cube? Whatever it is, it's been taken away from us -- just like every other student space on campus. In the search for space the college always sacrifices students areas. A new or remodeled library will offer lots of uncomfortable chairs and probably a nice vending machine -- in five years. But until then, students should commandeer the Regnier Center with its cushy leather chairs and WiFi. We should hold club meetings in its giant foyer and spread out on the pristine floors to assemble class projects. I'll be napping on the afore mentioned leather chairs.

Q: Is there a way to increase student involvement in the Town Hall meetings?
Dr. Calaway said he has a meeting with student government this week, and this subject will be on the agenda. He’s had conversations with the Student Senate president about more student involvement. If there is any organization on campus that's more out of touch with students than the Student Senate it's probably the bookstore. Here's how to get students at town hall meetings :
  • hold a student only town hall meeting -- meaning no administrators or faculty
  • provide food
  • hold the meeting in the library or the food court or in the courtyard -- anywhere but a classroom
  • let students skip class or get extra credit for attending
  • provide food
  • hold it at a time when they're not all in class
  • provide food
Q: At your previous college you had a Grade Check Day in the middle of the term. Can you talk about that?
At Central Arizona, Grade Check Day was Oct. 1. Faculty built it into their syllabus as a time to interact with students at risk to see how they were progressing in class. I think we had that in middle school -- but hey, it worked. Good luck on getting every instructor to do it.

Q: What is the timeline for hiring the person to fill the new diversity position?
He hopes to have the position filled by spring, Dr. Calaway said. The job description should be completed in the next 10 days or so and then we’ll post the job (there is no position title yet). The new position will need to be approved by the board of trustees, and he has started discussions with them. The position will be funded out of the president’s contingency budget this year and be part of the general fund budget in 08-09. I'm totally excited about this and the multicultural center. I don't have anything bad to say about either but I'm sure I can come up with something if pressed.

Q: Will the new diversity position be involved with the diversity curriculum requirements?
The faculty is responsible for curriculum. This position would be a resource for faculty. Staff and faculty. It's not all about the faculty, you know. Other people work here, too.

Q: In the past we had a group on campus to look at our salaries. Will we be doing that again in the future?
Most organizations do a salary study every three years. We haven’t done one in 9-10 years. There are gaps between where we are and where we should be. An RFP for a salary study is almost ready to go. It needs to be reviewed by a few more people to make sure we’ve covered everything and then we’ll release it – probably in about 10 days. Can we examine benefits along with salary?

Q: What is the time frame for hiring a new person to fill the position of director of Staff and Organizational Development?
We hope to have the job posted by next week. They do good work. Although there should be more of a push to let student employees know they can take advantage of their services.

Q: What plans might be in place for part-time faculty to become full-time faculty?
Dr. Calaway deferred to Marilyn Rhinehart. Dr. Rhinehart said that no formal initiative is in place along those lines. However, the college often hires adjunct faculty to fill full-time positions; that data could be made available. Dr. Calaway asked for suggestions for a better way. Part-time to full-time? That's not the way most colleges and universities are heading. JCCC prides itself on not leading the way into what other colleges aren't doing.

Final discussion concerned the time of the Town Hall meetings, which have shifted around to try to accommodate various schedules. Mid-afternoon is probably the best time for faculty. The town hall meetings attract administrators, faculty, and other employees who have the luxury of leaving their desks to attend. However, custodians, maintenance workers, food service workers and other the hourly employees -- people who make sure the college runs on a daily basis -- can't attend. If they left their posts to attend a meeting the college would grind to a halt. Some don't even work during the day when all the meetings take place. What's up with that? Can we truly have a town hall meeting when certain 'citizens' of our 'town' cannot attend?

Dr. Calaway thanked the audience for coming. And I thank you for reading.

October 9, 2007

TIME OUT: Chip off the old Block

Another scholarship/internship opportunity from my contacts at NAHJ:

Interested in a career as a newspaper reporter, online journalist, copy editor, photographer or graphic artist? This internship is for you.

The Chips Quinn Scholars program, sponsored by the Freedom Forum provides training, internships and $1,100 scholarship to college students of color who are pursuing careers in journalism.

College juniors, seniors or recent graduates with majors or career goals in print journalism are eligible to be nominated by their schools. Nominees must be majoring or minoring in journalism or have firmly demonstrated an interest in print journalism as a career.

Nominees are matched with participating newspapers from across the nation for 10- or 12-week internships. Nominees must be U.S. citizens or permanent U.S. residents. Selected scholars participate in a four-day orientation program in preparation for their internship experiences.


Students will receive:
  • Paid 10 or 12-week internship at a daily newspaper
  • $1,100 scholarship
  • $500 housing stipend
  • Mileage reimbursement to and from your internship
  • Intensive, ongoing training by journalism professionals
  • Four-day orientation program
  • Networking with more than 1,000 Chips Quinn alumni.

Download the application here and visit Chips Quinn Web site.

For more information, contact:

Karen Catone
director, Chips Quinn Scholars Program
(703) 284-3934

October 3, 2007

TIME OUT: Incivility

My college’s new president brings with him a new campus wide initiative – civility. Initially I balked at it because … well, what does that mean exactly? However, this week I came across a June 2006 essay for newsroom managers by Edward Miller called “Incivility.”

I may not know what’s in store for my campus but if it falls along the lines of Miller’s essay, I might actually be reporting some positive affects of the initiative in the near future – either that or its failure.

Reflections on Leadership is a weekly essay sent to more than 10,000 editors and newsroom managers around the world. As a student, it’s given me a professional edge. Student journalists who want to know how to manage their staff or learn how to manage their bosses should definitely subscribe.
Reflections on Leadership
By Edward D. Miller

When organizations are under stress, incivility intensifies:

  • The managing editor chastises an assigning editor at the morning news meeting for a story that missed an important point.
  • A copy editor in Features rudely refuses to pitch in on some routine editing when Metro gets in a bind on a special project.
  • A staffer teases people about their age or weight. He thinks it's harmless kidding; his targets think it's ridicule.
  • A newsroom gossiper openly dishes the dirt.

In terms of severity, incivility may not seem to be in a class with sexual harassment, but its impact on the newsroom culture may be even more insidious. Sexual harassment is against the law, and victims have powerful legal remedies, but no laws protect us against incivility.

Research cited in the June 2005 issue of the Harvard Business Review concluded this about incivility:
“It corrodes people's productivity, performance, motivation, creativity and helpfulness. Half of those on the receiving end will lose work time worrying about future interactions with the instigator...and one quarter will consciously reduce their work effort. Half will contemplate changing jobs, and one in eight will actually quit in order to avoid the uncivil situation.”

It's difficult to gauge whether these estimates hold true in newsrooms, but suppose the numbers are even close to accurate. The problem and its consequences may be more prevalent than we would like to think.

Incivilities are often hard to identify and root out. The research cited above observed that although incivility is sometimes visible and isolated, “it's often covert, retaliatory and repetitive, which makes it all the more harmful and difficult to manage.”

Even more frustrating is a victim's feeling of powerlessness. Complaining present two obstacles: It's hard to make the case, and doing so risks retaliation from the aggressor. Often a victim’s safest course of action is to let it go. But the consequences of avoidance can be severe. Not only does the problem remain, fear of repeated offenses and an increased sense of powerlessness add to the stress.

What should managers do?

Be alert to incivilities. A recent book entitled Broken Windows, Broken Business by Michael Levine tells the story of New York City's strategy against crime in the early years of the Giuliani administration. The title comes from the studies that linked the growth of crime with the eroding appearance of a neighborhood. When people saw buildings with broken windows, they deduced that the neighborhood was on the decline and crime was on the rise, regardless of the actual crime statistics. Similarly, when citizens saw police tolerate seemingly “harmless” law-breaking -- jay-walking, running red-lights or guys with squeegees extorting drivers stopped at intersections -- the perceived official indifference to petty lawlessness suggested the presence of more serious crime. By cracking down on the legal equivalents of “broken windows,” law enforcement officials could foster a climate where a commitment to lawfulness began to replace a tolerance of lawlessness. Editors need to be alert to and intolerant of the “broken windows” of incivility in the newsroom.

Have zero tolerance for inappropriate behavior. One of the most dangerous work environments in the world can be found aboard a U.S. Navy nuclear submarine, where carelessness could be catastrophic. Yet the safety record of U.S. nukes is remarkable, among the best in non-combat military or industrial environments. Why? The answer goes beyond superb training and dedication of the crews.

In most workplaces, if someone does something considered unsafe but no one was hurt as a result, the response from superiors is usually a sharp reminder of the safety practices and an admonition to not do it again. On a U.S. nuclear sub, however, any safety violation is punished to the full extent regardless of the actual outcome. Sailors learn there is no free ride from punishment for a near miss. The act itself is punished, not the consequences. Similarly, incivilities will not be contained unless senior editors make it clear that certain behaviors will not be tolerated. Period.

Don't “work around” the problem simply because the offender is a star performer or a highly ranked editor. Perks and preferences for top performers are often beneficial, but draw the line when the discrimination empowers inappropriate behavior. Some rules must apply to everyone.

Be aware of you own incivilities. When the offender is a senior editor, victims are left even more defenseless, and other potential offenders perceive no sanctions. Editors must have a keen self-awareness of the impact of their own actions.

Civil behavior is the general rule of the day in every newsroom I know. But the inevitable exceptions can do great damage if not identified and vigorously rooted out.

(c) Edward D. Miller 2006

“Hidden Harassment” by Gardiner Morse. Harvard Business Review, June 2005.
Broken Windows, Broken Business by Michael Levine. Warner Books, 2005.

October 1, 2007

NEWS: Accreditation to his people

College calls for comments, criticisms
Johnson County Community College president likes the idea of assigning homework -- even to the community.

The latest communique from newly appointed JCCC president Terry Calaway, asks for feedback on the college's renewal application for accreditation.

The message was
posted today at 8:15 am on Infolist, the college's electronic mail server.

In the past month, Calaway has used Infolist to announce town hall meetings, changes to the college's organizational structure and to encourage employees to contribute to the United Way campaign.

Today Infolist also announced Calaway's next town hall meeting will take place 9 - 10:30 am, Oct. 10 in GEB 233 on the JCCC campus.

Here is this morning's message regarding the accreditation application:

The Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) provides an alternative process through which an educational institution can maintain its accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

JCCC is part of AQIP, which calls upon institutions to undergo a systems appraisal every four years. This is an opportunity for us to get expert, objective, third-party feedback on our strengths and opportunities for improvement. In turn, what we learn from the systems appraisal will help us determine our next targets for advancing quality at JCCC through action projects and other plans.

The systems portfolio describes each of the major systems we currently employ to accomplish our mission and objectives. To create the systems portfolio, the AQIP committee (Dana Grove, Jeff Seybert, Ralph Juhnke, Carolyn Neptune, Sandra Warner and Julie Haas) answered questions dealing with context for analysis, processes, results, and improvement for each of the nine AQIP categories. In addition, an institutional overview presents a capsule picture of JCCC that provides readers the context for appreciating the institution’s choices and decisions.

JCCC’s systems portfolio is due to AQIP by Nov. 1. However, the committee doesn’t want to complete the document without feedback from the college community. Therefore, we are asking you to take the time to read the document and provide feedback. You’ll find a pdf of the systems portfolio at http://www.jccc.net/home/depts.php/001000/site/aqip.

You can provide feedback on the document by logging in to MyJCCC and clicking on the JCCC Applications tab and then, on the left, on the Human Resources link. You’ll then find a link to the AQIP portfolio feedback form. That brings up an online form you can use to submit your feedback for each category and the organization overview in the draft portfolio. The feedback form will be available between Oct. 1 and Oct. 8.

Please take the time to read through the document and provide your thoughts using the online feedback form. The final document submitted to AQIP will also be posted online, where it can serve as a reference for college students, faculty and staff and for the community. In February, the college will receive feedback from AQIP appraisers regarding what they see as the college’s strengths and opportunities for improvement. That summary too will be posted online.

The committee and I appreciate your assistance with this important project.