New semester and a new blog

The new semester has begun at the University of Scranton, and I will be replacing this with a new blog devoted to all communication majors and minors at the university.  You can follow the news at


e-Pulitzers could improve journalism

Roy Harris Jr. of the Christian Science Monitor, which recently transformed itself into an online-only news organization, writes that the recognition of Web-based journalism could reinvigorate the profession:

It’s time to reinvent the Pulitzers. Yes, daily papers suffer from waves of newsroom cutbacks, budget constriction, and coverage issues. But the business has been down before – at least journalistically. And at that time, the early 1900s, it was the advent of the Pulitzer Prizes that rescued papers from the riptide of sensational “yellow journalism.” With the first Pulitzers in 1917, reporters and editors suddenly found themselves mentioned alongside celebrated novelists and playwrights. Founder Joseph Pulitzer’s idea to elevate the best US newspapers helped usher in an era of excellent journalism.

Today, if the Pulitzers recognized excellence across a wider range of print and electronic content, they could help lift journalism once more.

[Continue reading e-Pulitzers]

The first Pultizer won by an online-only news agency would be a great boon for the so-called “new media.” However, one also wonders what it would do to the morale of the old.

Newswriting reminders

Req: N

Just a few reminders for Newswriting class…

♦ Our Speech story is due Friday in class.

♦ The class will attend next week’s meeting of Scranton City Council, which is scheduled for Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in council chambers (inside City Hall, N. Washington Avenue and Mulberry Street). This story will be due Friday, May 8.

♦The final exam is scheduled for Monday, May 18 at 10:15 a.m. in STT 464. Personality profile stories are due at the same time.

Need to catch up on current events?

Req: N

For those of you guessing that a Current Events quiz is around the corner and realizing that you haven’t been following the news as closely as you should, the new Google News Timeline provides a great tool for catching up.

Edward N. Albro of PCWorld notes that while the News Timeline is work in progress, it’s still fun:

News Timeline is mostly a new way to look at the same material that you can find through Google News Search. The Google engineer who built it, Andy Hertzfeld, says he was inspired by Google Maps, but instead of letting people navigate through space, he wanted to let them navigate through time. So if you want to see all the news reported about HP in April of 2007, for instance, that’s easy to do: you type HP into the search field and set the date for April 2007. When you get is a grid that shows stories about HP arranged in columns, one column for each week of the month.

But that’s kid’s stuff. In addition to searching the Google News database, you can search through content from specific blogs, magazines and newspapers. You can look only for news photos or videos. Or you can search for sports scores or information on movies and books. Want a blow-by-blow account of the year 1424? You can get it through Google’s connection to Wikipedia.

[Continue reading Timeline]

If you enter the current data and choose the “Day” format, you get a reasonably good look at what’s been happening for the past week. There’s no guarantee our quiz material will be covered there, but it should be.

Senate to examine future of newspapers

The Boston Globe reports that the Senate will hold hearings on the future of newspapers:

Senator John F. Kerry will hold hearings in Washington next week on the financial problems facing the newspaper industry, as dwindling advertising dollars push many US papers to the brink of closure.

The hearings by the Senate Commerce Committee, beginning April 30, are the latest effort in the nation’s capital to help out newspapers. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin, Democrat of Maryland, introduced a bill last month that would enable newspaper companies to restructure as nonprofits.

[Continue reading Senate Hearings]

I’m sure we’re all safe now.

Speech stories due Monday

Req: N

Speech stories for Newswriting will be due Wednesday, April 22 during class.

For those scrambling to find a last minute speech to cover, here are a few ideas:

Thursday, April 16, 12 p.m.
Schemel Forum Spring Luncheon Seminar Series:
“Obama’s Challenge: The Economic and the Political,” featuring Robert Kuttner, founding co-editor for the American Prospect and Senior Fellow at DEMOS.
Rose Room, Brennan Hall

Thursday, April 16, 7 – 9:30 p.m.
Lackawanna County Library Lecture Series presents Author Lisa Scottoline. Admission is free with a library card.
Scranton Cultural Center

Friday, April 17, 10:45 a.m.
Psychology Conference
“Racism Among the Well-Intentioned,” featuring Dr. John F. Dovidio, professor of psychology at Yale University. Note: Registration may be required. Visit their Web site for more information.
Brennan Hall, Room 228

Times-Trib internship applications due Thursday

Times-Trib Flag

As a reminder, applications are due Thursday, April 16, for the Fall 2009 internship with The Times-Tribune in Scranton.

Participants will have the chance to work inside a professional newsroom and to learn journalism in the midst of a real city press room with real deadlines and real responsibilities.Your duties as an intern would vary based on your interests and the skills you brought with you.

Current interns are already working on material that goes directly into the newspaper, and you may have the opportunity to write stories that appear under your own by-line. (Whether you intend to be a journalist or a writer of another sort, it is certainly helpful to line up such ‘clips’ early in your career.)

The internship carries 3 credits; for Communication majors that credit may count for an elective within the major. In order to apply, prepare a one-page cover letter, a résumé, and 3-5 samples of your journalistic writing. The strongest applicants will likely be able to draw on their work from The Aquinas or other publications, but we will certainly consider work that you have written for class or on your own.

The Times-Tribune has a separate internship program over the summer. Summer internships are very competitive – they draw applicants from journalism programs and college newspapers across the country – and Times-Tribune editors have indicated that strong performance in a fall or spring internship will give a local applicant an edge.

Review of applications and interviews will begin next week. Students should deliver their applications to:
Professor Kim Pavlick
Communication Dept.
STT – Comm Wing 4128

If you are interested in more information on this opportunity speak with:

Matt Reavy 6186

Kim Pavlick 4147

Joe Kraus 6331

This blog is maintained by Dr. Matthew M. Reavy as a service to journalism students at the University of Scranton.



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