All 22 students in the CJ 321: Intermediate Journalism class attended the 16th annual Ann Devroy Memorial Forum on April 25, but they did much more than just partake of the reception buffet and listen to the speech by Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus.
These students were “on assignment.” They took careful notes; interviewed students, faculty and journalists both before and after the speech; composed photos; and recorded voiceovers — all so they could produce a multimedia website covering every aspect of this year’s Devroy Forum, as you can see here. And for the first time in CJ Department practice, they produced a pdf-based website that is optimized for viewing on iPads, iPhones, iPods and iMacs, although it looks great on other mobile devices and PCs, too.
CJ 321 instructor Mike Dorsher said he made this assignment with two things in mind: There’s no better way to learn about journalism than by doing journalism, and mobile devices are becoming the newspapers of the 21st century. Apple has already sold 100 million iPads, and 23 percent of UWEC’s undergraduates already own iPads, with 66 percent owning smart phones, according to a random sample survey (with a 6 percent margin of error) conducted this semester by Dorsher’s CJ 303: Research Methods for Journalists class.
“Our students are learning to produce the news they want on the devices they use,” Dorsher said. “This isn’t their parents’ and grandparents’ newspaper anymore.”