The Convergence Newsletter

From Newsplex at the University of South Carolina

Vol. II No. 3 (Sept. 1, 2004)

 

Exploring the Meaning of Media Convergence
The purpose of this newsletter is to provide an editorially neutral forum for discussion of the theoretical and professional meaning of media convergence.

 

We welcome articles on any topic directly related to media convergence, including academic research or information about convergence experiences in your newsroom. We also welcome information about conferences, publications and related links.

 

Holly Fisher

Editor

convergence-editor@mailbox.sc.edu

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Feature Articles

 

Old media, old ideas; new media, new hope

Human challenges part of Election Connection

Blogs offer journalists a chance to try convergence

Spaces still available for conference moblog training

Convergence for a healthier lifestyle?

Newsplex News

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Conference Information

 

Digital Revolution Conference

Convergence: The Tour

Convergence for Teams: Visions & Values in Action

Fall College Media Convention

Third Annual BloggerCon

2004 Online News Association Conference

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Announcements/News

 

The Web’s campaign contributions

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---------------Feature Articles

Editor’s note:  Last month we brought you an article on the innovative coverage of the Democratic National Convention as student journalists worked with University of South Carolina faculty and graduate students and the Newsplex staff to produce Election Connection, a mobile weblog (moblog) hosted by Textamerica at http://wec.textamerica.com. This week, another group of student journalists along with Ifra Newsplex director Randy Convington are in New York City blogging the Republican National Convention. The stories below highlight the successes and challenges of blogging the Boston event. Feel free to e-mail The Convergence Newsletter at convergence-editor@mailbox.sc.edu with comments about the Election Connection moblog. Or, if you have specific questions for those involved in the project, let us know and we will answer them in our October issue.

 

Old media, old ideas; new media, new hope

 

By Randy Covington, Ifra Newsplex director and Assistant Professor at the University of South Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communications

 

The American public had every right to have high expectations. The Democratic Party had accredited 15,000 media representatives for its July convention in Boston and they included some of the smartest, most aggressive and insightful journalists in the world.

 

We should have been able to sit back and see journalism at its best, as this army of reporters covered one of the closest and most hard-fought presidential contests in our nation’s history. But as I sat in my Boston hotel room and walked around the convention itself, I was struck by how little journalism I was seeing. 

 

It is dangerous to generalize. That said, I saw the major over-the-air networks, the cable networks and, to a lesser extent, the print media covering the same handful of stories over and over. More importantly, they were covering those stories to the exclusion of so much else.

 

This formula, flogging the big story until the life is drained out of it, may work well with something of the magnitude of the war in Iraq. But it doesn’t work near as well when the big story is Teresa Heinz Kerry’s suggestion to a print journalist to “shove it.”

 

I must confess that I am seeing things differently these days. After 27 years in local TV news, I am now a professor. I was in Boston with a team of eight student journalists who used photo phones to file convention reports to a mobile weblog (or moblog). It is a new format, a new form of journalism. The rules are still being written, which is why I find it so satisfying.

 

Freed from the competitive pressures and demands of old media, new media are liberated to try new things and cover a broader range of stories.  

 

For example, on the day when old media were preoccupied with the Heinz comment, two of our student reporters looked ahead to that night’s speech by John Edwards. Edwards has positioned himself as a champion of the little person. So the student reporters went out to the streets of Boston to look at the race for the White House from the perspective of some homeless people, who tend to support Kerry and Edwards. 

 

A couple days later, our student reporters were back on the streets of Boston trying to find out what Kerry had done for the state as its U.S. senator. (Apparently not too much, though, Michael Dukakis thinks highly of him.)

 

These two stories are illustrative of a disconnect I perceive between old media and good journalism. Any news organization could have done those stories or something similar.  But from my observation, so few did. 

 

It’s not that new media are any better than old media. But rather, new media are free to do so much more. If my suspicions are correct—and certainly current media usage trends would support this conclusion—old media will continue to shed viewers and readers as they narrow their focus and dumb down their coverage. 

 

This will open the door for newer styles and formats to attract niche audiences, which will continue to grow. It may be a bit of an overstatement, but I believe new media do indeed represent new hope for journalism.

 

If you would like to see our mobile weblog coverage, go to http://wec.textamerica.com. I would appreciate it if you would let us know what you think; e-mail me at randy.covington@sc.edu.

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Human challenges part of Election Connection

 

By Ernest L. Wiggins, Associate Professor at University of South Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communications

 

For a number of years, I've been teaching virtually paperless classes here in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Syllabi, class materials and assignments are posted on my Web site, which is hosted by the school. Students submit their work via e-mail and they're returned via e-mail within a day. All of this expedited instruction has increased the pace of my courses tremendously.

 

Of course, there have been drawbacks. Server or ISP outages have occasionally caused transmission difficulties, and some students do not save their online assignments as they would paper. And less diligent students could blame the "technology" if their work did not arrive on time. (Requiring the inclusion of time stamps of assignments has curbed the use of that ploy.)

 

Just as my experiments with new media in my own classes have, for the most part been successful, Newsplex's highly-touted Democratic National Convention moblog was marred only by a few glitches. Upon reflection, these few difficulties were only traditional news room communication lapses in a new age.

 

As chief storybuilder for Election Connection, I worked with newsflow editor Doug Fisher, chief news resourcer Geoff LoCicero, Newsplex program director Julie Nichols and Newsplex designer and former director Kerry Northup in shaping the moblog over the four days of the convention. We were assisted at various times by assorted adjunct faculty members and graduate students over the course of that week.

 

The eight students at the convention (four from the University of South Carolina and four from Boston universities) worked under the direction of Randy Covington, who was recently appointed director of Newsplex. The moblog, which was hosted by Textamerica, was created with Textamerica software that allowed the student reporters to capture and send, via e-mail, images using cell phones (provided by Cingular Wireless) and text message captions or short pieces using the phones' keypads. The learning curve for mastering the shoot-and-send process was not steep, and the Boston team was quickly filling up the holding queue from which storybuilders retrieved items, manipulated photos, edited copy and wrote overlines before posting them on the blog.

 

One of the early challenges for storybuilders was identifying common elements or themes among the items submitted. In the weeks before the convention, students were given potential storylines or threads to consider—among them, youthful delegates, demonstrations, security concerns, Bostonians' responses to the convention or Kerry's nomination.

 

The Textamerica blogging program allows for the grouping of related items and this, in turn, allows visitors to the moblog to review the course of a storyline. Better communication earlier in the day, including the creation of a story budget, was requested by the newsflow editor and incorporated into the operation. Problems with lost threads were eliminated and comprehensibility was enhanced.

 

Another challenge for storybuilders was quite likely the product of fatigue and frustration. During the second day of the convention, the Boston team began calling the Newsplex office to dictate captions or stories to storybuilders rather than text messaging as they had previously. It became clear that for some students text messaging 75 or 100 words was taking longer than they had anticipated or could endure.

This slowed the process of posting items considerably, but once the horses were out of the barn it was difficult to corral them without slowing things even further. The following day, a moratorium was placed on dictation. Allowing the students time to craft their captions increased the quality of the lines and decreased the amount of time storybuilders spent on editing copy.

 

During the last day of the convention, the Newsplex crew wanted greater context on the moblog, longer pieces that were closer to conventional stories than the "tiles of a mosaic" the project's designer desired.

Though these approaches were not entirely conflicting, they did contribute to some of the frustration felt by the Boston team. A conference between the newsflow editor and the in-field director resulted in a compromise and greater delineation of roles for each member of the reporting team. Some were freed to concentrate on developing stories, while others roamed for "tiles."

 

By all accounts, Election Connection is a wonderful example of convergent journalism. The array of images and text delivered using the latest in wireless technology offers a glimpse of where newsrooms will be in the near future. Whatever difficulties arose were related more to the human struggle for good journalism. And I, for one, find this comforting.

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Blogs offer journalists a chance to try convergence

 

By Geoff LoCicero, Newsresourcer, Ifra Newsplex at the University of South Carolina

 

Got blog?

 

Anyone reading a journalism Web site is aware of a burgeoning media phenomenon that J.D. Lasica of Online Journalism Review describes as “impressionistic, telegraphic, raw, honest, individualistic, highly opinionated and passionate, often striking an emotional chord” (http://www.ojr.org/ojr/lasica/1019165278.php). 

 

A blog is short for a Web log, really an electronic journal of sorts. With free template software from the likes of Blogger, Movable Type and Pitas.com, you can publish your most intimate thoughts to the Web, whether they’re whimsical (your love of cats or chocolate doughnuts) or serious (your take on politics or terrorism). A natural evolution is the rise of so-called moblogs, mobile Web logs, in which a template allows for the posting of photos from one’s mobile phone. A popular template is available through Textamerica (www.textamerica.com).

 

If you are a subscriber to any of Poynter’s electronic newsletters, such as E-media Tidbits, you are, in fact, already reading a blog. (A recent post at http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=31&aid=68747 by Steve Outing relates how the Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Washington, USA, a paper known for its blogging, is starting to see ad revenue from the venture and expects to see revenues rise.)

 

Beyond the opportunity to embrace a different writing style from “traditional” journalism, as Lasica suggests, blogs and moblogs also offer benefits through their interactivity and linking power. As journalists, we want to know what our readers like and dislike, what they want more or less of, what they’re passionate and opinionated about. But feedback in the form of e-mails, voice mails or letters to the editor is often so brief, dated or lacking in context as to be ineffective. Yet with most blogs/moblogs, a reader can comment quickly on the original posting or another reader’s comments, providing context, depth and immediacy. A post summarizing or commenting on another story can link to that original document, providing additional context and background.

 

Readers also can provide key tips or investigative background details as San Jose Mercury News writer Dan Gilmor, one of the industry’s first bloggers, notes in this piece published on the Columbia Journalism Review Web site (www.cjr.org):

 

“At a technology conference last March, a telecommunications chief executive groaned onstage about his troubles. I noted this in my Web log, which I was updating from the audience via a wireless network link. Soon I (along with Doc Searls, another journalist-blogger), got messages from a reader in another city. The reader included hyperlinks to an authoritative Web site showing how the executive had sold stock worth more than $200 million while his company was suffering. We both immediately posted this information. Some in the audience were soon reading our blogs, and the mood toward the CEO seemed to chill. Talk about real-time feedback.”

 

Whether to edit formally is a bit of a debate in the blogging world, with some arguing that editing kills the spontaneity and independence of the blog experience. Most in the journalism industry, however, acknowledge the need for editing, whether it is a cursory read before posting and/or more thorough review after posting, with the understanding that the editor can update the post with edits. The immediacy and vibrancy of a blog doesn’t have to be diminished by editing; as with any other medium, good editing will improve the product and solidify credibility. As Tom Mangan, a well known blogger and features copy editor at the Mercury News, said in a February interview on PJNet Today, a Public Journalism Network Weblog (www.pjnet.org):

“Bloggers need to understand that their typos, their misspellings, their errors in fact and judgment cost them in the eyes of readers, and if they insist on going it alone they have to be comfortable with a small audience of people who don't hold their errors against them. For news orgs, though, we have to insist that ours is a collaborative business and that the extra few minutes we take to bring multiple perspectives on stories is time well spent. Our readers will forgive us for being five minutes late, but right, far sooner than they will forgive us for being first, but wrong.”

 

At the Newsplex, moblogging has become a powerful tool for training and projects. Journalism students and faculty used a weblog to cover the Democratic National Convention earlier this summer, and students are in New York City this week blogging the Republication National Convention (see above story).

 

During Newsplex training for professionals and journalism educators, participants often experiment with new technology such as camera phones to capture photos and document stories on a moblog. Students at the University of South Carolina covered the South Carolina Democratic Primary earlier this year using camera phones to send photos and text back to staff and faculty at Newsplex, creating a moblog. 

 

During the May Newsplex Summer Seminar for journalism faculty around the country, professors Dan Shaver of the University of Central Florida and Dick Puffer of Coker College put together a moblog (available as a PDF at http://129.252.104.200/USC/Farmers_Market_blog.pdf) from a training exercise at the nearby South Carolina State Farmers Market (see the rest of the project at http://faculty.roosevelt.edu/mcclelland/newsplex/market/Web/index.html).

 

One of the most interesting aspects of the moblogging experience is the challenge of finding relevant links to supplement the site. While it’s easy enough to find related sources in advance, it’s often tougher to find information online to complement or add depth to a single posting from the field. This role is a key aspect of the position I am prototyping at Newsplex, that of a “newsresourcer.”

 

When I do find an important link, it gives a moblog posting added depth and meaning. An example would be adding links about John Kerry’s views on health and education to a post quoting a voter who supports Kerry’s health and education platforms. Rather than just quoting a voter’s praise of Kerry’s ideas on education, a link to Kerry’s platform gives the reader more depth and information. Another example would be linking to demographic data for a reference to a particular voting precinct.

 

One strategy that proved effective in finding complementary news stories was to use our access to expansive databases such as Nexis. The advanced searching features of these databases are far better than any search engine. Any hit in the database provides detailed information about the publication, author and date, which makes it easier to find the story online at a particular news site so that it can be linked.

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Spaces still available for conference moblog training

 

By Dr. Augie Grant, Executive Editor of The Convergence Newsletter and Associate Professor at the College of Mass Communications and Information Studies, University of South Carolina

 

The Digital Revolution: The Impact of Digital Medial and Information Technologies conference is coming up Oct. 14-16 in Columbia, South Carolina, USA. Hosted by the University of South Carolina, the conference will feature discussions of social influences, media practices, integrated information systems, cultural issues, legal implications, information needs and effects upon consumers.

 

As an added bonus, conference planners have added a special feature to this year’s conference: Thursday morning, Oct. 14, there will be a mini-Newsplex training session beginning at 8:30 a.m., including an overview of “roles training” in convergence media and the process of creating multimedia moblogs.

 

Those participating in the training will create and maintain a moblog for the conference, using the Newsplex tools. There is no charge for the training, but registration is limited to the first 15 people who confirm they will be attending the training. A few spaces are still available. To register or for more information, e-mail Augie Grant at augie@sc.edu.

 

For a complete conference schedule and listing of conference presenters, visit http://newsplex.sc.edu.

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Editor’s Note: This article is taken from a report written by an ad-hoc convergence committee at the College of Mass Communications & Information Studies at the University of South Carolina. This article suggests an important topic for those studying convergence and its uses.

 

Convergence for a healthier lifestyle?

 

By Jennifer Arns, Opportunities to Use Convergence Practices and Research to Leverage Scarce Public Health Resources

 

The Institute of Medicine’s report The Future of Public Health and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Healthy People in Healthy Communities action plan provide a vision of public health that includes many partners working together to provide a group of essential public health services  (http://www.apha.org/ppp/science/10ES.htm#mobilize).

 

At least three of these services appear to be particularly fertile ground for convergent journalism, and each brings to mind a number of ways that convergence could play an important role in creating the conditions that help all people to live healthy and productive lives.

 

==“Inform, educate, and empower people about health issues:  This service involves social marketing and targeted media public communication; providing accessible health information resources at community levels; active collaboration with personal health care providers to reinforce health promotion messages and programs; and joint health education programs with schools, churches, and worksites.”

 

The “social marketing activities” suggested in the first of these service category are under way, and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control http://www.scdhec.gov/omh/other_health_issues.html points to several examples, including its “Good Health Depends On You” promotion campaign and the IMARA magazine (aimed at educating women of color about AIDS and other health topics). Similar activities could be launched using multimedia technology and their effectiveness strengthened through research on target audience perceptions. Faculty-led focus groups and community “design-build” workshops resulting in co-produced marketing/information products would accomplish both ends. If this model proved to be successful, it could be shared with other public health groups.

 

==“Mobilize community partnerships and action to identify and solve health problems:  This service involves convening and facilitating community groups and associations, including those not typically considered to be health-related, in undertaking defined preventive, screening, rehabilitation, and support programs; and skilled coalition-building ability in order to draw upon the full range of potential human and material resources in the cause of community health.”

 

This service category could be furthered through a national series of investigative articles or multimedia productions that capture best practices or success stories. These, in turn, could be made available to Public Health Departments and Advocacy Groups interested in forming coalitions.

 

==“Link people to needed personal health services and assure the provision of health care when otherwise unavailable:  This service (often referred to as "outreach" or "enabling" services) includes assuring effective entry for socially disadvantaged people into a coordinated system of clinical care; culturally and linguistically appropriate materials and staff to assure linkage to services for special population groups; ongoing "care management"; transportation services; targeted health information to high risk population groups; and technical assistance for effective worksite health promotion/disease prevention programs.”

South Carolina health statistics reveal that racial and ethnic minority infants in South Carolina are more than twice as likely to die before their first birthday as Caucasian babies; and in the year 2000, African Americans were over nine times more likely to be reported as having HIV/AIDS than were Caucasians (http://www.scdhec.gov/omh/disparities.htm).

 

As a group, these numbers are not out of line with national statistics, and targeting health information to high-risk populations and those that work with them is a priority at both the local and national level. A convergence research agenda aimed at improving our understanding of the risk perceptions associated with information seeking within high risk populations was begun by Elfreda Chatman (see Elfreda A. Chatman: The Impoverished Life-World of Outsiders. Journal of American Society for Information Science (3): 193-206 (1996) and http://www.ala.org/ala/lrrt/tributetochatman/tributedrelfreda.htm ). Its continuance lies within the interests of convergence scholars.

 

Moving beyond these essential services, The National Rural Health Association’s (RHA) June 2004 report Rural Public Health http://www.nrharural.org/dc/policybriefs/public_hlth.pdf has put ward an additional policy recommendation that falls within the convergence sphere of interest — strengthening communication systems and technological capacities within the rural public health system in order to manage public health emergencies, conduct surveillance, and receive and send up-to-date public health information. Communication systems also have a role to play in fostering public awareness of the risk behaviors that lead to chronic disease and encouraging personal preventive practices.

 

According to the recent data collected by the Pew Internet and American Life Project http://www.pewinternet.org/index.asp, a small percentage of senior citizens in the United States (about 22%) are now taking advantage of the availability of health information in electronic format on the Internet.  This number is expected to grow considerably as younger Internet users age and become heavier consumers of health-related services.

 

Moreover, if trends continue, senior citizens in rural areas, which are typically affected by public health manpower shortages will be even more likely to seek health-related information on the Internet than their urban and suburban counterparts. In this situation, good quality electronic information could be a key to leveraging scarce public health resources in rural areas. However, before this can happen, two things must occur.

 

First, public health personnel need to develop the skills required to produce interesting, accurate and engaging electronic products. Secondly, specific efforts need to be made to improve rural Internet access, whether in the home or through community organizations such as public libraries, to high-risk groups that are both less likely to use the Internet and more likely to need public health information. 

 

The first of these points can be initially approached through convergence-minded training programs, institutes and partnerships. The second requires convergence research and experimentation. 

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---------------Newsplex News

 

By Julie Nichols, Ifra Newsplex Projects Director

 

Once more into the breach – The Newsplex staff is gearing up for another run at the Cingular Wireless Election Connection, this time covering the Republican National Convention Aug. 30 through Sept. 2. Students from the University of California, Berkeley and Columbia University will be doing the on-the-ground reporting in New York with Randy Covington, Newsplex director, once again providing the onsite wrangling. Kerry Northrup will be taking a break from his new duties as director of Ifra Publications to direct the newsflow back in the Newsplex. 

 

Filling the roles of storybuilders and newsresourcers will be numerous faculty, staff and graduate students from the University of South Carolina. More than 1,000 Internet sites linked to our previous coverage of the Democratic National Convention, which was hailed by CNN.com as “one of the surprise hits of the weblog coverage” at the convention. Bookmark www.wec.textamerica.com and check the site as often as you can during the Republican National Convention to see how this emerging “moblog” news format is evolving.

 

Convergence in Secondary Schools – The Newsplex staff is proud to announce a partnership with Richland Northeast High School in Columbia, South Carolina, USA for the creation of a new magnet program in convergent media. The program was conceived by Richland Northeast teacher Lynn Washington, who will direct the new program, and other faculty and administrators after touring the Newsplex last year.

 

The Richland II School District was awarded $5.9 million over three years to develop magnet programs, including the convergent media program at Richland Northeast and its feeder elementary and middle schools. The high school plans to start recruiting students for the new program in November. Ten teachers and administrators will participate in Newsplex training directed by University of South Carolina faculty member Augie Grant this fall to ramp up for the new curriculum. Richland Northeast Assistant Principal Lori Mareno and Administrator Sabrina Suber toured the Newsplex earlier this month in preparation for the program.

 

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – The Newsplex welcomed two distinguished visitors in August from RFE/RL Inc. Thomas A. Dine, president, and Jeffrey Trimble, director of policy and strategic planning, met with Newsplex staff to discuss the possibilities for convergent media content in their news operation. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, a private not-for-profit corporation funded by the U.S. government, is headquartered in Prague. It has 23 bureaus throughout Europe and the former Soviet Union and broadcasts in 28 languages.

 

Welcome, The Internal Revenue Service – Michael W. Quinn, a long-time adjunct faculty member at the University of South Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communications and a communications manager for the Small Business Self-Employed Division of the Internal Revenue Service can now add “visionary” to his other titles. Seeing the public relations applications of the Newsplex’s multimedia curriculum, Mike brought a group of IRS communications specialists from across the country for a day of training last month.

 

Participating in the session were Dorothy Barry and Tom Miller of Covington, Kentucky, USA, Ginny Brown of Memphis, Tennessee, USA, Mary Brown and Linda Shoemaker of Washington, D.C., USA, Jennifer Daniels and Chris Hicks of  Holtsville, New York, USA, Andrea Kopanaiko and Eileen Mesure of  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA,  Janalee Lee of Ogden, Utah, USA, and Judy Mason of Columbia, South Carolina, USA.  The group worked in teams to create a multiple media public relations story using the Visual Communicator program.

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Newsplex at the University of South Carolina Web site: http://newsplex.sc.edu

 

For information about our Academic Affiliates, visit www.newsplex.org/affiliates.shtml

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---------------Conferences

 

A Conference on The Digital Revolution: The Impact of Digital Media and Information Technologies

Oct. 14-16, 2004

Location: University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, USA

The purpose of this conference is to provide a scholarly examination of the attributes and implications of the digital revolution, including discussions of social influences, media practices, integrated information systems, cultural issues, legal implications, information needs and effects upon consumers. A showcase of convergent media practices will run concurrent with the academic conference. Paper presentations will address theoretical and practical examinations of digital photography, video, information archives, telephony, consumer electronics and information infrastructure.

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A Showcase of Digital Media and Information Projects and Practices

Oct. 14-16, 2004

Location: University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, USA

The purpose of this showcase of digital media and information projects and practices is to provide a venue for scholars and professionals experimenting with digital media and information technologies to demonstrate their systems, processes, experiments and innovations. This showcase is the demonstration component of The Digital Revolution: The Impact of Digital Media and Information Technologies, an academic conference exploring practical, theoretical, phenomenological, critical and/or empirical approaches to digital media and information technologies.

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Convergence: The Tour

Oct. 19-22, 2004

Location: Sarasota, Tampa, Melbourne—Florida, USA

http://www.mediacenter.org/04/Convergence/index.cfm

Visit three of the most fully converged multi-platform newsrooms in the world in this convergence tour hosted by the American Press Institute. Meet executives and rank-and-file staffers who “do” convergence, see firsthand what convergence is all about and learn what it takes to build a converged news operation. Attendees will gain a better understanding of the costs and benefits of the various convergence models and of the nuts and bolts of structuring a convergence partnership. Tuition is $2,100 or $1,890 if you register by the Aug. 19 early-bird deadline.

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Convergence for Teams: Visions & Values in Action

Oct. 24-29, 2004

St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

A Poynter Institute program

http://www.poynter.org/seminar/seminar_view.asp?int_seminarID=3128

Companies are eager to build and discover ways to share their journalism on television, radio, in newspapers and on the Web. But many fear they will damage their core values or water down their reputation for excellence. Converged newsrooms need a practical plan that will help them strengthen their journalism, maintain their standards and reach more people. You will see the plans and best practices of other converged newsroom around the country. As a team, you will evaluate your own convergence efforts and make specific plans to move forward and you will get feedback from your newsrooms about what is working and what needs work in your convergence plan. You also will explore the ethics and leadership issues that arise when newsrooms converge.

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Fall College Media Convention

Nov. 4-7, 2004

Nashville, Tennessee, USA

http://www.collegemedia.org/news/79914.html

Convergence and online journalism are just two of the many topics that will be addressed at the Fall College Media Convention, sponsored by the College Media Advisors.

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Third Annual BloggerCon

Nov. 6, 2004

Stanford Law School

Palo Alto, California, USA

http://www.bloggercon.org/iii/register

Join other bloggers to discuss the role blogs and citizen journalism played in the Presidential election. There also will be sessions on blogging in education, science, the arts and daily life. BloggerCon is a user's conference about technology and a forum for the use of technology.
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2004 Online News Association Conference

Nov. 12-13, 2004

Hollywood, California, USA

http://www.journalists.org/2004conference/

Digital journalists will gather for the 5th Annual Online News Association Conference and Awards Banquet. Two full days of panel discussions and keynote speeches focused on the best practices for digital news will culminate with an elegant banquet and the announcement of the 5th Annual Online Journalism Awards.

 

---------------Announcements/News

 

The Web’s campaign contributions

Source: American Journalism Review (www.ajr.org)

By Barb Palser (August/September  2004)

When the Project for Excellence in Journalism released "ePolitics", a review of early Internet coverage of the 2004 presidential campaign, the study's authors made an intriguing observation: Although more people are getting political news from the Internet than in previous election cycles, there may be fewer original political stories on the Web this year. During the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, 37 percent of stories on the main election pages of 10 major news sites were wire copy, up from 25 percent in 2000. Of the remaining stories, many were edited or enhanced wire copy rather than original, bylined work. (The sample group included three Web-only properties and seven sites with traditional media partners.)

Early-season analysis, according to PEJ, suggested that "political news web sites have clearly evolved but have also taken some steps backward," as evidenced by the shrinking percentage of bylined stories, fewer links to external sites and less audio or video of candidates.

 

Read the full story at http://www.ajr.org/Article.asp?id=3715

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---------------Interesting Links

 

Getting out the blog – Last month we noted that Cyberjournalist.net had created a list of people blogging the Democratic National Convention. To find out who is blogging the Republican National Convention this week check out http://www.cyberjournalist.net/news/001580.php

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Still can’t get enough of blogging? – Search blogs, publish blogs and subscribe to blogs with www.bloglines.com. Use this free service to create your own blog or search for blogs about your favorite subjects or news.

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---------------Copyright and Redistribution

 

The Convergence Newsletter is Copyright © 2004 by the University of South Carolina, College of Mass Communications and Information Studies. All rights reserved.

 

The Convergence Newsletter is free and published by The Center for Mass Communications Research at the University of South Carolina, College of Mass Communications and Information Studies. It may be redistributed in any form – print or electronic – without edits or deletion of any content.

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---------------Submission Guidelines/Deadline Schedule

 

The Convergence Newsletter welcomes articles of all sorts addressing the subject of convergence in journalism and media. We also accept news briefs, calls for papers and conference announcements. Our audience is both academics and professionals, and the publication style is APA 7th edition. Feature articles should be 750 to 1,500 words; other articles should be 250 to 750 words; announcements and conference submissions should be 200 words. All articles should be submitted to The Convergence Newsletter Editor at convergence-editor@mailbox.sc.edu. Please include your name, affiliation and contact information with your submission.

 

The Convergence Newsletter is published the first week of each month (except January). Articles should be submitted at least 10 days prior to the publication date. Any questions should be sent to convergence-editor@mailbox.sc.edu.

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---------------Subscribe/Unsubscribe Information

 

To subscribe, unsubscribe or edit your information, please send a message to

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