Saturday, June 19, 2010

Social Networking is the New Norm

by Rachel Sayers,
Savannah Kannberg,
Sarah Carracher,
Zach Nickels,

Skeptics throughout the years of technological growth have typically agreed on one thing: that print journalism must be a dying profession, according to blogger Tim Berry. This is far from a new topic. In fact, pessimists have thought of print journalism as a dying art since the 1960s. The cynicism began with the invention of different formats of public communication. Starting with the radio, technology eventually yielded television, and then the World Wide Web.

Despite what traditionalists believe, Dr. Hugh Martin, Associate Director of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism says journalism is not dying but growing into a new era: the era of online news. Instead of discrediting social media as an unreliable and not credible source, the journalism community should embrace these options for what they are: tools to be exploited. Martin says social networking, whether through Twitter, Facebook, or blogging, is the cutting-edge approach to both investigative and conventional journalism.

Martin spoke to high school journalists from six states at the 2010 Scripps High School Journalism Workshop this weekend.

Martin said online journalism allows readers to have instantaneous access to a wide array of news and information, and can be the quickest way to spread a breaking news story. Journalists who are able to utilize the complex social media networks are better able to connect to their audience, and presumably make a greater impact on people’s day-to-day lives. Journalists must be able to reach their target audience, and what better way to connect than through a service that millions use everyday.

Roundtable Discussion: The Future of Journalism

by Greg Foley,
Becca Barth,
James Grega,
Brandon Saho,

Getting involved – this was the most important piece of advice that was given to the members of the E.W. Scripps High School Journalism Workshop during the roundtable discussion on contemporary journalism issues.

“Getting involved in any of the student run publications gives you the chance to get your name out there,” said Dr. Hugh Martin, Associate Director of the Scripps school and one of the leaders of the discussion. The other members who helped in the discussion were all Ohio University students; Catherine Roebuck, a magazine journalism major; Will Tapper, a broadcast journalism major; and Aadam Soorma, a magazine journalism graduate.

While the roundtable, at first, helped to explain the workings of the Scripps School, when the discussion turned to the skills necessary to succeed in contemporary journalism, the focus shifted to the importance of online journalism in the modern world.

“Knowing how to write a story that will reach an online audience seems to be the most important skill in the future of journalism,” explained Tapper. Tapper's advice, of course, reflects the boom of blogs and other online sources over the past few years.

According to’s list of most visited blogs, popular blogs such as the Huffington Post can reach up to four million page views per month.
This expansion of journalism onto the web allows anybody with internet access to create their own news websites. While this may be changing the face of journalism, The members of the discussion agreed that professional journalists are, and will always be, the most trusted sources for news.

“Citizen journalists look to us for our norms and values and ethics,” said Soorma.

Clearly, the roundtable discussion allowed the students at the Scripps High School Journalism Workshop, to see that they could be creating the standards of future journalism.

Cornelius Ryan: The Legacy of a Groundbreaking Journalist

by Adriana Williams,
Marisa Dockum,

Cornelius Ryan, a war correspondent in WWII, is considered one of the 20th century's top investigative journalists according to Doug McCabe, the manuscripts curator at Ohio University's Alden Library. While writing his three novels based on WWII battles, Ryan interviewed military personnel, commanders and civilians from Germany, France, Britain and the United States to compile a fair and detailed report of each battle. Ryan saved all of his manuscripts, notes and interviews, and that collection is valued at more than $100,000. Ohio University bought the collection from Ryan's wife after his death in 1974.

McCabe met with us to talk about the historical importance of not only Ryan's novels, but also the interviews and research used in compiling the stories. McCabe says, "We can't get in touch with these people, ask them about their experiences... these books are what's left."

Professors, students, and even authors come from around the state and the country to study the "wealth of information" provided by Ryan's meticulous records. Doug McCabe's favorite piece from Ryan's collection, the novel A Bridge Too Far, describes Operation Market Basket, a maneuver by Allied forces in 1944 to gain control of the Netherlands. It was also his last novel. Cornelius Ryan died just months after it was published. His collection contains first editions of his novels published in 30 languages, as well as artifacts and photographs relating to WWII.

Thanks to Doug McCabe at the Ohio University Alden Library

Friday, June 18, 2010

OU Tech Students Win Robotics Competition

by Kathryn Cook,
Greg Lindsey,
Nathan Takitch,
Catherine Morris,

Four senior electrical engineering students from the Russ College of Engineering and Technology formed a first-ever team that designed and built a robot to participate in the International Micromouse competition. After nine months, their hard work paid off with a first place regional finish

The team, which was comprised of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers president Bill Dixon and members Sonja Abbey, Eric Rico and Patrick Dowell, spent many long nights designing and testing the micromouse in their own custom built model maze.

Colleen Carow, director of external communications for the college, said the students participate in extracurricular design projects such as this because it gives them an opportunity to apply the skills they learn in classes and gain real world experience

The robot used infrared sensors and a simple computer processor called a microcontroller to find it’s own route to the center of the maze, and then calculate and execute that optimal route.

The students avoided numerous potential problems by observing previous teams and learning from their errors. However, their project faced it’s own unique issues, ranging from the accidental destruction of their model maze to changing light conditions and unreliable sensors.

In the end, however, these issues proved to be only a minor impediment on the way to a first place finish for the soon-to-be graduates. They have laid the foundations of a strong robotics program that they hope will be continued by future undergrads at Ohio University in years to come.

Yao Artifacts Set Path from Culture’s Past to Future

by Haley Cowans,
Miriam Moeller,
Haley Underwood,
Kaylyn Johnston,

The Yao Ceremonial Artifacts housed in the Frederick and Kazuko Harris Fine Arts Library at Ohio University are providing a link from the early teachings of the first Yao people to students and staff curious about this unique culture.

The collection includes masks, scrolls, paintings, robes, and musical instruments. These pieces originate from the religious traditions of Yao, which incorporates teachings from Buddhism and Taoism. Its early followers originated from China, but migrated to Vietnam to avoid judgment, according to Fine Arts librarian Gary Ginther.

“Yao are kind of the hillbillies in North Vietnam,” Ginther explained.

The library obtained this rare collection through a chance meeting. The founder of the library, Frederick Harris, was living in Tokyo when he became interested in the art of Vietnam. In his travels, he met an art collector who had several Yao artifacts.

The art collector wanted to find a place where the materials could be together and accessible to as many people as possible.

“[The] paintings [are] actually used in sets, for movable shrines,” Ginther clarified.

Harris suggested that the collection be housed in his library at Ohio University.

The artifacts are available for students of Ohio University to view at this site.

Most of the pieces are actually traced from older pieces, and then the originals were burned. These newer works range in age from about 50 to 150 years. The pictures are created with both chemical and natural dyes, Ginther said.

Modern followers of the Yao religion pay homage to their old traditions through artwork like this. The materials are a major part of the Yao religious tradition. The art acts as a tribute to the deities of the religion, a form of record keeping, and cautionary tales. It is comparable to the books used in Western religions, such as the Bible.

“[The Yao] are practicing a kind of hybrid religion,” Ginther reflected, “which probably isn’t kosher.”

Reinventing the Way We Write

by Kaiti Burkhammer,
Caroline James,
Dylan Sams,
Sydney Spiro,

On June 18, 2010, Dr. Aimee Edmondson led a seminar titled “From Notebook to Web” for students attending Ohio University’s High School Journalism Workshop.

Edmondson introduced the rise of convergence journalism, the idea of combining different types of media to present a story.

“[Convergence journalists] need to be good at everything—future employers [will] ask, ‘can this person write, take pictures and do multimedia?’” she said.

Workshop participant Jessica Luczywo, from Stow-Monroe Falls High School said that online journalism is high speed, but reporters must be careful not to jeopardize accuracy for speed.

“Online convergence has forced journalism to be as current as possible, but it has also detracted from the relevancy,” Luczywo said. “[People are] always looking to update a story rather than upgrade it.”

During the class, Edmondson showed the students an example of convergence news on a website created by OU students. The easy-to-access site featured video clips and articles on local human-interest stories.

The ability to view an up-to-date news source represents just one way that the face of journalism is changing, Edmondson said. “We’re reinventing ourselves,” she said.

The world of print journalism has faced the onslaught of numerous competitive mediums since its beginning, Edmondson said.
“When TV was born, everyone said ‘The sky is falling!’” she said. “[Online media] should just enhance [journalism].”

While it is unclear what the future of journalism will be, it is certain that it is an ever-evolving field, workshop participant Savannah Kannberg from Solon High School said.

“Print journalism has to change,” she said. “With each step forward, we continue the progression of journalism and we make it better.”

For more information about convergence journalism, visit and

High School Journalism Workshop: A Taste Of Changing Times

by Charlie Chamness –
Daniel Kubus –
Amanda Rossetti –
Seth Skiles –

Ohio University held its annual High School Journalism Workshop this past weekend, drawing in students from six different states. Students who attended the workshop gained valuable experience by working in a college journalism environment. They gained constructive knowledge for their media productions at their home schools.

In its sixty-seventh year, the workshop focused on teaching vital journalism skills that pertain to new trends in the industry.

New assistant director, Ed Simpson, said, “This year the workshop is entirely different than previous years.” The intense focus on the converged newsroom experience and stress of Internet outlets gave students a glimpse of what to expect in news coverage once they graduate from high school.

Courses were designed with student interests in mind. Student surveys and feedback were extremely important in deciding which topics to focus on according to Simpson.

Throughout recent years, journalism has changed quickly. This has provided college programs with new technology to utilize.

Modern journalists must be “platform agnostic,” meaning they must have the ability to use all available tools and understand the advantages and disadvantages of each, according to Professor Mary Rogus, Associate Professor of Broadcast Journalism at Ohio University.

Student adviser Aadam Sooram helped students realize the possibilities available at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.

Students enjoyed the one-on-one attention with the faculty. “I got the most out of the critique session,” said Marisa Dockum of Talawanda High School, who learned valuable information on newspaper page design.

Students learned beneficial content from highly qualified instructors in this three-day experience, which they can develop in their promising in their futures.