way back in august, 2005, my media studies colleague and fellow blogger, michael robertson, launched the USF journalism blog where, according to the blog, “USF faculty, students and graduates are invited to talk about journalism and its problems and opportunities.” more than two years later, the blog is thriving and growing in interesting directions.
what is it?
first and foremost, the blog serves as a virtual space where any USF student, past student, or faculty member can post ideas, essays, and images about journalism. second, the blog collects and aggregates various journalism and new media course offerings from the department of media studies. third, the blog keeps track of USF media studies graduates - the left column of the blog includes nearly three dozen students and links to where they are currently working. fourth, michael encourages USF graduates to post any advice they have for current students and any jobs their company may have available. in this way, the blog serves as a job/internship board for and by USF journalism students.
in other words, what michael has done with the USF journalism blog is to encourage students and faculty to discuss the future of journalism and to be a part of that future. what i really like about the blog, though, is this: michael has created an online community that includes both current and past USF students. in essence, the blog is an online learning community with students teaching students - not to mention students teaching their professors, too.
too often, college students graduate and leave - physically and intellectually - their campus. the USF journalism blog is an effective vehicle that allows past students to converge with current students. the former students become teachers and mentor all of us about what today and tomorrow's journalism looks like, about what kinds of skills are required, and about what kinds of tools and skills students should learn today to be an effective journalist tomorrow.
through interactions on the blog our current students have tapped our past students in order to land jobs and internships. more importantly, though, the blog has helped foster a learning community, one that gets smarter and more interesting the larger it gets.