Bloggers at the gate

Feb 18, 2005

This is posted in the Sugarcubes linklog to the left, but I feel strongly about the point, so I’ll say it again:

No new dean of the UNC j-school should be hired until he/she has read this and responded to it – on a blog!

Because you sure wouldn’t know by looking at the j-school’s website that the school was a sponsor of the highly successful Triangle Bloggers Conference, where journalism was an important topic of the dialogue. (I like and respect my former classmate John Kuka, who is new to the job of assistant dean for communications; I hope a new dean gives John room to become a blogger.) Even the university news service was baffled about sending out a news release for an already popular conference. I responded with a measured but passionate “the reason to send out a news release would be less to drum up participation and more to build knowledge of how the university is supporting innovation in journalism.” (The university mentioned the bloggercon in a news brief of a few paragraphs.)

One of my favorite moments of the conference was when Phil Meyer slipped in, took a seat and soon began to give his unique perspective on the intersection of blogs and newspapers. Note 2 to new dean: give Phil a blog on the school’s home page. That will instantly get the country paying attention to the school. While you’re at it, invite Peggy Noonan and Jay Rosen to campus for a roundtable discussion on blogs and journalism. If you don’t, the blogging community will, and journalism will look that much stodgier and that much lamer.

The ball is in your court, JOMC.

And if you need a visual cue, see this (via Dave).

NB. Paul Jones, co-organizer of the conference and my inspiration, is a member of the JOMC faculty as well as the SILS faculty. He’s a star, and without him the bloggercon wouldn’t have been what it turned out to be. Thanks to him for his vision.

Anton Zuiker

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