JOMC getting blogs

Mar 3, 2006

Earlier today, I met with Jan Yopp, senior associate dean of the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication (where I earned a master’s in medical journalism). We talked about my proposal for a seminar course in online medical journalism using weblogs and podcasts.

Of course, I previously voiced my opinion about the slow pace of acceptance of blogging as a tool of journalism at JOMC. Well, the j-school announced its new dean last week, though I have no idea if she’s up on blogs. I told Professor Yopp that I hoped the new dean would quickly learn what the school’s visionaries have already accomplished—Paul Jones and his ibiblio.org, Brian Rusell and PodcasterCon.org, my Triangle Bloggers Conference and Chris Roush and his business journalism blog.

And then, to my pleasant surprise, Jan told me the school couldn’t create a new course based on my proposal because blogging is starting to catch on at JOMC. (Interestingly, earlier today on campus, a young man drove an SUV into a crowd of students in the hard-to-reach-by-car Pit, and within an hour there were a number of blog entries by UNC students who wanted to share what they’d witnessed.) In the newest issue of the Communicator, the school’s quarterly publication, I learned about this page that lists other blogs at the school.

At JOMC, Paul, Deb Aikat and a PR professor will all be incorporating blogging into their Fall 2006 courses. That’s great news. Deb’s already asked me to consider helping with a blogging exercise for his online issues seminar, Larry Lamb wrote to me today about possibly speaking to his class, and Jan was keen on involving me in her Spring medical journalism for magazines class and also working with my mentor, Tom Linden, to see how blogging could be incorporated into his television and radio courses. “It’s all about convergence,” she said at one point, echoing journalism education’s favorite vision.

Jan asked me why I was interested in teaching a course at the j-school. I told her I wanted to give back to the school that had given me such an excellent opportunity to develop my journalism skills. I’m sure my passion for evangelizing about blogging as a tool for communication came through loud and clear, and it’s nice to see that the j-school is hearing the message.

Anton Zuiker

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