SPJ Journalism Education Committee Meeting Minutes
Aug. 16, 2011
Conference call at noon Eastern/9 am Pacific time
Members attending: David Burns, George Daniels. Kym Fox, Mac McKerral, June Nicholson, Renee Patrina, Jeff South, Nerissa Young, Eileen Solomon, Amber Rossner, Bill Oats, Neil Ralston, Becky Tallent.
The meeting began at 12:05 pm (Eastern) with a discussion on the status of gathering syllabi and best practices materials for new journalism professors/instructors.
Jeff recommended we make sure we are not fragmenting our efforts with other groups and suggested we make sure to link with other groups – such as NewsU and IRE – who also offer syllabi to new faculty. The committee essentially agreed there cannot be too many resources and that it is good to get a conversation going in a constructive way. Jeff volunteered to build the syllabus link information and Amber suggested we put a call out to all our colleagues for their best syllabi and practices of which they are proud and will want to share. We agreed it should be a broad sweep of all journalism classes, not just be limited to writing and editing.
Kym said the state of Texas has passed a law requiring all syllabi to be online and that each syllabus must be within three clicks of the home page. Kym said she will send a copy of the law to the committee.
Last year, the committee agreed to offer mentors to new SPJ faculty advisors to help develop student chapters. George said he had several people at the AEJMC conference last week express an interest in either being a mentor or being mentored. From the committee, Mac, Jeff, Neil, Kym, Nerissa and Becky volunteered to act as mentors. George recommended and the committee agreed this year be used as a pilot project, starting with five mentors/mentees in New Orleans. George said the pairs could exchange emails and have phone conversations twice a semester, and then the committee could build a promotional strategy for the project.
The third item, articles and Toolbox columns for Quill, Jeff said Dorothy Bland had expressed an interest in doing a Quill Toolbox on two items: one was why teaching journalism is still so important due to the critical thinking required and how that is important in today’s world. Another column she suggested is one on diversity and the importance of bringing students of color into journalism/helping them stay in the profession despite cutbacks. Everyone agreed the second column is a better fit with the Diversity Committee.
Mac and George discussed the rule that writers for the Journalism Education Committee need to be a member of the committee, although the Diversity Committee has no such rule. It was recommended the education topic Dorothy wants to write might be a better fit for a full Quill article.
In discussions about future Toolbox columns, Mac is working on the next column; Eileen volunteered to write a column on schools changing curriculum; Amber volunteered to write a column on how to use Intercollegiate and Interscholastic online news networks as a resource; and David said he would like to write a column on schools donating equipment to other universities (such as his school’s recent donation to Baghdad University). Mac’s column is due August 18; Eileen’s column is due October 20, and other deadlines are yet to come from Scott Leadingham.
In discussing the committee’s blog, we agreed to post the minutes of the committee meeting and to post stories of SPJ education committee-related events. In addition, we agreed to post information from other groups with links. All committee members will receive username and password information so they can post on the blog.
In new business, George said last year’s resolution (which was rejected by the resolutions committee) has been revived and the resolutions committee has asked for a resubmission. George will send a copy of the resolution to the education committee members for review before sending to the resolutions committee.
Acting in his role as resolutions chair, Mac said for people attending conference, we should know there is a resolution calling for a change in the way committee chairs and members are appointed. Two other resolutions on the horizon are calling for a reinstatement of the Helen Thomas Award.
The meeting adjourned at 12:50 pm Eastern/9:50 am Pacific Time.