Archive for the ‘Management’ Category


Passing the baton in Region 7

Passing the batonTwo years.

That’s the time it takes to obtain a community college education. It’s also the average lifespan of an iPad, the honeymoon period in a new marriage, the unofficial season length for a U.S. presidential campaign, and the sum of one term for an SPJ regional directorship.

Of course, options exist to extend the calendar on any of these things, though the rationale for that extension differs greatly from person to person.

Which is why on Saturday, my term as Region 7 director came to a quiet, satisfying conclusion during EIJ14 in Nashville, and I handed the baton to Rob McLean, Omaha-based digital managing editor for Hearst Television.

Rob’s recent work with the Society underscores his qualifications. He has been at the forefront to re-establish the Society of Professional Journalists in Nebraska, both at the professional and student levels. A few weeks ago, he started moonlighting as an adjunct journalism instructor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Before landing in the Cornhusker State, Rob was a reporter for Patch.com in suburban St. Louis and was an active member of the SPJ professional chapter there.

Rob is a good man with drive, determination, and a devotion to SPJ that few can match. The region is in good hands, no doubt.

So let me use the remaining space in my final Region 7 post to thank all the great journalism professionals and students in Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri who assisted me, informed me, and enlightened me the past 24 months. Your contributions helped make SPJ stronger, wiser, and better positioned to effectively confront the challenges that journalists and educators strive to turn into opportunities.

For the next year at least, I will continue to work with my home chapter, St. Louis Pro, as well as help launch a new national community, SPJ Digital, which debuted last month, and broaden my continued engagement with SPJ’s Freelance Community. And Rob and I will be working together to plan the Region 7 Spring Conference in Omaha in March.

In the meantime, Rob has my full support and confidence as Region 7 director. I hope he has yours, too.

Kansas’ student TV, newspaper now under one manager

University of Kansas logoFor the first time since their operations were consolidated, the student-run TV station and newspaper at the University of Kansas will have one manager.

Brett Akagi, a former assistant news director at KSHB-TV in Kansas City, Mo., fills a new role created by the merger of two positions: station general manager and newspaper faculty adviser, according to the Lawrence Journal-World.

The move advances the School of Journalism’s effort to create a single multimedia newsroom. That effort began in 2010, when the station, KUJH, and newspaper, the Daily Kansan, came under one roof.

The Daily Kansan’s previous adviser, Malcolm Gibson, did not have a supervisory role with the station. Gibson retired this spring after teaching at KU for 17 years.

Ann Brill, dean of journalism, told the Journal-World that the consolidation addresses market and budgetary considerations. These days, journalists are expected to be proficient with more than one media platform, as they often report for print and digital at the same time.

Akagi’s title is media director and content strategist, according to his LinkedIn page. Before landing at KSHB, he was senior video producer at the Star-Tribune in Minneapolis and taught print journalists there how to convert their stories to multimedia.

At KU, Akagi must balance control with oversight. KUJH is funded by the university. The Daily Kansan, meanwhile, is able to pay student workers and allows more editorial autonomy in the students’ hands than the station does. So, while Akagi may have the last word at KUJH, he only advises the Daily Kansan staff.

Trevor Graff, editor-in-chief of the Daily Kansan this fall, told the Journal-World he and Akagi already have discussed ways the two operations can work closer together on reporting projects. Although occupying the same building, KUJH and the Daily Kansan have separate work spaces.

 

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