Stony Brook Journalism Students Take on Blogging

So, this is my first post. Wait…let me rephrase that. This is my first blog post ever. Yeah, I’d say that’s a little more accurate…perhaps a little less deceiving (and a lot less presumptuous).

Go ahead and laugh. In this vibrant age of Twitter and mile-a-minute texting spasms, yours truly has never left a mark on the uber-malleable tableau of the Internet.

I’ve followed the same high school track forum since before I joined my high school team, (maybe it’s a little creepy that I’m still following it now) and I’ve been known to sever an hour or two from of my day skipping around on the infamous “ROFL” thread on LiquidPoker.net, my boyfriend’s second life. However, even then, I’ve always been a ‘lurker’…strictly a reader, never a contributor. To be perfectly honest, I’m not even sure I’ve ever read a blog intentionally.

We in the Stony Brook University School of Journalism have been told that blogging may play a more significant role in the future of journalism…the sort of reworked new face that’s just hobbled out of the operating room. Maybe it still bears a few surgical scars, but surely enough, it’s lifting out of the grogginess of the painkillers and taking on a life of its own.

It’s interesting that we’re now being graded on things like this. In a way, I suppose it’s a little like a voluntary boot camp…we’re essentially learning how to survive in the wild jungles of post-recession journalism, traverse uneven terrain. We’re arming ourselves with what’s necessary to take on this shapeshifting industry in what might prove to be the most pivotal moment of its lifetime.  I guess we’re kind of the guinea pigs, test dummies among the first generations of combined journalism and technology scholars.

I’ve heard from a few seniors, for example, that the JRN 211 lab we’re all required to take used to be some kind of quantitative lab not too long ago. The objective: working in the realm of statistical analysis and percent conversions. Ah, journalists and math…a match made in the part of hell well below ‘C-level.’ Now, much to the relief of mathematically challenged J-schoolers like myself, that class has since evolved into a digital photojournalism lab, a profound reminder of the fact that out there in the unpredictable real world,we’ll be expected to be Renaissance men (and women) of our profession with cameras around our necks and notepads in our hands. What’s next for the School of Journalism as the industry takes shape? Backpack journalism 101? A full-credit course in Twitter? It might just be an interesting topic to blog about.

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