Sometimes, when I’m deep into a project, examining every part, making sure it’s in its right shape and place, I forget what the finished product is. I can’t see the forest for the trees, so to speak.
That’s how it was this semester with Media Hub, a course I teach at UNC-Chapel Hill. In the class, students focusing on print, broadcast, photography, design or PR are divided into teams and work together to produce stories. The course has three main goals: to create remarkable journalism; to teach students with differing skills and priorities to work together as a team; and to create as much as possible a real newsroom environment. The PR students pitch stories to professional news outlets.
It didn’t dawn on me this semester how successful the class was in getting its work published on mainstream news sites and broadcast on the air. Thirty-six news outlets picked up their work, including the News & Observer, the Charlotte Observer, the News & Record, the Winston-Salem Journal, the Wilmington Star-News, WRAL, ABC11, WFMY, CBS 17, Education NC and the Progressive Pulse.
See all of their stories here. Some examples from newspapers:
Alex Zietlow‘s story across the top of the N&O.
Mary Glen Hatcher’s wilderness story in the News & Record.
Jacquie Melinek‘s piece on Tammy Tilghman.
These are all seniors, and graduate this weekend. Most of them have jobs — most in journalism — and they will be representing the school from Florida to New Jersey to California. I put these students in the same category as the good, young professional reporters I worked with: smart, talented, passionate and hungry. They’re going to do good things in the world; journalism is safe.
And one of my favorite photos of a student — Sophie Whisnant — holding a copy of one of her stories in her home newspaper, the Wilmington StarNews. They may be the digital generation, but they love seeing their work in print.
P.S. The “part II” of the headline refers to this post I wrote about last semester’s class.