Page 1

blend Fall 2009 // Volume 4 // Issue 1 // Ball State Produced // NSPA Distributed


The Powers of Social Media


welcome l brian hayes I took a poll in my journalism 101 class the other day. I asked my students (all of whom are 18 or 19 years of age) how they get their news. I got a variety of responses that most of you would probably expect — television, radio and various Web sites. Some responses, however, included social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and text messages.

Fall 2009 Issue 1 Volume 4 Blend Magazine c/o Department of Journalism Ball State University Muncie, IN 47306 SES DIRECTOR Brian Hayes EDITOR Tom Gayda MANAGING EDITOR Kim Green ASSISTANT DIRECTOR/ BUSINESS MANAGER Megan McNames CONTRIBUTORS Addison Keegan-Harris Adam Maksl Andrew Perrin Blake Stegemiller OFFICE STAFF Sarah Bergsieker Stephanie Cope Anna Kaiser Becky Rother Blend Magazine is published by the Secondary Education Services office at Ball State University. Call 765-285-8900 for advertising information. As well, you can always e-mail the staff at blend.mag@ FOR NSPA Logan Aimone executive director Emily Griesser member services director Kathy Huting contest/critique coordinator Marc Wood communications director Suzanne Taber administrative assistant Tahera Mamdani accountant FIRST AMENDMENT Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Brian Hayes is the director of Secondary Education at Ball State University. He is a former adviser of student publications at Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis. Hayes has worked professionally for several newspapers.

You know what surprised me most though? Not one single student in the entire class of four males and 18 females (I know, it’s a little lopsided) said they get their news from a traditional newspaper. Seriously? Am I crazy? Is this really true? For the last few years, the media has been reporting how news consumption in the U.S. is changing. While Web sites seem to be taking off, traditional newspaper readership is declining. You’ve probably noticed that several newspapers have either gone out of business, reduced staff or cut back the size or frequency of their publications recently too. But what exactly does this mean? Are newspapers no longer a viable option for receiving news? Are social media sites becoming the best way to communicate information to people? As technology changes, people change. Today’s generation of young adults see the world differently than past generations.

They grew up with video games, cell phones, iPods and the Internet. Many things that are normal to them are foreign to many older Americans. In order for newspapers to survive, they need to change and adapt to societal demands. This is one of the reasons why you see that most traditional newspapers have Web sites too. But even more than that, many newspapers are now utilizing social media technologies such as Facebook, Twitter and text message updates to deliver information and reach more people in a variety of ways. It’s interesting how my J101 students didn’t mention the traditional newspaper as a way in which they get their news. But what they didn’t think about is that a lot of the news they were receiving through Facebook, Twitter and text messages were originating from a traditional newspaper company. High schools are a little different from the professional media because they have a captive audience. Newspapers, yearbooks and magazines are likely to survive in the school environment for quite some time because of this nuance. But let’s not forget who your audience is. Utilizing social media technologies within your high school publication’s department would only strengthen your reach, credibility and timeliness — and it wouldn’t take that much more work.

table l of contents 3 NSPA

10 Gone Digital

4 Mixed Media Journalism Etiquette How I Got Involved

14 Go Ahead, Take It!

5 Ask Kim 6-9 Go Ahead, Take It!

16 The Power of Social Media 26 Web Sites to Watch 28 Our Story

nspa l logan aimone NSPA recently issued a revision of its signature set of standards, the Newspaper Guidebook. The last revision was in 2001, and although it had been eight years, the fundamentals of making a print newspaper have not changed. News publications should present strong coverage of all aspects of the school; adherence to the principles of solid design; impeccable photography and visuals; compelling and tightly edited writing; and leadership to bring up topics of relevance and concern to readers as well as to offer opinions on issues of significance. Logan Aimone is the executive director of the National Scholastic Press Association.

Most of the revisions were simple: modifying the text to reflect 21st century technology, updating the examples to illustrate the standards and adjusting the scoring system to increase the value of the visual categories. The new guidebook also expands and clarifies the definition of a newsmagazine. The sections on photography and digital imaging were modified to reflect current technology, particularly related to ethics and alteration of

images. NSPA is emphasizing appropriate credits for photos, illustrations and other images in both yearbooks and newspapers. This has created some stress among staffs that are trying to do the right thing and follow a guideline that had not been clear before.

be especially important to note the submitted photos or fair use images. Example: “Submitted by Name Name” or “Source: Official Web site name. Used with permission.”

The best situation for any publication is to credit all images. This clarifies to the reader the source of the image and whether permission was granted for use. We recognize that is not always feasible or attractive. Mug shots are one instance where most publications don’t include a credit. Fair use images of album covers would be another example where one could get by with perhaps a general credit at the page edge or in the colophon.

One consideration in NSPA contests and critiques is being able to determine whether the work was by students or others, and whether it was included in a way that was appropriate use. Yes, credits are an extra burden for the staff, but they increase credibility and learning. Learning and modeling copyright and respect for intellectual property are important aspects of a student media operation. Having a credit also encourages staff members to take responsibility for their product and to not rely on outside sources such as the adviser, parents, local media or the Internet.

For general candids, a publication could list the credit as a line next to the photo or at the end of the caption. A general page credit would work, too: “All photos by Name Name.” You could include a general statement in the yearbook’s colophon explaining that all photos are by students except where noted. In those cases, it would

For images that are altered, the label of “photoillustration” should be used.

With a little more attention and effort, crediting images will soon be a part of the routine — a part that increases accountability and service to readers.

Kent State University’s School of Journalism & Mass Communication offers plenty of opportunities in a new high-tech facility

A wide range of bachelor’s degrees

Advertising, electronic media, news for magazine, newspaper and broadcast, public relations, photojournalism and information design

Award-winning student media you can join as a freshman Daily Kent Stater, TV2, Black Squirrel Radio, The Burr and niche magazines

The Center for Scholastic Journalism, offering

• An online master’s degree in journalism for teachers and media advisers • Workshops and conferences for student journalists and their teachers • Mark Goodman, the new Knight Chair in Scholastic Journalism, who will promote a national focus on the First Amendment and outreach to administrators, newsroom professionals and others • A Web site to highlight news, curriculum and networking opportunities:

Want more information? Contact Candace Perkins Bowen

mixed l media Can you unscramble these social media-related words? Answers are at the bottom of the page. (Yes, we understand the irony of having a game next to an article about not wasting time playing games—complete these after a deadline!)

1 inolen

2 boefokac

journalism l etiquette 3 trewitt

Playtime or worktime?

4 citpapailno

5 sutats

The scene can be unsettling. Panic on their faces, students rush around the publications room trying to meet their deadline. Emotions are high as editors scramble to help the staff. On another side of the room, the scene is just as unseeling. Kids frantically punch the keyboard with their fingers, sweating as they race against the clock. Of course, these kids aren’t fightitng to meet a deadline, they are fighting to make it to the next level of the game they are playing.

Naturally, not every person on the staff will be facing a deadline every day. But perhaps there are times when time and place appropriateness rings true. Even though you might be weeks ahead and have all of your assignments finished, consider how your playtime looks when others are still working hard. Further, use your excess time to help others and work ahead for the next issue. Help the cause so when it is time for fun, everyone can play.

how i got involved l addison keegan-harris

Journalism opens several doors

Addison Keegan-Harris is the advertising manager of The World student newspaper at Topeka High School.

My experiences with journalism at Topeka High School in Topeka, Kans. have been unusual. I did not take an entry-level class then apply for a staff position. Rather, I, as a freshman with no experience, was lucky enough to be offered a spot on the advertising staff of The World within the first three weeks of classes. I took newspaper right after journalism. It was strange to see the contrast in the newspaper sponsor’s teaching style from one class to the next. In journalism, she would lecture,

about the history of student press laws nationally and in Kansas. The next class period, she took a back seat role, and often said, “I disagree, but this is not my paper.” In journalism I learned that Kansas is one of the few states to have laws that protect student journalists from prior review and censorship. In newspaper, I watched the co-editors call the Student Press Law Center, and have meetings with the principal when faculty members would

try to censor our paper. After that first turbulent year, I have loved being on a staff that has strong administrative support and has twice received top honors from Quill and Scroll Honors Society. We even get to do things that the sports teams do not: travel out of state. The Kansas High School Athletics Assn. does not allow sports teams to travel more than 500 miles for competition. However, we have attended and placed at national conventions and competitions twice in four years.

Mixed Media answers: 1. online; 2. Facebook; 3. Twitter; 4. application; 5. status 4 Blend

ask l kim

Leadership important for editors Our first issue’s question may seem geared toward a limited group — editors. Don’t let that stop you from picking up a few quick leadership tips.

Kim Green directs the student publications at Columbus (Ind.) North High School. A 2006 Dow Jones Newspaper Fund Distinguished Adviser of the Year and 2009 JEA Distinguished Yearbook Adviser of the Year, the publications Green’s students create are consistent award winners.

Q: I am a co-editor of our yearbook, and although I know my yearbook stuff, I feel a little shaky on the leadership stuff. Could you give me a few quick tips on being a good leader — like, what are three skills you want your editors to have? Kim: Three, huh? That’s doable! You already possess one important skill that I don’t have to mention: you know your “stuff.” Whether you’re a yearbook, newspaper/newsmagazine or online editor, knowing your business is crucial to leading your staff, but leadership is more than knowledge of dynamic design or solid storytelling. Quick Tip 1: I want all my editors to “walk the walk.” At the request of past editors,

my leaders collect cell phones at the beginning of every period. Recently, one of my editors reminded her staff that everyone must turn in his/her phone. She was then “caught” using her phone in the production room that same period. Nice example! No teen will accept that kind of leadership from a peer. Expectations for your staff must be the same as expectations for yourself. Quick Tip 2: I expect my editors to recognize that their staff members need to know they are valuable. One way to value staff members is to address problems before they become problems. If your staff has had difficulty meeting deadlines, find a way to focus positively on the sections or individuals who meet deadlines. Present stickers, treats, a verbal shout-out. Recognition, rewards and praise go a long way to prevent problems. Quick Tip 3:

I seek leaders who coach rather than redo. I like to see them sitting down with staff members while they go over their stories or designs. Sure, it takes time on the front end, but it pays off in big ways over time. Redoing staffers’ work teaches nothing and lessens the value of their efforts. Trust me, they will continue making the same mistakes, and after awhile, will stop editing their own work. After all, “the editors will change it anyway” becomes a common mantra. If someone is a lousy writer, why do you as the leader keep assigning him/her stories? Good leaders find the strengths of their people and capitalize on them. Everyone wins that way! I hope you are able to sharpen these three skills this year. You’re already off to a good start! Leaders seek out resources to help them do their best. You’ve done that! Good luck!

The Dow Jones newspaper funD SaluteS P a u l K a N D e l l Palo alto HigH ScHool

2009 National High School Journalism teacher of the Year

adviser to the Paly Voice and Verde newsmagazine


Marc Havlik photo

go ahead l take it!


So, you’ve been assigned a story and now need to conduct some interviews. No problem! First, research the topic and the people you are going to interview. Don’t waste time asking questions that you already know the answer to or can find the answer to before the interview. Also, determine your stance on using “off-the-record” material and make sure your subject knows where you stand.

1 2 3 4


After you meet the person you are interviewing, start slow to establish your credibility. Begin with some yes/no questions that make you look like you know what you’re talking about. Once the interviewee is comfortable, proceed to open-ended questions and allow the interviewee time to think before responding. If you are meeting in someone’s office or home, take notes about their possessions, design style and other things that pop out at you while conducting the interview.


Take accurate notes! It will be helpful if you have a shorthand developed to help take notes quickly. Even if recording the interview, take notes, as technology can fail. Ask specific questions and allow the interviewee time to respond. Pay attention and have a conversation. Listen for follow-ups, don’t be too preoccupied with your next question.


At the end of your interview, ask your interviewee if there is anything he or she would like to add. This way, the interviewee can follow-up an earlier statement or go on record with something else they wanted to say. Also, ask if it is OK for you to follow-up at a later time should you need clarification or have another question. Interviewees will appreciate your attention to detail.


Your best bet is to begin transcribing your notes while the interview is still fresh in your head whether you write the story that very minute or not. Your interview may lead to you conducting other interviews or doing further research. Some reporters will also use this time to send the interviewee a thank you note for their time.

TIPS • dress appropriately, don’t overdress, don’t underdress • develop your own form of shorthand • listen and allow for response time • don’t let yourself become the interviewee • be flexible, allow for spontaneous questions • conduct the interview at a location comfortable to the interviewee • interview in person, if you must interview by phone do so, but avoid interviews over the Internet

go ahead l take it! NSPA CODE OF ETHICS

Never leave your NSPA Model Code of Ethics behind! This convenient page can be cut out, folded and put in your purse or wallet for easy use whenever you have an ethical dilemma.

Cut around the Model Code of Ethics. Then, fold cut-out in thirds both vertically and horizontally. Presto! You have a handy pocket-sized Model Code of Ethics to keep with you at all times. MORE ETHICS ... Adapt the NSPA Model Code and create a publication-specific code you can use at your school.

go ahead l take it! EDITOR EVALUATIONS

Sometimes it is important to communicate with your staff via a written evaluation. These might come from the editor-in-chief or managing editor. Perhaps you are too busy to create your own evaluation, so go ahead, take this one!





Class Attendance Meeting Deadlines Reliability Quality of Work Work Session Attendance Attitude

_____________________ _____________________ _____________________ _____________________ _____________________

q q q q q q

excellent excellent excellent excellent excellent excellent


q q q q q q

good good good good good good

q q q q q q

satisfactory satisfactory satisfactory satisfactory satisfactory satisfactory

q q q q q q

poor poor poor poor poor poor

q q q q q q

n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a

JOB SPECIFIC Job title ______________________________________________________________________________________



Performance of Duties q excellent Communication with Editor q excellent Communication with Staff q excellent









q good q good q good

q satisfactory q satisfactory q satisfactory

q poor q poor q poor

q n/a q n/a q n/a


_____________________ _____________________ _____________________

______________________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________






A check mark indicates you are performing to staff expectations. An x mark indicates an area where improvement is needed.

MISC. _____________________ _____________________

q adherence to journalism style q class participation q meeting deadlines

q attendance q communication q reliability

q attitude q flexibility q time management


Evaluation conducted by ______________________________________________ Date ______________________


Signature ______________________________________________________________________________________


Course of action needed?

q yes

q no

Gone digi NSPA adds Multimedia Guidebook

In 2009, NSPA developed a set of standards for online news sites. The top two goals were to recognize excellence in multimedia and to encourage more multimedia. Similar to Guidebooks for print publications, the new Guidebook

highlights by Logan Aimone

follows the same basic format but provides this new tool in

Check-out images of Pacemaker-winning Web sites on page 12.

a format that is both useful for students and teachers but also “walks the talk” of multimedia.

The Multimedia Guidebook is presented as an interactive digital document using Adobe PDF and designed for display on a computer screen (or printed for student texts). The format takes advantage of the nonlinear nature of interactive media, which will allow the user to move among sections as interested.

Interactivity/Community Tools Interactivity

Scoring components • Five categories of guidelines have been developed and serve as a framework for the score sheets used in evaluation critiques: • Coverage and Content (1,000 points, may deduct for non-student work) • Interactivity/Community Tools (1,000 points) • Breaking News (500 points) • Design and Navigation (1,000 points, may deduct for non-student work) • Rich Media (500 points)


points are awarded for percentage of stu-

dent work and frequency of update.



to the print guidelines for student work and for meeting deadlines.

As with other NSPA critiques, online student media submitted for critique will be rated on NSPA’s traditional scale: Third Class, Second Class, First Class and All-American. Marks of Distinction may be awarded in each of the five categories. This is designed to lend credibility to multimedia as an equal among print counterparts. Rather than rating the same print content presented digitally, the new guidelines seek to encourage innovation with multimedia and Webonly content.

10 Blend


giving information to the reader; it’s about cre -

ating a dialogue between the publication and its readers.

What’s in it?

• Introduction (including the power of the Internet) • Choosing the right medium • Interactivity • Breaking news online • Archiving • Gathering information • Tip lists: Multimedia reporting, Writing for the Web, Video • Cyber Law by Mark Goodman • Quotes/advice from veteran advisers of online media • Screen shots of NSPA award-winning Web sites • Hyperlinks to live Web sites • Score sheet with judging criteria

is an essential element of

century journalism. It’s no longer simply about


Coverage and Content ’t survive on flashy site can good multimedia A

needs to have l video alone. It graphics and coo t. As with a ten con id od, sol substance — go ience, , it needs to serve its aud print publication spaper new al ion dit tra ond the which may go bey l students, ition to high schoo readership. In add ool publisch h hig e lin , an on faculty and staff spective pro , t alumni, parents cation may attrac bers mem y nit mu com , s ir familie students and the er aft site the ple who land on and even just peo


doing a Web search


• The site includes Webblogs, interactive content, such as io and breaking aud elements, video, news. depth coverage • Special reports and inexclusive

includes is well planned and ents. multimedia compon abilities • The site maximizes the cap ltiple mu of use g of the Web, makin . vity cti era int media and a spirit of • The site demonstrates ing risks and tak by on ati experiment . trying new things

• Readers are able to interact with the publication in numerous ways, which may include comment functions, discussion boards and polls. • Social networking and community tools, such as links to other information and guides to community services, are used to empower the reader. • Games, polls, quizzes, interactive maps and other interactive tools are used to engage the reader with the news. • Readers are invited to submit story ideas and given a way (either a story submission form or an e -mail address) to do so. • Contact information is provided for readers who want to write a letter to the editor, buy an ad or contact the

adviser and staff. • The publication makes use of readergenerated content, which may include stories, photos and videos. • Links on stories direct readers to other sites with useful and credible information that enhances the story.

gital_ Breaking news

Since high school print publica tions generally come out infrequentl y, the Web offers stud ents

the opportunity to repo rt important news even ts in a timely manner. O nline student publica tions may be updated on a dail y basis, even if the prin t edition only comes out a few times a year.


• The site is updated regularly, daily if possible. • Important news events are repo rted in a timely way. • Multiple media — which may include photos, graphics, text , audio, video and interactive elements — are used to report breaking news events. • Breaking news reports are upd ated as information comes in. • Coverage includes useful info rmation for readers, such as not ification of school closing in the event of bad weather or an emergen cy


• News is accurate, even if the information is incompl ete.

Design and Navigation

site should be attractive and easy to navigate, steering the reader toward the new est and most important information. Content . should drive design, not the other way around

A Web


• The site is visually appealing, drawing readers into stories. • Navigation is easy; readers can

Rich Media

Multimedia offers a rich experience for readers that taps multiple senses. New media is constantly changing and innovation should be a

Web site. Student sites, in

effortlessly find what they are looking

vital element of any


particular, which are less bound by convention

• The home page is simple and uncluttered. • The site provides links to relevant resources, such as the high school Web site. • A dominant piece of art, at least twice as big as anything else, anchors each page. • Visual elements, such as photos and graphics, are used to enhance content, not as decoration. • News is presented in a clear hierarchy, with the most important and/or newest stories prominently displayed. • Tabs clearly direct readers to different sections of the publication, such as news, sports, entertainment and opinion. • Multiple elements of a story are packaged together into an integrated

unit. • Bullets, fonts, boxes and other design elements are used to facilitate reading and navigation. • Links provide access to related content on the site.

and market pressures, should be creative and pioneering.


• The site uses a variety of media, which may include audio, video, slide shows and/or audio slide shows, text and graphics. • Media are used to enhance content and help tell stories rather than simply add flashy elements to the site. • Each media element — slide show, video, podcast, etc. — tells a story. • Photos and video are adequately lit and well composed. • Photo illustrations are clearly labeled. • In photos and video, a variety of shots — action, candids, long shots, close -ups and detail shots — are used. • In audio and video reports, sound quality is clear; voices are easy to understand. • Audio reports make use of ambient and natural sound as well as interviews. • Graphics are clear and easy to understand. • Special projects and packages are well organized and designed to help readers navigate through the content. • Copyright laws are understood and respected; only original content or copyright-free material (music, photos, videos, etc.) is used.

Pacemaker Winners

El Estoque, Monta Vista HS Cupertino, Calif. Alice Lee, editor Michelle Balmeo, adviser

Knight Errant, Benilde-St. Margaret’s School St. Louis Park, Minn. Amelia Raether, editor Jason Wallestad, adviser, Francis Howell North HS St. Charles, Mo. Katie O’Neil, editor Aaron Manfull, adviser

Wayland Student Press, Wayland HS Wayland, Mass. Robin Kim, editor Janet Karman Mary Barber, adviser

Gargoyle, University Laboratory HS, Urbana, Ill. Isaac Chambers/Gordon Ruan/Lizzy Warner/ Lauren Piester/Elaine Gu/Rachel Skoza/Jason He, editors David Porreca, adviser

The HiLite, Carmel HS Carmel, Ind. Yon-Sue Choi, editor Jim Streisel, adviser

The following sites were Pacemaker finalists: The Feather, Fresno Christian HS, Fresno, Calif. Redwood Bark, Redwood HS, Larkspur, Calif. Trident, Corona del Mar HS, Newport Beach, Calif. The Paly Voice, Palo Alto HS, Palo Alto, Calif. King’s Courier, El Camino Real HS, Woodland Hills,

SMES Express, St. Margaret’s Episcopal School, Calif. San Juan Capistrano, Calif. Nicki Yokota, adviser

12 Blend

Mustang Express, Ponderosa HS, Parker, Colo. The Harbinger, Shawnee Mission East HS, Prairie Village, Kan. Edsman, St. Edward HS, Lakewood, Ohio

a yearbook is heartbeat a

the rhythm of your school.

, a pulse,

giggle and sigh, gasp and cry,

It captures every

unites athletes and scholars,

leaders and followers in a way that nothing else can.

Its body is your life and the voice of your school,

its breath the moments frozen in time. Let us show you how to bring more to your

yearbook and make

today live forever.

we get it.


Presented here is the most basic color wheel featuring the primary, secondary and tertiary colors.

The three most basic colors are red, blue and yellow. They are the primary colors.

There are a few sure-fire ways to match colors expertly. Colors across from each other on the color wheel, complimentary colors, are perfect matches. A triad of colors occurs when you imagine an equilateral triangle in the center of the wheel; the three colors the triangle touches create the triad. Split compliments occur when one color matches the neighbors of its compliment. The following are strong color combinations:


When primary and secondary colors mix, you get tertiaries. There are six tertiaries: blue-violet, blue-green, yellow-green, orange-yellow, red-orange and violet-red.


If our primary colors mix, we get secondary colors. These colors are violet, green and orange.





go ahead l take it!

shade — a hue plus black

secondary colors — the colors created by mixing the primary colors

aggression anxiety bold excitement impulsive passionate stimulating

calm credible electric energy impressive strong traditional

energetic friendly hot joyful radiating surprise

enchanting rich royal spiritual visionary

fresh grass healthy lively renewal spring

friendly fun happy optimistic sociable whimsical

bold classic elegant empowering modern powerful prestigious sophisticated strong

airy clean innocent pure simplicity

earthy wood fur stability

value — intensity of a color

class anniversary expense futuristic

triad — a color match created from three colors equidistant from each other on the color wheel

tint — a hue plus white

primary colors — the three colors which all other colors are created from RGB — red, green, blue

tertiaries — the colors created by mixing a primary and secondary color

subtractive colors — cyan, magenta and yellow (CMYK). Cyan absorbs red light, reflecting blue and green. Magenta absorbs all green light, reflecting blue and red. Yellow absorbs all blue light, reflecting red and green. “K” is black, the fourth color in the fourcolor process. Print materials most frequently use the four-color printing process.

split complimentary color — matching one color with the “neighbors” of its complimentary color

hue — the property of a color that is identified by a color name, such as red, blue and yellow

complimentary colors — colors that are directly across from each other on the color wheel

CMYK — cyan, magenta, yellow, black

additive colors — red, green and blue (RGB); the colors used to produce the full spectrum, typically for electronic viewing

achromatic colors — white, black and gray


Analogous colors are those colors which are adjacent on the color wheel.


Monochromatic color comes from one color at different intensities. When using design software, this is changed by altering the percentage of the color. When designing with just one color, this gives the impression you had more available.


Designers choose certain colors when working because they know what emotional response the color will bring out in the viewer. Here are what popular colors mean:


Warm colors (red, orange and yellow) tend to advance off the page or cool colors. Cool colors (blue, purple and green) tend to “fall back” into warm colors.


bbb bbb

Not all colors look good together. Colors too close on the color wheel sometimes look bad. Also, white and black don’t always work well with the colors on the color wheel. Viewers like contrast. The following are weak color combinations:


bbb bbb






s e y a H n a i r B y b


hen I was growing up, there were three basic ways of communicating with people outside of talking to them face-to-face. I could pick up a landline phone and call someone. I could write a letter, put it in an addressed envelope, lick a stamp, and drop it in a mailbox. Or, I could take out a piece of paper, write a note on it and pass it through the classroom until it got to the person I was wanting to communicate with. Now, I know these forms of communication seem archaic, but they seemed to work pretty well at the time. Boy, let me tell you about my excitement when we got call waiting and cordless house phones! Ok, I’m starting to sound like my dad now when he starts talking about the good old days, so I’ll stop. My point is that in today’s society, you have more ways of communicating information to a large group of people than ever before. In just the touch of a screen, you can transmit information to all of your friends, your friends’ friends, and beyond in less time than it would take to figure out how to dial a three-way call on an old landline phone. The opportunity you have now to increase the readership of your school publications is seemingly limitless. Utilizing social media technologies to push people to your print, online and broadcast publications can grow your readership by leaps and bounds. This Q & A with several industry professionals will give you some ideas on how your school’s journalism program could utilize social media technologies that would benefit the entire student body.

What is social media? DAVE: While there are thousands of self-proclaimed experts out there, I’d argue that social media is a simple buzzword for popular, user-generated community sites such as Facebook, Twitter and (the less popular) MySpace. In a more simplistic sense, social media is anything that allows you to easily connect with a large group of people despite geographic barriers. How can social media be useful to high school media staffs? AARON: I think social media can be most beneficial to high school media staffs in the sense that it can generate traffic to your Web site. When your target audience is online, they are a captive audience. Many of them spend time on social networking sites such as Facebook, and if you can get their attention there, you are only a click away. There are numerous secondary benefits to using social media. For example, it tends to be easier for your audience to become engaged with you through social networking sites. They are much more likely to comment on your status than they are to sit down and write you a letter to the editor. DAVE: There are two lenses to view social media from: dissemination and information gathering. Let’s use an example for simplicity: Twitter. With an appropriate group of followers, your organization can use twitter to promote the paper, new articles, Web sites and more. At the same time, even if using your own Twitter account, you can use the service to seek out story ideas, see what trending topics there are in your community and communicate with your reader base. Keep in mind, communicating with your reader base is inherently a method of promotion, too. A third option also includes using these services internally. I’ve heard of some staffs using a private Twitter account that followers must be granted access to see. Sign up all your editors to follow that Twitter account, and even ask them to accept text messages when a new tweet is made on that account. It’s an easy way to do a mass staff alert that goes directly to your phone. Twitter is free — but keep in mind your cell phone plan when doing this! What specific social media technologies should high school media staffs consider utilizing and for what purpose? AARON: For all staffs, you need to consider the resources you have and try not to spread yourselves too thin. Having said that, if you have someone who is willing to take on a social networking post, you need to look at your audience and try to figure out which social networking site will get you the most return on your time investment and get you to your goal quickest. If your goal is to get 25 more visitors per day on average and most of the students in your school are on Facebook, then I would start with creating a Facebook fan page. Twitter and MySpace should not be overlooked and are great places to develop a presence as well. Those three tools would mostly be used to push site updates to your readers to get them to click through and read stories, check out photo galleries

or take a poll you’ve constructed. As you get better with those technologies and develop a plan for them, you can even update statuses from ball games, giving scores to your readers while they are at home, or covering other breaking news events. In addition, if you have video on your site I would recommend creating YouTube and SchoolTube channels to house videos you have created as well as highlighting videos that other people in your school have posted. DAVE: Twitter is a must, but it’s also dependent on the users in your community. What do I mean? Let’s use Facebook as an example. Facebook would be pretty lame if you only had five friends on there. Twitter is exactly the same. It proves its worth as your community grows. So, start from the ground up. If your school hasn’t gripped the Twitter concept yet, start educating them with articles and even face-to-face conversations with friends. Facebook is more difficult. While some schools create fictitious people/user accounts for others to “friend,” this is technically a violation of Facebook’s terms of use. While I can’t verify this story, I’ve actually had one university paper tell me that Facebook sought out their fake page and deleted it. After much begging, they were fortunate enough to have Facebook transfer their friends into “fans.” Fans are what Facebook uses for its “Pages.” Pages are a profile-like display an organization, product or company should use for Facebook representation. If your paper isn’t on Facebook yet — you want to cre20 Blend

ate a Page, not a profile. (Pages are located in your applications menu at the lower left of the site.) More on this in a moment.


You’ve also got YouTube, Vimeo (a classier YouTube alternative) and Flickr to share content. Other sites are constantly appearing. As of writing, Google Wave is sending out its first round of invites. I can’t speak much of it yet, but I look forward to testing it out soon.

How can social media help high school media staffs increase reach and readership? AARON: Status updates can and should be used to push out items of interest to readers. You should let readers know a new photo gallery was posted from Homecoming. You should make them aware of a new story that went up about last night’s swim meet. You should ask them what they are most looking forward to about Winter Break and then send them to the Web site to answer the poll you’ve constructed. Give them a link to click on and consider using URL shorteners like or to shorten obnoxiously long URLs and keep your status update looking a bit cleaner. DAVE: This falls in line with the two-fold concept of use. Think back to the Twitter example: You’re looking to inform and promote. By informing, you’re promoting the product and positioning your pa-

per as an expert on your community. The trend of hyperlocal journalism cannot be ignored. You are your school’s expert on the school. No one can cover or have better access to the athletes, the show choirs, the marching bands and the valedictorian than your staff. Use social media to prove this point. Engage your readers with tweets and Facebook statuses asking for story ideas or interesting students.

to advertisers. The more attractive you are to advertisers, the more money you make. DAVE: If you have a Web site, make it the prime ground for your online advertising/ money-making efforts. Use social media to drive traffic to your site, equaling page views for your site, impressions for your ads, and more for you to brag about to your advertisers. This is another example of positioning yourself as an expert on your community. Professional newspapers pump a lot of resources into prep sports coverage. Why? People eat the content up and advertisers want a piece of that attention. In regard to promotion, don’t be afraid to use your social media tools to gain the attention of other news outlets and community residents. Take this attention to make your publication the best resource on everything at your school, then drive all that traffic to your Web site.


How can social media help high school media staffs make money? AARON: Well, if you are using a site like to host your photo galleries and you’re using Smugmug’s pro feature where users can buy photos printed or printed on items, then I would make sure to let readers know when photos get posted and that they can buy them. Let readers know a coffee mug with a picture of them playing soccer slapped on it would be a great gift for grandma. On the Facebook fan page you could list information on how individuals and business could buy ad space on your Web site or in your printed publication, however, I would hesitate blasting your readers with status updates pushing your followers to visit sponsor sites. They may get turned off and unfollow you. Really, social media sites should be used mostly just to draw readers to your site. The more viewers you draw to the site the higher your page visit count goes. The higher your page visit count goes, the more attractive you are

What is the biggest obstacle high schools face in incorporating social media into their programs? AARON: I think there are two main obstacles. The first deals with advisers or administrators. I think some are so scared of potential harm that they say ‘No’ before giving it the thought they should. You will never be able to control what others say about you, regardless of whether or not you have a Facebook presence. However, if you have a presence you have complete control over your image and what gets put up. I think high school publication students

understand that when they are acting as their publication fan page they are wearing a much different hat than when they are updating their own personal page. The second obstacle would just deal with manning the social media sites you create. As programs add Web sites, online photo galleries and a social networking presence (among other things) they are doing so in addition to all the other duties they have in the room. Staffs need to make sure they aren’t taking on too much where they are spreading their resources too thin and, in turn, watering down coverage or not doing a very good job at anything, rather than a really good job at a few things. What do high school media staffs need to do to get started using social media? AARON: First, decide why you are wanting to jump in. If the answer is “Just because” or “Well, others are” then you may be doing it for the wrong reasons. You need to figure out what you hope to accomplish by setting up a presence on social media sites. Then, I would say you need to train staff members to maintain the site, talking about what gets posted, how often updates should be posted, what kinds of things don’t get posted and what to do if an audience member engages you online. DAVE: A computer, an Internet connection and some time. I suggest putting one person in charge of all of your efforts. You’ll want

this person to be techsavvy and friendly, allowing your social media feeds to have personality. Make sure they work well with your design and photo staff. After all, you’ll need content such as logos and photos to help brand your pages. The largest barriers to launching your school’s social media efforts are laziness and a “this doesn’t matter” attitude. Fight hard to overcome that attitude, even if that means educating your staff and other students in the process. You’ll all be better off for it. When you walk into a college newsroom or professional newsroom and can say, “Yeah, I ran our Twitter and Facebook — I got people to pay attention,” people will take notice. What kind of impact do you think social media will have on the future of the journalism profession? DAVE: One thing has not changed in journalism: The challenge of answering, “Why should I care?” News is nothing, if not relevant. Social media can become another technological, mediated distraction for the general public quite easily. It’s a more detailed example for how the Internet is challenging the way journalists work. The challenge is for journalists to put aside their egos, their know-everything attitude and get back to doing what it is they stereotypically do best: Ask questions. Journalists are no longer the gatekeepers, and we have the Internet to thank for it. Whether or not that’s a good or bad thing remains yet to be seen. My advice — get to know your audience. Social media is a great way to do it.

nalist needs?

The only tool a jour

one offers a wealth 0 applications, the iPh With more than 65,00 lebook, multiple Sty AP An . ore hard to ign s and voice reof resources that is oto ph e camera for onlin tably into the newspapers, decent for in a device that fits com corder are contained palm of your hand. journalists need to stant news updates, In today’s world of con is no better device ere Th . ute ly to contrib be able to act quick a moment’s notice. at dating your readers than an iPhone for up ntly aware. You never cessary to be consta As journalists, it is ne ing to happen. go is y ing newsworth know when someth enough. You need nt awareness isn’t Unfortunately consta er you need to reeth Wh . ent the events some way to docum down some notes, , take a picture, or jot ice vo ’s ks ne eo som d cor plish all of these tas to efficiently accom all permaare the iPhone is there tes no nd tha ings and firs and more. Your record nsferable format. ll-organized, easily tra we a in red sto y ntl ne a resource. The myrenting, the iPhone is In addition to docum as and information design ideas, story ide iad apps can provide . ble ina ag im t any subjec pertaining to almost without the help rnalists have survived an iPhone or Although student jou ure fut the in ive m to thr of the iPhone, for the device is a must. similar multi-purpose rin Per rew —And

On a larger scale: My master’s thesis suggested that the Internet is to journalism what the Penny Press was to journalism in the colonial days. That’s when police blotter, gossip and sensationalism started making a rise. What happened after? There became a need for valued, accurate and in-depth reporting. I venture we’ll soon be so overwhelmed with fluff, gossip, Perez Hilton-like content that we’ll see a push back from consumers. Conveniently, that’s right about the time we’ll see the industry figure out a working business model. And who knows, all of this could happen right before you graduate college. Lucky. David Studinski is Community Manager for mtvU’s College Media Network, which serves more than 600 college newspapers in the United States. Studinski holds an M.A. in Telecommunications and a B.S. in Journalism from Ball State University. A former two-term editor-in-chief at the Ball State Daily News, he also served three years as president of the Indiana Collegiate Press Association. Studinski is the recipient of numerous state and national awards including an online news story Pacemaker and honors in the inaugural UWIRE Top 100 College Journalists list. Aaron Manfull, MJE, is the adviser at Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles, Mo. He advises the Excalibur yearbook, the North Star newspaper, the weekly podcast and the student-run news Web site. Prior to that he advised both the newspaper and yearbook in Newton, Iowa. Manfull has spoken on a wide range of topics at conferences and summer workshops.

There’s an app for that... and that... and that... The iPhone might just be the only tool a professional—or student—journalist will ever need. Check out these 10 apps that can keep every journalist occupied for a while. —Andrew Perrin AP Stylebook — $28.99 Should you use fewer or less? This app holds that answer and many more. Also, save your own notes and create a list of favorites. 2009 version includes the free 2010 update.

Grammar Guide— 99 cents Brush up on subject-verb agreement and other grammatical issues with this useful app.

Recorder Pro — 99 cents Yes, the iPhone comes with a voice memo app, but features including gap detection and skipping make this app a must

myPantone — $9.99 Find and match colors, make text or voice notes, then save them to a library. Don’t let your design ideas slip away. Great for yearbook designers, too! — Free Spelling can be a tricky subject for many, but is here to help. The thesaurus function also helps you find more precise words.

Dropbox — Free Allows you to sync files online and between computers. Take a picture, save it to your Dropbox, get on the computer and you’re in business.

ShapeWriter Pro — $7.99 Quick and accurate notetaking. It’s much easier than typing out every letter.

Wikipedia Mobile— Free Wikipedia may not be the most reliable source, but it can be useful to get the basics on almost any subject so you’re more informed before conducting an interview on short notice.

NYTimes — Free Stay up-to-date on current events and read professionally written stories.

Street Lingo - Urban Dictionary Search — $1.99 Not sure what people are talking about? Not “down” with something? Run it by Street Lingo. You’ll learn a lot with this app.

P O D N O SEC ponses to s re ir e th re a h s urnalists

l jo Two professiona

What is social media? Social media is really any form of electronic communication that brings people together to share information, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or even online dating sites. How can social media be useful to high school media staffs? Well, I can tell you that social media is a great source for high school media staffs because it’s all about gathering information. If you’re trying to investigate a topic for an article, using Facebook or Twitter to find the perfect sources really does work. We call it “crowd sourcing” and it’s really helped our newspaper, the Florida Times-Union, find sources on a variety of topics. For example, I wrote a feature story about “Why don’t kids play outside anymore?” and I used social media sites to find parents who are concerned about this issue.

the Q&A.

How can social media help high school media staffs make money? To make money using social media, you have to be able to direct people back to your Web site. Use tweets and Facebook posts to tease readers and get them to click on your site. If you give away too much, they won’t read your site. Give away too little and they won’t care either. It’s a balance to strike. What do high school media staffs need to do to get started using social media? If your high school media staff is going to use social media as a part of journalism, then clear ground rules need to be set up ahead of time.

How can social media help high school media staffs increase reach and readership? We have also frequently used Facebook and MySpace to find information on criminals or victims of crime during our breaking news and crime reporting. You’d be surprised how much information is out there — even information that directly relates to the case you’re writing about. When a massive boat crash took the lives of several young people, we were able to log onto Facebook, look at their pages and find friends of theirs who would be willing to talk to us for the article.

If your Twitter or Facebook page is used to promote journalism, then you need to make sure it’s clear of any political bias, inappropriate photos and profanity. Basically, you’re representing the publication now. If you still want to have a personal page separate from the publication, then the best move is to create a second account with a different name, possibly one that can’t be identified to you. Be sure to set strict privacy settings and even then you still need to be careful about what you post online. You never know if one of your friends might re-tweet or print out anything you post. A good rule: Assume everyone can see it.

It’s also an effective tool for promoting your publication. It’s really easy to create a “fan page” on Facebook or Twitter account for individual reporters to promote your work. The Times-Union has taken it a step further by allowing our readers to create their own profiles and blogs on our Web site, even adding other readers as friends. Our readers are now contributing to the content of our Web site. Of course, you have to be careful not to lose sight of your original mission: to report the news. Twitter is great for breaking news, but it shouldn’t be your only way to report the news. You should still have in-depth articles and analysis pieces, but social media can be used to promote these features online.

What kind of impact do you think social media will have on the future of the journalism profession? It’s hard to know how social media will affect journalism in the future. In some ways, Twitter has replaced breaking news journalists because it’s a faster way to report the news. But, of course, it’s less accurate. One only needs to look at the fake death of Jeff Goldblum reported on Twitter to know that reputable news organizations are still needed.

24 Blend

Adam Aasen, general assignment reporter, The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, Fla.

S N O I N I P O What is social media? It could be described in various ways. Some consider it user-generated content, as average Joes (and Janes) have played major roles in defining news-worthiness of a subject, blogging and tweeting their opinions of an event as well as making discoveries news outlets haven’t yet come across. It is a new-age way of communicating news and interacting with audiences, rapidly erasing the need for print newspapers and magazines. Social media allows anyone and everyone to be an expert, and as long as the individual markets himself or herself enough on the Internet (usually doing or saying something outlandish), he or she will be read. Social media could also be viewed as an open forum for people to express their opinions, promoting reader-source and reader-reader interaction via comments on articles, blog posts, Facebook fan pages, tweets, etc. Within minutes, an article with a typo, false information (or lack of information) could be transformed into a developed, error-free story because luckily, readers are piranhas, jumping on every opportunity to bite a journalist in the ass.

How can social media be useful to high school media staffs? It’s an easy way to spot trends and a great way to find out (in real time) what students deem relevant, what their concerns are and what their parents’ concerns are as well. There are so many mom blogs out there, I’d imagine it would be easy to find a mother blogging about a high school her teen attends, and voicing her praise or dissatisfaction for a staff member or a specific department. Also, it’s a great way to get students excited about an event (Facebook, Twitter, a high school’s blog) such as prom or a basketball game as well as new club opportunities. When I was in high school, for example, I was president of the French club and what I found most difficult was getting other French students involved. Of course, there were club fairs and flyers, etc., but starting a Facebook group or a fan page would have been a much easier and faster way to gauge an audience and thus, get more participants. How can social media help high school media staffs increase reach and readership? Well, first of all, I think a high school paper needs to do like the college papers and go online. Second, a Twitter profile and a Facebook page wouldn’t hurt. Why not use that to understand what students’ weaknesses, strengths, concerns and ambitions are? I’ve always strongly believed that individuals are much more open behind a computer screen, that they uncloak themselves and lose any inhibition they might experience in a classroom. That’s why people blog, tweet and comment on walls and stories — because they like the anonymity that the Internet provides — and if they choose to ex-

pose their names, pictures, etc., they do it because they still feel less threatened than in a classroom or an office. They are in their own environment and believe they have more control, even if what they say or do online could lead to negative reprecussions. What do high school media staffs need to do to get started using social media? They need to agree that social media is beneficial for learning, research and gauging students’ attention. Then, they just need to hop on the social media bandwagon and start blogging, tweeting and Facebooking. What kind of impact do you think social media will have on the future of the journalism profession? We (journalists) won’t be able to live without it. It’s both a detriment and a benefit. The problem with social media is that most of the time, what we write doesn’t get fact-checked and often, the alleged facts spewed out by inexperienced journalists or random bloggers get dissected in the Blogosphere and Twittersphere, with people commenting and “OMG”-ing on something that isn’t true. The demand for real-time news has forced reputable reporters to turn to blogs and Wikipedia for additional information in order to meet their quota of eight to 10 stories a day, and as we all know, this leads to chaos. Readers are misled, journalists are mocked. Social media has allowed anyone to take the role of a reporter, taking pictures of burning cars and tumbling buildings on their iPhones and uploading them to Facebook or Twitter before a local reporter or an ambulance had the chance to get to the scene. Also, with real-time tweets, New Yorkers learned that a tourist helicopter and a small plane crashed over the Hudson River and it was because of these tweets that Fox News was able to jump on the story right away and provide additional information. and The New York Times are famous for using Twitter to express individuals’ reaction to a certain event, etc. In general, I think we’ll discover less of a demand for “real” journalists within the next five years. And when I say “real,” I mean those who have a degree in journalism and have worked for either a print or an online publication. Anyone can become a blogger and if he or she delivers exclusive information or a different take on reported news in a coherent and engaging manner, then this person will be read and respected. Jane Tuv is a freelance writer and blogger in New York, covering personal finance and lifestyle beats. Her work has appeared in Forbes, Natural Health, City Scoops and The Black Rock Beacon. She currently blogs for AOL’s and

Web sites to watch by Adam Maksl

Sports lover or not, we can all learn something from ESPN. The journalism organization spans across all media platforms. From TV, to print, to the Web, to mobile devices, they’re informing their audience in ways convenient to readers and viewers who rely on them for up-to-date sports information and news. And they’re putting a lot of their content — from written stories, to videos, to sports scores — on their Web site. Many high school journalism programs are just now launching digital versions. Whether you’ve made the jump already, or you are still planning, take a note from the high school sites that have learned from professional sites like ESPN that in a hyper-connected world, engaging the audience across platforms is vital. Wayland Student Press Network Wayland High School, Wayland, Mass.

The strength of the Wayland Student Press Network’s site is in its comprehensive approach to storytelling. From video, to news stories, to blog posts, they highlight the student community in whatever way the story dictates. One of the coolest features they’ve promoted is WSPN Mobile. The journalists use Twitter to send mobile updates to students’ phones, an innovative cross-platform approach that delivers news and sports scores to readers on the go.

26 Blend

The Paly Voice Palo Alto (Calif.) High School

What makes the Paly Voice a great example of what student journalists can do on the Web lies in the structure of the student media at Palo Alto High School. In addition to its own content, the Voice publishes work from Verde and Viking, the school’s two magazines, The Campanile, its newspaper, and InFocus, the school’s television network. This is a true example of convergence journalism in high school.

Gargoyle University Laboratory High School Urbana, Ill.

The Gargoyle’s Web site shows how much they value storytelling, no matter what form it takes. The site features written stories, photos and interactive opinion polls, among many other features. But perhaps its strongest quality is the variety of multimedia stories they tell. The site features photos slideshows, videos, first-person audio stories and several audio slideshows.

Knight Errant Benilde-St. Margaret’s School St. Louis Park, Minn.

The Internet helps build and strengthen community ties, and the best journalism sites understand this. When many of us visit professional news sites, we love to see what others are reading and the stories about which fellow readers are making comments. The Knight Errant understands this community function of their newspaper, including sections on the front page listing the most popular stories and links to the stories where other readers are posting their comments.

HiLite Online Carmel (Ind.) High School

The advantage of publishing online is that you have the ability to post information immediately. Newspapers that used to publish daily are posting news as it happens, sometimes second-by-second. For a high school newspaper that is used to publishing every few weeks, this sometimes presents a challenge, but the best understand that the Web means you need to make frequent updates. The HiLite does just this. With features ranging from Photo of the Day, to online-only content, to a list of daily events, the young journalists at Carmel High School know what to do to keep their readers coming back for more.

our story l blake stegemiller

Private school editors ‘aim to please’ The role of the editor-in-chief for most high school papers is to be the boss, the top commander, the big dog. The editor-in-chief’s major roles include being the deciding factor in choosing which stories and pictures are put in the school’s paper, and which ones are left on the cutting room floor. This being said, having the title of editor-in-chief at a private school brings a whole new job description.

C.. J. Allard (top) and Blake Stegemiller are co-editors-inchief of Roncalli (Indianapolis) High School’s Rebel Review.

Because Roncalli is a private institution, being the editor-in-chief means being the principal’s top assistant in association with the newspaper. In class, I am the boss. I make the deciding calls. I manage the managed. This role is only for our 49 minutes we get each

day in the newspaper time slot. When the bell rings, I become a student again and all the power rests with principal. If he doesn’t like a certain aspect of our paper, forget it, it’s not going to happen. If something is “too controversial,” you had better not second guess his decision because our aim is to please, not to stir the pot. Being a private school’s editor-in-chief is no easy task. Making decisions just to have them looked at by the real editor-in-chief can be tiresome. The title is just that. There’s no job description behind it. That would be stirring the pot. The Rebel Review can be found online at

The Alabama Scholastic Press Association assists middle and high school newspaper, yearbook, newsmagazine, literary magazine, online and broadcast staffs. The AlAbAmA ScholASTic PreSS ASSociATion offers: • The Long Weekend summer journalism camp on The University of Alabama campus each year, open to any middle or high school student or adviser • A 10-day Multicultural Journalism Program on campus each summer • State Convention on campus each spring, with on-site and carry-in competitions • A traveling journalism workshop series across Alabama each fall for students and advisers • Critiques of publications and broadcasts For more information, contact ASPA at or visit the Web site at

Private school stories What’s the difference between stories run in a public school paper compared to a private school paper? Sometimes nothing. Here are some of the stories the first issue of the Rebel Review covered... • new driving laws • school construction • 9/11 retrospective • Facebook trends • school parking problems • exchange students • Michael Vick • texting while driving • fall sports update • ice skating student • fall fashion • twin comparison













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Blend | Fall 2009  

Our Fall 2009 issue of Blend Magazine! This season's issue of Blend features interviews with digital media specialists, how-to's on getting...

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