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Stet The President’s Column

Stet going online


Jeremy Van Hof DeWitt HS

f you are reading this, you represent all that is wrong with the journalism of today. You are a tech-savvy, culturally aware consumer of the media, and you are beginning to rely more and more on the web for your information. At the same time, MIPA wants to cut costs, so we’ve moved STET into an on-line only format. We couldn’t justify the printing and mailing costs, we felt the web was a faster distribution method, we presumed that enough media advisers in the state had Internet access to keep readership up. Does all this sound familiar? It should, because it’s what’s happening in news rooms around the globe. Readers are changing rapidly, becoming ever more connected both with each other and with a global media network that streams stories to them 24/7 for free. In response, newspapers and magazines are struggling to survive. Institutions like “Gourmet Magazine” and the “Ann Arbor News” are no more—in part because subscription and advertising began to dry up, and in part because they could not figure out a way to make their online outlets viable. These are the realities of the


President, Jeremy Van Hof, DeWitt HS 1st Vice President, Lynn Strause, retired, East Lansing HS 2nd Vice President, C.E. Sikkenga, Grand Haven HS Secretary, Kim Kozian, L’Anse Creuse HS North Treasurer, Brian Wilson, Waterford Kettering HS Trustee, Tim Morley, Inland Lakes HS Trustee, Sue Spalding, Quincy HS Trustee, Pam Bunka, Fenton HS Newspaper Chair, Julie Price, Haslett HS Yearbook Chair, Lynn Strause, East Lansing HS Broadcast Chair, Diane Herder, Laingsburg HS Legislative Chair, Gloria Olman, retired, Utica HS Workshop Chair, Betsy Pollard Rau, retired, H.H. Dow HS Middle School Chair, Jenny Birmelin, Orchard Lake MS Hall of Fame Chair, Jeff Nardone, Grosse Pointe South HS Immediate Past President, Rod Satterthwaite, Dexter HS Executive Director, Cheryl Pell, Michigan State University MIPA Office, Jayna Salk, Christina Miteff, MSU students

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media world for which we are training our students. High school publication advisers—both for newspaper and yearbook alike—need to realize that in order to properly train our students for successful careers in the media we must train them to thrive in an on-line world. We must understand multi-media news gathering, we must embrace the Internet and social media, and we must try to stay ahead of the curve regardless of the speed at which it seems to be advancing. Rather than focusing on all the negative news surrounding the news, then, it might be worthwhile to start to examine carefully all that is good about these new and converging media. Here is just a short list that highlights some of the positive things about the new trends in media. 1) Online content is everywhere and it is easier than ever to get published. We are experts at getting our students to do the hard work of reporting and writing stories, but the audience that sees their work has historically been very small. Finding online outlets that publish citizen journalists’ work or moving the school newspaper online are two easy ways to exponentially

ABOUT STET Stet is the official newsletter of the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association, an agency of the School of Journalism at Michigan State University. Stet is published four times a year by the MIPA executive director and MSU students. Send letters to the editor and advertising inquiries to mipa@msu. edu. The MIPA Web site is maintained by Cheryl Pell. Web site: MIPA 305 Communication Arts Building Michigan State University East Lansing, MI 48824-1212

grow the number of people that read our students’ work and to add authenticity to their reporting. 2) Online media allows a platform to teach important content in a new a relevant setting. Hard to teach subjects such as copyright law, invasion of privacy law, media ethics, news judgment, and First Amendment theory are made immediately more relevant when presented in the context of the Internet. Students are creatures of the online world now. They think in online terms and will be more able to understand the ethics of publishing a photo or the laws surrounding censorship when those topics are presented as central themes in the online age. Additionally design theory, typography, use of color, and photography are all imminently teachable in an online setting. 3) Online content is more satisfying to readers. Students no longer go to a single source to get information. A music buff follows dozens of online music magazines, downloads tracks from a variety of sites, buys concert tickets from whatever Web site offers the lowest transaction fee, watches music videos on YouTube, and does it all on her cell Please see PRESIDENT, page 6

MIPA CALENDAR Dec. 15, 2009 Late yearbook deadline Jan 25, 2010 Advisers courses begin Feb. 19, 2010 Individual newspaper, yearbook and video contest entries due Feb. 26, 2010 One-day workshop March 6, 2010 Judging Day April 30, 2010 Spring Conference at Lansing Center

TEACHER INTERNS The teacher internship program doubled its numbers in 2009

LORENA CRAIGHEAD n Journalism teacher,

Renaissance HS in Detroit.

n Interned at Metro Times n Any favorite stories? . . .

a review I pitched of Jamie Register & The Glendales performance/ new album at Cliff Bells. My editor hacked it up terribly and the final version was sanitized and shortened for the web. From that I learned what my students go through with me and I appreciate them so much more for it. My news staffers have really become my greatest teachers. n Best advice to students: Work at as many different publications as you can. There is something monumental to be learned from each one. Be honest about things you do not know, but be kind and offer the things that you know well.



n Journalism/English teacher, Plainwell HS

n Journalism/English teacher, Highland Park Community HS

n Interned at The Grand Rapids Press n Fifth

year teaching and second year as adviser of The Trojan Torch, student newspaper. n First day experience: I was excited. I wasn’t as nervous because I had been to the newsroom for an interview and had been required to do a ‘trial story’ before the internship actually began. n Best advice to students: I would tell students to take advantage of any opportunities like this that come their way. Journalism gives you great life skills. I would also tell them that Journalism may be changing but it’s not dying. I think knowing that I had this experience makes my students a little more receptive to whatever writing or reporting advice I’m giving them.

Interned at Oakland Press n

n First day experience: My feelings could best be described as nervous excitement. I was excited because I would experience the life of a reporter at a daily newspaper for a month and I was nervous about whether I would do a good job. There wasn’t much time for me to think about being nervous because within moments of arriving at the paper a story about a drowning was assigned to me and within an hour I had my first story online. n Important thing learned: Observing how the paper operated and asking questions was very educational for me. My editor was very easy to work with and my writing and especially my lead writing improved as I picked up tips from several editors and reporters.



ix journalism teachers got to experience a four-week internship at a newsroom of their choice last summer, thanks to a program sponsored by the Michigan Press Association Foundation and the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association. This was the second year of the program. Three teachers participated in 2008. The skills teachers learned in the newsroom will be forwarded to their students, said Janet Mendler from the MPA Foundation and a key force behind the program. “They become learners by being in a new environment, and it became a role reversal. And for some of them it was eye-opening,” Mendler said. By Juliet Wang


at East Jordan HS for 13 years but journalism only for the last two n Interned

at the

Petoskey News-Review

n Journalism advice: Double check everything! n Best part of internship: I am continuing to freelance for the News-Review, and I’m really glad to have connections there to link my students to. Plus, my students think it’s really cool when they see my work in print.



n Teacher at South Lyon East HS

n Journalism teacher at West Senior HS in Traverse City for more than five years

n Interned at the South Lyon Herald and the Northville Record n This is her third year of teaching and all three years she has taught journalism. n During your internship, what was your favorite story to work on and why? I had to write a feature about a group of Home Depot employees fixing up a school’s landscaping. During an interview, the subject started interviewing me! We ended up talking about a half hour about passion and people. He had to have been at least 65 years old, and he told me two of the greatest qualities in life are to be able to really listen to someone and to find passion in life. I had never really taken time to think about that much and it is some advice that will stick with me in my reporting and beyond.

n Interned at Traverse City Record-Eagle n First day experience: On my first day, I felt a little overwhelmed. I walked in, was shown to a desk. Then, I was “introduced”to a former student, who was going to be my “mentor.” Talk about rolereversal. Once I logged into the computer, and was shown the software, my editor walked over and handed me a press-release. I was thrown into the water and had to swim from the first minute of day one. n Best advice to students: I’ve given my students tons of tid-bits since returning—always make sure you have photo information, has been the biggest one.

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November 2009 Stet  

A newsletter for members and friends of Michigan Interscholastic Press Association. Vol. 37, No. 1