Graduate students taking the first-ever JOUR 500 Journalism Innovation course in the Meek School have created a series of online stories, which got solid reviews from Chip Mahaney, Director of Digital Content for The E.W. Scripps Company and its Broadcast Division.
One of the story sites explored the issue of Alzheimer’s in Mississippi and an innovative new resource for caregivers here in Oxford. Students Lauren Zimmerman and Alex McDaniel produced the site.
“They did a nice job presenting a polished product,” said Mahaney. “The writing here was generally very good.”
A light-hearted look at the “pizza culture” of Northeast Mississippi was the focus of a site produced by David Steele and Eric Griffis.
“A good ‘I didn’t know that’ topic, and you can tell the project’s creators have a passion for their topic. That passion is reflected in their writing and their producing of the related content,” Mahaney said. “Good use of video, including embedded video from somewhere else on the Internet. Recall Jeff Jarvis’ good advice: ‘Do what you do best, and link to the rest.’ (or “embed” the rest, in this case).”
Lindsay Jordan and Dani Ligato explored the growing movement toward organic and locally produced food in Organic Oxford.
This site has a simple design and layout (good), an easy navigation system (good) and lots of information (good),” Mahaney said. “…the writing is clean. The use of various multimedia elements is good.”
Faculty member Deb Wenger, who taught the course, is looking forward to working with a new crop of students in the spring.
“I learned a lot from these students and I’m proud of what they accomplished,” Wenger said. “I look forward to more excellent work from next semester’s student projects as well.”