Tag Archives: Student

Why I hate granting extensions to students

deadlinesWhen was the last time you asked your boss for an extension on a project you were working on?
I’ve been thinking about this a lot the last two weeks, as many students have been asking me for extensions on their assignments. The excuses/reasons aren’t that compelling – usually, it’s because they can’t find a story to cover before the deadline.
And I have failed them: I have granted extensions this past week that I never would have. I don’t know why, I must have softened. But I promise you it won’t happen again (without tough extenuating circumstances, of course).
Because getting an extension from a university prof/instructor on an assignment is not real life. If you keep asking for extensions in the real world, you’re just snowballing your workload, you’re risking holding your team/company back (hello RIM), and quite frankly, you’re risking your reputation as a person who can deliver.

Using Facebook and Google to run a student newsroom

I teach a second-year ‘Fundamentals of Reporting’ class at Carleton University’s j-school –  but often I’m learning just as much from the students.

These past three weeks, we’ve been running ‘newsroom days’ – students come in with a story, and then head out for the day to chase another, putting out a publication at 5 p.m. The class is large enough that we actually put out two publications at the end of the day, with students alternating roles between Managing Editor or desker and reporter.

This year, Facebook and Google played key roles in putting out our student publications at the end of the day.

Continue reading Using Facebook and Google to run a student newsroom

Journalism, by the numbers

Today, I am giving the students in my second-year journalism class a math test.

When I told the students in this lab – which is mostly a “journalism boot camp”, focusing on interview skills, background research, focusing a lead, writing a strong feature story with an emphasis on CP style – they were shocked.

“But we went into journalism because we aren’t any good at math,” one student said.

Indeed, many of us did, I answered. But journalism is not a refuge from math, numbers are everywhere. And if you’re wrong on your math in a story, it’s as detrimental to your credibility as misquoting someone, or being wrong on the basic facts of a story.

Continue reading Journalism, by the numbers