Ideas for visiting Virginia Commonwealth University graduate journalism class

I’ll be trekking down to Richmond, the capitol of the commonwealth I now call home, to speak with a graduate-level online journalism class on Friday evening. My esteemed Publish2 colleague (and all-around awesome dude) Ryan Sholin was not able to attend and I’ve been invited to discuss what we do, how journalism is changing and whatever other topics can fit into the session.

Maybe I’ll even throw in some of the ol’ tips.

As would be expected, I posed a question on Twitter about what I should discuss.

(Tweets curated and published with ease courtesy of this and this.)

Thanks to Craig Kanalley, Adam Glenn, Vadim LavrusikMike Higdon and Yuri Victor for their advice. These are all great topics and I hope to touch on as many as possible.

As I read the responses, I thought more about the best approach for the visit. Here’s what I’m thinking now:

  • Introduce myself
  • Ask students to introduce themselves
  • Discuss their interests and goals
  • Ask what they want to discuss
  • Maybe show some things on the screen
  • Challenge assumptions, if warranted

The last point bounced around my head as I asked the question and read the answers, most likely because it was the topic of my Skype video chat with Dave Stanton‘s senior-level journalism class earlier this month.

Then I saw this and laughed:

  • danielbachhuber: Questioning the assumptions will always produce mind-blowing results.

Daniel and are often on the same wavelength, but this was just a funny coincidence. He sent that tweet via text message and wasn’t responding to me (I doubt he even saw the question).

I will qualify and say I don’t think you will always get mind-blowing results, but we could all use a little more challenging of assumptions now and then. Particularly when it comes to journalism education and how we deal with related conversations.

So let me know what you think of this approach and what would you discuss if you were speaking to a graduate-level online journalism class.

2 thoughts on “Ideas for visiting Virginia Commonwealth University graduate journalism class”

  1. Asking the students what they want to talk about is a tough approach, they’ll expect you to have something & might think they know it all already. Have a solid back up if you get no response. I often get the blank stare when asking people what they want to know first because people aren’t sure where to start. They could want to talk about their direction in personal relationships or how many molecules are in Leonard Nimoy’s butt. Get the ball rolling/be their brain coffee first.

    Keeping it interactive is important though, as I feel like I’m able to connect to people better if they have to shout things out or raise their hand or play. After you get started in a direction, you can more easily assess where people are lacking knowledge/are interested in.

    Have fun!

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