May 9, 2012
Reporters who visit my classes often describe the variety of assignments they cover. This is especially true in Moscow and Pullman, where a relatively small group of journalists covers a myriad of events and issues. Visitors range from Nobel Prize-winning diplomats to world-renowned scientists to Olympic gold medalists.
Tim Steury, editor of Washington State Magazine, offered these thoughts in his First Words column in the magazine’s latest issue:
How else would one have the opportunity to have breakfast with an esteemed poet or lunch the same day with an equally esteemed winemaker? Or snorkel with a marine scientist? Or be granted insights of a dissertation on atomic culture while the dissertation is in progress? Or immerse oneself in a tale of obsession, scholarly collecting, and crime? And at the end of the experience? Guaranteed publication. Well, almost guaranteed. The result does have to be literate, correct, and engaging. Spectacular, even.”
He’s writing of his own experience and those of the writers on his staff. But the opportunity to satisfy one’s curiosity on an amazing array of topics is to me one the lasting rewards of being a journalist.
May 9, 2012
U.S. media companies are cheering news that paid circulation has risen at major newspapers, including The New York Times. The report by the Audit Bureau of Circulation for the six months ending March 31 shows that online subscribers have boosted circulation figures.
In particular, The Times has benefited from imposing a paywall, which provides some online content at no charge but requires a subscription for unlimited access. The Times quotes Caroline H. Little, chief executive of the Newspaper Association of America, who gave this spin to the report:
We’re particularly gratified to note that newspapers’ embrace of digital platforms, as well as smart and efficient circulation strategies for print products, are reflected in the numbers, which clearly demonstrate positive trends in total circulation growth for publishers.”
The report suggests that readers are willing to pay for quality content online. But the larger challenge for news organizations will be replacing revenues lost when major advertisers started to abandon printed newspapers.
April 24, 2012
Eric Sorensen has been reporting and writing for 30 years, often on scientific and environmental issues. A graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, he was the Palouse bureau chief of the Spokesman-Review and science writer for the Seattle Times.
He has edited at the magazines Conservation and Pacific Northwest Yachting, and co-authored the book, Seven Wonders for a Cool Planet: Everyday Things to Help Solve Global Warming. He has also worked with conservationists and scientists throughout the West in dealing with the media.
He is currently the science writer for Washington State Magazine, the quarterly magazine of Washington State University. Please come prepared to ask Eric a question about his career and his experience covering scientific and environmental topics.
April 22, 2012
Tracy Simmons serves as the editor and community manager of SpokaneFAVS (Faith and Values), which is affiliated with Religion News LLC.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in print journalism and master’s degrees in communication. Tracy has reported on religion for about a decade and has written for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas and Connecticut.
Over the years Simmons has won several journalism awards including the 2009 American Academy of Religion’s first place award for best in-depth reporting on religion, and the 2011 Religion Newswriters Association’s Schachern Award for Online Religion Section of the Year.
Please come prepared to ask Tracy a question about her work and the challenges of starting a news website.
April 22, 2012
We talked Friday about ways to visually present the increases in tuition and fees at Idaho’s universities and Lewis-Clark State College. The University of Idaho’s news release included a table showing the amount of the increase and the percentage for each of the institutions. But it didn’t show changes in out-of-state tuition.
April 20, 2012
ASUI President Samantha Pere talks to University of Idaho President Duane Nellis and Provost Doug Baker on Wednesday in Moscow. (Photo: Geoff Crimmins, Moscow-Pullman Daily News)
At least three reporters covered this week’s meeting of the Idaho Board of Education in Moscow. Joel Mills of the Lewiston Tribune and Holly Bowen of the Moscow-Pullman Daily News attended the meeting in person. Betsy Russell of The Spokesman-Review watched the streaming video. Here are their leads from this morning’s papers:
In-state tuition and fees at the University of Idaho will increase by 6.1 percent in 2012-13, the Idaho State Board of Education voted Wednesday afternoon. (Bowen)
On a mixture of unanimous and split votes, the Idaho State Board of Education approved the tuition and fee increase requests that came before it Wednesday. (Mills)
Students at Idaho’s state colleges and universities will pay more next year, but the tuition and fee increases approved Wednesday by the state Board of Education are considerably lower than the stiff increases of recent years, and board members said the schools are still a bargain. (Russell)
And here’s the Argonaut’s Facebook post from Wednesday on the tuition increase:
In a 5-2 vote, the Idaho State Board of Education approved the proposed 6.1 percent increase of tuition and fees for University of Idaho undergraduates, as well as the proposed increases for non-resident and graduate/professional student fees and tuition during today’s meeting at the UI Student Union Building ballroom.
Which lead bests captures the board’s action? Which one is most likely to entice the reader to delve more deeply into the story? We’ll talk about these approaches in Friday’s class.
April 16, 2012
Joel Mills will speak to the Reporting II class Monday, April 16. Mills started his reporting career as an intern at the Lewiston Tribune almost 10 years ago, coincidentally as he was taking Public Affairs Reporting. The internship led to a full-time position covering higher education and the Palouse region from the Trib’s Moscow office. Please come to class prepared to ask a question about his career and beat.