The future of journalism

The future of journalism, of course, is in the hands of the young journalists and journalism students who are about to enter the profession.

That’s why I’m happy (and honored) to be volunteering as one of the professional mentors working with a group of students on AAJALink, the student-run Web site covering the annual convention of the Asian American Journalists Association.

The confab is in Minneapolis, a city I’ve never traveled to. So far, I haven’t seen much of it except what I’m sure must be the world’s largest Target (a two-story department store a block away from the retailer’s corporate offices, which is also on the downtown Minneapolis Nicollette Mall).

I’m here early – the convention officially opens Wednesday – to meet and train the eight students who’re going to produce the site. Here’s a page with brief bios of all the students and the professional staff.

The focus of the week is to have the students work on multimedia projects, telling stories online using video, audio and slideshows instead of traditional text and photos (we assume that, as journalism students, they’re familiar with writing news stories).

This being about technology, though, the inevitable happened when we started to show the students all the cool stuff the pros have on our Web sites (including this one from DenverPost.com): The bank of cool Macs crapped out.

C’est la vie. Welcome to the online world, where we’re nimble on our feet and learn to improvise.

We got through the morning, showing off our work on small laptops. I think the big Macs will be ready by tomorrow, when the students begin posting their own content.

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