J-School Spotlight: The Ryersonian

For journalism students, being up-to-date with the latest reporting technologies can be a huge factor in getting a job in an extremely competitive field. As new methods of covering the news emerge, schools are adapting their curriculum to keep students cutting-edge.

Ryerson University in Toronto uses a donated ScribbleLive account. Fourth-year journalism students running the Ryersonian student newspaper create liveblogs as part of their regular news cycle. Professor Gavin Adamson explained that they try to liveblog at least once a week, covering events from the field or performing live chats with guest speakers.

“For the Ryersonian, we’re at the point right now that any journalism student coming out of any program should have some sense of how liveblogging works,” he explains.

“They should certainly know it’s happening in most newsrooms now. As a faculty [member], it was an obvious decision to include liveblogging in our program, and an obvious place to do it was in the Ryersonian.”

“We knew there would be as many as a dozen events that were worth covering over the two days of the conference, so we decided to break down our 130 students [into groups] so they could each have an opportunity to do a liveblog,” Adamson said. “It gives them a quick introduction to the software.”The school of journalism also uses ScribbleLive as part of its curriculum in second-year classes; specifically, they will be covering the Press Freedom in Canada conference, which is taking place at Ryerson from March 8-9.

Students working for the Ryersonian have taken to using Scribble for a number of purposes, including live chats with CBC Radio anchor Matt Galloway and covering the International Women’s Day rally in Toronto.

“I’m not very tech-savvy, and I thought it was a really easy tool to use, especially for something that’s happening instantly,” said Nikisha Singh, Ryersonian reporter. “We could provide coverage that is instant and immediate, instead of going to an event and writing about it that evening.”

“I like the multimedia aspect; it adds another layer to the story that you’re doing. I mean, you’re online – why wouldn’t you use those things?”

If you’d like to have a ScribbleLive account for your j-school program, contact dana@scribblelive.com.

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