Smarter: Keeping up with journalism

I read a lot of posts and articles and news about journalism — about the evolution of this field. Job prospects. Technology. New content formats. Ethical problems, scandals, lawsuits. New publications, new websites, new mobile apps. Thank goodness for Twitter — that’s how most of the information comes to me.

Last week I started a new project. The idea is to help journalism students keep up (at least a little) the way I do, but without expecting them to read 100 different articles a week.

I called it Smarter.

If you’re not on Tumblr, you can follow it on my blog, where there will be one post each Sunday.

Some tips about upcoming deadlines

Please read the Course Schedule from now up to the end of the semester and start thinking about how you will manage your time.

The deadlines will not change. What we do during class might be adjusted, but NOT the deadlines or the assigned work.

Both the audio and photo story and the final project account for a big part of your final grade. The points and percentages are explained in the syllabus under both “Course Requirements” and “Grades and Grading Policies.” You can also read details here: Required Work. Read more of this post

Update your Mac OS (free)

You should most definitely update your Mac’s operating system soon.

However!! Be aware that the download takes a long time (especially on home wi-fi) — mine took HOURS. And then the install, which is automatic, will take longer than a few minutes too. NEVER quit or shut down during an operating system update!

I suggest you plan to do the update when you can attend to your MacBook but you don’t need to be using it. You can do the download while you’re sleeping. Then restart to begin the upgrade itself.

OS X Mavericks now available as a free download (The Verge, Oct. 22)

To start the download, just open the Apple menu and select Software Update.  The free update should work for all of you — you have to be running OS X 10.6 or higher for it to work.

Meeting your deadlines

In a graduate course for 3 credits, it is not unusual to do 9 hours’ work outside class. You’ll need to manage your time wisely.

Each week, you can see which assignments are due by looking at the Course Schedule page. The details of each assignment will appear here, on the course blog. The title of the blog post will make it clear which assignment is covered in that post. Read more of this post

Fixing the ‘permalink’ URL on a WordPress blog

A lot of the students here have generic URLs for their WordPress posts. This is something a savvy person wants to change, because the generic URL makes you look like a WordPress novice. Like you don’t care about your blog.

Changing this is very easy.

If your URL to a blog post looks like this, you should change it:

The number at the end of the URL is what makes you look like a noob. Here’s how to change it:

The most common choices (below) are:

  • Month and name
  • Post name

If you want to try a custom structure, find the heading Structure Tags on this page:

Journalists’ Toolkit: The new 2012 edition!

This blog had been dormant since 2008, when this two-semester course concluded its inaugural year. Because of a variety of factors in the college and the university, the course could not be offered again — until now.

New posts and pages will be added to this blog, beginning now.

The new course number for Journalists’ Toolkit 1 is JOU 6344. It is open to resident UF master’s students in the Multimedia Journalism / Multimedia Telecommunication program. Students must meet the equipment requirement.

For more information, see the About page.