Links to the Berkeley Intellectual Property Web log that is the fruit of a graduate journalism class at UCB and went live last week. Two notes…first, in the past few days I’ve been hitting more and more Web logs powered by Moveable Type. I must say I like the easy feel of the sites, and they offer some interesting features that Manila doesn’t. I’m not sure if MT would be a more suitable classroom answer, but it seems like it does most of what I use Manila from. Might be something to look into (just for fun!) Kind of goes back to that discussion we had long ago about a CMS just for the classroom. How much would the Manila creators be willing to implement some education specific ideas, I wonder? (BTW, the UCB class’s criteria for a CMS are here.)
The other comment has to do with the class. I think it’s pretty cool that the students were assigned “beats” to cover. To quote: “That was designed both to divide up responsibilities for coverage among ourselves, and also give the public a better sense of the scope of the Weblog. The beats were reflected in the Weblog itself, offering people the options of reading the general postings in the main section, or going quickly to a subtopic of intellectual property they were particularly interested in. The beat structure also provided us with a logical place to post the topical stories the students were writing.” Pretty close to what I was thinking, but articulated and carried through much more effectively, of course.
Their thinking about editing was equally interesting. “Weblogs, by their nature, invite postings that are informal and instantaneous. But their value to readers lies largely in comments that are well written and thoughtful. For journalists this tension is even more acute. Weblogs allow the opportunity to avoid some of the constraints of journalistic conventions and engage in a more personal dialog with readers. But other core journalistic values, like accuracy and clarity, must be retained. Many journalism Weblogs address this via different approaches to the question of whether and how postings should be subjected to the traditional journalistic editing process. In an attempt to balance these competing concerns, we decided that in almost all cases, postings would be reviewed by one other student or instructor in the class before being put on the Weblog. But in extreme cases where a posting is very time sensitive and of crucial importance to our readers, it could be posted to the Weblog without an editor’s review. However, that posting would be reviewed by someone in the class after the fact.”
Some very thought provoking stuff. I love the idea of Web log as beat compiler concept. Makes me think I should have set up my media kids Web logs the same way, although I’m sure it’s more manageable with eight students than with 24. But that really is the concept that I’m after…disparate, specific research shared in the same space and moderated by student editors. Very cool.