Monday, February 06, 2006

Ready..Set- GO!

Well, folks, this is it!

Years of planning of anticipation, discussion, debate, disagreement-- all to a come to a head this week as the first OFFICIAL event of the Knight Fellows in Community Journalism kicks off in just hours.

Tomorrow the first pre-conference event, the Letter Writers Banquet takes place.

With all that's been going on with the regular semester, I've hardly had time to mentally prepare for this special event.

Today in my freshman-level introduction to journalism course, I showed a short clip from the video The New South Star, part of the Alabama Experience series.

This particular video is more than a decade old. It chronicles the history of Anniston and the philosophical foundations of The Star.

The occasion for our discussion of the Star was a culmination of a unit on the influence of corporate culture on journalism. I use two case studies as extremes-- the FOX News Channel on one end of the political spectrum and the Anniston Star on the other.

Moving beyond the discussion of liberal vs. conservative, I asked students to identify examples of COMMUNITY reporting in last Wednesday's edition of The Star.

They did pretty well with this exercise. We talked about the way the Star localized the Coretta Scott King story, the State of the Union address and the recent awards bestowed on the film Brokeback Mountain.

I mentioned to the students that I would spending most of the week in Anniston at a conference on community journalism. But, that was the extent of my preparation.

I could reflect and report more on today's classroom or I just get ready to trek over to Anniston.

I think I'll choose the latter.

If you happen to be reading this, expect more frequent reports and reflections throughout the week.


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