Here's a quick rundown of our classes (which are surprisingly different, even though they all sound the same!):
Monday: Producing Community Journalism -- this class has been the most time-consuming, so far. Not only will we attend 3-hour lectures in the morning, but also production workshops in the afternoon. So far, we've learned page design, PowerPoint, and Excel, and are working on projects in each. Throughout the semester, we'll also learn still photography, videography and other production methods. Very cool stuff!
Tuesday: Issues in Contemporary Journalism -- in this class, we discuss different issues in the journalism field. This week, we are writing papers attempting to define community journalism. I think it's important for us to define it if we are to understand it, but coming up with a definition is harder than it seems. For this class, we'll be reading books, producing weekly papers and working on several other semester-long projects.
Wednesday: Seminar in Communication Theory -- this is a particularly interesting class, because we spend the majority of our class time discussing theories in community journalism. We spend time outside of class reading numerous trade journals and studies, which inform our discussions. Again, this is helping us define what our roles are as reporters, and why we want to do what we do.
Thursday: History of American Journalism -- this class has been particularly challenging for me, in a very good way. It has been ages since I last wrote a research paper, but already I am finding myself perusing British newspapers from the 17th century. Very interesting stuff. Well, at least it is to me!
Emily Amick & I pay attention to history professor, Dr. Julie Williams at Jacksonville State University Library. Photo from Anne Anderson.
Friday: Grand Rounds -- Not only is it the shortest class, but it is also the most interesting. We meet with editors and reporters at The Anniston Star to discuss news coverage as it pertains to certain beats. So far, we have discussed local government, and some of the issues going on in the county. Our weekly outside assignment is to visit a local place to observe activities related to the discussion topic. I visited a very twisted Anniston School Board meeting last week, and wrote about the quick firing of their superintendent.
Our reason for being here, Director and Grand Rounds Professor Chris Waddle. Photo from Anne Anderson.
The classes have all been stimulated, and, while I can see the workload getting overwhelming, it's at least stuff I'm interested in. Right now, I love learning. But after another week or two, I may regress to a desire to cover government meetings and write six stories per week!