My visit to Missouri for the MU School of Journalism Centennial in Bullet Points

Thoughts, reactions and commentary in bite-sized chunks. Convergence-style! [picture album TK]

From Return to Mizzou

Signs I’d Arrived in Missouri/on the Mizzou Campus:
+ The potholes that were there when I left 4 years ago were still there…and had grown in size.
+ Rain lasted longer than 15 minutes.
+ Banners for Boulevard served as wallpaper in the local bars.
+ Half the business establishments had “Tiger” in their names.
+ Coeds were wearing flip-flops, jeans and t-shirts instead of high heels, miniskirts and tube tops on campus. [see: Arizona State campus]
+ The trees were tall! And green!
+ There was significantly more community support for the local Cardinals.

Terp talks about his fondest J-School memories

What’s Remained the Same:
+ You can’t cross campus without being diverted by construction blocking your path somewhere.
+ The J-School still enjoys patting itself on the back (and rightfully so, of course). =)
+ Nothing beats toasted ravioli as an appetizer.
+ The red washcloths used as napkins at Shakespeare’s Pizza are still way better than paper napkins.
+ The Shakey’s on the north side of town still has the “y” in their name!
+ The joy of rivalry when a communal roar erupted downtown CoMo (I still feel weird trying to call it The District) when South Florida made the field goal in the final seconds against kU.
+ Lee Hills Hall still smells like stressed students, newsprint and overworked computers, and the hallway that has the bathrooms at the Artisan still smells like the building where I went to dance class throughout my elementary years.
+ There are way more eager student journalists than there is news to cover.
+ Johnny’s presence is still felt in FARC.

3-minute tour of the Reynolds Journalism Institute. You've gotta check this place out!

What’s Changed:
+ They have Macs!
+ And flat-screen TVs! Everywhere on campus, but in particular in the J-School.
+ The new Reynolds Journalism Institute has a coffee and sandwich shop.
+ The main lecture hall in the RJI has two outlets and an Ethernet plugin for every seat, very comfy chairs and a skylight.
+ McDavid has A/C and conspicuously lacks a computer lab (who needs a lab when all the students have laptops?). Students enter their dorm rooms using a magnetic card rather than a metal key.
+ The national park-style signs outside each building on campus have been replaced with fancy metal ones.
+ “Save the Ground. Walk Around” signs on the Quad are missing!
+ Students oh-so-disrespectfully talk, laugh and shout while passing through the Memorial Union archway. Kids these days!
+ The Missourian newsroom is painted green and has a “Convergence” desk, the function of which was never really explained to Dan and me.
+ The J-School library looks like a hip place to hang out. However did they manage that?!?!
+ D@rwin Hindm@n still has big ears.

Don Ranly talks about his favorite J-School memories

Highlights from the Conference:
+ Truman rappelling from the ceiling of the Mizzou Arena during the opening ceremony.
+ “It’s hard to change. Change is a bitch.” –John Byrne of BusinessWeek.com
+ The big buzz words: aggregation, context, iPhone, crowd-sourcing, widgets, horizontal (as in content, advertising and planning), mobile, simplicity, loyalty.
+ Journalists/editors should think of themselves as the curator of news and information.
+ The tenants of journalism as outlined by the great Walter Williams in the Journalist's Creed aren’t what’s the matter with media today. Rather, the advertising model that has worked for over a century needs fixing.
+ The more specialized you are, the more protected you are from advertising cuts.
+ More and more journalism is going to be done by freelancers rather the news outlets themselves [see editor as curator above]. My concern is that if this is true, then the J-School needs to go beyond teaching students how to compile sources, write a great story and work with editors on fine-tuning their pieces. The school needs to start teaching their graduates how to write a winning pitch, handle their taxes, find health coverage and set up a personal 401(k).
+ Debate over the phrase: “Context, not content, is king.”
+ Dean Dean semi-jokingly extended Mayor Hindm@n the title of adjunct professor for all that he’s taught student reporters in his city government offices. Pay for his new position will be the same he’s been receiving. =)
+ Apparently there’s talk about phasing out the brand-new convergence sequence and instead incorporating the lessons taught in those classes into every sequence.
+ Overall excitement for all the opportunities now awaiting the media as technology grows in leaps and bounds…as long as the industry stalwarts don’t dwell on the past.

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