Thank you for Following: Some of Our Top Followers

31 01 2011

By Tom Hanaway (@tomhanaway)

Hello, and welcome to a new semester!

After being on Twitter for less than an entire year, the Journalism Twitter account recently gained more than 500 followers. I feel this is quite an accomplishment and am humbled by the number of people who follow all of the information we send to our students and alumni. On behalf of the Journalism Department, I thank you for following, interacting and retweeting us for the past year. It has been incredible to watch our online presence grow a little bit every day.


Some of our 500+ followers on Twitter.


I thought it would be interesting to highlight some unique accounts that are following the Journalism Department. It’s not just members of the Fox Valley that want to see what is going on in the Journalism Department and read what our students have to say. Sometimes it’s well-known PR pros, national news stations or even local celebrities. Here are a few of the 500 people following us on Twitter:

@ErinDavi5: Erin Davisson, anchor on WFRV-Channel 5 is one of the local TV personalities that have been checking out our tweets. Erin not only reports the news on TV, but also through her personal Twitter account. Follow her to learn more about local news as well as social media.

@wfrv5: Speaking of Channel 5, WFRV is one of several news stations that follow us, including WBAY and FOX 11. Follow any of these accounts to get timely information about breaking news, previews of upcoming newscasts and more.

@prsarahevans: Sarah Evans is a public relations specialist from Chicago and one of the social media leaders on Twitter. She tweaked the idea of hashtags to change Twitter into a virtual industry chat, including creating #journchat, a chat about all things journalism. Follow her to find interesting articles about social media, news, public relations and the sporadic story about celebrity gossip. She has one of those blue “Verified Account” check marks. Yeah. She’s a big deal.

@rozzy: Ryan Osborn is the social media director at NBC. He is always tweeting about the newest trends in social media and technology, so if you want to learn about the coolest new sites and applications before your friends, he’s the one to watch.

@NBCNews: That’s right. The NBC News is following the J-Dept. But not just the department. You too. All of your tweets we retweet, your blog posts that you write – NBC sees them. NBC has about 75,000 followers, but only follows a little more than 1,000 tweeters. Nice.

Feel free to look at our followers, and who we are following, to find new sources of information about the world of journalism. And if you aren’t a Facebook fan yet, make sure to “like” us to see daily updates, photos and more.

But what about you? Who are your favorite tweeters? Have any interesting people following you on Twitter? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

What I Learned In: Law of Mass Communication

29 01 2011

By Emily Williams (@willie19)

Professor Mike Cowling’s Law of Mass Communication class was different from any of the journalism courses I’d taken at UW-Oshkosh. It wasn’t a 200-person lecture like the Introduction to Journalism class and it wasn’t a 15-student, hands-on class like Writing for the Media. Instead it was a mid-sized lecture of about 30 journalism students, all of which were not taking the course by choice, rather by requirement for a journalism degree.

I took this course during the Fall 2010 semester as a requirement for my journalism major, and despite my initial apprehension of learning about laws and regulations of journalism and communications, I soon found the class to be interesting and full of necessary information.

While the information I was absorbing wasn’t that of grammar or following the correct AP writing style, it all tied into journalism and what a journalist should be. Professor Cowling taught us everything from the American legal system to obscenity laws and what is considered erotic material. Libel, copyright, limits of expression and free press-fair trial are just a few examples of other topics discussed in the course.

Professor Cowling conducted his lectures mainly with PowerPoint presentations that followed the required course book, Mass Media Law. We were also given articles relevant to topics we were learning and also had to do a group presentation. For the presentations, three or four people were assigned a topic to research and then present to the class the next week. Some of the included grand juries, executive privilege and systems and laws specific to Wisconsin. Several legal cases were also discussed, which helped put what I learned into real-life perspective.

One of my favorite times in the class was discussing the topic of erotic material. To help make the topic more relevant to us, Professor Cowling pulled out an issue of the student newspaper, The Advance-Titan, where I work as the news editor. In this particular issue, the front-page story was about a former Playboy Playmate who was on campus to discuss her life with HIV. The graphics for this story were pink and spelled out HIV with the V symbolizing the ears of the Playboy Bunny. Across the top of this colorful headline was a naked photograph of the former Playboy Playmate – a photograph that I airbrushed and edited to make what I thought was appropriate to publish.

Professor Cowling proceeded to ask the class if they thought this image was erotic or obscene and shouldn’t have been published. Thankfully for me, the majority of the class ruled the photograph to not be obscene and that the topic of the story made sense for the image to be there. What I did find out, though, is that airbrushing away the butt crack in the photograph of the former Playboy Playmate wasn’t necessary. This day was humorous at the same time as being informational and it’s something I will always remember from this class.

Law of Mass Communications may be a required class, but it is ultimately a really helpful and insightful course. Professor Cowling is incredibly knowledgeable on the topics discussed in this class and he shows that in the way he teaches. My advice is to go into the class optimistic, knowing that what you’re learning is imperative in becoming a journalist.

Commencement is Bittersweet for Professors

28 01 2011

By Dr. Julie Henderson

Commencement is often a bittersweet time for faculty members.  It’s a joy to see students complete their four-year (or more) journey and begin the next phase of their lives, but also sad to see people leave who have been a part of our daily lives.

I love commencement, I love the tradition and pomp and circumstance of it all.  Everything at commencement represents something.  Why do faculty and students wear gowns?  Because education is one of the three pillars of any civilization, and gowns are only worn by representatives of these institutions (the other two being  the courts and the church).  The colors on the hoods represent the wearer’s university of graduation and field of study.  Doctoral gowns include fur or velvet.  Students wear honor cords to indicate their special effort and achievement in academics or leadership, etc.


UW-Oshkosh’s 46th midyear commencement ceremony on Dec. 18, Photos by Bill Kapinski, Image Studios.


Students who do not attend their own commencement often think it will be boring (it’s not), it will be too long (always runs about two hours), and is too early after a night of celebration (can’t do anything about that).  But I encourage all current students to plan on it.

The thing is, it is not just the student walking across the stage.  Every student has had help.  That’s especially true on this campus where many are first-generation college graduates, as I was.  Someone along the way – a favorite aunt, a big brother, a parent, a friend – encouraged that student to enroll.  When the student walks across that stage to receive the diploma and shake the chancellor’s hand, all those people are walking alongside.


UW-Oshkosh’s 46th midyear commencement ceremony on Dec. 18, Photos by Bill Kapinski, Image Studios.

Student Comes Close in Photo Competition

25 01 2011

UW-Oshkosh student Paul Cashman was named a finalist for the Photographer’s Forum Magazine‘s Amateur Spring Contest.

Although Cashman didn’t end up winning the competition, he said being named a finalist was a huge honor.

“When I got the letter saying that I was a finalist I was excited, “Cashman said. “But I knew that there were a lot of other great photographers that would be competing.”

For Cashman, taking photos isn’t just a pastime but a potential career path.

“Photography is mainly a big hobby for me,” he said. “I would go as far to say a passion. I mainly do this for myself but would love to turn it into a business.”

Cashman has already began turning his passion into a business, selling his photos to publications.

“I have done some freelance work and have sold some photos, mainly of wildlife and scenic shots.” he said. “I would like to do some photography in the future mostly in the context of selling prints and freelance work.”


Paul Cashman

Paul Cashman's photo that placed him as a finalist in the Photographer's Forum Magazine's Amateur Spring Contest.


Photography professor Tim Gleason said he is proud of Cashman’s achievement and hopes he continues to have more success in the future.

“Paul’s recognition is a credit to his ongoing pursuit of what interests him,” Gleason said. “His recognition is proof that if a student goes beyond what most students do, he or she can often succeed.”

Gleason encourages students to take advantage of every situation they are in to capture a unique and interesting picture.

“Students who want to get published and have that work recognized for its merit need to go beyond convenience,” he said. “You want to be asked for a photograph because of your skill and vision, not because you happen to be there.”

Because of upgrades in technology, almost everyone is a photographer now, making it more difficult to become a professional photographer, Gleason said.

“There are a lot of photographers out there,” he said. “Digital photography has made it easy for anyone to take an acceptable photo, so students need to create their own vision for photographing what interests them.”

Gleason advises students to follow Cashman’s example by constantly trying to capture better photos and becoming a more experienced photographer.

“Some students do the minimum, but Paul is not one of them,” Gleason said. “Paul has great potential, and it is important to keep striving for improvement and recognition.”

Click here to see Cashman’s Flickr account.

A Salute to Hometown Heroes

20 01 2011

This Saturday is “A Salute to Hometown Heroes,” an event highlighting local firefighters, police officers, paramedics and rescue workers.

The event was created by Journalism instructor Grace Lim after being inspired by local heroes while creating a documentary about airboat rescue volunteers. Lim, along with two Radio-TV-Film students, created a short film about a family from Poygan, Wis. who have been saving people from the freezing waters of Lake Poygan with their own airboat for the past 30 years. The movie, “Airboat Rescue 1: When the Ice Breaks,” will have its world premiere at “A Salute to Hometown Heroes.”


Photo illustration by Shawn McAfee.


The free event will also have raffles, Music students performing pieces from the “Airboat Rescue 1″ soundtrack, presentations from Rep. Gordon Hintz and Sen. Randy Hopper, and more.

“A Salute to Hometown Heroes” will take place Saturday, Jan. 22 at 2:30 p.m. at the Grand Opera House in Oshkosh. Click here for more information about the event. Also hear Lim being interviewed on Wisconsin Public Radio about the “Airboat Rescue 1″ premiere.


New Ad/PR Internship at the Admissions Office

19 01 2011

There is a new ad/PR internship available at the UW Oshkosh Admissions Office. Make sure to apply in person! Here is the original position posting:


Admissions Office Advertising/Public Relations Specialist Opportunity!

Organization Name: UW Oshkosh Admissions Office

Work Schedule: Flexible

Wage/Salary: $10.00 per hour

Employment Start Date: Spring 2011


Job Description:


The Admissions Office at UW Oshkosh is seeking an Advertising/PR Specialist as a marketing/design and special events assistant. The student would work with media relations and special programs staff in Admissions to design print and electronic media (fliers, postcards, posters, visually enhanced emails, etc…) to support Admissions-sponsored events. Additionally, the student will assist in planning and execution of programming events.

This S.T.E.P. opportunity potentially could be eligible for academic credit through approval of enrollment in Interdisciplinary Studies 399 or an internship associated with an academic department at UW Oshkosh. The student hired for the position will be responsible for coordinating approval of any academic internship credit associated with the position.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.




1. Experience working with advertising, copy, layout and design.
2. Demonstrated experience and creative competency in using Microsoft Office applications, specifically Publisher and PowerPoint.
3. Experience developing and implementing social media.
4. Ability to take the initiative in completing projects.
5. Flexibility to work a variable schedule of up to 10 hours of daytime availability per week.
6. Motivation to meet assigned project deadlines.
7. Strong organizational skills.
8. Ability to work independently as well as in a team atmosphere.
9. Strong communication skills in person and in writing.


Application Instructions:


Interested candidates are invited to deliver the following materials to Annie Schuster, Admissions Office, Dempsey Hall, Room 135:

(1) Cover letter indicating interest in the position
(2) Current resume
(3) Sample of a print media item created in MS Publisher or other simple desktop publishing software application (examples: postcard, cover page for a printed report or project, flier, poster).

PLEASE NOTE: Electronic submission of application materials is not an option. Application materials must be delivered to the Admissions Office, as requested.

Questions regarding the position may be addressed to Annie Schuster (920)

424-3079, Admissions Office, Dempsey Hall 135.

PR 2.0: A Lesson in Tweets

18 01 2011

By Audrey Riechers (@audreyriechers)

When I heard that Abby Gutowski, a public relations and social media manager at Weidert Group in Appleton, was coming to my Principles of Public Relations class, I was thrilled. She planned to discuss “PR 2.0” – how social media is changing the way we practice public relations, and how we can use it to engage our publics more effectively. Our class was already live-tweeting as we awaited for her arrival when Tom Hanaway, social media intern (and Abby’s escort for the day), announced to Professor Hansen via Twitter:

tomhanaway: @sameplane, the eagle has landed. @abbyweidert has been located. Escorting to Clow rendezvous point. Mission is a go. #uwoshpr

Tweets went flying.

As we welcomed her into our classroom both physically and via the Web, she set up her Prezi and got down to business. Abby encouraged us to continue tweeting while she spoke, allowing us to share her PR expertise with the rest of the world. Here, in all of their glory, are the main points that our class pulled out of Abby Gutowski’s presentation via the Twitter hashtag #uwoshpr:


  • kelseypilling: Being constantly connected to social media makes for a successful PR practitioner #uwoshpr
  • MelissaMoehn: 45% of journalists visit corporate blogs and 25% visit Facebook when writing a story #uwoshpr
  • FeliciaKud: Consumers can say anything online and ruin your rep. #uwoshpr #soundslikehighschool
  • tomhanaway: @abbyweidert: Crisis communication is more important than ever before. Need to respond to consumers quickly for PR 2.0 #uwoshpr
  • emilykaegi: “If you’re not watching social media, you’re missing important information that is affecting other people” @abbyweidert #uwoshpr
  • lishalax: you distribute PR 3 ways: socially, traditionally, and social media newsroom #uwoshpr
  • justinniles: The media doesn’t have to cover your story anymore with PR 2.0, says @abbyweidert #uwoshpr
  • KaydeKempen: PR 2.0 allows you to interact with the public directly instead of going through the media, giving the public info faster #uwoshpr
  • justinniles: Realize that PR practitioners can do much to influence events before they happen and, in some instances, to avert crises altogether. #uwoshpr
  • sammstrong: I guess I need to start a blog… #uwoshpr


Beyond the extra Twitter practice, Abby Gutowski’s presentation forced us to look at what public relations has become and realize how it is continuously evolving. This ain’t your mama’s PR. The industry has officially been upgraded.

What I Learned In: Multi-Platform Storytelling in the Digital Age

12 01 2011

By Tom Hanaway (@tomhanaway)

Up to this point, I have been mostly a print journalist. I have written for newspapers and websites, but I have never edited a video or recorded a podcast.

That all changed when I took Journalism instructor Grace Lim‘s course, Multi-Platform Storytelling in the Digital Age. We jumped into the future of journalism, learning how to tell stories using today’s most advanced equipment and technology.

Our class started off learning how to create and edit audio podcasts. I quickly learned that being a writer and being a podcaster are two completely different positions. While my words may have sounded nice on paper, saying them aloud was a challenge. I had to adapt and understand how to slowly read my story, but not at a glacial pace, and to enunciate my words without sounding like I was reciting words at a spelling bee.


Journalism instructor Grace Lim's Multi-platform Storytelling in the Digital Age class. Photo by Amber Patrick.


We then moved on from reading our stories to interviewing a subject for a podcast. I tried to channel my inner Terry Gross to make my podcast give “Fresh Air” a run for its money. It was unlike any other interview I have done before. You not only have to pay attention to the conversation and keep track of questions, but also make sure your subject is speaking close enough to the microphone, that they aren’t making their chair squeak, and sometimes asking them to repeat answers for clarity.

After podcasting, we went on to video, which had a lot more variables that could wrong. Make sure the mics are on? Check. Is the framing OK? Check. Do we need to fix the lighting? Check.  By the end it became second nature, as did video editing. When I first opened iMovie, I stared blankly wondering how long it would take to master the electronic beast. Turns out, it didn’t take long at all.

Throughout our time with Lim, we interviewed a variety of students and professors for the College of Letters and Science Special Reports site. It was basically our job to report on some of the many interesting and talented members of our university through podcasts and video.


One of the videos students in Multi-Platform Storytelling in the Digital Age produced.


We also spent time promoting and covering “Beyond Classroom Walls,” an event that showcased student projects done outside of the traditional classroom setting. We took video, pictures and even live-Tweeted from “Beyond Classroom Walls” to capture the excitement people experienced learning about these interesting and unique projects.

Lim’s class is one that I will never forget, both from an educational and an emotional aspect. I now have a new set of tools at my disposal as well as some new memories too. I’ll never forget sitting in that freezing recording studio, our sometimes heated debates about current events in class, and Lim constantly asking if it was lunch time yet. Hopefully students will be as lucky as I am and have the chance to take this class in the future.

What I Learned In: Principles of Advertising

4 01 2011

By Kayde Kempen (@kaydekempen)

In Professor Sara Hansen’s Principles of Advertising class, students learned about many topics in advertising while using Twitter and Blogger to move discussions beyond the classroom. Topics covered in Principles of Advertising included: integrated brand promotion, consumer behavior, ethics and regulation, market segmentation, positioning and value proposition, research and planning, diversity, creativity and message strategy, copywriting, art direction/production, media strategy and planning and sales promotion, events, product placement and entertainment.

The class was structured with Professor Hansen lecturing on Tuesdays, and students presenting on the various topics on Thursdays. Students were responsible for writing a paper, blogging and giving a presentation on a topic they chose, which gave their colleagues a different view of the topics covered in class.  After the midterm exam, students were taught how to use Twitter and were encouraged to tweet during class by using the class hashtag #uwoad.  The class also wrote posts through Blogger, which allowed students to learn how to blog by engaging in conversations about advertising with their peers.

Principles of Advertising also had guest speaker Mark Elliott from SPARK Advertising come to class. Elliott spoke to the class about the many clients that Spark Advertising deals with and how each one needs a different approach. Elliott explained how advertising for food products needs to focus on shelf appeal, how important retail branding (appearance of a store) is with examples of Outdoor Outlet and Ariens, as well as the effect packaging has on consumers (like green packaging).

Principles of Advertising gave students an overview of the rapidly changing face of advertising, as traditional forms of media, such as television, radio and newspapers now have to compete with Internet advertising and the use of various forms of social media by advertisers. Students also learned the importance of using social networking sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Blogger to market themselves for their future careers in the field of journalism.

Our Top 5 Posts of 2010

3 01 2011

The past year has been an incredible 12 months of growth for the Department of Journalism‘s Social Media Initiative. We went from having no social media presence to having 250 Facebook fans, almost 500 Twitter followers and more than 5000 views on this blog.

Our blog posts have been written by students, professors and professionals about the world of journalism. Thanks to those articles, the Journalism Blog has become an incredible resource for our students and alumni to learn about everything from social media to career advice. Now we want to take a look back at our five most popular posts from 2010.

5. Internship Updates

One of the things that the Journalism Department stresses is for students to get internships. Apparently they are listening. On our site we list some of the most recently posted positions while also linking to the main internships page on the department’s website.  Check back frequently to see what new opportunities are available.

4. 6 Tips to Boost Personal SEO

How do you get noticed by employers? They need to be able to find you online and view your work. But how do you guarantee they’ll find you on the Internet? Well, J-alumna Melanie Stepanek gave us six tips to boost your personal search engine optimization. These hints are just as relevant and useful as they were when they were published back in April.

3. Kate Unger: UWO Student to UWO Career

J-alumna Kate Unger went full circle from being a student at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh to an employee of Reeve Memorial Union. It seems that students wanted to learn from Unger’s success and see how she navigated her way through the job market to ultimately land her dream job at UWO.

2. 23 Interview Tips for Journalism Students

Interviewing for jobs and internships is something (hopefully) every student has to do. It can be scary, it can nerve-wracking, but we have some tips to make the process go smoother. And not just a few tips, but 23 of them. From researching the company to polishing your resume, this post has been preparing students for interviews all year long.

1. University Journalism Department Catches Bieber Fever in Revolutionary Name Switch

Ah, yes. The infamous April Fools’ Day prank where we announced that the Journalism Department became the JustinBieber Department. The tomfoolery went viral, creating hundreds of hits in a single day and even a fake “JustinBieber Department” certificate. You’ll have to wait and see what we do this year.

It’s been a very successful year for our Social Media Initiative, and we can’t wait to see what 2011 has in store for us. If you are interested in writing a blog post for the site, please contact us at


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