Joel Christopher: New Media and the News Industry Interview

22 12 2012

By: Melissa Beyer (@MelisBe)

Of all the industries that have converged with new media, few have been so greatly affected by the encounter as news organizations. From the national level to the local, new media are revolutionizing the news. Joel Christopher, editor/digital at Post-Crescent Media, was kind enough to share with me in an interview some of the ways that new media have changed and challenged the news industry.

Joel Christopher

Joel Christopher, editor/digital at Post-Crescent Media (Photo courtesy of Joel Christopher)

In addition to a website and print newspaper, Post-Crescent Media makes use of Facebook, Twitter, live streaming video and other new media platforms. Part of Christopher’s job as editor/digital includes producing content for new media platforms as well as supervising others who are doing so.

Though the advent of social media platforms has radically changed the media world, Christopher said the change is a positive one.

“With the fragmentation of news sources you have so much more information available to you,” Christopher said. “And that forces news organizations too to make sure that they’re not getting too narrowly focused and not all following the same path on a story.”

Christopher also said that the changes that new media have brought are good for the public.

“The more information that’s available to people the better,” Christopher said. “And that’s what digital media gives you, and it gives readers, viewers the ability to shape the news to some extent by their reactions to it. It allows them to raise questions that may have been missed; it allows them to provide information in ways that they weren’t able to do in the past. I don’t see how more information is ever a bad thing.”

Yet, despite these positive aspects, new media also have their disadvantages. One such drawback comes from an obscure economic model.

“Resources are more limited than they were, and that means things fall through the cracks, or that decisions have to be made to not cover certain things,” Christopher said.

New media platforms present another challenge with their demand for speed.

“The churn of the news cycle is so short now that it presents some pitfalls,” Christopher said. “Accuracy is always an issue and the faster you work and the fewer hands are on something, the more likely mistakes are to occur and that you can get caught up too much in the chase instead of looking at a bigger picture and trying to get into deeper levels of journalism.”

Despite these difficulties, Christopher said that, “It will all be figured out at some point.”

Nevertheless, aspiring journalists should be prepared to join a career field that will be characterized by change.

“It’s not a business anymore for the change averse,” Christopher said. “I think the main thing is that journalists have to accept the idea that their job is going to change constantly.”

The Post-Crescent

Notwithstanding these changes, some aspects of journalism will remain constant.

“I don’t know what the delivery of news will be in five years,” Christopher said. “But I know that there’s always going to be a hunger for news, and that there’s going to be a need for people who have specialized training and skills and judgment to play a role in producing it.”


Ad Class Delivers Client Project for Rawhide Boys Ranch

20 12 2012

By Sara Hansen (@sameplane)

Students in the Journalism Department’s Advertising Media class presented a media plan last week that served not only as a final class project, but as a real set of recommendations for a prominent Wisconsin non-profit organization.

Students spent the semester researching, touring and “getting to know” the marketing situation for Rawhide Boys Ranch. Since 1965, Rawhide has provided prevention-based programs to help at-risk youths and families. Many Wisconsinites have seen Rawhide TV advertisements about donating vehicles to the ranch to fund programs that have helped thousands of young people.

Doreen Wagner, social media and marketing assistant at Rawhide, worked with the class to develop new media strategies aimed at increasing vehicle donations. In recent years, these donations have decreased with the economic downturn and competing non-profit organizations.

“I was very impressed with the level of professionalism that the students displayed, in person, on the phone or in emails,” Wagner said. “Further, they presented well-thought-out media plans that I can take back to my manager for review and possible implementation.”

The advertising students interacted with Doreen throughout the semester, including in-class, on-site and phone communications. Working as teams, they presented two media plans along with presentations to the client. The plans show media objectives and strategies, based on marketing and media analyses, to help Rawhide improve its reach to key target audiences.

“Many of us knew about Rawhide,” Molly Guendert, a senior journalism major with an advertising emphasis, said. “However, touring the facility was impressive, and made us realize all the work this organization provides for communities. It inspired our class to want to help Rawhide meet its goals.”

Paige Wagner, a marketing major / journalism minor, said working with Rawhide was a challenging but beneficial experience.

“As a graduating senior, it was very exciting to work with a real client and have more of a hands-on project,” Wagner said.


Speak With a Professional: Shane Arman

8 12 2012

By: Eli Drljaca (@elidrljaca)

Ever wonder what it’s like to graduate and land a big job? Shane Arman sure does, and he will be on campus Monday to have discussions with students pertaining to the future after college.

Shane Arman is a recent graduate from right here at UW-Oshkosh. He was involved with PRSSA,  Reeve Union Board and other organizations and clubs on campus. He is now working at Burson-Marsteller, the largest public relations agency in the world. He now does work with fan experience in both consumer and sports marketing aspects at the agency. If you are looking for more information on Shane’s background and where he interned previously take a look at vocation village where they performed a full interview with Shane.

If you are interested in talking with Shane, contact Dr. Henderson so you can set up a small meeting to ask questions and soak in knowledge that Shane has to offer to students who plan to graduate soon.

So take a study break on Monday and meet up with Shane and take notes on how to advance in life after college.



Journalism Holiday Party

2 12 2012

By: Eli Drljaca (@elidrljaca)

If you’re a journalism student here at UW-Oshkosh make sure to mark your calendars for Tuesday, December 4. The journalism department is having a holiday party in Sage 3408 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

So come to the party and bring your friends that share your major! Here’s what you can expect:

There will be a plethora of free food. Make sure to come with an empty stomach because there will be plenty of food to go around to fill up everyone’s stomach. Not to mention Dr. Julie Henderson , journalism professor, plans on bringing in batches of her own homemade chocolates! That’s one savory reason alone to come to the party!

You can chat with all of the professors. Getting to know your professors personally can be extremely beneficiary. Feel free to strike up a conversation with any of the journalism professors. Think of the networking that could get done here!

There will be a raffle for everyone. Everyone who comes to the party will get a raffle ticket. The top two people who get chosen will receive prizes!

Get to know other students. There’s nothing better than being surrounded by students who have the same visions and ideas as you. Come up with new ideas and discuss how classes are going as we near the end of the semester.

So who’s looking forward to the party? I know I am, see you all there.