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Pop-Up Newsrooms for Student Journalists: Teaching Networked Journalism

Lookup NU author(s): Dr David Baines



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


This paper examines three university journalism programs' implementation of pop-up newsrooms as a new means of training student journalists. In the fall of 2013, Newcastle University in the UK, Utrecht University of Applied Sciences in Holland and California State University Northridge in the US each created temporary, virtual newsrooms that brought journalism students together for a few hours or days to cover a single topic. Students first produced their own content live via their personal social media accounts on platforms such as Twitter or YouTube using a designated group hashtag. That content was then curated by other students, also using social media platforms and blogging software to create a form of networked journalism. The pop-up newsroom's aims were: a) to teach students mobile journalism in which they rely on cell phones and tablets for live reporting; b) to challenge conventional pedagogical teaching models by taking away a permanent news space, typically a student newsroom; c) to heed recent calls for journalism educators to overcome historical "insularity" and collaborate across borders to spur the kind of innovation necessary to respond the today's liquid journalism environment (Deuze, 2006, 2008; Franklin & Mensing, 2011, p. 3). In this paper, the three programs' responses to two different pop-up projects are considered. In the first of these, during the fall 2013 academic semester in Holland, students covered two events, Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven and the Amsterdam Marathon. The second pair of universities joined with university journalism programs in India and Taiwan in November 2013 to create 24 hours of rolling live coverage of a shared theme: austerity cuts and poverty. (This event became known by its hashtag: #LivePoverty.) Student responses varied by country and project. Those who responded positively felt empowered not only to report independently but to seek solutions to problems they encountered while reporting. Operating independently via their own phones and tablets, students remained connected to each other via hashtags and a common purpose, thus allowing them to experience a form of networked journalism. This led to new attitudes about their relationship with audiences and sources as well. Others found it difficult to adapt to the fluidity of working without 'professional' signifiers of high-level equipment, a dedicated space and authoritative review and validation of their work. Our findings can inform pedagogical practice in the context of an increasingly precarious and liquid world of media work. References Deuze, M. (2006). Global journalism education: A conceptual approach. Journalism Studies, 7(1), 19-34. Deuze, M. (2008). The changing context of news work: Liquid journalism for a monitorial citizenry. International Journal of Communication, 2, 18. Franklin, B., & Mensing, D. (2011). Introduction. In B. Franklin and D. Mensing (eds.) Journalism education, training and employment (pp. 1-10). London: Routledge.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wall M, Baines D, van Kerkhoven M

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: ECREA (European Communication Research and Education Association)

Year of Conference: 2014

Acceptance date: 01/01/1900

Date deposited: 04/03/2016