Portland Media Lab

BarCamp Redefining J School- Oct 25th

Posted in Electron Cloud, Foundation Building by Daniel Bachhuber on October 19, 2009

[Guest Post by Portland Media Lab 'implementer' Daniel Bachhuber]

On Sunday, October 25th, the day after the SPJ Regional Conference, the University of Oregon is hosting the first ever BarCamp Redefining J School.

The idea is simple: to host a solid conversation about how J schools across the country can be catalysts for innovation, experimentation, and positive change in the news industry. Not that they haven’t been in the past; rather, the conversation will be about how they can be at the forefront of the future of news. We’ll cover the latest in digital tools, strategies for finding work, and ideas for how J schools can better prepare students to launch their own projects


For those who have never attended a BarCamp, there is a method to the madness. A BarCamp is an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. Another term for it is “unconference.” With a traditional conference, the sessions are planned well in advance and panels selected by the conference organizer. BarCamps give the attendees a bit different of an experience. The sessions are brainstormed in advance, but the schedule isn’t set until the morning of the event and is determined in “open-grid” fashion. If an attendee feels qualified to lead a given session, they’ll write it on an index card and post those on the grid schedule.

A list of the sessions we’ve brainstormed thus far:

  1. What courses should you take to supplement your journalism education or career? What are good minors to a journalism degree?
  2. What do students want from professors? How can students take initiative and enhance classes?
  3. Crowdsourcing, and leveraging the knowledge of the community to put together a story
  4. Where’s the link between PR and journalism?
  5. Digital basics (blogging, RSS, Twitter, Google Alerts, etc.) and how those tools can be used
  6. How to get paid internships (i.e. kickstarting your career while you’re in school)
  7. Where’s the line between work and life when building your brand online?

Join us. Brainstorm more sessions on the wiki, get involved with the planning process, or RSVP for free. We’ll go from 12 pm to 4 pm on Sunday, October 25th and welcome all students, faculty, and professionals.

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2 Responses

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  1. Ronald A. Buel said, on October 23, 2009 at 9:28 PM

    Fascinating effort Mr. Bachhuber.
    Do you think our conference on November 21 to create a new non-profit community journalism enterprise will be of interest to your attendees? Go to wemakethemedia.org to see details of our conference. If you think its worthwhile, please help us spread the word. Thanks and Regards, Ron Buel

  2. Daniel Bachhuber said, on October 25, 2009 at 1:13 AM

    Thanks for the note, Ron. I’m already planning to attend the conference on the 21st and will make sure to spread the word.

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