It’s about the story, not the platform

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New platforms have changed the media and made careers much more fluid – but what does that mean for the way students are taught journalism?

Coventry University lecturers Ben Falk and Priya Rajasekar asked that question in a presentation at the annual conference of the Association for Journalism Education in London in June 2016.

Their answer: it doesn’t matter what platform you use – it’s the storytelling that counts.

In fact, we shouldn’t even say “radio” when we mean “audio”, they argue, because the traditional skills are now being used in ways that go beyond the constraints of the hardware.

Podcasts can be like radio, but they can also do things that radio can’t. That creates opportunities for young journalists who know how to tell stories whatever the medium.

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Journalism teaching at Coventry University has been changing to reflect the new environment for news, with the aim to producing students who are expert storytellers, curators of content, and “torchbearers of core journalistic values”.

Okay, it helps that Coventry has a super duper new television studio. But you can use it to make more than just television.

 

Click here to read Ben and Priya’s presentation notes

Plans include setting up small teams to work a duty roster, providing continuous coverage of city life through two terms of the second year.

And students won’t just model their work on newspapers and the BBC: they’ll adopt the techniques of Buzzfeed and Yahoo – or whatever new platform comes along.

Read more stories about Journalism at Coventry:

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Simon Pipe is a former print and BBC journalist, now a member of the Journalism teaching team at Coventry University. He also runs an experimental website, St Helena Online, about one of the world's most remote inhabited islands, at www.sthelenaonline.org On Twitter, when he has something to say, he is @simonpipe

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