Tech Training for Reporters

Another big week of podcasting coming up as we (the Knight Digital Media Center at UC Berkeley) launch a week of training for working journalists in “new media / digital media” internet technologies. This week will be a variant of last month’s workshop – we’ll be working with reporters rather than editors this time around, and tuning the training to suit. As always, the workshop will be peppered with panels and conversations with fascinating experts, and those sessions are open to the public.

Can’t make it to the J-School? Tune in to the podcast series live, or catch archived versions the following week. I’m especially interested in “100 Megabits across the Digital Divide,” with Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive, but all of the sessions are bound to be worthwhile.

Knight Digital Media Center April 2008 Lecture Series

Music: Thomas Chapin :: Golgotham

Knight Digital Media Center, New J-School Webmaster

Posted a while ago that I was going through some transitions at work, and that we were looking for a web developer. Here’s what’s going on, in a nutshell:

The J-School runs an aggressive program of multimedia training for journalists — both for students and for working journalists. We do semester-long classes in multimedia storytelling using Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Final Cut Pro, Sound Track Pro, and a range of cameras and audio equipment. Students working in teams produce multimedia feature stories by the end of the semester — most of them excellent. We also do a compressed, one-week version of that class for working journalists who come from all over the country for training, as part of a program funded by the Knight Foundation. The program has been so successful that we’ve had trouble keeping up with its expansion.

On Monday, the Knight Foundation awarded a large grant to the J-School to build the program out into new directions and begin a new channel in internet technology training for editors and managers. And while they were at it, we also became responsible for training 600 NPR journalists in multimedia skills over the next couple of years.

On September 17, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation unveiled a $6.7 million initiative to assist news organizations facing the daunting transition to the digital world (press release). Two Knight grants – $2.8 million to the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and $2.4 million to USC’s Annenberg School for Communications – were awarded to fund the expansion of the Knight Digital Media Center‘s training program for mid-career journalists. National Public Radio was awarded a two-year grant for $1.5 million to work with the Knight Digital Media Center to fund the training of roughly 600 staff members, including executives, reporters, producers and editors.

The program is accompanied by a web site containing dozens of tutorials on multimedia production software and techniques (this is the Django-based site I mentioned a few months ago). That site is slated for a huge build-out, with tons more tutorials, social networking additions, and other goodies to come, as well as a redesign that’s just getting underway now.

The short version is that I was asked to transition from my current job as webmaster for the J-School and all of its satellite sites to working nearly full-time for the Knight multimedia site. Over the summer, my office was expanded and revamped, and I’m now sharing the space with a growing group of staffers and directors of the Knight program overall.

So that’s the summary version – all very exciting :) The rub now is in finding the right person to take my previous/current job as webmaster/manager of the J-School sites. It’s an interesting mix: PHP/HTML/CSS development of custom applications and utilities, building and maintaining content management systems for student publications (mostly with WordPress, but we use other systems as well), working closely with faculty, staff and students on special projects, training, helping out in classrooms, administering an OS X Server (which I hope to move to a cPanel system before long, but that’s another story), etc. etc. It’s a jack-of-all-things-web sort of position, and we’re still looking for the just-right person. UC benefits are great, the physical environment is great, there’s access to lots of intellectual stimulation (if you can find the time, which I never can), lots of good food nearby, and a ton of variety (but look out – all that variety may kill you).

The position is still open and we’d love to hear from qualified devs who also have strong communication skills and don’t mind spreading themselves thin. If you’re burned out on the private sector and feel ready to burn yourself out on the very different – but still amazing in its own way – academic life, give it some serious thought. If not you, please pass this on to anyone you think might be a good fit!

I can’t start my new job in earnest until the role is filled — help me out here :)

P.S.: We’re an all-Mac shop — servers too — so Mac/*nix geeks are especially encouraged.

Music: Devendra Banhart :: Owl Eyes

Spring New Media Lecture Series (May 2007)

Another big week of multimedia training for mid-career journalists coming up at the J-School, with a heaping handful of great speakers discussing the intersection of “new media” and journalism. These talks are open to the public, and will be webcast live (and archived).

Featured speakers are Tom Mallory, Chuck Scott, Alexa Capeloto, Nicole Vargas of the San Diego Tribune; Seth Gitner and Lindsey Nair of; Brian Storm of; Richard Koci Hernandez of the San Jose Murcury News; Rob Curley of Washingtonpost, Newsweek Interactive, and Colin Crawford of IDG Communications.

Rob Curley’s talks are always dynamite. I’ve decided QuickTime 7 has been out long enough that it’s safe to switch to the h.264 codec. Upgrade your QuickTime if necessary, and look for a nice bump in quality this time around.

Music: Amy Winehouse :: Rehab

Spring New Media Lecture Series

Gearing up for another big week at the J-School, as we compress our semester-long multimedia training program into a single week for mid-career journalists from around the country. As always, lunches and evenings are filled with great speakers, which we’ll be webcasting live. If you’re in the Berkeley area, the conversations are open to the public – come on by!

Featured speakers are Joe Howry, Anthony Plascencia, Colleen Cason, Tom Kisken, Ventura County Star; Lisa Stone, Blog Her; Kevin Sites, Yahoo!; Sean Connelley and Katy Newton, Oakland Tribune; Rob Curley, Washingtonpost. Newsweek Interactive; Matt McAlister, Yahoo!

The Kevin Sites presentation last year was riveting, and Curley is a must-see for anyone interested in pushing old-school media properties in new directions.

Music: Jonathon Edwards :: Sunshine