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JMS3 Writing & Editing: Happy blogging

It's the first term of 2006 and 22 Journalism 3 Writing & Editing students have been divided into four competing news agencies covering different aspects of life at Rhodes University. In an innovative departure from earlier incarnations of this writing course, the students are being assessed on their ability to set up and maintain two quite different blogs:

1. Group blogs, primarily used as a communication channel for the following four news agencies: Tryline (sport at RU); Open Rhodes (general news at RU), Green Inc. (environment) and Academics Anonymous ('addicted to academia');
2. Individual blogs, primarily used by each student as a space to reflect critically on: their own journalism; concepts like civic mapping; any other aspect of the course as it progresses.

The news agency blogs should help to create group internal cohesion and identity by providing a forum for:
- conceptualising, debating and editing stories;
- synchronising attempts to get work marketed and published;
- posting useful agency resources (web links, source books, etc.).
Agencies may decide to set up a second group blog later in the term, directed towards an external readership.

The individual blogs should give students a (hopefully) welcome opportunity to develop their own personal writing styles by casting off some of the constraints of formal newswriting style. Student bloggers should be allowed to comment on 'the story behind their story' and be given the space to express frank viewpoints about any other aspect of the course. Hopefully, this will encourage discussion with visitors (including the course lecturer, fellow students and other bloggers in cyberspace).

Thanks to colleague Colin Daniels for setting up the 'joblogisphere'.

Here's to happy blogging.

Rod Amner
Lecturer, Writing & Editing


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Are all journ lecturers this persuasive? Inspired (dared) by colleagues, I intend dipping an e-toe into the joblog pool in the company of postgraduate diploma students. Check this space next week.

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