Tweets from the 48th Kansas Journalism Institute

From the @KUJournalism account, I had the opportunity to follow some of the students attending the J-School’s 48th annual Kansas Journalism Institute (KJI). It seemed like the visiting high school students learned a great deal about issues facing journalist’s today, trends in modern storytelling and programs our institution has in place to give students the tools they need to become professionals.
Following the tweets got me excited about our industry. Being witness to a fresh, enthusiastic new batch of storytellers told me that despite industry changes and challenges, we’ll have a great group of people ready to discover and create new opportunities to tell the news in today’s modern age of digital delivery and social media. The following are a few of my favorite tweets from KJI:

@GMRexroat #KJI2011 learning a lot of GREAT information about design from Tom and Kathy and getting ideas for next year.
@kaitlinrounds I love Habiger so much. Especially when she plays Ke$ha and Flo Rida before her design presentation. #kji2011
@MaxThoman Well damn. Didnt know i could have so much fun snapping at #kji2011. I feel like a kid again, too bad i have to be an editor in the morning.
@rekhilperts Fun to see #KJI2011 tweets. That prog sent me on the path to jschool at KU. “Eric Adler from KC Star at the morning session of #KJI2011
@hmboxy so excited to see design sketches become real newspaper pages #kji2011
@GMRexroat Listening to Eric Adler from the Kansas City Star at the morning session of #KJI2011

Nick Gerik, Daily Kansan Editor-In-Chief On Social Media Policy

By Eva Ladhani

Newspapers, today, are adopting Facebook, Twitter and blogs as a means to provide quick bursts of news to the public. As a result, some newspapers have established their own social media policies to be assumed during work-related postings, as well as during employees’ personal social media posts.

Although The University Daily Kansan does not have a written social media policy in place, it does abide by some unsaid courtesy rules in the newsroom.

I sat down with Nick Gerik, the Editor-in-Chief of The University Daily Kansan, to talk about how he deals with social media in the newsroom.

“We’re never going to tell our staff members that we can’t have fun, or go out on the weekends, or talk about this or that on Facebook, but we just ask that they do it in a way that won’t cast a negative light on their reporting or on the paper,” he said.

Gerik went on to explain that there are no set guidelines that reporters and other staff must keep in tune with. However, there is an unsaid expectation that everyone in the newsroom represents the Kansan.

“It’s something we always tell people in our beginning of the semester training,” said Gerik. “It can be through Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, or any other social medium, but each staff member is highly regarded and is required to show respect for the Kansan.”

One specific social media related concern that the Kansan has dealt with is the comments section on the Each story placed in the newspaper is also available on the website. The only difference is that readers can leave comments about stories on the site.

“We don’t like for staff members to comment on the website,” said Gerik.

It causes a lot of trouble in the office, he says. In past situations, reporters, whose stories had been posted on, would see the comments and take them personally. The reporters would then respond with their own comments and it would turn into a war of words.

“If we need to address something, one of the editors can get on and respond,” Gerik said. “It’s much easier for us to moderate if staff members don’t comment.”

He explained that this way the response would be on behalf of the Kansan as a whole and everyone would be on the same page.

In terms of social media usage in the office, some of the beat writers do have their own accounts, Gerik explained. The softball writer and the basketball writer are two who use their Kansan Twitter accounts just to cover their beat.

“It’s a great way to interact with readers,” Gerik said.


National Poetry Month and the J-School Namesake

April is National Poetry Month. While most of you know that William Allen White is the namesake of our J-School, you may not know that along with his prolific career as an author and journalist, White was a prominent Kansas poet. 

Donald Stuart Pady, who received his B.A. degree in English from The University of Kansas, wrote a book in 2002, “Poetry of William Allen White,” which he believes to be a complete collection of White’s poetry. Pady thought that White’s poetry was important because the work was “guided by his dominant interest – the development of a better and more conscious citizenship.”

Read more about the book here:

While specific classes in poetry are not offered at the J-School, we certainly suggest taking equivalent creative writing or poetry classes in the English department. It’s all part of being an effective, creative storyteller. And it’s another reason to remember the School of Journalism’s namesake and former KU student – William Allen White

KU J-School Students Win Big at CNBAM

The University Daily Kansan ad staff employees, led by Sales and Marketing Adviser Jon Schlitt, took home the award of Best College Advertising Staff in the Nation at the College Newspaper Business and Advertising Manager’s (CNBAM) Convention in Nashville, TN this week. 

The Kansan representatives, consisting almost entirely of J-School students, submitted multiple category entries of student work from 2010 to be judged by a staff of media and advertising professionals from around the country.  The entries were then judged, and each winner gave The Kansan a growing tally of points, ultimately earning them the Ad Staff of the Year award.

Joe Garvey, Digital Sales Manager at The Kansan and senior from Wichita, KS, also won the Alloy Media+Marketing-sponsored Saturday Morning Sell-Off.  Saturday evening full-staff awards included the following:

Best of Category:

-Best Training Program

-Best Sales Increase of a Special Section (Back-To-School edition)

First Place:

-Best Online Newspaper Promotion Ad

-Best Newspaper Promotion Ad - Full Color

-Best Group Advertising Promotion

Second Place:

-Best Online Display Ad (Pachamamas Restaurant)

-Best Printed Rate Card/Media Kit

-Best Sales Incentive Program

-Best Newspaper Promotion Ad - Black & White

CNBAM is an organization that gives student newspaper representatives the ability to interact with their peers from other newspapers, meet with media vendors, interview with recruiters and hear ideas that will help improve their respective student media programs. 

From left: Kate August, senior, Kristen Adams, senior, Cassie Gerken, KU J-School alum and media professional at E.W. Scripps, Kelsie Langley, senior, Steph Green (front), senior, Brooke Abney, senior, Kristen Kluge, senior, Garrett Lent, junior, Matt Labuda, senior, Feliks Yamnik, senior, Jon Schlitt, Sales and Marketing Adviser for The Kansan, Joe Garvey, senior