UConn’s The Daily Campus covers the NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four

The biggest news event of the year hit The Daily Campus, UConn’s independent student-run newspaper, earlier this week. The NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four was one of the most exhausting, stressful and exciting events that the 2012-2013 staff has reported on.

Coverage began in the weeks leading up to the last two  games in New Orleans, as we covered the tournament from start to finish. Managing Editor Brian Zahn created a Storify piece entitled “How they got here: The NCAAW Final Four,” which explained the long-time rivalry between Notre Dame and UConn. For the first time, I figured out how to embed Storify stories on our website, which led to an embarrassing happy dance in my office.

The big push came when the UConn women’s basketball team and our reporters landed in the Big Easy. (Our four correspondents, Dan Agabiti, Tyler Morrissey, Matt Stypulkoski and Jess Condon, were excited to be there, to say the least.)

To thoroughly cover the event we utilized our website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and blog more than is typical for us. For the most part we have always been a print-focused publication. But this year it has been my goal to push us into the digital world. This was our biggest test because of the national attention UConn received.

A screen shot from The Daily Campus' Instagram account. (@dailycampusphoto)

A screen shot from The Daily Campus’ Instagram account. (@dailycampusphoto)

Our three sports writers, Agabiti, Morrissey and Stypulkoski began reporting as soon as they touched down and did not stop until they returned. Agabiti wrote a blog post about predictions for the Final Four game between UConn and Notre Dame for the Daily Campus sports department women’s basketball blog on Sunday, April 7.

Photo editor and online production intern Kevin Scheller created individualized graphics for each game that he posted on Instagram.

The staff covered each game as it unrolled.

Scheller worked with Condon, our photographer on the scene in New Orleans, to post photos from the court during the game.

Screen shot from the UConn vs. Notre Dame game on April 7 from @dailycampusphoto on Instagram.

Screen shot from the UConn vs. Notre Dame game on April 7 from @dailycampusphoto on Instagram.

The sports writers live blogged the game during every media timeout and tweeted updates from @DCSportsDept.

Condon and Scheller created five photo galleries for the Daily Campus website. There was a gallery from the Final Four  and National Championship games, one recapping the team’s journey to the Final Four, one showing fan support around the arena and one that gave a little tour of the city and the arena.

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The line up of four of the five galleries the photo team created for the NCAA tournament.

The staff continued to cover the tournament through the Tuesday night championship game. The writers attended press conferences on Monday, the off-day, and uploaded stories to the website throughout the day. Agabiti wrote a piece comparing the UConn coach, Geno Auriemma, and the Louisville coach, Jeff Walz. Morrissey wrote a story about Stephanie Dolson playing through her injury during the tournament.

We made an effort to write SEO headlines and to share our stories. I found the most difficult part of covering a multi-day story online was the constant need to upload a variety of content. My staff was diligent and tolerant of my numerous requests. Throughout the four days we uploaded more stories, photos, blog posts and polls than before and shared our content more proactively than we usually do.

I am incredibly proud of the work we did and hope the newspaper will continue this type of online coverage for future events.


Two social media experts teach students how to use Twitter in their reporting

View the story “Twitter advice for student journalists from Columbia’s @sree and Twitter’s @marksluckie” on Storify

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These are just screenshots of the Storify to give of taste of it. Follow the link above to see the full story.

Student journalists learn how to run meetings, manage staff at College Media Association’s #CMANYC13

Screen shot of my tweet before Mathew Cantore's session began.

Screen shot of my tweet before Mathew Cantore’s session began.

Student leaders can run more efficient meetings if they prepare for them, distribute an agenda in advance to make the purpose clear and keep the staff on topic.

Mathew Cantore, a Hudson Valley Community College professor, said student journalists easily get distracted in meetings and waste time, mainly because they are friends with their staff.

Cantore said there is nothing wrong with being friends with co-workers. It is inevitable when students spend a large portion of their time in the newsroom together. However, he said it is important to make a clear distinction between how you act socially and professionally.

This might mean pulling your friend aside to warn her that as her boss you are going to treat her professionally while at work. It can also be a good idea to set aside time for social excursions. This allows the staff to let off steam and avoid socializing too much at work.

The student leading the meeting is responsible for keeping the group on task to ensure the meeting is as efficient as possible. Cantore’s tips:

  • Have an agenda
  • Set time limits
  • Avoid the 3 “F”s – food, flirting, phones
  • Start on time, end on time
  • Prepare yourself – Give yourself time to organize in advance so you don’t go in frazzled
  • Look professional to act professional
  • Appear organized and in control
  • Don’t let a joke snowball. Laugh and move on
  • Distribute minutes or a summary after the meeting

No funny business

Cantore said student leaders should avoid being the jokster in the group because they do not always know how to ground the group again after it has started laughing.

“As a leader in the meeting, you have less room to be funny and light-hearted than anyone else,” Cantore said.

Student leaders need to learn how to run a meeting, Cantore said. He said most editors and managers of college media started out as writers and reporters. They missed the class on management.

Teen Vogue publisher tells students at CMANYC13 how to stand out from competitors when applying for a media job

Jason Wagenheim's twitter profile picture. His handle is @JasonWagenheim.

Jason Wagenheim’s twitter profile picture. His handle is @JasonWagenheim.

Getting a job in media is all about setting yourself apart from hundreds of other applicants vying for the same position.

Jason Wagenheim, VP and publisher of Teen Vogue, told attendees of the College Media Association conference that he sees about 150 resumes in any given month. He cannot respond to every applicant or even look at each one. He said he looks at the candidates that stand out because of what they have done and whom they know.

“Get to know who ever you can and try to make meaningful connections with those people,” Wagenheim said.

Make connections with people in New York who work in media anyway you can. Ask you father, your boss, your mailman if they know anyone in the business. He said the old saying is true: it is whom you know.

While it is important to set yourself apart from the crowd, you must do it in a positive way.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Wagenheim said the number of resumes and cover letters with spelling and grammar mistakes is “appalling.” He showed one that spoke about “priveledge,” “producting video” and “hockeky.”

“If you don’t have time to spell check your friking resumes, what are you going to do for me at Teen Vogue?” he said.

One applicant wrote him for a job at Hearst magazines, which is his company’s archrival magazine conglomerate. Wagenheim said to research the job you are applying for. Know about the company and act as if it is your dream job.

This is Teen Vogue's logo on Twitter. They are @TeenVogue.

This is Teen Vogue’s logo on Twitter. They are @TeenVogue.

The interview

One woman walked into an interview with Wagenheim and immediately broke the ice by referencing an article in The New York Times about the magazine and Wagenheim’s work. Throughout the interview she referenced Teen Vogue and showed that she knew about it and read it.

“It showed that she cared. That she was enthusiastic and wanted the job,” he said.

It is important to have energy in an interview, he said. Sometimes applicants come in and can barely muster up a conversation. Wagenheim said it is like talking to his 7 year old. If you are not likable, you will not get the job.

From home

You can make yourself stand out after you leave the interview. Wagenheim said to send a thank you email. It should not be more than two paragraphs, it should show your appreciation and reinstate why you are a good fit for the job. He said it is also good to follow up a couple of days later with a hand written note.

If you do not get the job you should try to stay in touch so you are remembered when the next job opens up. Wagenheim said to email the interviewer periodically down the line. You should reference relevant work you are doing or mention recent news in the company. Make sure the note has a purpose, otherwise they are annoying, he said.

Digital storytelling workshop for student journalists at CMANYC13 led by Bryan Murley

The nightly routine at The Daily Campus includes a mass uploading of all content onto the website after it has been designed for the print edition. There is little to no differentiation between our print and online content.

Bryan Murley, new and emerging media professor at Eastern Illinois University and blogger for Innovation in College Media, said the most basic but also vital change for print stories going online is the inclusion of hyperlinks.

“If you don’t have hyperlinks on your online stories, you don’t have online stories. You have print stories that you put online,” Murley said. “The web was built on the hyperlink.”

Murley said to require writers to turn in a minimum of three hyperlinks with each story.

“If a reporter hands in a story without hyperlinks, send it back. It is not done,” he said.

Brian Zahn, managing editor of The Daily Campus, saw this weakness in our online coverage recently. He has been making the effort to insert hyperlinks into stories on a daily basis. But this is too much to ask someone to do by himself, especially after working until 2 a.m. consistently. Adding hyperlinks needs to become a routine.

Plan multimedia components

The other issue discussed in the workshop that rang true for The Daily Campus was last minute creation of multimedia content.

Kevin Scheller, our online production intern, and I usually create multimedia components to accompany stories after they are uploaded to the site. This typically means our addition is delayed. It also means that we have to do extra reporting after the fact because we did not ask the reporter to do it while on the scene.

The biggest drawback I find is that we are limited in our capabilities. By the time we know a section editor wants us to create something we only have time to upload a photo gallery or write a poll.

Murley said to plan multimedia aspects when the story is initially added to the budget. He said most online, interactive platforms that can be used to tell stories are only helpful when the content is ready in advance.

Deciding on which multimedia content to use

Murley said digital producers get caught up choosing which type of multimedia content is best suited for each story because there is a vast list of possibilities. He said the best way to navigate this problem is to ask yourself, “What is most essential for the audience to understand about your topic?”

For instance, a map would be best suited for a story about a series of robberies on campus, Murley said. A timeline is helpful for a story that has been developing for 15 years.

It is important to remember that all online content should add value to a story, Murley said. The website should not be a place to dump all print content every night. The site should enhance and further coverage.