Sunday, July 31, 2005

"I like flying things"

My biggest fear about journalism school come to life.

"One year of practice in writing simple declarative sentences" is how Greg Easterbrook remembers his education at Medill. If I have one year of practice in writing simple declarative sentences about hot air balloon festivals, I will no doubt go postal.

New media program, please save me.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Oh yeah

Since blogging is all about narcissism, I figure I may as well toot my own horn for anybody reading this: I was named a McCormick Tribune Foundation Scholar, which grants me 1) full tuition for my Northwestern master's degree and 2) an insufferably large head. These scholarships are new this year; according to the foundation,
The McCormick Tribune Foundation and the Medill School of Journalism (Medill) at Northwestern University announced the first six students chosen for the McCormick Tribune Leadership Scholars program. These special scholarships are part of the foundation’s 50th anniversary celebration.

The McCormick Tribune Leadership scholarships continue a long tradition of support from the foundation for journalism-related programs at Northwestern, to which the foundation has awarded almost $32 million in the past 50 years.

The scholarships, which will be used for graduate students at Medill and at Kellogg School of Management (Kellogg), are designed to educate a new generation of leaders in the news media. Eighty one-year, full-tuition merit scholarships will be awarded over the next ten years; sixty are slated for Medill students and twenty for Kellogg students.... Scholars were chosen for their leadership potential and commitment to news media careers.

I was notified of this scholarship back in April sometime - somebody from Medill called me at 5:30 on a Friday when I was still at work, and I nearly fell out of my chair. Frankly, I didn't really believe it until I met with Rich Gordon, director of the Northwestern new media program, during a weekend in Chicago and he mentioned it. Even then I still am thinking of ways in which it is a mistake, and probably will be until I actually finish the year without having paid the school any money.

So, it's exciting and everything, but what's weird to me - I am the only new media student to have received the scholarship. Most of the recipients are press journalism. C'mon, Northwestern...If it's really going to be future leaders of the news media, shouldn't you have picked more new media types? Print is so over.

Rebuilding Media

Via newmediamusings, I see that the folks over at Corante have launched a blog called Rebuilding Media. They speaketh the trutheth:
In 1905, although steam locomotives pulled trains between cities and the New York City had some subways trains with electric locomotion, transportation media in America meant horses. They pulled coaches, wagons, carts, carriages, and even streetcars. Riders astride saddled horses were still an everyday sight. As the proprietors of livery stables, businesses of which every town had many, would have told you, 'Humanity has depended upon the horse for millennia and always will'.

They were wrong. Most purveyors of that medium were out of business within 20 years. Despite millennia of humanity’s reliance on horses, fundamental change, fueled by new transportation media technologies, swept that old media away and quickly replaced it with new media. It’s a lesson that news & information media industry executives today should learn for their own sakes and survivals.

With today’s hindsight, it is easy to see how horseless carriages, mass production, and paved roads relatively quickly (circa 1900-1920) and ineluctably replaced horses as Americans’ preferred medium of transportation. But who in 1905 would have seen that fundamental change underway in transportation media to be so obvious?

A similarly fundamental change in news & information media is underway now. For many executives in that industry, this change doesn’t seem obvious. To us, it obviously is.

Despite humanity’s reliance on newspapers for four centuries, on magazines for one and a half centuries, on radio for a century, and on television for half of a century, a fundamental change, fueled by new media technologies, is sweeping away those old media and replacing them relatively quickly and ineluctibly with new media.

By now, media companies should start to realize that the time to start new-media subsidiaries has ended and the time to replace their old media with new-media has begun. Unfortunately, most media companies don’t yet see how obvious their need to accept this fundamental change is. Like those livery stable owners a century ago, they’re still clinging to the past.

They also already have an excellent post about the success of the Lawrence Journal-World online empire, and I like their style of mixing up longer think pieces with the "Blink" category - quick links to important news and stories. I find it hard to keep up with a lot of the exploding new media blogs out there, but I'll definitely be reading this one.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Chicago livin'

Well, I'm thisclose to securing an apartment in the Lakeview area of Chicago (somewhere to the north of downtown, and somewhere to the south of Evanstan and campus, and apparently right near the red/purple line El, which hosts an express train up to Evanston during rush hours. Or something like that). So I'm pretty excited. Medill offers on-campus options to their graduate students, but I didn't look to closely into those, because living on-campus as a grad student seems totally weird and shortbus to me. Actually, I didn't follow many of Medill's tips to do with housing because, well, they sucked. Apparently there's some sort of list you can join to find roommates and sublets, but I never received information on that, so ptooey. Also, I really wanted to live alone, because I am anal and didn't feel like inflicting my lifestyle on an unsuspecting roommate.

Anyway, I thought I'd include some of the ways I searched for apartments during the past few months. Onwards...

  • First and foremost, Craigslist. Dur. It's how I got my current place. But don't just check it every once in a while. Go to the site, enter your search parameters, and subscribe to an RSS feed for that so you're immediately updated on any listing that might fit your requirements. If you use Bloglines you can just use the trusy Sub With Bloglines button you should have installed on your links toolbar, or go to the bottom of the Craigslist page, and the RSS feed will be there. Easy peasy.

  • Along with Craigslist, this Google Maps/Craigslist hack is pretty awesome, though not incredibly useful if you don't know the layout of the town you're moving to.

  • One tip from Medill that was useful: Chireader housing listings. More specific and seemingly of better quality then a lot of the Craigslist dreck.

  • And, if anybody ever comes across this, check out my del.ici.ous listing of chicago moving ideas/sites/tips. None of the things I bookmarked ended up working out for me, but they might for you.

  • A couple links: Northwestern's grad housing site, and their Housing Hints PDF.