Managing editor, news director to discuss the Citizen Journalism Academy

August 28, 2007

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Cody Howard, 6News news director, and Dennis Anderson, Journal-World managing editor, will discuss plans for the third Citizen Journalism Academy this fall. The CJA is sponsored by The World Company and the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Kansas University. For five successive Monday nights starting Oct. 1, CJA fellows will learn from educators and practicing journalists about the processes and standards that help translate community activities and events into "news." Fellows also will learn how news decisions are made, the ethics of storytelling, how to ask the right questions and a number of other key topics.


Good afternoon. Dennis Anderson, managing editor of the Lawrence Journal-World, and Cody Howard, 6News news director, are here to chat with readers about the Citizen Journalism Academy, which is sponsored by The World Company and Kansas University's William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications. The third class starts Monday, Oct. 1. Applications are now being accepted at Welcome Dennis and Cody.


Thanks. We're excited about the third class and working with a new group of citizens interested in the media, how it works and how they can be a part of the community conversation.


What, exactly, are you looking for in a candidate for the "Citizen's Journalism Academy?" I have applied twice!


Good question. We have received more than 180 applications for the two classes combined and accepted 50 of those, that's less than a third of those applying. We've had a tough time selecting the class each time -- it's always difficult deciding whom to accept and whom to leave out when we have such a large pool of excellent candidates. We certainly encourage those who have yet to make it in to apply again for this session.


What type of applicants would benefit most from this class and what types of jobs would they hold? At the conclusion of the course, what is the top skill they could take back to their workplace?


Anyone who has a natural curiosity about the world around them and would like to take a more active role in the news process should apply. CJA Fellows get exposure to news writing, blogging, photography, headline writing and multimedia reporting. Fellows will be a better writer, able to ask more focused questions and able to increase their social and professional network.


What types of opportunities exist for citizen journalists in Lawrence?


Anyone anywhere can be a citizen journalist. With the rise of blogging, youtube and the like -- all of us have the ability to be on the front lines of any story at any time. The goal of the CJA is to provide people with the training, skills and connections to tell their stories in a more polished, professional way. Fellows have the opportunity to write stories, provide information on breaking news and photos from their neighborhood. We have published several of these stories.


Have any of the graduates of the first two CJA classes gone on to paid positions with the Journal World or any of its affiliates?


Hi. Cody here. First off, just wanted to say I love "Mr. Show." If your name is actually Ronwell Dobbs, then I guess it's just a coincidence. Anyway... to answer the question ... at least a half-dozen Fellows have written bylined stories over the past year and have been compensated for their work. Lori Carson, a Fellow from the first academy, hosts "Home & Away" on Channel 6. We have not hired anyone on full-time at this point, but who knows what will happen in the future.


I called the JW a few weeks ago to request an application for the program and was told by the person answering the phone they knew nothing about it.


We apologize, but plans for the third class weren't publicly announced until last Sunday.


A reminder: Applications will be accepted until Sept. 14. We encourage everyone to apply. Applications can be found online at A permanent link can be found on the right-hand side about halfway down the page. Classes run for five consecutive Monday's starting Oct. 1. The first session is three hours, other sessions are two hours. There is no charge for the class. We will notify everyone who applies about whether they're in the class by Sept. 24. We look forward to hearing from you.


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