|Photo credit: NewsZou.com|
She started the site for her radio-television journalism course, Advanced Internet Applications, to teach students about blogging.
"The process gives students a chance to dive into the digital journalism industry to learn about trends and tools while they're practicing blogging," Hammock said.
Each student chooses a topic and writes one post per week. Another student then edits the post before scheduling it for publication. Hammock goes through the site on a regular basis to check posts for copy-editing errors that might have been overlooked.
Hammock taught her students linking and attribution before letting them decide what they want to cover. She offers the categories social media, digital tools, industry news, and trends, but students have free rein to choose what they want to write about in the changing media world.
Students have written about personal versus a professional Twitter accounts and controlling your image via social media. They've also covered apps for journalists such as Ifussss and views on the current state of journalism.
Addison Walton is a capstone student writing for NewsZou and a former ONA Mizzou officer and blogger. He said students are finding niches they enjoy writing about, including social media in sports coverage, digital tools and news apps. Because the entire class contributes, the content is almost always fresh.
"You want it to have new content so people will visit the site often," Walton said. "It takes the pressure off one person to post regularly."
Hammock hopes the blog will teach students how to find useful information about the rapidly changing industry they're entering. It can show potential employers students know what's going on in the modern news world, she said.
"You aren't just a practitioner; you have an understanding of how the industry works, as well as how you perform in it," she said.
Students in future capstone classes will continue to write for the blog. Hammock's goal is to have the site catch the eye of both students and professionals.
Check out the NewsZou Facebook and Twitter accounts for future updates.