3 things to do when you need a finals week break

Photo by Steven S. / Flickr
by Madison Feller

It's the very last week of the semester, and while we know you're busy plowing away at final projects, essays and exams, we also know that sometimes you just need a break. So if you're in the middle of a finals week panic, look no further. We've got three (journalism-focused) procrastination tools right here.

Three things to expect from ONA Mizzou next semester

By Sarah Darby

This time of year, we generally start planning our spring events, but this time, we wanted to host an open planning meeting to allow all our student members to help us brainstorm events that will benefit them during their time at Mizzou. We heard some great suggestions, and here are a few things we are looking forward to in the spring.

From the board: Why ONA Mizzou

The 2015-2016 ONA Mizzou executive board
(not pictured: Madison Feller) Photo by Mark Hinojosa
From the Executive Board

This Thursday at 6 p.m., we will be holding a general meeting for ONA Mizzou. We are a group of students who are passionate about digital media. We come together to learn new skills, share ideas and help each other succeed in the digital space. And we want you to join us.

GUEST COMMENTARY: Building the interactive timeline that went everywhere

Interactive timeline from The Maneater

A lot has happened at Mizzou this semester, including administrative resignations, student-led protests and secretive Board of Curators meetings. At The Maneater, Mizzou's student-run newspaper, we decided it would be a good idea to put everything that had happened in a timeline to create a simple way for people to navigate the events of the semester.

Best digital media sources to follow what's happening at Mizzou

By Ryan Levi

 Photo by Ellise Verheyen/Columbia Missourian
It has been a busy and historic semester at Mizzou, culminating in the resignations of UM system president Tim Wolfe and Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin. With such a complex, multifaceted and quick developing story, it can be very difficult to know where to look for accurate, quality and deep reporting. Below you will find links to several Twitter accounts and stories that are good starting places for getting up to date on what's been happening and for staying informed as the story progresses.

Journalists who are winning the social media game

By Kara Tabor

Beau Giles/Flickr
Last week, we brought you our How to Stand Out From the Crowd event along with live coverage here on the ONA Mizzou blog. Our alumni panel covered how to leverage your personal website and what social media visibility means for building your personal brand.

As social media has become an important tool for news consumers and journalists alike, many in the media use Twitter to craft independent brands. Here are just a few examples of journalists who have tweeted their own paths.

LIVE BLOG: How to Stand Out From the Crowd

By Maria Davison

We're beginning our event, "How to stand out from the crowd."

This evening we're joined by Andrew Gibson, who works at the Orlando Sentinel, Sally French, from MarketWatch and Jessie Lueck, who's working at Hallmark.

While at Mizzou, Jessie Lueck studied magazine design. She is a now a graphic designer for Hallmark cards in Kansas City.

Sally French graduated with a degree in photojournalism. She's working in San Francisco at MarketWatch.

Andrew Gibson was in convergence journalism and took several computer science courses. He's working in Orlando at the Sun Sentinel working on long-term projects and web development.

Five tips for landing your dream internship or job

Courtesy of Flickr user Flazingo Photos
By Sarah Darby

Fall is finally upon us at Mizzou! The season brings crisp leaves, cups of hot chocolate and also a mountain of internship applications. If you're anything like me, applying for internships and jobs can feel pretty overwhelming. Trying to stand out in a sea of applicants is especially challenging.

Event preview: How to stand out from the crowd

Courtesy of Flickr user Automotive Social
By Sarah Darby and Ryan Levi

When everyone around you is applying for internships and jobs it's hard to imagine how you can possibly stand out.

Mizzou students have the benefit of a great education and hands-on experience from our classes, but, ultimately, it's on us to market ourselves to hiring managers. 

Join us on Wednesday, Oct. 28 at 6 p.m. in RJI 100A (aka the Fishbowl), for our second event, How to Stand Out from the Crowd, where recent graduates will share their stories of how they used digital media to build their personal brand and get great jobs. 

Homecoming 2015: Grads come home and share some advice

By Emerald O'Brien

Photo by Ryan Levi

While the football game may not have gone the way Mizzou fans would have liked, this year's Homecoming was still a great experience as alumni from across the country came home to Mizzou. In between reminiscing about old times and introducing themselves to the new dean, we caught up with a few alumni to chat and asked them about what they've learned since they left Old Missouri.

Three simple dos and don'ts for every Twitter user

By Maria Davison

Image by Jurgen Appelo
Everyone says that you should be using Twitter. And they’re probably right. Twitter is a great tool for doing journalism, for consuming journalism and for, like, knowing things about the world. But like most social media, there is a wrong way and a right way to use Twitter.

Do: Share articles that you find interesting
When I say interesting, I mean things that are actually interesting to you. Share content that actually deals with things you care about. I am a big art and history nerd and scrolling back through my Twitter, a lot of the things I share fall into those categories. Stories about Pompeii and Google Art Project and a long-lost Stradivarius are some recent personal favorites.

An insider's look at ONA15

Photo of Online Journalism Awards
by Katy Mersmann
By Katy Mersmann

Did you miss me? I'm back from the ONA conference and back posting on this blog for a day. I was on the ONA Student Newsroom, reporting in L.A. on the conference, which gave me a really different perspective on the conference. With our current executive board sharing their take on ONA from afar, I figured those of us in student newsroom could add a little bit about our take on the conference from inside the newsroom.

Six takeaways from ONA15

By the ONA Mizzou Executive Board

Photo by Sarah Darby
The Online News Association's annual conference is recognized as one of the premier conferences for all things related to digital media and the future of news. Every year, huge numbers of journalists travel to the conference to learn about new journalism technologies and to discuss ways to advance the industry.

If you're like our executive board, you couldn't make it to the conference in Los Angeles last week for ONA15. But, we're always interested to see what happened, and one of the best things about an online organization is that they're really good about putting things online. As we dug through the conference content, here were a few of our favorite sessions.

How to survive your reporting semester

Photo courtesy of mojourcomm via Wikimedia Commons
By Ryan Levi

We have a unique opportunity as journalism students at Mizzou. We get to work in professional newsrooms as part of our course work. Every day, students report for an NBC affiliate, an NPR member station and a community newspaper.

It's great experience, and it's also a lot of work. But you can get through it. I asked around on Twitter and Facebook and got some tips and advice from folks who have been there and done it.

Live Blog: Journalism 101: Ask Me Anything

By Sarah Darby and Maria Davison

This evening, we've invited a panel of students from different emphasis areas around the J School to talk about their experiences and tips for success. 

We have a great group of panelists including strategic communication student Courtney Schier, print/digital student Elise Schmelzer, magazine student Adrienne Donica, convergence student Berkeley Lovelace, broadcast TV student Rose Schmidt and broadcast radio student Michaela Tucker.

Get ready for Journalism 101: Ask Me Anything

By Madison Feller

Photo by Madison Feller
We're almost a month into school, and it seems like everyone's finally starting to get back into the swing of things. But whether you're a reporter, an advertiser, a photographer (or you're still trying to figure out what the heck you are), the Missouri School of Journalism can be a difficult place to navigate.

But have no fear—ONA Mizzou is here to help.

Why digital media matters to you—even if you don't realize it

By Kara Tabor

Courtesy of Flickr user Japanexperterna.se
Throughout the month of September, ONA Mizzou will be sharing our best journalism school tips with you. ONA Mizzou is dedicated to bringing together all journalism students, and connecting them to skills and job opportunities in digital media. We already have some exciting digital media workshops planned, but, first, let’s get through the first month of school together. 

Join us on Thursday, Sept. 17 at 6 p.m. in RJI 100A (aka the Fishbowl), for ONA Mizzou’s first event, Journalism 101: Ask Me Anything. A panel of upperclassmen journalism students will be on hand to answer any questions you have about the J school. Submit your questions on Twitter using the hashtag #ONAAMA.

What kind of news do you consume?

Now, before you start thinking of the different organizations and outlets that you follow on a regular basis, I want you to think past the content to the way you take in your information—the medium.

A journalism school glossary

By Maria Davison

Photo courtesy of Flickr user greeblie
Throughout the month of September, ONA Mizzou will be sharing our best journalism school tips with you. ONA Mizzou is dedicated to bringing together all journalism students, and to connecting them to skills and job opportunities in digital media. We already have some exciting digital media workshops planned, but, first, let’s get through the first month of school together. 

This list is just a starting place for information about the journalism school, but we know you might have more questions! Join us on Thursday, Sept. 17 at 6 p.m. in RJI 100A (aka the Fishbowl), for ONA Mizzou’s first event, Journalism 101: Ask Me Anything. A panel of upperclassmen journalism students will be on hand to answer any questions you have about the J school. Submit your questions on Twitter using the hashtag #ONAAMA

Assistant City Editors are student positions at The Columbia Missourian. During their shifts, they look for news, assign stories to reporters and edit content.

Welcome to ONA Mizzou!

It's that time of year again! Everyone is arriving back on campus, anxiously awaiting a new year of classes.

Since 2011, ONA Mizzou has provided a space for students across campus to learn more about digital media outside of class.

As the world of media continues to change, digital media skills are becoming increasingly essential for young journalists. Students don't have to search hard for evidence of the importance of these skills.

Media and the SCOTUS Marriage Decision

By Madison Feller

Photo courtesy of Flickr user leyrlo
Last Friday, June 26, 2015, was one of those days where it seemed like the news never stopped. Humbling, celebratory, devastating and suspenseful news trickled in throughout the day, as media outlets worked hard to accurately report the events.

But what does it mean when outlets go beyond reporting and start to show their support?

Journalists are in high demand ... at tech companies

By Sarah Darby
Photo courtesy of Flickr user Keiyac
June has been a big month for job openings in journalism, but not at the companies you might imagine.

In the midst of a new round of layoffs from legacy media company Dow Jones, Apple and Twitter have announced they will soon hire journalists to help run their news services.

What makes these announcements unique is the role journalists will soon play at the companies. Although many companies have former journalists on staff, this is one of the first times two tech-giants have expressed a need for journalists to, well, do journalism.

Okay, so you're an intern. What's next?

By Kara Tabor

Photo courtesy of Obankston/Wikimedia Commons

Summer is fully in swing and interns across the country (and the world) are on their merry ways scurrying about reporting, producing and searching for story ideas worthy of a pitch.

This week marks my third as an intern at Minnesota Public Radio. It's unfathomable how fast time has flown by, but I've stopped to take a pulse of my experiences so far.

In my still-green state, I think I'm able to offer a few pieces of advice that I think every journalism intern (or any intern in the history of humankind) may benefit from.

Perfect podcasts for your busy day

By Ryan Levi

I love podcasts. Like a lot.

But I have a problem.

Photo by Flickr user Patrick Breitenbach
I love them so much that I want to give them my undivided attention so I don't miss anything. That means that multitasking favorites like reading, working, studying or any other brain-engaging activities are not an option when I listen to podcasts. These restrictions sadly limit the amount time I can spend listening to podcasts so length has become one of the primary factors in determining which podcasts I listen to.

I've divided podcasts into three length categories that help me maximize my precious podcast time.

3 simple ways to become a better writer

By Maria Davison

From Flickr user Ben Grey
Writing is at the heart of everything we do as journalists and communicators, and being a good writer is ever important, no matter what your dream job may be. I spend so much time trying to understand the best journalistic applications for Snapchat and Periscope, that I forget to focus on my writing. Writing was the reason I got into journalism in the first place, and I hope to keep those skills up. As we head into the summer when you have a little time (between working hard at that fabulous summer internship and laying by the pool), here are some ways you can brush up on your writing skills and make sure they’re always sharp. This advice is hardly anything new, but with a few new resources, these tips can take your writing to the next level.

5 tips for creating content with intergenerational appeal

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Japanexperterna.se
by Emerald O'Brien

The other day, I explained to a 60-year-old what it means to call someone or something "bae." I began by explaining that it started out as an acronym for "before anyone else" and has devolved into a pet name for any kind of significant other, with "other" not being confined to a living being (e.g. Netflix, the USA, the cute barista at Starbucks).

This isn't the first time I've been faced with this type of generational disconnect. Earlier this year I taught an older couple about the word ratchet. This is the same couple whose IBM computer, which has been gathering dust since it was given to them in 2005, is now in my possession so that I may teach them the sorcery that is the Internet.

Generation Y (Millennials) grew up with the Internet at its fingertips. While it isn't embedded in us quite like the new generation (Gen. Z), we are the first wave of adults – and journalists for that matter – who will create a world that has never not known technology. But until we say our final YOLO, we have to be aware of and cater to our audiences who may be less tech savvy than we are. 

Here are some things to keep in mind writing for those who defeat the phrase "user-friendly" by shocking lengths, as well as some tips for writing to an audience with iPhones where hands used to be.

ONA Mizzou Summer Bucket List

By Madison Feller

Photo by Madison Feller
School's out! Summer is here! I know for most of us, summer doesn't just mark the end of finals and the start of vacation. It's the time we have to finally catch up on everything we wish we had time for during the school year. So whether you're headed to an awesome job or a stellar internship for the next three months, we have your summer bucket list so you can come back feeling refreshed, invigorated and informed.

4 books for summer innovation inspiration

By Sarah Darby

Photo courtesy of Flickr user opensource.com
Hello, ONA Mizzou community! My name is Sarah Darby, and I am the incoming  president of ONA Mizzou. I am extremely excited to help plan another year of digital media training and networking events for Mizzou students.

ONA Mizzou has always promoted the intersection of journalism and technology, as we believe the future of journalism will rely on the convergence of these fields. As the business models for journalism continue to change, innovation and entrepreneurship are also affecting journalism in new ways. Journalists are being asked to not only write a story, but also target an audience, grow a social media presence and collaborate with the marketing team. Over the next school year, ONA Mizzou will continue to offer digital media training events, but we will also begin to challenge students to think entrepreneurially through our events. 

This summer, I challenge you to find your inner entrepreneur. Summer is a great time to expand the skills in your journalism toolbox, and these four books will challenge you to think like an innovator in your summer internship, job and beyond.

Welcome to our new board!

By Katy Mersmann

This is my last post as the president of ONA Mizzou and I'm sad that my time is at an end. I've had a great time with our events and Open Newsrooms. I'm thrilled to introduce our new executive board (they should look pretty familiar), and I'm so excited to see what they do!

Sarah Darby, President:

Hello, my name is Sarah Darby, and I am excited to be the new president of ONA Mizzou! I am currently a junior convergence journalism major and entrepreneurship minor, and I am originally from the Kansas side of Kansas City. My love for digital media began when I helped launch my high school newspaper's first website. I saw how engaging online content could reach audiences in new ways, and I pursued a number of digital news internships in college as a result. I have worked at news startups in the Midwest and in Buenos Aires. I have also worked as a social media coordinator for ONA Mizzou and Mizzou's Women in Engineering Center. This summer I hope to further develop these skills and interests as a digital news intern at the Kansas City Star.

How to #JICONF If You Missed #JICONF

By Madison Feller

photo by Shelby Mann
Last weekend, the Missouri School of Journalism and RJI hosted #JICONF, or Journalism Interactive, the conference on journalism education and digital media. Throughout the weekend, professionals and students participated in panels and workshops about newsroom analytics, viral content, innovations and more. But if you weren't able to attend any of the weekend's events, you can still catch up. Here's the ONA Mizzou guide to learning from #JICONF—even if you didn't actually go to #JICONF:

Elections are coming!

By Katy Mersmann

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Ian Aberle
As the school year is (slowly) winding to an end, it's once again time to elect a new ONA Mizzou executive board. As president, I have loved the experience and the opportunities ONA has given me. I've gotten to meet and work with some really awesome journalists and people, and gotten to know everyone on the board better. And let me tell you, they are some pretty great people.

Live Blog: Bill Allen on drones and drone regulation

by Emerald O'Brien

And we're off! Well, not literally – yet. Bill Allen is starting his presentation on drone regulations and journalism, and he will fly a drone in front of our very eyes in the next hour.

5 reasons Excel isn't actually the worst

By Sarah Darby

If you're anything like me, you probably cringe at the thought of using Excel. I, too, claimed I hated Excel, thinking the program was only useful to accountants and maybe people living under a rock.

It turns out, Excel is actually a very useful tool for data journalism. I completed NICAR's computer assisted boot camp last week, and I emerged with a new-found appreciation for Excel. If you're a Mizzou student, I highly encourage you to take the CAR class, JOURN 4430, during a regular semester or intersession bootcamp to learn more about data reporting. For everyone else, here are five reasons Excel isn't actually the worst.

Drones are coming to ONA!

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Budi Nusyirwan 
By Katy Mersmann

Did you see CNN's experiment with drone video of Selma earlier this month? Have you heard about Mizzou's own use of drones to report for KBIA? Perhaps more importantly, have you heard about the Federal Aviation Administration's grounding of Mizzou's program?

So...what gives here? Why can CNN fly a drone and we can't?

How to #NICAR15 If You Missed #NICAR15

By Madison Feller

Last week, a gaggle of journo/coder hybrids overtook Atlanta, Georgia for the 2015 Computer Assisted Reporting conference. Over three-and-a-half days, students and professionals alike came together to learn about everything from Fusion Tables to APIs. It was a jam-packed weekend, but if you happened to miss it, don't worry. ONA Mizzou is here to tell you how to get everything you can from #NICAR15—even if you didn't actually go.

Blogging the way into existential disrepair

by Emerald O'Brien
A photo of the author after finishing this blog.
Photo courtesy of Mike Licht/Flickr
Are you in a journalism class that requires you to blog for a grade? Are you masochistic enough to be writing a blog just for fun? (Or are you really just blogging because its a class requirement?)

Well, you are in luck because in my 7 years of forced blogging experiences, I have collected a pool of invaluable blogging tips, and I'm here to share them with you.

On taking a break...again

By Katy Mersmann

From Flickr user Jason Howie
We have talked about it before: the need to take a break and a breather from the newsroom to maintain some semblance of sanity. At Mizzou, we've taken to calling it #MyPersonal45, encouraging student journalists to take a 45 minute break, everyday, from work and stress and do something they really care about. (And then tweet and tell us what they do!)

So, it was kind of fitting when I was perusing the national ONA Twitter account and saw a link to a Poynter story about the mental exhaustion social media managers and reporters face when following graphic, disturbing stories. The problem is especially pervasive right now, with images of horrific executions of journalists coming out of Syria. Poynter quotes Bruce Shapiro, executive director of The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, who mentions that the images and stories can be especially challenging because so many of the social media managers following them are young and inexperienced, and not used to viewing extreme suffering.

Live Blog: FOIA How-To Session

By Kara Tabor

Welcome to the live blog of our FOIA How-To Session

Our featured presenter today is Mark Horvit, executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editors and associate professor at the University of Missouri. 

"None of you should graduate from this university without having made one or two open records requests," Horvit says.

Horvit teaches the Investigative Reporting class and says that students should make records requests while still in school so that they can learn by going through the process before they go out into the workplace.

He says working with data and journalism begins with the right attitude. This attitude consists of having a document state of mind, assuming that the information you need is public, assuming it's free and searching for the databases behind the documents.

Three reasons to attend Journalism Interactive

By Sarah Darby

Photo by Sarah Darby
It isn't every day that students get to have a conversation about the future of journalism, but this year Mizzou students have the opportunity to do just that. The University of Missouri is hosting Journalism Interactive, the conference on journalism education & digital media, and you have an opportunity to volunteer for or attend the conference.

Last April, I had the opportunity to travel to Journalism Interactive at the University of Maryland. The very first session of the conference started with a drone zooming out on stage. That's when I realized the unique perspective of the conference. J/i started four years ago with a mission to improve journalism education. It has since created a space  for journalism students and journalism professors to come together to learn about new techniques and innovations in digital media.

Expanding your podcast library

By Madison Feller

photo by zoomar, Flickr Creative Commons
When January 1st rolled around, I decided to make a New Year's resolution I would actually stick to: Be more informed. This meant I wouldn't just keep reading all of my go-to sites (TIME, The New Yorker), and I would start actively seeking out news I would previously ignore. (For me, this meant reading publications like The Wall Street Journal and Politico). But my favorite discovery in my quest to become more informed didn't come in an article or even a video. Instead, it came as a podcast.

Robot journalists are taking over the news industry (sort of)

Photo by Flickr user Windell Oskay
By Emerald O'Brien

This post was not generated by a computer (unfortunately). But, if you are getting your news from the AP, you just might be reading a robot’s handiwork.

After employing these metal-handed journalists for more than six months, the AP is cranking out around 1,000 stories a month with non-human bylines (well, no bylines at all).

But what does this mean for journalism? Is this where journalists get phased out like some factory workers? Or does this just provide the relief that journalism school students everywhere long for?

Leave it to the users—leveraging audiences to vet content

By Kara Tabor

via SEOPlanter/Flickr

Speak the truth, or get demoted on social media. That's the impetus behind Facebook's newest feature allowing its users to sort the truth from the fake --and no, I'm not referring to whether or not your friends' Instagram snap truly has #nofilter. With the addition of an option to label a post as false information (within the post reporting feature that already gives users the ability to flag content that they may object for any of a variety of reasons), users can now have their say in one of the fundamental questions of the internet: Is this for real?

To emojis, mobile and beyond

From Flickr user
Marco Paköeningrat
By Katy Mersmann

Just last week, BuzzFeed announced the addition of emojis to its content management system. The news about BuzzFeed's move to include emojis in stories and headlines got a decent amount of traction; it's a fun, albeit unusual move by a company known for trying new things. Along with emojis in the CMS, BuzzFeed also added them to its style guide, giving their use a more real, journalistic feel: