Missouri J-School and the 'backstory'
When MU's School of Journalism opened its doors in 1908, Associated Press was already 54 years old-a venerable history. However, one of the things AP didn't pay much attention to until very recently was its archives. As a result, its news legacy, in pieces, only goes back to about 1937. That is a gap of more than 90 years. Fast forward to right now-June, 2008. The 162-year-old AP just released a fascinating report on a topic of wide interest in publishing: How are Gen Y'ers and the Millennials, those coveted 18- to 34-year-olds, consuming news in this mobile age? How do they get it? What do they read? What do they want? How do you advertise to them? ... When I visited Columbia in April, our discussions focused on two areas - the prospects for rescuing the Missourian's digital archives, and how the Reynolds Journalism Institute might contribute to research in news preservation, especially in the context of hosting the development of a formal repository. The following proposes steps toward that goal.
Table of Contents
Introduction. 1908-2008: The Missourian 'backstory' ; 'SWOT' analysis ; The project 'backstory' -- Two years later. The Missourian ; Reynolds Journalism Institute ; Towards a news repository at MU -- Eight steps. Step 1. Designate a project owner ; Step 2. Form a project team ; Step 3 (concurrent). Inform yourselves -- Step 4. Hire an archivist ; Step 5. Establish priorities ; Step 6. Undertake a small-scale or pilot project ; Step 7. Go after grant money ; Step 8. Hold a symposium -- Can this be done? Is the backstory worth saving? ; Further reading.
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