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UT News

#ReportingUT Puts Student Journalists on Assignment

Journalism students at UT get hands-on reporting experience outside the classroom. Follow them at #reportingUT.

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They comb through documents, cover important meetings, live-blog breaking news and even chase runners preparing for big races to get an interview.

Students in the Moody College of Communication‘s School of Journalism are getting hands-on reporting experience by covering assignments in the field, exploring new technology and taking pointers from some of journalism’s biggest names like the iconic Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward, who broke the Watergate scandal leading to President Nixon’s resignation.

journalism students gather around Bob Woodward

Students gather around Washington Post legend Bob Woodward, who spoke at the Belo Center for New Media on Sept. 24. [Photo by journalism senior Cassandra Jaramillo] 

These young reporters document their experiences online, including on Twitter, using #ReportingUT.

That hashtag is part of the “J310F Reporting: Words” course, in which students use Twitter “as a learning component in the syllabus.”

Robert Quigley, a senior lecturer in the School of Journalism, says the course helps students develop the skills necessary to be a reporter, from newsgathering and writing to journalistic values and beyond. (Check out Quigley’s Tumblr for the class.) The course also helps students meet cross-curriculum requirements to be “exposed to a set of skills and experiences in preparation for a complex world” by carrying two Flags: Writing and Cultural Diversity.

“It’s fun, and our students love it,” says Wanda Garner Cash, a clinical professor in the School of Journalism who teaches the #ReportingUT students. “Over the past four semesters, we have regular Twitter users who follow our class tweets. Responses have come from NPR, The Associated Press, Reuters and scores of journalists.”

Cash says professors encourage students to live tweet class lectures as a way both to take notes and interact with classmates and faculty by sharing links, asking questions and commenting on the topics.

At the many in-the-field reporting assignments students attend like covering City Council meetings, attending keynote lectures and capturing culture at events like the Keep Austin Weird Festival and the Capitol 10K race students are required to use the #ReportingUT hashtag as a way to tie together all of the pictures, videos and interviews the class members produce.

Katey Psencik, a digital journalist for KVUE in Austin who also graduated from the School of Journalism, says even though she took the #ReportingUT course more than a year ago, she looks at content under the hashtag as a way to “never stop learning.”

Here’s a look at some of the Tweets from #ReportingUT students, professors and lecturers: