Studio 20’s James Matthews spent the summer in Brazil. Here’s his tale about his experience:
For the rest of the break, I worked as an editorial intern for Thomson Reuters from their Sao Paulo bureau in Brazil. I published articles on bullet trains, sugar cane and Brazilian cowboys that were picked up by the Washington Post, New York Times International, Scientific American and the Guardian, among others (Due to licensing agreements with Reuters the content is no longer available on these sites).
Over the summer, I was also awarded a grant from the Hugh Fulton Byas Memorial Fund towards my third and final semester with Studio 20.
Learn more about James on his website.
By Steven Safran
NYU is offering what could be a model for next-gen J-school, its Studio 20 concentration. The classes are led by Prof. Jay Rosen a longtime futurist and visionary, whom Terry and I quote often. I asked Jay about his class in an email Q&A:
Q. Was there one reason why Studio 20 came about, or was it an evolution?
ROSEN: I was chair of the journalism program at NYU from 1999 to 2005. During that time I began to sense that the old model of “magazine,” “newspaper” and “broadcast” journalism tracks was going to crash because of what was happening with the Web and the economy of the news business. So I began looking around for a different master image. That led me to graduate programs in the arts, which are often based on a studio model. In architecture school or an MFA in painting, you take studio courses and everyone has projects. The more I thought about it, the more convinced I was that the studio concept was rich enough to replace the boot camp metaphor and division by platform. But only if the projects had media partners to anchor them in the actual conditions out there today for editorial producers. So… that’s our approach: an “innovation studio,” working on projects with partners.
Q: What is the ideal student?
ROSEN: The ideal student knows before he or she enrolls that the old employment path in the news business has been disrupted; that specializing in a single platform isn’t an especially smart thing to do; that many different kinds of skills are going to be helpful and it isn’t realistic to expect J-school to simply “give” them all to you, or even to know what all of them are. At the same time, the ideal student brings to Studio 20 a level of mastery in one or two of the skills our “cool projects” approach will require, which could mean video, audio, design, production, database, programming, writing and editing, CMS systems and project management, just to name a few. The way we put this is: “bring skills, share skills, learn new stuff.” Finally, the ideal student is super comfortable with the Web and with the more open conditions the online world has brought to journalism.
Q: What will a student coming out of the class understand that a typical J-student may not?
ROSEN: How to “think with” the Web as an interactive and multi-media platform. How to reckon with the entire puzzle of sustainability. How to incorporate the users into the journalism from the beginning. How to run projects that test possibilities and bring a big learning dividend. How to iterate. How to start your own thing if you don’t see it in the world but it should exist. How to be a less dependent creature or more of a brand yourself.
Associate Professor and author of the blog PressThink and creator of OfftheBus.net at the Huffington Post
Visiting Associate Professor and creator and host of PRI’s The Next Big Thing and author of the forthcoming book From Square One
Producer-in-Residence and network TV broadcast news producer, including Dateline NBC and ABC’s World News Webcast