Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Crowdsourcing to help university magazine produce list of 100 must-read articles

A magazine for emerging journalists produced by staff and students at Australian University La Trobe is compiling a guide to 100 articles every journalist should read.

Upstart magazine is publishing student's commentaries on articles they have selected as part of a project with La Trobe's new Global Communications Masters degree. The project team has selected 50 articles, which will be drip fed through to the website, but are asking for suggestions from readers and journalists to create a collaborative list.

The 100 articles project isn't intended to be a definitive guide, but a showcase of the varied influences and debates affecting journalism and journalists, both past and present, Lawrie Zion, senior lecture and editor-in-chief of Upstart, told Journalism.co.uk. The new Masters is an international course, with this year's intake including students from more than seven countries, and the list will reflect this global outlook, he added.

"It's not meant to be complete, but a way of stimulating discussion about journalism from everywhere," he said. The discussion can be followed and suggestions made on Twitter using the #100articles hashtag.

The list so far includes 'And then they came for me...' by murdered Sri Lankan journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge and 'Censorship' by Karl Marx, as well as articles on blogging and journalism, and the investigative journalism venture Politico.

Forthcoming pieces to be put on the list include a feature on nature journalism from Time magazine and a piece on the impact of search engine optimisation from the Telegraph. Articles from as far back as the first declaration of a journalism school in the US to those published in recent weeks will run side-by-side to encourage discussion of new issues for journalists alongside debate around the values of journalism.

Not all the submissions will be text-based - clips of Jon Stewart will soon feature - reflecting a wider effort by the journalism school to teach students to work across multiple platforms. The commentaries provided by students show how a piece of journalism can engage and stimulate a reader on a personal level, said Zion.

"I'm less interested in creating a canon of journalism and more interested in encouraging a conversation. We want to be part of the fight to keep journalism as part of the fourth estate, but we don't want people who write about fashion or blog just about coffee to feel out of place reading Upstart. All kinds of writing and the broader conversation of journalism have a place here," said Zion.

"I don't want our students to fall for the line that journalism is one kind of platform and one kind of topic and content."
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