Wednesday, June 16, 2010

POSSE - Day2 and 3

My apologies for skipping my post yesterday! I spent the end of yesterday in a few meetings about a potential grant application to the Knight Foundation. I'm going with a small contingent of folks from RIT to meet with Alberto Ibarguen, president and CEO of the Knight Foundation, in mid-July. We plan on discussing the future of journalism and how RIT can take a leadership role in building that future. We believe RIT's expertise in computing and publishing make us truly unique.

The old conventional wisdom in journalism was to double major with political science or another liberal art. Today's journalists, I believe, would benefit from a greater understanding of programming and computing. (And programmers would benefit from a little background in journalism and news values:)

A product of the old wisdom, my background in computing is limited to SPSS syntax. I am attending POSSE for a few reasons:
1) to expand my personal understanding of software,
2) to look for collaborative research partnerships,
3) to seek out writing opportunities for my students (and potentially myself:)
4) because I have an academic interest in open source communities. )I'd like to write a couple scholarly articles about deliberation theory in open source and the parallels between citizen journalism and open source collaboration.), and
5) because I want to create something cool - maybe a game or program that encourages conscientious media consumption??

Anyway, I've found POSSE empowering and motivating. I appreciate the support, creativity and collaborative spirit of the open source community. Interpersonal contacts have expanded my thinking about how my students can participate in open source.

Speaking of...many thanks to all POSSE participants for letting my Newswriting I class come visit over lunch today. Each student is writing an article about POSSE. The articles are due Friday. I promise to post their stories online.

Thoughts on my group project: Remix for RIT!!
Love my project! I'm smitten with the idea of giving RIT students open source software. The journalism program requires students to be proficient in producing news across platforms. Unfortunately, much of the software they need is very expensive. This project equals the playing field by giving all students access to office-like and creative software.

Other thoughts/ideas I've had this week:
-How to use wikis in the classroom
-How to use collaborative editing programs (like
-How my students can use IRC to report and find sources for stories
-Possibly requiring my students to write a story for one open source community (like GNOME)

Looking forward to tomorrow!


  1. Three specific groups - and people within those groups that may make good starting contact points - that I might look into for this:

    1. Fedora Weekly News,, which has a mailing list,, and and is run by Pascal Calarco over in Indiana, Join instructions are at

    2. Fedora Marketing,, which produces things like feature profiles (example: - there's a pretty PDF version of these coming out soon, too, thanks to Jef van Schendel from the Fedora Design Team); they, too, have a mailing list at, and are headed by Robyn Bergeron from Arizona,

    3. GNOME Journal,, which writes articles and issues about the GNOME Desktop project, one of the most widely used open source desktop environments out there. They have instructions for contributors pointing to an IRC channel at, and Sumana Harihareswara ( is one of their editors (she's actually often on #teachingopensource as sumanah).

    Hope these help. :)

  2. Check out as well. It's not open source (and still in beta), but it allows students to follow each other and topics and sites they like. Should make the exploration process a little more streamlined.