Richard Oliver '81 is on campus this week, the first of the Spring 2008 Journalists-in-Residence spending a week working on projects with the students in JOUR 490, Journalism as a Profession. The J-i-Rs were kind enough to send me descriptions of their projects.
Richard Oliver '81, columnist/senior writer, San Antonio Express-News:
My assignment for the kids involves having them write a story that incorporates scene-setting, descriptive skills. Simply, I challenged them to track down a topic -- whether it be a city council
meeting or sporting event -- that requires them to be narrative wordsmiths, bringing the reader to the front row. It's pretty elementary, but more and more we've seen journalistic work, online and in print, stripped of any real management of the language.
Frank Smith '87, senior copy editor, Dallas Morning News:
The general topic that I want students to pursue is "A&M ... then and now." They are to identify a social issue, trend, event, group or individual that illustrates a significant change that has taken place in the climate, attitudes or norms of life at Texas A&M over a period of years.
Mike Ward, criminal justice/enterprise reporter, Austin American-Statesman:
Watergate 101: A week-long boot camp in the basics of investigative reporting. Participants will be instructed in how to dig out an accurate story from a variety of public records, how to cultivate confidential sources and how to investigate using the Internet, phones and shoe leather.