Saturday, October 11, 2008

Broadcast Educators from Southeast Tackle HD Radio, Digital Conversion

COLUMBIA, SC-- Another story of record attendance here in the South Carolina Capital as the biggest Broadcast Education Association District II meeting takes place here for the first time.

As the largest group of electronic media faculty, the Broadcast Education Association has encouraged fall district gatherings in addition to its annual spring convention, which is held each April in conjunction with the National Association of Broadcasters and the Radio-Television News Directors Association in Las Vegas.

The most successful of these gatherings has, by far, been our District II, which includes those from the states of Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina and Florida. The first three District II conferences were held on Middle Tennessee State University campus from 2003 to 2005. In 2006, we hosted the gathering at the University of Alabama and last October, it was hosted by Valdosta State University in South Georgia.

Under the direction of the District II board representative Augie Grant, this year's gathering was held in conjunction with the Annual Convergence Conference with a joint banquet last year featuring Daryn Kagan, a former CNN anchor and now operator of a inspirational Web site,

While the two gatherings were held on the same weekend, one could come away with a totally different set of outcomes-- things to change and update in his/her teaching.

Today, one full panel of representatives from local television and radio here in Columbia and two research paper presentations focused on the February 17, 2009 transition to Digital Televlsion and the growing audience for Hyper Digital (not High Definition) Radio.

Those were clearly very timely topics and warrant follow-up from those of us in the classroom and in conjunction with those in industry.

I have much more to say as I reflect on the BEA District II meeting. But, I must move on to other pertinent tasks this evening.

More later.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Stephen F Austin State Shows Out

COLUMBIA, SC-- Much of the academic conference focuses on individual academic paper presentations. In this arena, those presentations have focused mostly on convergence.

But, what we're seeing this afternoon is a divergence of the way convergence is playing out at a smaller state institution. Hundreds of our nation's universities and colleges are just like Stephen F. Austin State.

SFASU brought six members of its faculty for the conference. They've just finished their panel presentation and are taking questions.

This was definitely a unique type of presentation.

Near Record Attendance Here in Columbia

COLUMBIA, SC-- I'm told about 80 people have registered for this year's Convergence Conference and if I heard nothing else-- I'm gotten an earful on the latest data for what newspapers and televisions are doing with their Web operations.

More details later, but as you see from the photo above, there are more people than we've had before engaging in this type of discussion about what's happening online.

I'm ducking out of that session, Newsroom Practices on Convergence" to make this posting. The photo shows what I could see from the back of Salon A here at Conference Center portion of the Clarion Hotel in downtown Columbia.

It's nice to have wireless so that these types of updates are do-able.

Greetings from the South Carolina State Capital

COLUMBIA, SC-- It's become a tradition for me-- for the last six years -- except one-- I travel to the Palmetto State to get the very latest updates on multimedia journalism, convergence and cross-media news gathering.

The experts in the field converge on the University of South Carolina campus to talk about their latest research, challenges in teaching in this area and what's likely to happen in the next few months.

Fortunately, the annual convergence conference calls on our Fall Study Break at the University of Alabama and University of South Carolina.

The conference is always a chance to get multiple "take-aways" to carry to my students.

Next fall, the 2009 gathering will be in November and hosted by our friends at the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada Reno

In addition to my postings from my Twitter page, I'll be posting several times this weekend from The Convergence Conference.