Looking For Student Bloggers

December 2, 2011

By Peter McKay | FAMU ’97 | Email

We’re still in early days for this site, which is already a very important personal project for me as a proud Rattler, journalist, and erstwhile Web developer. One big priority is to find ways to involve more people, including both students and grads.

A first step: I’d like to hear from a few student bloggers willing to work on this site through at least the end of the upcoming spring semester. If you’re interested, please email me.

Basically, my goal is for us function like a miniature, self-contained news org dedicated to what will inevitably be the biggest story on campus all next semester. I anticipate hazing will also continue to be a high-profile national story as well, so the experience, visibility, and clips should be great. You’ll also get valuable experience in digital-first journalism and be edited by an experienced, award-winning journalist who will gladly serve as a reference, assuming you fulfill these requirements:

  • Write at least one post per week.
  • Send at least five tweets or Facebook updates per week promoting the site in some way.
  • Generally help build a community around the blog in any way possible, with a focus on encouraging responses to our hazing questionnaire. Aside from social updates, this may also include making announcements in classes, email blasts, et cetera.
  • “Attend” at least one video conference a week via Skype or a similar service. I’m based in New York, so this is how we’ll do story planning. We’ll set meeting times so they fit as well as possible with your class schedule.

Pay will be the same as most other FAMU campus media positions: zip. But I’m hoping there are enough other benefits — and general enthusiasm to write about hazing right now — that we’ll get some sharp students interested. I know there are a lot of you out there.

This is perhaps a great opportunity for a student with some minimum clip requirement to meet for Publications Practicum or another j-school class. I’ll go to bat for you as much as possible with your professor regarding what can count toward such a requirement, though I can’t make any promises, since I’m not on faculty.

Students of all classifications and majors welcome, including co-ops. FAMU DRS kids interested in reporting are also eligible. If you have experience using WordPress, that’s a plus but not required. I can help you with that if necessary.

One caveat: If you are a band member, member of a Greek-letter organization, or think you might be remotely interested in pledging a Greek-letter organization at any time in your college career, don’t apply. I don’t believe there is anything inherently wrong with students participating in these activities, mind you. It’s just that, given our subject matter here, the potential for journalistic conflicts of interest is simply too great. What I’m looking for is a true Eliot Ness or three.

Please also note: Of the several limitations I just stated, I realize it’s easy enough for a student to answer openly if I ask about current membership in a Greek org or the band. Pending interest is a little more iffy. Just be honest with yourself and me about that. Don’t try to b.s. If you do, there will be hell to pay later.

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