New website caters to journalism students
J.School Buzz provides outlet for news and student opinions on the J school.
Feb. 01, 2011
With a water bottle filled with milk and a Special K bar for breakfast in hand, convergence journalism senior David Teeghman sits down in the Futures Lab in the Reynolds Journalism Institute. RJI, which Teeghman considers his second home, is where he spends a majority of his time working on the beginning stages of his new online media baby: J-School Buzz.
Originally titled, “J-School Rumors,” Teeghman and his girlfriend, Jenn Paull, who manages social media for Jschoolbuzz.com, decided to transform his idea into their journalism capstone project for the spring semester.
Jschoolbuzz.com, primarily run by Teeghman, Paull and fellow convergence journalism senior and multimedia editor Lindsey Wolf, is intended to serve as a forum and news outlet for and about the Missouri School of Journalism but is in no way affiliated with the J School or backed by it.
“There’s so many media websites that professional media insiders are interested in, but there’s nothing to cater to media students, nothing for journalism students, nothing for communications students at any university that I can find,” Teeghman said.
The website was initially nothing more than an extracurricular activity for the trio until Paull suggested Teeghman turn it into their capstone project.
“I just thought it was a great idea,” convergence journalism professor Mike McKean said. “It’s interesting to have a place to collect the student perspective on what goes on at the School of Journalism.”
McKean said it did not concern him that some of the content of the site could potentially be critical of the J-school.
Teeghman said he did not know if their idea for jschoolbuzz.com would be approved.
“I did not think that was going to happen, because we’re in the journalism school, getting journalism credit, reporting on the journalism school, sometimes critically,” Teeghman said of jschoolbuzz.com becoming their capstone project. "So it’s all sorts of crazy conflicts of interest, kind of basically out the ass.”
Jschoolbuzz.com has published articles on issues including the journalism school’s relationship with PatchU, AOL's community news website, a strategic communications career fair and a blog about a comical poster found around campus Teeghman though would be of interest to viewers.
One component of the site is titled the “Starving Journalist” where jschoolbuzz.com publishes information on where free food can be found on campus, an idea Teeghman said they got from a former MU publication, The Free Tiger.
Paull said new contributors from all journalism sequences are encouraged to pitch content for the site.
“We don’t want it to just be our voices,” she said. “Whether you’re a freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, if you have some kind of idea or something you want to talk about, just talk to us, and we’d be more than happy to invite you to write a piece for us or to record a video or take pictures or anything.”
Teeghman said aside from his favorite time spent studying the statistics of their site, he likes having the chance to report on topics he cares about.
“The difference is that you’re reporting on stuff that you really care about, especially if you’re in the J-school when you’re obsessed with these four walls,” he said.
The trio plans to pass jschoolbuzz.com onto juniors after they graduate to keep the site going and also hope that in the future, jschoolbuzz.com expands to other journalism schools.
“I want to keep J-School Buzz around so that in a few years, when I start going into online media I can still say, this is something I started that is still around, still thriving,” he said.