Monthly Archives: November 2009

The Future of The Globe

by Cassandra Martinez

“I’m optimistic because if you look at the media at large, it’s exploding,” Baron said in response to an audience member’s question. “The reality is that media is exploding and becoming much more entrepreneurial, much more creative.”

On November 19th, Emerson College journalism chair Ted Gup invited publisher of the Boston Globe, P. Steven Ainsley, and editor-in-chief, Marty Baron, to partake in a question and answer forum in the Semel Theatre to discuss the future of journalism in a way that could answer questions journalism students at Emerson are all thinking about.

In the past year The Globe has gone through one of it’s most tumultuous years with hundreds of journalists being laid off and cut-backs in salary and resources being made by The New York Times.

With the internet being the obvious new way most people get their news, The Globe is to ponder over what their new business model should be.

The question that comes to mind is, are readers going to be willing to pay for news that a dozen of other websites online supply them for free?

The Globe’s editor Baron says that readers these days are becoming more discerning with just what they consider reliable news on the web. “People are beginning to question the veracity of what they’re reading,” he said. “Thanks to the Internet more people are reading newspapers than ever before.”

During the open Q&A with Emersonians many students asked about their opinions on the future of journalism, a question weighing heavily on many future journalists.

Baron and Ainsley said they are frequently asked questions about the profession of journalism’s future and unlike many of their peers in the workforce they see the future as bright.

“The opportunities for people entering the journalism field are actually expanding rather than contracting.” said Baron. But what makes the next generation of reporters different is that they must be able to adapt to the changing environment that is the world of journalism.

According to Baron and Ainsley “media at large is expanding,” as opposed to many of the naysayers who say with the death of newspapers comes the end of credible newswriting. “The reality is that media is exploding and becoming much more entrepreneurial, much more creative.”

 

Dawn of a New Admissions Era

by Cassandra Martinez

The college that once told high school seniors to stop cramming so many extracurricular activities on their resumes has taken another step toward making applications less stressful – MIT has done away with the traditional, and much fussed-over, long essay.

In an article written in the October 4th issue of the Boston Globe, Tracy Jan reports on the changes the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is making to their admissions process.

The college essay detailing the most influential person in your life or the biggest decision you have yet to make has become one of the biggest cliches and stresses for high school seniors across the country, but MIT is taking a stand against this ritual that seems to them, archaic.

According to Stuart Schmill, MIT’s dean of admissions, it is almost impossible for a possible student to be able to fully articulate in an essay dealing with just one particular topic enough information for the university to make an informed decision on whether or not an applicant is a suitable fit for their institution.

Schmill is proposing that instead of one mammoth essay being the deciding factor as to whether or not a student is allowed entry into their prestigious institution, they should answer 2-3 short answer questions, such as how one approached a significant challenge in their life thus far.

These shorter and more specific questions are designed to garner a more candid response from students, which I totally agree with. Instead of getting canned responses that seniors have been trained to answer with, applicants must pull from their past experiences that have shaped them into a good addition for MIT.

These days getting into a prestigious university has become more of a game based on connections and training than on skill and intellect. By making these small changes to the way colleges accept students admissions are beginnnig to take a step back in the right direction where future students are accepted because they truly deserve it.

Small Schools, Big Spirit

by Cassandra Martinez

Beyond the Harvards and the MITs, many locals would be hard-pressed to name a fraction of the 80-plus colleges dotting the city and its suburbs, even if they pass the campuses routinely. These tiny private institutions enroll fewer students than most high schools. They have trouble filling the stands at home basketball games. And their students, upon naming their college, are frequently met by blank stares, followed by a skeptical “Where?’’

On September 19th, Tracy Jan, the reporter I am following as an assignment for my introduction to journalism class at Emerson College, published an article for the Boston Globe talking about the changes some of the smaller colleges in Boston are making to become more recognizable and spirited.

Coming from a relatively small campus such as Emerson I can say honestly that I totally relate to a lot of the points Jan is trying to make in her article about lack of school spirit and unity at smaller schools. When you don’t even have a football team to cheer for how do you expect a student population to band together?

According to Jan, these small college campuses around Boston are “fed up with their anonymity.” To try and reverse this, schools like Fisher College have created their own cheerleading squad after years of not being able to fill up at least one fan bus to a school football game.

While Fisher is creating new clubs to push school spirit other small campuses are rolling out the stops with new banners and backlit signs on their campuses to boost awareness that hey, they do exist.

Even the President of Lassel College which has a little over 700 students was a bit out of the loop with the campus he now oversees before coming to work for them.

“When I was recruited for the job, nobody knew who we were,’’ said Michael Alexander, who became president two years ago. “Most people would say, ‘Huh?’ including other college presidents. I drove by for 10 years and didn’t even know Lasell was here.’’

And these schools aren’t cheap. For example, a year at Fisher College would set you back around $40,000. Through new marketing techniques including the creation of a school mascot called Boomer, Fisher is fighting to make an education at their school worth the hefty tuition.

Generating People Skills at MIT

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Leadership Program aims to develop, among others, the following skills:

  • Ability to assess risk and take initiative.
  • Willingness to make decisions in the face of uncertainty.
  • Urgency and the will to deliver objectives on time in the face of constraints or obstacles.
  • Resourcefulness and flexibility.
  • Trust and loyalty in a team setting.
  • Relating to others.
  • In a recent article by my reporter Tracy Jan which was published on October 25th of 2009 by the Boston Globe the subject of interpersonal skills in one of the most impersonal fields, engineering, was put under the microscope.

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has created a program for their seemingly introverted student engineers to devlop their communication skills so when they do graduate and enter the workforce they are able to compete with say their more charismatic and confident competition adequately.

    According to MIT, the program offered to upperclassmen was intended to help those that are not “comfortable seeking leadership opportunities within companies.” It is believed that through leadership activities and elevator speech exercises MIT grads will be able to leave school fully able to compete and take control of situations where there needs to be a leader.

    This article by Tracy Jan is yet another example of her stories concerning higher education for the Globe. Jan publishes at least once a week and informs her Twitter followers whenever she has a new article through tweets.

    In Jan’s news articles she always has a broad range of personalities and people she interviews so she can get a wide array of responses on any of her given subjects. In this story on MIT she talks to students of the leadership course but also makes room to have quotes from the man who’s donation to the school made the classes possible.