National News Engagement Day

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During class on Tuesday, Oct. 6, we will participate in National News Engagement Day, sponsored by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Check out the Twitter hashtag #NewsEngagementDay and you’ll see what some of your fellow journalism students around the country are doing to participate. Last year, we made the national Top 10 list!

Full details will be shared in class — there will be PRIZES!! — but here is how you can prepare:

  • Read this AP article about how Americans of all ages still crave meaty news, not just kitten videos.
  • Our mission for Tuesday: You’ll work in three-person teams to create Spotify playlists inspired by timely local news stories from the DFW region. Last year, #j4398 students collaborated with The Texas Tribune to match political news stories with songs inspired by the news. (See, news can be fun!)
  • Peruse our master playlist from last semester to get a sense of how to combine news and music. Watch out for pairings that could be offensive.
  • Between Saturday and Tuesday, browse local news sources including The Dallas Morning News, KERA.org, the Fort Worth Star-TelegramWFAA, NBC 5, CBS 11, and, of course, The Daily Campus. Come to class with at least three songs in mind that somehow relate to recent local news, sports, politics, business, arts stories that have been published within the last week. Be creative! And make sure the songs are available on Spotify.
  • Bring headphones and download Spotify on your laptop if you don’t have it already installed.
  • Oh, yeah: Bring your A-game! Your peers from Saint Louis University’s CMM 4100: Multiplatform Journalism course will be ranking your playlists and crowning the winning #j4398 group. PRIZES are at stake!!

Remember these helpful tips on compiling a newsy playlist, created just for you by former Texas Tribune reporter Reeve Hamilton:

  • The connection to the story should be clear from the title of the song.
  • If you can’t follow the first rule, you can explain why the lyrics work. But as they say in politics, when you are explaining, you are losing.
  • With exceptions, the lyrics of the song should seem applicable to the news situation if you use your imagination and squint a little. If this is just impossible, that’s ok. But before you settle, see what other options are out there.
  • The playlist should be listenable (obviously this is subjective). But if you are going to take the time to make something like this, make something people can actually get enjoyment out of.
  • Don’t take it too seriously (but do put effort into it).

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