Since 1968, the Dow Jones News Fund has produced a free print publication for high school journalism teachers and media advisers – providing a place to trade teaching tips and curriculum ideas, pass on real-world newsroom advice and showcase students’ award-winning work.
After more than 47 years of publishing in print, the Dow Jones News Fund moved Adviser Update to a digital publishing platform, where it remains a go-to source of information and inspiration in scholastic journalism.
This new platform makes Adviser Update accessible by smartphone, computer or tablet. Each issue can be emailed to subscribers, shared on social media and accessible online at www.adviserupdate.org. Articles feature videos, slideshows and links to resources. Our showcase of student work is much more interactive, allowing readers to view multiple pages and click through to the online versions. Columnists can share their work on social media sites like LinkedIn and Twitter.
Adrienne Forgette, editor in chief, leads the digital transformation directed by Heather Taylor, DJNF manager of digital media and programs. Forgette, media arts director at Darlington School of Rome, Ga., gave Adviser Update a new look with fresh voices and new topics.
“George Taylor’s two-decade legacy as the editor of Adviser Update has left a strong foundation to build upon. I am excited to transition the publication to its online interactive format while keeping the staple columns Taylor has cultivated over the years,” Forgette said.
Forgette brings more than 10 years of experience teaching and advising high school students. She is the media arts director at Darlington School where she designed and teaches three media arts classes. She advises a number of award-winning publications including the Jabberwokk Yearbook, the Darlingtonian news website, and the Inkslinger literary magazine. She has also worked as a freelance reporter for Martha’s Vineyard Times and blogged for CNN.com.
“Every day I am in awe of the stories I hear and see on social media and various listservs from my fellow media advisers across the country. My goal is to shine a light on what they are doing with their programs to help and to inspire us all to become better,” Forgette said.
Forgette’s classroom and newsroom experience plus her knowledge of design and new media, made her the perfect match for the new Adviser Update.
She has already introduced a few new voices in this spring’s issue. Look at the “What I Wish I’d Known” column, in which college students share their experiences in journalism school and challenges they face, along with tips for teachers on what to teach and how to organize staffs to prepare students for college media.
“Some of us have strong connections to schools of journalism, yet some of us are English teachers who teach journalism on the side and have never stepped foot in one. The goal of this column is to not only get feedback on the relevance of our high school curriculum but to also give us and our students a glimpse into college newsrooms,” Forgette said.
Another important aspect of going digital is the ability to know and engage with our readers. We can track readership and click-through rates, and engage our audience on social media.
We are also reaching beyond analytics to engage teachers and professionals. The News Fund is forming an Adviser Update editorial board, a volunteer group to advise on content and topics for each issue. (To express interest in serving on the editorial board, email firstname.lastname@example.org; the board will meet quarterly via conference call.) Our main goal is to offer a publication that inspires those who care about scholastic journalism to push past boundaries to better prepare students in navigating the new media landscape toward successful careers in journalism.
We hope you will join the conversation, subscribe now to Adviser Update.
This article was originally published by Quill and Scroll on May 11, 2016.