Journalism and jazz


The UNC Summer Jazz Workshop invites students of various ages and backgrounds to explore the genre for a week. About a dozen of them will also learn about journalism. (Creative Commons image)

This week, I am stepping out of the journalism school at UNC-Chapel Hill and spending my afternoons at the Kenan Music Building. I’ll be one of several instructors in a one-week jazz workshop.

When it comes to music, my tastes lean more toward rock, and my skills are limited to a few chords on guitar. I won’t be part of the workshop’s nightly performances, though I plan to attend some.

So what I am doing at a jazz workshop? I’ll work with about a dozen students who want to learn about journalism as part of their workshop experience. Here are our topics and tasks for the week:

  • MONDAY: What makes a good blog post? Create a blog at Post your impressions and a photo of the evening performance at Wilson Library.
  • TUESDAY: Exploring alternative story forms and learning how to interview sources. Interview a workshop participant and post a vignette about them.
  • WEDNESDAY: Writing for social media. Use Twitter (and more) to cover the evening performance. The hashtag is #UNCjazz.
  • THURSDAY: Writing headlines and captions. Revise the headlines and captions on your earlier posts.
  • FRIDAY: Curating social media. Use Storify to document the week.

Thanks to Stephen Anderson, the workshop’s director, for the opportunity to work with these students. Now let’s turn music into words and images.

UPDATE: The students and I had a great week. Their work includes a post about an outdoor concert, a profile of a musician and a recap of the week.