Converged Media Changed our Approach and Culture

I first heard about converged media from Debra Klevens when she spoke at CSPA in 2023.  She described her classroom as a “Starbucks drive through.”

To me, it made sense. 

In my yearbook class, I had students who loved design, but they were only learning how to design yearbook spreads, and they only experienced the thrill of publishing work once a year.  Why not give them the opportunity to develop their design skills across publications: newsmagazine, website, social media and yearbook. 

I wanted all of my students across publications to be journalists.  I presented this idea to them by thinking about it in terms of the life of a story and not publications.  

If a story is going to last minutes to days, it is a story for social media. If it is going to last hours to days, it is for web. If it is going to last weeks to months, it is for newsmagazine. And, if it’s going to last a year to decades, it is for yearbook. Of course, there is room to debate the exactness of these time frames, but it gives us a good enough idea of where the story and reporting goes. 

One of the other benefits of a converged media program is that it allows students to overlap on publications that could otherwise be in competition with each other. Our converged program helped us create structures to develop the relationships amongst what used to be independent, and sometimes competing, publication staffs. 

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