Archive for June, 2009
The chair of the political science department at Duke has a smart essay in the Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required – which is free when on the UT network) on faculty and the media and offers some excellent suggestions about how to handle interviews and how to deal with the last-minute nature of the news media.
His best tip:
Ignore the question. Reporters ask bad questions. Fact is, they may not know enough about your subject to know what a good question even looks like. Faculty members often say after an interview, “But I never got to talk about what I really wanted to say!” Well, that means you misunderstood the whole process.
Questions are a way to get you, the faculty expert, to talk. Reporters can’t guess what question you want to answer. So ignore the question. Many, many times, I have gotten a question, and I nod and then answer a completely unrelated question. I cover something I want to talk about, have prepared, and really know about. Surprisingly often, the reporter looks at the cameraman, they both nod, and say, “Thanks, that’s all we need.”
While we have many faculty members at UT who are willing and/or happy to do media interviews, we’re always looking for more. These interviews offer the chance for UT to position itself as a community resource and for faculty members to position themselves, their department and their college as important players in broader societal discussions.
As Dr. Michael Munger discusses in his essay, the stop/go, hurry-up/wait culture of the media can be frustrating at times, but, particularly in a world where video can be saved and reused via new media, media interviews can be used to convey faculty expertise across the world in seconds.
The University Communications Office does offer media training to anyone who is interested in improving his or her on-camera presence or who has questions about the interview process. Please e-mail me at email@example.com if you are interested.
As Munger says, “Don’t go turtle. Your university needs you, and so does the world.”
As we become more comfortable using new media tools,
Chris Ankney’s UT’s able to capture moments like this one to put online just hours after they take place. In a short time a moment viewed by about 20 people can be seen around the world by alumns and others who have only the fondest wishes of destruction on the old BP station at the corner of Dorr and Secor.
As this event involved
technology collapsing metal and general decimation, I sent in New Media Expert Chris Ankney to do the filming. UT President Lloyd Jacobs and Toledo Councilwoman Wilma Brown speak:
This razing follows the demolishment of the Student Classroom Annex and the old ROTC building on the Main Campus and in the weeks to come, the old Papa John’s and NAPA Auto Parts store on Dorr will come down. Several other UT-owned properties along Dorr will be razed as well. Eliminating the blight of these vacant buildings is great, but what’s even better is the economic development efforts planned for that corner of campus.
Matt Schroeder in the UT Foundation has been working closely with students, the neighbors in Secor Gardens (who are only too happy to see vacant buildings go away) and UT and UT Foundation leadership to begin getting input and crafting a plan for a corner of campus with student-friendly businesses and shops. (UT leaders have been quick to point out that any new construction efforts on that corner will include parking to support them.)
Also, for no other reason than that
Chris Ankney we can, Chris we’ve also included video of the excavator putting the demolished building back together.
Sunday’s Blade provides the latest update in the evolution of a Toledo economy based on alternative – namely solar – energy production. UT spin-off company Xunlight is preparing to add to the region’s solar panel capacity.
Xunlight Corp., at 3145 Nebraska Ave. in Toledo, expects to move from pilot production to full-scale production in late 2009 or early 2010.
A technology spin-off from the University of Toledo, the firm has attracted more than $40 million in investments from private equity groups worldwide and an additional $10 million from the U.S. departments of Energy and Commerce and the Ohio Department of Development.
Founder Xunming Deng hopes to quickly expand beyond the planned production line capable of manufacturing enough panels to make 25 megawatts of power annually. The firm is seeking a U.S. Energy Department loan guarantee, provided for under President Obama’s stimulus program, to increase production to 100 megawatts within two years.
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