Multimedia Writing in Las Vegas

Multimedia Writing

They still call it the Broadcast Education Association, but professors at this convention are looking forward to the future of video for web sites and mobile devices. Kim Fox of the American University in Cairo organized a panel on Teaching and Assessing Media Writing and I was honored to be among the speakers.Kim, a former NPR journalist, has been able to incorporate the historic events of the Egyptian revolution into her courses by encouraging students to conduct interviews and blog about their own beliefs. Curtis Holsopple, a Mennonite teaching at the historically black Virginia State University, talked about the need to teach basic writing skills for all platforms. Trevor Hall from Boise State confirmed my belief that fancy writing programs dreamed up by textbook publishers only confuse and annoy the students. The skills taught in my book, Power Performance, can be practiced on any basic word processing program or on any newsroom software students might use in class or on the job. Sunny Skye Hughes from the University of Maine managed to keep us all on schedule while taking video and pictures of the proceedings.
We had a great exchange of ideas with those who attended. For teachers who couldn’t be there, you can get a free examination copy of the book by emailing your course details to Rachel Herbert at You can buy the book at a discount on by putting in the code VB237.
Being in Las Vegas for the day gave me a chance to revisit the many things I don’t like about this city. I totally agree with my son that it’s better to save your money and visit the real Eiffel Tower or Venice canals. Intrigued by the ads for the new Cosmopolitan, I dropped by to see bars dripping in crystal chandeliers. I guess the theme of that place is bad taste. There are some beautiful spots like the spring garden at the Bellagio, but a day of shopping revealed an overpriced assortment of evening gowns and tshirts. My favorite attraction, Quark’s Bar outside the Star Trek exhibit at the Hilton, is gone. The hotel seems shabby and lifeless without the roaming Klingons and Ferengis.I also stopped by the NAB show, which has evolved into a technology fest without the presence of RTDNA, which has moved its convention to New Orleans in September. You have to love the latest version of a live truck — downsized into a Smart car.
Beam me up, Scotty. I’m done here.