Robert Quigley

Members of the TSM Board discuss the upcoming election for editor-in-chief of The Daily Texan.
Photo Credit: Chris Foxx | Daily Texan Staff

The Texas Student Media Board certified David Davis Jr. and Claire Smith to run for editor-in-chief of The Daily Texan in a contentions meeting Friday.

A third applicant, David Maly, was not certified because he did not meet the qualifications specified in the Texas Student Media (TSM) handbook. Maly worked for the Texan for three semesters as a reporter and copy editor, but has not worked for The Daily Texan since January 2013. 

The handbook specifies that each candidate must have experience of one semester as a permanent staff member in The Daily Texan’s opinion section as well as experience of one semester in another section. In the past, these qualifications have been waived by a two-thirds vote from the TSM Board. 

The TSM Board, which manages five student-produced media properties — Cactus Yearbook, Texas Travesty, Texas Student TV, KVRX 91.7 FM and The Daily Texan — voted to amend the handbook in November, altering the application requirements for editor-in-chief. Candidates who do not meet all of the requirements can now only be certified if no other fully qualified candidates have applied. 

In a meeting Thursday, board members — finance senior lecturer Heidi Toprac, journalism senior lecturer Robert Quigley and Adam Alloy — recommended the Board “roll back” November’s decision. 

At the meeting, Maly presented written concerns to the Board regarding November’s decision to amend the requirements for certification. Maly said that although he had not served as a permanent staffer in the opinion department, he had significant work in opinion departments at other publications, including The Horn and The Odyssey. Maly serves as editor-in-chief at both publications, according to a resume he submitted as part of his application.

Board President Mary Dunn said she thought the Board was correct to amend the certification process.

The debate between Board members about maintaining or discarding the November changes was, at times, contentious.

“I want to be very clear on this. I was aiming for clarity. I was aiming for consistency. I was not out on a personal vendetta against anyone,” Dunn said.

Five Board members, including Toprac, voted to uphold the decision. Only Quigley voted in opposition. 

“Our intent was to not add a new roadblock [to being certified],” Quigley said. “I don’t deny that, as a Board, we made a mistake in the fall — it was a ‘dunderheaded’ mistake … I think the solution should be that we to try to fix the mistake.” 

Board Vice President Arjun Mocherla said he didn’t see the merit in having qualifications if those qualifications could be easily waived.

“I think the qualifications of one semester in opinion and one semester not in opinion — at least from my outside perspective — seem fairly reasonable,” Mocherla said.  

Smith and Davis will begin campaigning Wednesday.

TSM election committee members Arjun Mocherla, Adam Alloy and Heidi Toprac discuss election issues in the Hearst Student Media Building.

Photo Credit: Andy Nguyen | Daily Texan Staff

If history’s greatest lesson is never to make the same mistake twice, TSM Board members Heidi Toprac, Robert Quigley and Adam Alloy are its worst students. 

At a meeting of the Texas Student Media election committee Thursday, these three dunderheads voted to recommend to the full board, which is meeting Friday to certify candidates for the upcoming Daily Texan editor-in-chief election, a “rolling back” of a previous unanimous decision by the board to change certain parts of the qualification process for the position. Their justification was to open up the position to a broader pool of applicants on the assumption that certain years would see no applicants (a situation that has not occurred any time in recent memory).

If the full board votes to approve this recommendation, it could allow for the certification of a candidate whose victory in the upcoming campus-wide elections could spell disaster for the Texan and TSM as a whole.

Over the course of the fall semester, the board voted to amend qualifications for both the managing editor and editor-in-chief position, respectively, of this paper. As a Texan reporter caught in a recording of the November meeting, the members of the board, including Toprac, Quigley and Alloy, voted unanimously to accept changes which would force the board to reject any candidates who did not meet all the qualifications, unless no fully qualified candidates came forward.

This year, candidates have come forward who meet all the qualifications as listed on the application. Another, David Maly, does not. Specifically, he lacks the editorial (opinion-writing) requirement that is absolutely crucial to the discharge of this job. Maly, who left the Texan two years ago, has since then maligned or threatened to malign numerous members of the organization, including last year’s board president, Dave Player, and has consistently brought negative attention to this organization.

Now, Maly dangerously wants to lead the largest entity within that organization.

Admittedly, the current board, which unfortunately suffers from high turnover, may not understand the unabridged version of the drama Maly has caused. 

At the very least, however, they do understand his obstreperousness and irascibility. They have seen him attack current board President Mary Dunn and request her removal for the flimsiest of reasons, mostly revolving around his failure to be certified for the editor-in-chief position last year, when he was also deemed ineligible for failing to meet certain requirements. They have seen him childishly stamp his feet when he didn’t get his way and go on a bad-mouthing rampage against the organization. Finally, they have seen him drag this organization, which has long protected the student voice on this campus, through more than a year of time-consuming administrative headaches.

Maly has sought multiple remedies from the board, including the already-mentioned removal of Dunn as well as a special election when the board rightfully denied his application to run for editor-in-chief last year. He is convinced that the board is corrupt, but the board has previously been cleared of all wrongdoing. 

Two fundamental questions remain, then. Why does a student so hell-bent on crippling this organization want to lead its flagship publication? And why are certain board members allowing themselves to be bullied into certifying an unqualified candidate?

Luckily, no damage has been done yet. The full board will have a chance to hash out its disagreements when it meets Friday at 1 p.m. in HSM 3.302. 

We urge any member of the UT community with concerns about this situation to attend the meeting or to write to the board, which may be contacted through TSM Operations Manager Frank Serpas atserpas@austin.utexas.edu.   

After working more hours than they could count outside of class, four student groups presented finished iPhone apps they had developed over the course of one semester. 

The project is part of a cross-disciplinary course led by journalism lecturer Robert Quigley and mobile developer Jeff Linwood.

“We have mixed teams of journalism and computer science students,” Quigley said. “They come from different worlds, and they were thrown into these teams on the very first day of class. They had to learn how to work together; they had to learn how to deal with differences in opinions, how to deal with differences in how they approach things, and it’s been a great experience.”

Journalism senior Adam Beard was one of the creators of Game Plan, an app that lets the user know about tailgate, party, and restaurant events on UT game days. Beard said though the process was difficult, they eventually came up with a product they were happy with, and their efforts were rewarded when they found out in early April that Game Plan would be put in the App Store.

“We had just three months to put together the idea and everything, none of us had ever heard of X-Code, Objective C, Parse, at least I hadn’t heard of any of that,” Beard said. “All of our computer science students, this was their first year taking classes in the computer science school, so we were all very young, very fresh, so we did have a lot of problems in terms of putting everything together, but we did do it.” 

Computer science senior Jung Yoon’s team created Weathervain, an app that tells the user what clothing to wear based on the weather that day. Weathervain received the “Best Overall App” award at the end of the event. According to Yoon, Linwood and Quigley gave the students a lot of freedom in working on their apps.

“It’s very much an independent study kind of class. [Linwood] is the coding aficionado, and if you have questions he’ll answer them, but you’re mostly supposed to learn by yourself,” Yoon said. 

Yoon said the journalism students in her group performed an important task through research and social outreach, in order to make their app unique and user friendly.

Computer science junior Elena Carrasco was one of the developers of Sono, an audio recording app that allows the user to mark and annotate certain points of the recordings. Carrasco said while the app was originally designed with journalists in mind, it can be used for any situation. 

“As a student, I would be able to use this in a lecture,” Carrasco said. “I can go to a review for an exam, I can mark every answer a professor provides, I can share my file with Jenny, Jenny can pull it up later and go to the exact mark that I put so she can easily find what I found important in the recording.”

Photo Credit: Mengwen Cao | Daily Texan Staff

South By Southwest has grown from a 700-person festival in 1987 to one of the largest festivals in the world. This year, SXSW featured more than 2,000 musicians and drew celebrities and thousands of guests to Austin, posing a greater risk to guest safety.

“The city is definitely bursting at its seams a little bit every time South By comes,” said Robert Quigley, journalism lecturer and long-time SXSW guest. “We enjoy having all these visitors in town, but I think at some point, they are going to run out of hotel space and places to hold their events.” 

Early Thursday morning, Rashad Owens crashed through barricades on Red River Street, killing two pedestrians and injuring more than 20 others.

Even with blocked-off streets for pedestrian traffic and security presence, incidents, such as the one on Thursday, are still a possibility. 

Dan Solomon, a reporter for Texas Monthly, has been attending the festival fairly regularly since 2000 and covered this year’s festival.

“That accident sounds like it was one of those outlier incidents that you can’t prepare for,” Solomon said. “At the same time, I think that the size of things kind of opens it up to things not going as planned.” 

Quigley said he believes accidents like Thursday’s could happen any time, not only during SXSW. He was unable to attend this year’s festival but has been following the events on the news. 

“It could have happened on a weekend where there is no festival because in Austin, there are big shows on Red River all the time, so it’s not really connected to South By in my mind,” Quigley said.  

One of the concerns being raised by the wreck at this year’s festival is whether or not the event has finally met its maximum capacity. SXSW is scattered in bars, clubs and even churches around the densest areas of Austin. This creates increased street traffic but hasn’t really been more than an annoyance before this year. Despite the hazards of having so many people spread around the city in small venues, this up-close experience offers a more personal setting in comparison to festivals including the Austin City Limits Music Festival, which are limited to one area, such as a park.

“At ACL, it’s cool but watching people from a football field away — I’ve done that,” Solomon said. “It doesn’t feel like a unique experience.”

The City of Austin recognizes the inherent challenges that come with a crowded, widespread festival and continues to monitor attendee safety and adjust accordingly. 

“Keeping our visitors and residents safe is, and continues to be, our number one priority,” Carlos Cordova, a City of Austin spokesman, said in an email. “The City does a tremendous job handling SXSW, Formula One, ACL Music Festival and other large events. Much like these events continue to evolve each year, we are constantly reviewing how we can improve our practices. As with any event, we will engage in a thorough review of our practices once SXSW has concluded and make any necessary adjustments.”

One of the challenges with SXSW is balancing its increased foot and car traffic with Austin’s everyday, already busy streets. Prior to the crash on Thursday, the festival had barricades set up routing traffic, which had created a safer pedestrian environment in the past. 

“It is hard to say that if they had done ‘X’ instead of ‘Y’ that they would have been safer,” Solomon said. “In this particular incident, yeah, they could have had a concrete barrier, but let’s say someone has a heart attack on Red River, and they need to get them out of there, and they can’t get an ambulance through.” 

After Thursday’s incident, cones were set up to create crosswalks with volunteers directing traffic. Police were also stationed along the barricades at Red River to increase guest and resident safety. 

Media Monday

This semester, more than 20 journalism and computer science students entered senior journalism lecturer Robert Quigley’s new Mobile News App Design class. All of them will leave the class as developers, with an app either already in the Apple App Store or on its way.

The class represents an ongoing trend for journalists: the need to become a jack of all trades. In the class, computer science and journalism students were grouped into five different teams. This wasn’t a class students could just register for — they had to apply to prove both their worth and interest. Once accepted into the class, students were paired up and immediately sent to work on their apps. They had to have an app ready to pitch by the second class day, and then they immediately began developing it.

“It’s not just coding or journalism,” Quigley said. “It’s also about design, it’s learning how an app works and the optimal ways to get to an end product. There is a lot of little parts to this that they had to learn as they went.”

Students with no prior Objective-C coding experience had to learn as they went. Objective-C is a coding language that is used by Apple in their iOS apps. Journalism students and computer science students, groups of people with different college experiences, had to mesh together. This past weekend, in the class’s conclusion, the five different teams presented and pitched their apps to journalists and entrepreneurs at a demo day. 

Of the five apps, “Glos Guide for Journalists,” an app that gives journalists a quick and easy style guide to use along with tips from journalism professors, was the only one that made it to Apple’s app store in time for the demo day. The app also won “Best Overall App” at the event.

“We brainstormed together and we were thinking ‘What do journalists need?’” said Jessica Schwartz, multimedia journalism senior and a member of the “Glos” development team. “If you’re looking on the app store, there isn’t anything that has style and tips.”

The group, composed of two journalism students and four computer science students, met an average of four times per week, once in class and three times outside of class.

Two other teams have submitted their apps to the store, and the last two teams hope to do so soon. “Pxljam,” a music oriented photo sharing app, and “Nerv,” a location-conscious news app, both submitted in the week before the demo day. “PicBook,” an iPad scrapbooking app, and “Prix Party,” a Formula One event app, hope to submit their apps to the store soon.

Several students and Quigley himself said a problem the class faced was students entering the class with a lack of coding and Objective-C background. Next semester, the journalism school is offering an introductory mobile programming class. The class won’t be a prerequisite for Quigley’s class, but it will provide students who may be interested in the class with some coding foundations. Joshua McClure, who co-taught the app class this semester, will teach the intro class.

McClure said he sees the app building class is becoming more common.

“I think the trend is toward the route of having work-prep classes,” McClure said. “What these kids did was taught themselves. We gave them guidance, but they did it themselves.”

As far as the experience of building an app, Quigley said he does not think it is necessarily something every journalist needs. But he did say every journalist should have some basic coding knowledge, and knowing how to build an app is certainly something that will help when it comes to job searches.

This is one of the reason Scwhartz and her fellow “Glos” team members took the class.

“Everything is online, everything is on your phone,” Schwartz said. “To be able to not only write news from your phone, but make an app that [aids] that is really useful ... I don’t want to be a one-trick pony.”

Jessica Schwartz a memeber of winning team JMASTR presents the iPhone App - Glos Guide in the Demo Day for UT Apps Development Class on a Saturday afternoon. Five teams pitched mobile product ideas and built them for a journalsim class led by Professor Robert Quigley and entrepreneur Joshua McClure.

Photo Credit: Shweta Gulati | Daily Texan Staff

UT’s Mobile News App Design class held a Demo Day Saturday afternoon in the Belo Center for New Media to showcase five iPhone apps the class has created over the course of the semester.

The class, taught and created by senior journalism lecturer Robert Quigley, divided a mix of journalism and computer science students into five groups and asked them to create a mobile news app. Quigley said the students’ excitement about the concept of the class fueled their creations.

“There was some cross-learning going on, which was one of the goals of having this class,” Quigley said. “I hope this class got the journalism students excited about the possibilities of technology and I hope the computer science students have a new understanding of communications.”

During the Demo Day, each group was given an opportunity to come before a panel of judges including Wanda Cash, associate director of the UT School of Journalism; Debbie Hiott, editor of the Austin American Statesman; Rodney Gibbs of the Texas Tribune; Carmen Cano of Dallas Morning News; Gerald Bailey, co-founder of Snakehead Software and Christopher Visit, co-owner of Frank+Victor Design. Quigley selected the media judges and Josh McClure, an Austin iPhone developer who worked with the class in their app development throughout the semester, chose the tech judges. 

The app to win Best Overall App was “Glos Guide for Journalists,” a mobile style reference guide. The “Glos” team began its presentation by asking volunteers to look through a traditional hard copy of the AP Style guide and “Glos,” and find the rule concerning the capitalization of cardinal directions. 

“The activity showcased the timesaving efficiency of ‘Glos,’” said Ryan Niemann, computer science senior and Glos team member.

“‘Glos’ saves journalists time and money because they no longer have to go through the slow process of searching through a bulky paper catalog to find information about journalistic style,” Niemann said. “They no longer have to pay for an expensive hardcopy of a style guide–they can purchase ‘Glos’ for only ninety-nine cents.”

Pxljam,” a photo-sharing app intended to connect music lovers to their favorite artists and concert experiences, won both the award for “Best Design” and “Best Commercial Value.” “PicBook,” an app that allows its users to create digital scrapbooks, was deemed “Most Original.” “Prix-Party,” an event-guide for F1 racing in Austin, was awarded “Best Presentation.”  

Journalism and Portuguese senior Meleena Loseke worked to develop “nerv,” an app designed to make local news and hotspots easily accessible to travelers, and said the cohesion of the groups was important in the class’s creations. 

“No matter if we were creating code for the app or coming up with communication initiatives, Quigley stressed that we were each considered a ‘developer,’” Loseke said. “This experience has taught me that teams can accomplish some pretty incredible things if each member plays to his or her own strengths, which my team did.”

It’s a common sight at concerts nowadays: Instead of freely embracing the moment, the members of the smartphone-equipped crowd are more concerned with having their phones in the air, ready to document the experience for the social media realm.

But besides providing a new source of distraction, this attachment to our phones can also prove useful. In an emergency situation, an ordinary spectator has the technology to transform into a citizen journalist that documents not just concerts but also highly valuable information.

Chances are that you first heard about the Boston Marathon explosions through social media, whether from a Reddit post, a tweet, a Facebook status or some combination of the three.

While UT students were sitting in class or at work or taking a nap at home, spectators at the Boston Marathon were suffering fatal wounds, rushing fellow runners to receive emergency care and desperately looking for loved ones, while simultaneously producing written and visual updates on the unfolding activity.

Within an hour of the attack, both traditional and alternative news sites began accumulating and organizing information about the bombing provided by those at the site of the tragedy to create a cohesive narrative.

Live coverage of the Boston explosions by both amateur and professional journalists served many purposes. It kept people around the world informed by capturing developments as they occurred, including heartwarming acts of heroism and empathy. It also captured the raw emotion of the atmosphere and provided valuable primary photo resources that the FBI later used to identify the suspects.

UT journalism professor Robert Quigley, the former social media editor at the Austin American-Statesman, believes you cannot overstate the importance of new technology as a platform for journalists.

“You’re out there, you’re scraping, you’re breaking things as they go and you’re using Twitter,” Quigley says. “If you’re not comfortable in that world, this is a difficult profession for you right now.”

However, as journalists increasingly use social media to reach the public, the repercussions of mistakes become more severe. It’s not that there are more errors; it’s that those errors stick. The mass of information shared after the Boston explosions caused mistakes in professional reporting and media coverage which were then carried rapidly across social media, triggering a vicious cycle of regurgitated misinformation. It was overwhelming, frustrating and sobering to see how an injured witness evolved into a Saudi suspect in the news, or how a Brown University student who has been missing since March became a target of suspicion on Reddit, resulting in the online harassment of his already-grieving family. That piece of misinformation was also picked up by major news organizations such as Politico, Buzzfeed and Newsweek, which then spread it across the web.

Scrutiny, however, can be a difficult skill for journalists to maintain when they are wrapped up in the adrenaline of sharing the latest update.

Andy Carvin, the senior product manager for online communications for National Public Radio, gave a talk about social media and the Boston explosions at the International Symposium for Online Journalism in Austin last weekend. 

Carvin highlighted mistakes made by the press in coverage of the April 15 attack under the pressure to keep social media consistently updated.

“It’s never been easier to spread rumors,” Carvin said.

However, instead of criticizing social media for distorting the ethics of journalism, as some journalism professionals do, Carvin urged the media to think progressively about their relationship to the public. Instead of merely informing the public by telling it what the media thinks it should know, Carvin made the distinction that the media should create a more informed public, or “better consumers and producers of information.” 

Instead of merely slapping “breaking news” on the latest tweets, examples of engagement included organizations being more transparent about what they know by actively addressing rumors on social media platforms instead of pretending they don’t exist and talking to the public about where they came from, even if this means a major news organization admitting its own factual error.

“We should help them to understand what it means to confirm something. Confirming is not just sharing something you heard on Facebook from a friend or brother-in-law,” Carvin said. “Reporting is no longer enough.”

The public needs this wake-up call in order to become skeptical, active consumers instead of passive re-tweeters. Just yesterday, I saw not only friends but fellow journalists re-tweet breaking news from the Associated Press that the White House had been bombed and President Barack Obama was injured. The tweet was false; the AP Twitter account had been hacked. They may be forgiven for trusting the AP as the credible source it normally is, but the fact remains that they didn’t hesitate to verify the information, even in light of recent bomb-related misinformation. We must acknowledge the journalistic problems of social media before we can move forward.

My suggestion: Don’t hate the game, train the players. Social media isn’t just one aspect of the news process; it is intrinsically wrapped up within the news cycle and it’s not going away. Surely, the platform will change, but the effects of information dissemination persists. It is a force that cannot be ignored or detested. Instead, its relationship to journalism should be analyzed and better understood.

Manescu is an international relations and global studies sophomore from Ploiesti, Romania.

The social networking site Pinterest allows users to bookmark content they have found online in a highly visual manner. According to the web information company alexa.com, the site is most heavily frequented by women under the age of 35.

Photo Credit: Ryan Edwards | Daily Texan Staff

Recently, it seems some women have replaced the time they usually spend on Facebook stalking their friends and frenemies with stalking the virtual bulletin boards of social media site pinterest.com. From future wedding dresses to 100-calorie snack ideas, Pinterest works like a scrapbook, saving all of the things you know you’ll forget to remember.

Pinterest stands out among its social media competitors as simplistic and user-friendly with an image-heavy grid design. With the click of a button an image can be pinned and saved onto a board that denotes a category, such as “DIY & Crafts” or “Hair & Beauty.” Each image becomes a “pin” and you can add a caption to label it.

Lots of Pinterest users create a board to remember things they think will come in handy, like 10 ways to use a mason jar and how to sew your own reusable grocery bags.

Pinterest is as much a resource as the people using it make of it. Users, or “pinners,” not only save pins that they want to remember but also discover new things that other pinners have to share. By following your friends on Pinterest — a system similar to Facebook — you can see what your friends are pinning, and when your profile is public, others can see your pins.

Launched in March 2010 by a company called Cold Brew Labs, Pinterest is most popular with women under the age of 35 according to web information company alexa.com, which also reports that Pinterest’s traffic ranks 24th in the United States. Despite still being an invite-only platform, Pinterest drew in over 7 million unique visitors this past December.

Data from Google Ad Planner suggests that about 80 percent of Pinterest users are female. With virtual pins of craft ideas for old palette boards and homemade beauty recipes, women aren’t just using Pinterest, they’re claiming to be “obsessed” and “addicted.”

Senior journalism lecturer Robert Quigley, who teaches multimedia and social media, finds it interesting that Pinterest is the first major social network that appears to cater to a specific gender.

“Recently, I asked my multimedia journalism students to raise their hands if they were active on Google+, which boasts more than 90 million registered users. No one raised a hand,” Quigley said. “When I asked how many were active on Pinterest, about two-thirds of the students said they were.”

Fashion and beauty bloggers appear to be a driving force behind Pinterest. If they aren’t citing pins as inspiration for blog posts, it’s their content that’s going viral as it’s “repinned” by other users.

Austin style blogger Lauren Holdsworth of cactuscollective.wordpress.com sees Pinterest as a communal, creative space that is an excellent source of inspiration for her blog posts on fashion and home decor. She also uses the site to promote her blog’s content. When she pins an image, readers of her blog who follow her on Pinterest might get a hint of what’ll be on one of her future blog posts.

“Pinning gift guides, outfits or various other collages I’ve created on Pinterest gets my content out in a different way [than] the blog does,” Holdsworth said.

Living in an age of rampant Internet sharing means that often, the source listed on a pin on Pinterest isn’t the true original source. Pins from Pinterest, like photos from other websites, can be saved to a computer and be uploaded on other platforms, while the original source gets lost along the way.

In the Pinterest terms of use, the company states that they are not responsible for any infringement its users engage in. Oren Bracha, intellectual property law professor at UT, said that as long as Pinterest falls in line with the many conditions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, it is immune from consequences of copyright infringement.

“There are many things involved in this act, but simply put, to comply with this act, Pinterest needs to remain a passive host who doesn’t filter, edit, upload or control the user content,” Bracha said. “And if they should become aware of very specific infringement issues, then they are obligated under the act to act expeditiously.”

Bloggers who feel that their copyrighted works have been infringed upon are urged to report any specific potential violations to an email address listed on Pinterest’s site.

Craft blogger Amy Anderson of crafterminds.com acknowledges that Pinterest can be frustrating for bloggers who aim to control their original content, but sees it as a generally good resource.

“I think it’s naïve to think that everyone on the Internet is going to care about sourcing as much as bloggers do. The whole premise of Pinterest is that it’s a quick way to bookmark something visually,” Anderson said. “Most pinners aren’t bloggers, nor do they own a website so they aren’t doing it out of maliciousness.”

Anderson feels that with Pinterest, she takes the good with the bad. “Pinterest uses images to represent bookmarks, which makes the visual organization of ideas so easy and so quick. I think people are using it for the means that it was intended, which is to remember cool stuff they saw,” Anderson said.

Quigley said now is a good time to be a content creator with Pinterest. “They get more use out of sharing than they see negative consequences,” Quigley, who currently has two pins to his name, said of Pinterest users.

“If bloggers, or anyone else, fear social media for that reason, they’ll miss out on all the potential benefits of building an online community around you and your content.”

UT’s School of Journalism has hired an Austin American-Statesman social media editor and a media-and-politics researcher to start this fall as the school prepares to transition to a new curriculum.

Robert Quigley will leave the Statesman to teach multimedia courses as a senior lecturer. Between 30 and 40 people competed for Quigley’s position, said School of Journalism Director Glenn Frankel. The school will merge the five concentrations into a single program for all students in fall 2012, and Quigley’s multimedia experience will aid that transition, Frankel said.

“We are hoping and expecting that he will help our school develop more courses and more directions in multimedia, in social media, in mobile devices and apps; all in the name of creating better journalism,” Frankel said.

Quigley said he wasn’t interested in leaving the Statesman until he learned more about the position from Frankel.

“Glenn clearly has a vision of making UT a powerhouse for new media, and he said this position is a key part of that transformation,” Quigley said in an email. “I helped lead the charge at the Statesman into the new media age, and I love the challenge of doing the same at UT.”

Quigley said he hopes the skills he will teach in class will prepare students for the modern media environment.

“It’s a difficult time to be a journalist, but especially [for] one who is looking for a job for the first time,” he said. “My overriding goal will to be to make every student I teach a more attractive job candidate and a more valuable employee once hired.”

The journalism school will see other staffing changes this fall. Regina Lawrence, the senior chair of political communication at Louisiana State University, will teach graduate courses and an undergraduate course about how women are covered in the news. She will take over the Jesse H. Jones Centennial Chair in Communication from professor Max McCombs, who retired in the spring. Associate professor Mercedes de Uriarte also retired this spring. Both will continue part-time work as professors emeriti.

About 30 people vied for Lawrence’s position. Frankel said Lawrence’s media and political research will make her a great successor to McCombs.

“She has a proven track record of working well with both undergraduates and grad students,” he said. “She’s published widely. She has collaborated with some of the top people in the field.”

Lawrence said she wanted to work at UT because of its reputation in her field.

“My research and teaching expertise is in political communication, and there are very few universities with such a strong concentration of scholars in that field — particularly when you include the Department of Government as well,” she said in an email.

Lawrence said she is excited to work on research for news and politics when both face a time of immense change.

“This is such a fascinating and treacherous time for the news industry, for our political system and for citizen engagement,” she said. “All of these things are in peril, and yet there are also remarkable opportunities to reinvent news, to reinvent politics and to reinvent what it means to be a citizen.”

Printed on 06/27/2011 as: UT journalism to see changes, updates in fall with new fires