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Ear­lier this summer, we pub­lished a 3Qs with Jonathan Kaufman, the new director of the School of Jour­nalism in the Col­lege of Arts, Media and Design. Here, we talk with Kaufman about how he fol­lows the news, what jour­nalism stu­dents should know before going on global co-​​op, and about the 2016 cam­paign course he’s teaching in the spring.

On Northeastern’s Media Inno­va­tion pro­gram

“I think Media Inno­va­tion is the future. One of my goals is to take what grad­uate stu­dents are learning in our pro­gram and infuse that into the under­grad­uate cur­riculum, so that when our stu­dents go into their co-​​ops they’re just as fluent in these tech­nolo­gies as our grad­uate stu­dents. In the new media world, you have to know some data visu­al­iza­tion, some coding. You don’t need to be an expert, but you must be familiar with them because in the end you’re telling a story. For decades, the tra­di­tional way to tell a story was 2,000 words with a pho­to­graph. These days, the best way may be 800 words plus a dig­ital video and an inter­ac­tive game. These are now all ele­ments of sto­ry­telling. One of the great things about being a stu­dent now is that they live in this dig­ital world, and one of our chal­lenges to them will be asking them what would make you read this story and share it with your friends.”

On the 2016 elec­tion and cov­ering polit­ical cam­paigns

“In the spring, I’ll be teaching a course on cov­ering the 2016 cam­paign. We’ll prob­ably do a field trip to New Hamp­shire, and it will be a great oppor­tu­nity for stu­dents to see how the cam­paign is being cov­ered. I think everyone should see a cam­paign in New Hamp­shire; it’s an extra­or­di­nary expe­ri­ence. In 2008 I cov­ered the Demo­c­ratic pri­mary with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as well as the gen­eral elec­tion. Stu­dents will see how the can­di­dates are deliv­ering their mes­sages and how the press is cov­ering every­thing. There are bound to be con­tro­ver­sies, there will be sur­prises, and stu­dents will be able to interact with mem­bers of the media.”

On fol­lowing polit­ical and cam­paign coverage

“I think in this day and age, you can tailor the news you read to your own polit­ical views and never be exposed to people who chal­lenge you. I think that’s a mis­take. The chal­lenge to jour­nal­ists is to find ways to cross over and reach those people. At The Wall Street Journal, most of the sto­ries I wrote were about race, class, and inequality, and it was exciting to think about how to write about these topics in ways that would be of interest to busi­ness readers.

“People have to take respon­si­bility for how they follow the news. If you’re just fol­lowing news out­lets [on the left or on the right], in a sense you’re making a choice about how informed or unin­formed you want to be. My argu­ment has always been, ‘I want to hear the best argu­ment on the other side.’ I may dis­agree with it, but I want to hear what people say.”

On how he fol­lows the news

“I’m prob­ably old school but becoming new school. Ini­tially I go to web­sites. But in the past couple years I’ve found I’m going more to social media. One thing that’s under­ap­pre­ci­ated is how much the Internet rev­o­lu­tion and media rev­o­lu­tion have expanded people’s sources. If you want to know what’s hap­pening in the Middle East, you don’t have to just go to The New York Times. You can read pub­li­ca­tions out of Israel or out of the Arab world. You can read The Guardian, you can read spe­cial­ized jour­nals, and you can find blogs. One of the things I’m thrilled to talk about with our stu­dents is that they will find very smart people blog­ging about issues like cli­mate change, the Red Sox, fashion, or ISIS, and this all deepens their world views.”

On what a global co-​​op stu­dent should know

“Stu­dents should always be curious and asking ques­tions. But the key to being a good reporter is to not only ask ques­tions but also listen care­fully. I think those are good skills for life. When you go on co-​​op to a dif­ferent place, you want to use all those reporting skills. It’s impor­tant that we’re teaching these skills as well as things like being sen­si­tive to cul­tural dif­fer­ences and under­standing the pol­i­tics in an office environment.”

Read the original story at news@Northeastern