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Knight Center concludes second edition of “Digital Media Product Development” online course

Thirty students from 12 countries participated in the second edition of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas’ online course “Digital Media Project Development” from July 5 to Aug. 15, 2010. The Spanish-language course was taught by Hiram Enriquez, a veteran online journalist who currently works for Univision Interactive Media.

“I’m glad that the Knight Center decided to offer this course again, based on the feedback from the students in the previous course who found it interesting and useful,” Enriquez said. “I hope that as we continue to offer these types of courses we are able to include more and more journalists and editors that could really benefit from looking into the most crucial aspect of the digital media.”

Newspaper, TV, radio, Web and independent journalists from Chile, Uruguay, Venezuela, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, El Salvador, Guatemala, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Panama were registered in the course, which taught the basics of creating digital media projects, such as content strategy, Search Engine Optimization, content syndication, socialitics, metrics, and monetization aspects.

“The course is designed with highly personalized exercises. Students complete those assignments based on their own projects that they are working on, or plan to work on, and [I] work with all of them to make sure that they are on the right track,” Enriquez said. “The previous group produced very interesting projects and I hope that some of those will at some point become a reality in some form or another. I also hope that we see the same results from this new group.”

For the first time, the Knight Center charged an administrative fee of $60 from participants. This amount covers a small portion of the operations of the distance learning program, which is funded by the Knight Center through a generous grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. However, a limited number of scholarships were provided to students unable to pay the fee.

“The Knight Center has already trained almost 3,000 journalists through its pioneer and innovative distance learning program, which has been totally free for the students until now,” said Professor Rosental Alves, Knight Center’s director. “But we thought we could charge a small amount to participants of some courses, as a little help for our finances, but also as a demonstration that the journalists themselves give a value, even if symbolic, to the course.”

For more information about the class, see the Course Information Sheet.

Hiram Enriquez is a former program director for Yahoo! Hispanoamérica in charge of editorial operations for Yahoo’s Spanish-language sites. He also was the creator and presenter for the CNN in Spanish program “Digital Zone,” which focused on topics related to the Internet and personal technology. He also writes about digital media, communication and information networks for his blog, Digital Stucco.

The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin was launched in 2002 by Professor Rosental Calmon Alves. Thanks to generous grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the center has assisted thousands of journalists in Latin America and the Caribbean. For more information, contact the Knight Center’s program manager, Jennifer Potter-Miller at jpottermiller at mail.utexas.edu or +1 512 471-1391.