ANA SANTOS / THE EAGLE
TBD.com and AU celebrated the kickoff of their new partnership with a launch party on Tuesday night in the Katzen Arts Center.
TBD is a new hyperlocal news website that has generated buzz in the news industry for its innovative business model. The partnership between TBD and AU will involve internship opportunities for students and AU-hosted workshops for TBD employees.
The event included an introduction by School of Communication Dean Larry Kirkman, a discussion by a panel of bloggers and a virtual tour of TBD.com, D.C.’s new regional multi-platform news operation.
AU has several connections to the new online journalistic effort. Jim Brady, the website’s general manager and founder, is a 1989 AU alumnus. He is also a former executive editor of washingtonpost.com.
The website has 170 bloggers in their network, two of which are AU alumni. Ladan Nekoomaram, who received her master’s degree from SOC earlier this year, writes the “Foreign Policy Beat” blog and Rachel Levitin, an 2009 alumna who also received her master’s from SOC, covers sports for WeLoveDC.com.
Blogs covering D.C. can join the TBD network, which then links directly to the blogs from TBD.com.
Through a partnership starting this month with the online news organization, AU professors will conduct workshops for TBD’s new bloggers. In the spring, TBD will offer AU students various internship opportunities in all aspects of the journalism industry.
Positions in reporting, television production, writing and photography will be available to AU students. TBD will also work with the Kogod School of Business to present internships on the business side of the journalism industry.
Brady said he is looking for “people hungry to prove something.”
“I’m just one of those people that believes journalism is one of those crafts that has to be learned out in the field,” he said. “Getting an internship is a really good way to learn how the business works.”
SOC professors are planning five workshops in writing, design, social media and search engine optimization that members of TBD’s blogger network can attend.
Some of the bloggers in the TBD community network are interested in learning about topics such as correction policy or libel, so AU will offer classes for them on these types of subjects.
The workshops, starting this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Weschler Theater, are geared toward training people who are directly involved with TBD.
Brady said AU was a good fit as an academic institution with which to form an alliance.
“In terms of partnering with AU, the dean has done a great job turning this into a top-notch journalism school, and we were looking for something to partner with on the academic side,” he said. “So I went with my alma mater first and worked out a deal with them. It just seemed like a natural place to go.”