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* BFU Weekly Journal *
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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Creative Commons and Jo's Toolkit

Click the link in the title and it will take you to Jo's Toolkit, "The essential journalism toolkit for students and grassroots journalists."

Jo's Toolkit was featured in ICommons, a blog showing the expanding world of Creative Commons. Using Creative commons to share your creative works while retaining certain controls is a great fit for the Netcohort Society.

While Jo's Toolkit contains articles and helps to student authors, it is a student editorial I will reprint here - licensed under the creative Commons banner.

Ahead of the mainstream media

By Gregor Röhrig (Editor - Jo’s Toolkit)

    Sharing and developing content is not only a challenge, it is a valued commodity lost by the mainstream media.

    Promoting our media is essential. More specifically, freeing the content we produce from conventional and outdated constraints. As student media practitioners, we are often so involved in logistical and administrative battles while juggling content production, that we often overlook the expansions and developments that we could be involved in.

    Content needs to be released from its conventionally constrained borders. As student media producers, we tend to generate content on a regular basis, yet restrict it from being accessed and used effectively by those outside our designated readership. Limited and old-fashioned copyright conventions and stagnant notions of media ownership have, until now, limited our sharing capabilities. Style-guides and editorial policies also prove to be much more beneficial to a greater number of student media practitioners if shared among publications.
    As independent and primarily non-commercial student media publications, we have an advantage over the mainstream media. There is minimal conflict of interest to prevent various student publications from sharing content or editorial policies with each other. We are in a situation that gives us a vast amount of freedom and flexibility. I believe we should make use of this before we are forced into the limited rules and regulations of the commercial media world.
    As vital learning facilities, student media should offer services to each other over and above the borders of our academic institutions. For student media to be considered more seriously by onlookers, whether readers, student councils or mainstream media houses, it needs to improve and be more dominant in its field.
    A system where we share ideas and content will not only benefit student media circles, but could also assist external grass-root publications.

    The Creative Commons licence agreement is precisely such a system. Creative Commons allows anyone to use and modify the licensed content under the condition of attributing the work to the original author or publication and using this content for non-commercial uses only. Activate has tailored Creative Commons to open up its own content and editorial guides to other student and grass-root publications. These licences can be modified individually and are easily acquired online (creativecommons.org), making the sharing and modification of content completely legal and trouble-free.

    Setting up a licence for your publication’s content is the first step to allowing it to be used elsewhere under the same licence. Once licensed under Creative Commons, your articles and photographs can be used nationally, and even internationally, creating exposure not for authors, photographers and the publication itself. You can adapt and discuss your own and other publication’s policies and style-guides openly, providing the opportunity to modify and improve them legally and easily.

    Since moving away from the conventional copyright regulations and agreeing to Creative Commons, Activate has been exchanging content with international universities and journalism websites; swapping story ideas, campus issues and setting a new standard.

    I believe in the values and responsibilities of our relatively untainted medium. It’s one which is often based on the values and ethics we learn at our institutions. Student media demonstrates leadership and progress, ahead of the profit-based commercial publications which have moved away from the values we maintain.
    Let’s license, let’s share, let’s work together. Let’s make a statement that this is a more effective manner than limiting our content. It deserves to be freed.
    This text is certified under a Creative Commons License.

Here is a chance to learn more about the Creative Commons.



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| 10:24 AM - link to the above post <- email this journal entry


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 License.