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Texas State students to cover SXSW Interactive 2012 during break

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
March 9, 2012

Texas State University-San Marcos graduate students in the advanced online media course in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication will be reporting on events at the 2012 South By Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin.

The 2012 SXSW Interactive Festival will take place March 9-13, featuring speakers discussing the most innovative ideas in the technology world. Industry leaders will host networking events and other special activities highlighting advancements in web design, social media, video games and mobile technology.

The SXTXState.com project is a component of the Advanced Online Media course taught by Cindy Royal.

"South By Southwest is a great opportunity for our students to network with and learn from some of the most innovative tech and media thinkers,” said Royal. “Students who have participated in this project in the past have made valuable career connections that have led to jobs and internships and have gained a stronger perspective on the trends that are shaping online and digital media."

Leading up to the event, students have prepared panel previews, weekly media news updates and logistical information about SXSW Interactive, all published at sxtxstate.com. Students will then be on site March 9-14 to cover panels and perform multimedia interviews. The class is also utilizing social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to promote their work.

“Texas State students have been working diligently to report on panels, speeches, forums, keynote addresses and all events surrounding the South by Southwest Interactive Festival,” said Ryan Stewart, graduate student and project editor of the SXTXState.com project.

This is the fifth consecutive year that Texas State University has partnered with SXSW Interactive to provide graduate students the opportunity to cover panels and connect with technology innovators. This year, for the first time, student will also be covering SXSWEDU (sxswedu.com) and the Integrated Media Association Conference (www.integratedmedia.org/conference), which both events are peripheral to SXSW.

“I used Twitter quite a bit in making initial contacts, and I was very fortunate that the majority of panelists that I contacted via Twitter got back to me right away,” said Shannon Delaney, graduate student in the advanced online media class. “I have never attended SXSW interactive, so I want to be sure to make the most of it and make as many connections as I can.”

In the past, students have interviewed and met tech luminaries including Wired editor Chris Anderson, social media expert Gary Vaynerchuk and Internet pioneer and Ethernet inventor Bob Metcalfe.

“I’m especially looking forward to the intellectual stimulation, being in a situation where many of us are open to serendipitous events, making connections and the unexpected,” said Susan Raybuck, graduate student in the advanced online media class.

To follow the project, visit sxtxstate.com or connect through social media at facebook.com/SxTXState, twitter.com/sxtxstate (hashtag #sxtxstate), and pinterest.com/sxtxstate/.