I’ve heard from more than one person that the mood and tenor at this year’s conference is markedly different from last year’s.  The dour atmosphere that seemed to surround many of the panels last year have been replaced by panels focusing on partnerships, innovation, and a future filled with possibilities for journalism educators and students.

What a difference a year makes.  As my old boss used to say, HUZZAH!

Thursday morning’s session on partnerships, moderated by ASU’s Chris Callahan was typical of many of the sessions devoted this year to the idea of partnerships between academia and professional news organizations.  I took part in one panel discussion late yesterday afternoon.

Medill’s Josh Meyer (a UMass grad!) raised an interesting question during my session.  Is there a template for Memorandums of Understanding that can be shared with programs/departments looking to get a partnership off the ground?  We’re currently beginning the process of developing a MOU with our partner — MassLive and the Springfield Republican — but I admit it would be nice to draw down from some resources out there.

It got me thinking about how best to get lessons learned, documents, procedures all in one central location.  Set up a blog?  Tumblr?  Twitter feed?  Perhaps the new name for the Newspaper Division is the “Partnerships Division” (I’m half-kidding.)

So, what’s the best way for schools across the country and Canada to share information.  Let me know, I’m curious as to whether creating some sort of central sharing station would work and whether there is interest.