Assignment 1: Event – Fall 2016

Due Wednesday, Oct. 19 when you come to class. 
Worth 15 points (No late work accepted)

Mashable’s Baltimore Riot coverage
BillyPenn’s Pope Day 2

The goal of the assignment is to cover an event in a “digital-first” manner, which we have defined as:

  • Work and think first for digital platforms
  • Experiment and take risks
  • Try new tools & techniques
  • Cover news live
  • Join, stimulate, curate and lead the community conversation
  • Engage the community in your coverage

Assignment Requirements
All event coverage is must:

  • Be planned using the workflow outline.
  • Involve original reporting – you must go somewhere, meet people, gather information and quotes.
  • Consist of published information before, during and after the event.
  • Explain the 5 Ws of the event (who, what, where, when, why)
  • Be published on public online platform(s) of your choosing.
  • Include at least one of the following: photos, audio, video, or graphic element.
  • Contain at least three quotes from sources (with full names) at or connected to the event.
  • Content must able to be read/seen/archived after the event is over so you can link to them and I can review them. (Note: If you are using Snapchat, you need to save your content before it deletes.)
  • After the event is over, it must be curated using Storify.
  • Include ways you can measure the impact or engagement with an audience (ie retweets, likes, number of views, etc)

The event coverage will be assessed on:

Workflow – 1 point

  • Complete and thoughtful workflow plan

Quality of the Reporting – 5 points

  • Choice of event
  • Informative quotes from three (3) people. Full names, ages, and occupation for each source required.
  • Accurate and complete information gathered

Quality of the Presentation – 4 points

  • Clear, compelling headline that uses key words
  • Quality of writing
  • Quality of media
  • Organization of information

Effort/Creativity – 5 points

  • Compelling/interesting/fun content
  • Appropriate choice of platforms
  • Experimentation/risk
  • Engagement with community or discussion
  • Unique content that is not repeated elsewhere

Here are the steps for covering your event and completing your assignment:

1. Pick an Event
Pick an event that you can cover in person in the next few weeks. The event must occur between now and the Oct. 16. It must be an event that you can cover in a digital-first manner and that has a potential audience.

2. Brainstorm ways to connect with your audience
Answer the following questions:

  • Who is the audience for this story?
  • How do you reach this audience? Where do they gather (in person and online)?
  • What kind of information does the audience want?
  • What do you think is the best way to cover this story (media and format)?

3. Pick your online platform(s) that are best for your event and story
Pick the online platform(s) that you think are the best ways to reach your audience and to cover the event. You can use one platform or multiple platforms if you think that is the way to go.

Some suggested platforms and tools include:

  • Twitter (for live tweeting, connecting with audience via #, etc)
  • Cover It Live (for live blogging sporting events)
  • Facebook groups (for finding sources and driving traffic to your content)
  • Snapchat (for photo and/or video)
  • Tumblr (for photo or video blogging)
  • Instagram (for photo or video blogging)
  • Periscope (live video feed)
  • Vine (for short 6 second videos)
  • YouTube (for longer videos)
  • Set up a WordPress blog just for the event
  • Other?

4. Plan your workflow
Now come up with a digital-first workflow for how you are going to cover the story. Plan out what you plan to do before, during and after the event.

5. Cover your event – before, during and after
Research and report on your event. Provide your audience with relevant information before, during and after the event.

6. After the event, curate your coverage. 
After the event, use Storify that showcases the best aspects of your coverage. Embed your multimedia, social media, and links. Write text that provides context and fills in the gaps. Make sure 5 Ws are clearly stated. Include your three quotes from sources. Use Mashable’s Baltimore Riot coverage and BillyPenn’s Pope Day 2 as a an example. Pay attention to your presentation. Create a narrative of the event and showcases your best work.

7. Summarize your engagement with the audience.
A few days after your event, I will ask you to measure your “engagement” with audience: ie hits, retweets, favorites, likes, etc.

About Nick DiUlio

My name is Nick DiUlio, a freelance writer and editor from New Jersey. I have been passionate about the craft of writing since I was old enough to spell, and this love has led to a successful career in journalism and creative nonfiction. As a freelancer, I have covered a wide range of topics and personalities, as my published work has focused on everything from profiles of artists and important political figures to hard-news stories with both national and local appeal; from restaurant and beverage reviews to tips on fashion and finance; from health and wellness pieces to celebrity Q&A’s. My work has appeared in several local, regional and national publications—both in print and online—including Philadelphia Magazine,, Miller-McCune, New Jersey Monthly, Eating Well, and Delaware Today. Additionally, I am the South Jersey Bureau Chief for New Jersey Monthly and an adjunct journalism professor at Rowan University. To be sure, the broadness of my body of work seems only to be matched by my boundless interest in almost every subject imaginable (except Warren Zevon). Check out some of my most recently published work here.
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