Assignment 1: Event – Fall 17

Look for event to cover between Sept. 16 and Oct. 3.
Workflow due prior to your event (No later than Sept. 27) (Worth 2 points)
Completed coverage of event due Wednesday, Oct. 4   (Worth 13 points)
No late work accepted. Deadlines must be met or no credit. Continue reading

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Digital First Workflow: Discussion and Exercise

 What is Digital First? (Power Point) Continue reading

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OJA Inspiration

Here is a work-around website for OJA.

Do a little show and tell… Then answer:
What do the OJA judges value based on the entries?
What do these entries to really well? How do they do it?

-In-depth reporting
-Multimedia – photo, text, video, graphics, social media
-Human voice and presence
-Strong writing
-Interviews – both sides
-Voices to voiceless
-Interactive – keep em clickin
-Relevant, timely, newsworthy
-Big issue
-Data, graphics
-Navigation – taking people from story to story
-Good reporting, good storytelling

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Cigarette Boats and Swiss Army Knives – Interviews with Evan Smith, Texas Tribune

Some key lines for discussion:

“Any media company that is not also a technology company is missing out… and will likely not be around for long.”

Steamship vs. cigarette boat

“I want to wake up in the morning decide to do something and by 11 o’clock it is done.”

“I don’t want to be told no. I want to be told yes.”

“The future of news is trying things in service to greatness and if it doesn’t work, peace.”

“Experimentation and innovation.”

“Not when it’s published, it’s done. When it’s published, it’s just beginning.”

Swiss army knife vs. meat cleaver

Writing, photo, video, social media, data. “Any journalist today has to have a basic competency in all of those things.”

“I need someone who has all those tools and more. And you may not use them but once a year. But when you need them, you have them.”

“Any kid coming out of college… can create something in her dorm room or apartment and be every bit as important as an international media organization. The power to create has been given to this generation.”

“Those kids are so valuable when I’m hiring. They don’t know this, but we need them more than they need us.”

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Week 1 — Sept. 6

In Class: Get Rolling
-“Journalists today have to be Swiss Army knives” – Advice from Texas Tribune co-founder, CEO, and editor-in-chief Evan Smith.
Course overview
Reading and Online Journalism Awards
Assignments and Grading
Equipment and hosting
Ethics review

—For Monday, choose a story from the 2017 Online Journalism Awards finalists. Spend at least 30 minutes exploring the entries in your OJA finalists category. Pick one you want to discuss in class. Answer these questions and be prepared to share them with your classmates (Orally. You do not have to write anything down.)

  • How would you describe the values/critiera of the OJAs based on the finalists and winners?
  • Briefly describe the entry/story you particularly liked? What pulled you in?
  • Tell us about the news organization that published it? What is their niche/mission?
  • Why do you think this is award-worthy? What do they do? How do they do it?

I’ll ask each of you to talk about your entry in class.

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Ethics Review—Fall 2017

The basics:

  • “The criteria that professional reporters and editors use to decide what news is can be summarized in three words: Relevance, Usefulness, Interest.” – News Reporting and Writing
  • There is a saying: “A reporter is only as good as her sources.” Reporters seek the person most qualified to speak with authority and authenticity. Students are not allowed to use friends or relatives as sources for stories (because really, what’s the point?)
  • Be clear, upfront and honest about who you are and what you are doing.
  • “Recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort. Pursuit of information is not a license for arrogance.”
  • Tell everyone you interview, quote, photograph, or record that you are reporting for a public website.
  • Attribute facts and information.
  • Seek to do original reporting first. Get your own quotes, take your own photos, record your own audio, shoot your own videos.
  • Assume that anything you encounter on the Internet is copyrighted, unless it is expressly states otherwise. Students may only use third-party content (photos, music, graphics) in their course work if they obtain permission from the creator or it is licensed under Creative Commons.
  • Take responsibility for your work.

Continue reading

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Welcome To Online Journalism II—Fall 2017

Online Journalism II explores how digital news stories are reported, produced and distributed on various digital platforms. Students will learn what it takes to create high-quality, innovative, multi-platform stories while adhering to the traditional standards of news judgment, accuracy, fairness and truth.

Prerequisites: News Reporting I and Online Journalism I
Recommended: Photojournalism, Publication Layout and Design, On-Camera Field Reporting, Introduction to New Media

This course builds upon the basic skills and knowledge presented in News Reporting I and Online Journalism I.

In this course, students will:

  • Study and analyze award-winning online news stories in order to gain insight into reporting and storytelling techniques.
  • Learn how to generate enterprising story ideas through original reporting.
  • Develop a “digital-first” workflow for reporting and news content creation.
  • Understanding of the unique characteristics of text, photos, audio, video and graphics and when to use each to present a story in the most compelling manner.
  • Explore innovative ways to adapt traditional news story formats for the web and mobile audiences.
  • Improve multimedia reporting and production skills.
  • Produce multimedia stories alone and as member of team.
  • Complete several portfolio-worthy or publishable news stories. In the past, student work from this course has been published in org,, South Jersey Times and South Jersey Magazine.

This is a fast-paced, advanced level multimedia journalism workshop. There will be a lot of discussion, back-and-forth, and, as is the case in any newsroom, a fair amount of chaos. The success of the course and the finished products will depend on your energy, entrepreneurial spirit, work ethic, and ability to work together. I will conduct the course as a teacher, group facilitator and editor.

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