Week 1

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 Wednesday, 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—Spring 2018

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—Spring 2018

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. Continue reading

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Week 12 — Nov. 27 & 29

In Class:
—Going around and hearing your ideas for Issue Story
—Start working on Issue Story Reporting Plan
—Lecture: Assembling an Issue Story
Posting an Issue Story

Issue story reporting plan due by end of class Wednesday, Nov. 29

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Week 11 — Nov. 20

In Class:
–ReviewExplanatory Feature rough draft
—Work on brainstorming Issue Stories
Topical Reporting or Issue Story overview

—Final version of Assignment 3: Explanatory Feature due Wednesday, Nov. 22 at 10 p.m. Email me a link
—Next week you will pitch your Issue Story in class
—Explore the examples of Explanatory Journalism and

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Week 10 — Nov. 13 & 15

In Class:
Assignment 3: Explanatory Feature overview
-Assignment 3 brainstorming and in-class work
Topical Reporting or Issue Story overview

-Explanatory feature pitch due TBD
-Read A River of Booze for Wed, March 27
-Explore the examples of Explanatory Journalism and Issue Stories

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Issue Story Reporting Plan – Due at End of Class on TBD

Each group must send me an email answering the following questions for Assignment 4: Issue Story
(Worth 1 point toward Assignment 4 grade)
Due at the end of class on TBD Continue reading

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