Week 14

In-class: Presentations

For full credit, please be in attendance for both presentations sessions this week so that we can ensure everyone has an audience to watch them present their blogs.

Assignments:

This Sunday, May 1, the video post is due. The two remaining posts, the Final Project and Farewell Post, are due by the end of the final exam period.

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Week 13

In class:

–Bring camera, video recording device, connection cords and headphones to class

In class video exercise

—Here are some tips on shooting quality web video

—And here are some specific tips for shooting video on your smartphone

Assignment due on May 1: 

Video Post – 80 points

Other upcoming blog assignments (due by the end of final exam period): 

Final Project – 200 points

Farewell Post – 30 points

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Week 12

In Class:

-Extra-credit quiz
–Bring camera, video recording device, connection cords and headphones to class
—So, what makes web video unique and powerful?
—Here are some tips on shooting quality web video
—And here are some specific tips for shooting video on your smartphone
In class video exercise

Assignments due on April 17:

Post 9: Audio Interview with Photo – 60 pts.

Post 10: Free Post – 25 pts.

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Week 11

In class:

  • Discuss Audio Journalism
  • Present in-class audio assignments from last week
  • Listen to standout examples from Hall of Fame and professional world

Upcoming Assignments due on April 17:

Post 9: Audio Interview with Photo – 60 pts.

Post 10: Free Post – 25 pts.

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Week 10

In Class:

-Work on posts 6-8
–Bring camera, audio recording device, connection cords and headphones to class
—Listen to this great segment from This American Life
Audio Reporting
Audio Editing with Audacity
Step-By-By Guide: Getting audio from recorder to your WordPress Blog
In-Class Audio Exercise

Due on Sun. at 10 p.m.

Post 6: Free Post

Post 7 Photo Gallery 

Post 8: Profile of Another Blogger

On deck: Post 9: Audio Interview with Photo

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Upcoming assignments

As discussed in class on Tuesday, here’s a rundown of upcoming assignments that are all due by Sun., April 3 at 10 pm.

Post 6: Free Post (Makeup for having no assignments due over Spring Break last week. We’ll have some time allotted to work on these in class).

Post 7 Photo Gallery 

Post 8: Profile of Another Blogger

Keep in mind that your coordination of these assignments is very important. It’s highly recommended that you reach out to interview subjects this week and have backup story ideas in mind in case any of your plans fall through. This work will probably give you all a good feel for the day-to-day life of a working journalist where you’re always having to juggle multiple assignments.

Tips for Your Photo Gallery Post

Here are some things to keep in mind for shooting your gallery photos:

People are (almost) always more interesting than objects. The strength of your photo gallery will come from lots of pictures involving people. If you’re attending a farmer’s market get lots of shots of people buying and selling items. If you’re attending an art exhibit get lots of shots of people admiring the art. If you’re attending a sporting event, get lots of photos of not just the athletes but the people in the stands reacting to what’s taking place. Yes, objects are sometimes interesting and important as well, but people are where we get emotions and actions.

Don’t be shy. I know it might feel uncomfortable at times, but good photos don’t come from standing against a wall with the rest of the crowd. Get in there and take photos like a journalist.

Get closer. You’re not going to get interesting shots from 50 yards away. Move in and get close shots of your subjects. Don’t be afraid. You’re a journalist and this is your job.

Write interesting captions. Your captions should provide interesting and important information about what we’re seeing (i.e. people’s full names, a description of what we’re looking at, and some sense of why it’s important/interesting).

Get a lot of variety. If you’re shooting a food festival we don’t need to see three different shots of the same food truck. If you’re shooting a concert we don’t need six different wide shots of the crowd. Move around and make sure that every single photo is somehow different from all the rest.

Bring the scene to life. We weren’t there. You were. Capture people and moments that really give a sense of what this place or event was like. If it was raining, show us a person huddled under an umbrella. If it was cold, show us someone bracing against the chill.

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Week 9

In class:

-We’ll discuss how your Q&A’s went.

Here’s a Q&A I wrote over the break for The Guardian, so I can relate to your experience a lot.

Social media and journalism

Incorporating Photography into your Reporting

Tips for Better Smartphone Photography

Next assignment:

Photo Gallery 

(We’ll discuss the assignment in class, but it’s not going to be due this week until April 3. The same day you must also have posted your Profile of Another Blogger, which we’ll also discuss this week.)

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Week 8

In Class:

General Suggestions So Far
Interview Tips for Journalists
Writing leads
Intro to simple web analytics
Social media and journalism
Incorporating Photography into your Reporting
Tips for Better Smartphone Photography
In Class Photo Assignment
Tips for writing great leads

Assignments:
-Post 4: Free Post and Post 5 Q&A with Photo due Sunday, March. 13 at 10 p.m.

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Week 7

In Class:

The internet IS reality: What you do online matters

-Take a look at each other’s blogs and give feedback

Social media and journalism

Examples of Solid Q&A posts

-Tips on conducting good interviews

-Bonus quiz on Ch. 9

Assignments:
-Post 4: Free Post and Post 5 Q&A with Photo due Sunday, March. 13 at 10 p.m.

Reading:
Buzzfeed (news blog of the week). Make sure you check out their recent video of Pres. Obama. Here’s some background on the site. Buzzfeed set out to be the “first true social news organization – that is, an outfit built on the understanding that readers increasingly get and share their news on Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms.” Find one post you think is a good example of “combining traditional reporting and experimental methods of social distribution.” Come to class next week to talk about it.
-JournalismNext Chapter 4 – “Going mobile”

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Week 6

In Class:

-Discuss Terroirist (a daily wine blog)

-Look at some of your blog designs, Intro Posts and Aggregation Posts

-Discuss Writing Leads

-Discuss Social Media and Journalism

-Introduction to Web Analytics

 

Assignment:

Due Sunday, Feb. 28 by 10 p.m.:

Post 2: Aggregation Post  (25 points)

Post 3: Free Choice (25 points)

 

Reading:

-Read JournalismNext Chap 10 – “Managing news as a conversation”

 

Looking ahead:

Post 4: Q & A with Photo (50 points) and another Free Post (25 points) will be due Sunday, Mar. 13 at 10 p.m.

 

 

Writing Leads

After the headline, your lead – a simple, clear statement consisting of the first few sentences of your story – is the most important part of your article.

A lead must:

  • Pull the reader in.
  • Convey the basic information (who, what, where, when, why and how)
  • Include only the most important information
  • Tell the reader what is unusual or unique
  • Focus on people doing things
  • Tell reader why they should care
  • Be accurate

If your lead isn’t compelling, chances are your reader will go elsewhere.

There are many ways to craft a lead. Two of most common leads are 1.) the hard news (or inverted pyramid) lead and 2) the delayed (or anecdotal) lead.

A hard news lead answers the basic information: who, what, where, when and why in the first paragraph. It is usually short, often fewer than 25 words, unless you use two sentences. Take a look at this example from the New York Times.

A delayed lead often sets the stage with some concrete details, incorporates a good quote, or sets a scene before conveying the basic information. Take a look at this example about figure skating in the last Olympics.

But there are also other ways to write a lead; for examples, see How to Write a Lead Like a Professional Blogger.

In-class practice:

What: Bostonians are jumping out of window into giant snow banks and posting videos on social media. The mayor is concerned. He wants it to stop.

Where: Boston, Mass.

When: At press conference yesterday

Who: Boston Mayor Marty Walsh

Why: There are 8 foot snow drifts. People are going a little stir-crazy. They may seriously injury themselves or even die.

Quote: “This isn’t Loon Mountain, this is the city of Boston, where we’re trying to remove snow off of the street and it becomes very dangerous. And the last thing we want to do is respond to an emergency call where somebody jumped out of the window because they thought it was a funny thing to do,” Walsh said.

 

Social Media and Journalism

An overview:

How can journalists use social media? Using Twitter as example: 

You can ask the same question for other platforms…

How can you use social media to report, promote your work and connect with others who are passionate about your blog topic?

That’s for you to figure out.

What you do now is practice and experience for the future. 

For example, this Rowan graduate turned passion and experience in social media into a job.

 

Intro To Web Analytics

Journalists live in an age of the big board. So they must understand how, when and where people get their news. But understanding how the web works also involves going beyond the common knowledge and practice.

“To build your audience online, you need to analyze what you publish, what your readers like and don’t like, and then do more of what they like. You also need to make sure that your content, especially content your current readers have shown interest in, can be found by new audiences through search and shared through social media.” – JournalismNext

Some basic terminology:

-top posts and pages – most visited posts and sub pages

-page views – total number of pages viewed in a given time period

-visits – number of times everyone accesses a website

-unique visitors – number of computers that access a website

-referrers – where your traffic comes from; links to your site)

-search engine terms or queries – what words people searched to get to website

-subscribers – individuals who subscribe or follow your posts (get information via feeds or email alerts)

-clicks – URLs that readers click to go away from your site

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – understanding how to optimize your web content so it can be found by search engines.

“Google Juice” Top 10 Most Important Google News Ranking Factors

Get to know your WordPress.com stats

 

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