Week 5

In Class:
-Discuss Renegade Mothering (news blog of the week)
-Grading rubric or What I’m looking for in a blog post
Tips for writing for the web
Linking like a journalist
Tags and Categories
—So, how should we feel about headlines and clickability?
Writing headlines for web and mobile

Due Sunday, Feb. 28 by 10 p.m.:
Post 2: Aggregation Post  (25 points)
Post 3: Free Choice (25 points)

-Read JournalismNext Chapter 3 – “Crowd-powered collaboration”
-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.

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Week 4

In Class:
-Continue setting up your blog in class
-Discuss The Scene (Philly Magazine blog)
Common types of blog posts
–Troubleshooting common setup problems

-Read Uwishunu (news blog of the week)
Blog Set Up and Post 1 due Sunday, Feb. 14 at 10 p.m.

-Read JournalismNext Chapter 3
-Read the Cyberjournalist.net’s Blogger Code of Ethics

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Info on Blog Setup

Each student blog must have the following elements:

  • Specific, focused and accessible beat pitched on time (10 points)
  • Compelling, informative title (2 points)
  • Appropriate theme and complete design (2 points)
  • About Page or text on your sidebar that explains your publication (2 points)
  • Author’s full name – first and last – must be in a permanent location on the blog like an About page or on sidebar (1 point)
  • Blogroll with at least five other online publications or blogs related to beat or topic (5 points)
  • A link to at least one social media account that you plan to use to report and promote your blog (ie Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, etc). (5 points)
  • Archives widget (1 point)
  • Blog Stats widget (1 point)
  • Time zone set correctly. (Select “New York” in WordPress) (1 point)

-1 for each typo, spelling or grammar error, AP style mistake or incomplete element.

Post 1: Your first post should introduce yourself and your blog topic to your audience. Outline what you hope to accomplish in the coming weeks: What kinds of stories you plan to do? Who do you hope to interview? What kinds of places do you hope to photograph? What events can you attend in the next month? Be as concrete and specific as possible, and give your readers something(s) to look forward to. Check spelling, grammar, and AP style.

Setting Up Your Blog

If you are using the free version of Word Press:

1. Sign Up

Go to http://www.wordpress.com and click on “Get a Free Site.” Follow the sign up instructions.

If you already have a WordPress account log in. Go to Manage my Blogs and Create a New Blog.

Pick a URL that fits with the title or subject of your blog. You can change the Title of your blog later, but not the URL.

Make sure your blog is visible to everyone.

Skip all of the paid upgrades (you can always do that later).

Click on “Create Blog.”

For a video demonstration of this, click here

2. Pick a Theme Continue reading 

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Week 3

Week 3 – Tues. Feb. 2 & Thurs. Feb. 4

In Class:

-Read HuffingtonPost (news blog of the week)

-Go over blogging basics

Ethics talk: Permission, waivers, plagiarism, copyright, fair use and Creative Commons

– In-class time to design and set up your blog

-Ethics quiz (Thursday)



-Read the Cyberjournalist.net’s Blogger Code of Ethics

-Blog Set Up and Post 1 (Introduction) due by Sun., Feb. 14 at 10 p.m.

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Week 2

In class:

-Take a look at some blogs. Discuss what works and doesn’t work, along with the difference between beat blogs and individual blogs.

-Informally pitch your beat in during class.

At home: Read Ch. 1 (by Thursday’s class), Begin reading Ch. 2.

DUE By Sun. at 10 pm: Email your beat pitch to me.

First, review the advice for picking a beat for this semester. When you have a topic, write out your beat pitch in concrete and specific terms.

Your beat pitch must describe:

1. Topic, geographic location, or community you are going to cover. (ie Technical.ly– The technology community in Philadelphia)

2. Title for your blog. It should be compelling and descriptive. (ie Technically Philly)

3. One sentence tag line. It should sum it up the topic and/or the audience in one concise sentence. (ie Better cities through technology)

4. Your target audience. Describe the age, location, job, education, and interests of your audience. (ie Technically Philly… “serves local technologists, entrepreneurs and people who care about technology’s local impact.”)

5. Mission and Content. In a few sentences, describe what you are setting out to do and what kinds of content you plan to create. (ie Technically Philly…”grows local technology communities by connecting organizations and people through news, events and services. We provide original editorial, expert programming and tools which improve recruitment, marketing, community cultivation and economic development.”

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Previous student feedback

Every semester I ask students to provide feedback for future students of Online Journalism 1. Here are some of their more poignant reflections:

—Be sure to stay on top of your deadlines because they come fast. If you don’t understand something, ask.

—My advice for future students is do not procrastinate in this class, because it can and probably will come back to hurt you in the end. This is a topic that you need to stay one step ahead of all semester to spare yourself the crazy end of semester stress this course will bring you if you don’t stay on top of things.

—This is the future of journalism, so if that’s what you want to do with your life, this is the course to take.

—The only way you can really do poorly in this class is if you just don’t do any work at all. This class is a lot of fun because you get to create your own blog about pretty much whatever you want…It can be a little time-consuming, but you’re at least doing something fun, not like writing papers and taking tests. No tests, just extra credit quizzes. I recommend taking this class if you like to do creative tasks. Also, Professor Diulio is always there to help you out when you get stuck and will give you valuable/honest feedback.

—You have the free will to write about whatever interests you, therefore, you are constantly engaged in the topic and having fun with what you are doing. DiUlio gives incredible feedback that can really shape your work from great to phenomenal.

—Running your own blog provides you with real life work experience.

—Well paced class that is loaded with a majority of the work on the back end so you can hone your skills before the most important project come up. Don’t miss more than 2-3 assignments however you will be screwed!

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Welcome to Online Journalism 1 – Spring 2016

This course examines the online news landscape. Students learn which principles of traditional journalism can and should be applied to the web, and what makes online journalism unique. Students gain this knowledge through reading assignments, class discussion and activities, and a series of reporting, writing and multimedia production assignments.

• Explore the unique challenges, opportunities, ethical and legal issues of digital journalism.
• Author a news-oriented blog on a well-defined beat or coverage area.
• Write blog posts with effective headlines, writing, structure, links and key words.
• Use social media as a tool for reporting and audience engagement.
• Become proficient in basic multimedia reporting and production, including how to tell a story using text, links, photos, audio, video, information graphics and data visualizations.
• Produce an online publication with original reporting and multimedia content that is suitable for internship, freelance and job applications.

Students will practice online journalism in this course. Practice, in this case, means developing journalistic skills to cover a topic for a real audience, not just fulfilling a school assignment. Students will select a topic or beat to cover for the semester. Each student will create a blog and then report, write and create multimedia content to cover that topic. All assignments will be posted online for anyone to read. Students will build an online audience. I will serve as an editorial advisor and give the same responses, instruction and suggestions that I would give to a professional journalist. This course stresses journalistic ethics, writing for online media, and basic multimedia reporting and production.

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Week 1

In Class:
Course overview
-What are we talking about when we talk about journalism? What makes online journalism unique?
-Thinking about your beat for the semester.

-Browse this list of previous student blogs from Online Journalism 1 and come to class ready to talk about one or two in particular.
-Get your books. Read JournalismNext – Forward and Intro
-Get your equipment together. What do you have? What do you need?
-Start thinking about your beat. Come with a few ideas next week.
-Add HuffingtonPost to your media diet for the week. We’ll discuss next week.

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Week 15

Blog Presentations

Presentations begin on Tuesday and will continue in Thursday’s class. Our order will be assigned at random and students must be present at both class periods to receive full credit.

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Week 14

-Discuss upcoming Final Project (200 points).

-Go over examples of Final Projects from past Online Journalism classes.

-Check out the excellent Tutorial: Taxonomy of Digital Story Packages from Cal-Berkeley.

-Work on Video Posts.

Assignments: Video Post is due this Friday at 10 pm.

Future Assignments: Final Project, Blog Presentations and Farewell Post


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