Week 1 • Aug. 30 – Sept. 3
What is journalism and can it be taught?
Man bites dog
Nicholas Lemann video
Andrew Sullivan , “Why I Blog”
By Friday, start a blog. Go to wordpress and build a blog site. Be mindful of the name and theme. Don’t name it, for example, jk929567’s blog. Put some thought into it as it will help form your online brand. There are good examples here and here. These are for guidance only. Make your blog your blog.
• Figure out how to make and embed a link (like the “here” link above).
• Figure out how to embed an image such as the one below.
• Figure out how to embed a YouTube such as the one below.
Do all of these things in your first post. Figure out a way to weave it all together.
Send me your blog’s url once it is up and running.
Media from class
Neda Soltan tribute/story
Oakland scene – audio piece
All the President’s Men trailer
Week 2 • Sept. 6-10
Man Bites Dog
- Chapter 1 – Language: Pompus, Pedantic and Plain
- Chapter 2 – News Writing: Information is not Enough
- Chapter 3 – Leads: The Agony of Square One
Follow this link and write a story with what you find. Write a 300-word blog post. Think about what pieces of information are most important. Why? Make sure you have some background. Who is this person? Why is it important that we know this information?
Below is an information sheet released today by Amtrak. Read through the information and craft a 150-word story from it that includes a hard news lead and a quote. The trick is to fit as much meaningful information in as possible but still make it readable and brief. Be ruthless with what is included and with your writing. Make sure every word needs to be there. Print out your story and submit to me in class on Friday.
Write a 300-word blog post on Chaka Fattah’s challenger. Think about what we talked about in class on Tuesday. What information needs to be in the post? What needs to be linked to?
Week 3 • Sept. 13-17
Covering speeches and meetings
Chapter 1 – What is journalism for
Chapter 2 – Truth: The first and most confusing principle
Zoom audio recorder
A blog post on the question” “Why doesn’t St. Joe’s have a football team?” This should be 300-350 words. Remember the qualities of a good blog post: conversational, timely, linked. Here is a statement from the SJU Athletic Department on the absence of a football team. Football-Info.
Blog post on Father Lannon leaving St. Joe’s. What does it mean to you? What do you think it might mean for students?
Come up with three possible ideas for your first story – the meeting/speech story. You need to cover a speech or meeting that relates to the Saint Joseph’s community.
Story idea. You need to choose a meeting or speech to cover for the first story, which is due next Friday. I will provide a short list of choices. Find one that fits your interests and schedule.
Week 4 • Sept. 20-24
Audience and voice
Chapter 4 – The Case for the Period
Chapter 5 – The Inner Music of Words
Assigned blog post (due Tuesday by 11 a.m.):
Write a post about the meeting/speech you will cover. Make it short – 100 words or so – about the event. Include links if possible.
Write a second blog after you cover the event. Include some insight that may have not made it into your news story.
For Wednesday • Write a 250-word story based on t he Bono speech we watched in class. Remember to think of the story in chunks – lead, quote, body, quote. Your job at this stage is to tie those chunks together artfully and clearly. Print out your story and bring it to class with you.
Meeting/Speech story I. Due in class on Friday, Sept. 24.
Choose an event related to Diversity Awareness Week from the list provided in class (except salsa dancing, which sounds awesome but might not provide you with the material you need for a story).
I highly recommend “Wake Up Call Part Two” on Sept. 23 at 6 p.m. in The Perch as a possibility.
Information on this and other assignments is here.
In class Wednesday:
Week 5 • Sept. 27-Oct. 1
Tuesday: Interviewing and Quotes
Wednesday: Story case – Askia Sabur.
Friday: Case study on alternative business models for news
Ch. 8 – Quotes. Your Words or Mine?
Chapter 3 – Who Journalists Work For
Optional: New York Times piece on Voice of San Diego
By Friday – Please read and be prepared to discuss the Voice of San Diego case on the blog under schedule. I’m interested in your take on no-profit news. I know you don’t have a lot of background in this, but that’s OK. As news consumers, what is your opinion? In addition to class discussion, I want you to write a 300-word (or so) blog post about the Voice of San Diego. What do you like? What don’t you like? Does it matter that it is non-profit? Is this type of operation sustainable?
Week 6 • Oct. 4-8
Attribution – Who said what to whom.
Chapter 4 – Journalism of Verification
Chapter 7 – Pitfalls.
For Tuesday – Write a 350-word story that brings us up to date on the Askia Sabur story. Remember good story structure and to choose only the most important details to include in your 350 words. Print the story out and bring it to class. As mentioned in class, the story must also include (stapled to the story) the court documents.
Also write a blog post for Tuesday (250-300 words) about whether you would include the video with the story. That video is pretty explosive and may prejudice viewers against police. Is it necessary to tell the story?
Week 7 • Oct. 11-15
Audio recording and editing
Social media and sources
sound-in-the-story • This is a primer on using audio in stories.
• Begin experimenting with audio.
Audacity – Download this to your computer. It’s free and it works for Mac or PC and the functionality for each is basically the same.
Help with Audacity:
Editing on Audacity – Here is a short tutorial.
Here is another manual.
And here are some explanations of the buttons.
Please remember that one of the objectives of this class is to become proficient with technology by teaching yourself. So I will provide links to instruction but I won’t do things for you. On that note, Google is an amazing resource. Before e-mailing me a question about technology, trying entering your exact question into google. Chances are very good that someone has had the same problem and you will likely find an answer there. Remember, RTFM.
By Friday – Have an edited version of your interviews from Tuesday on your blog using SoundCloud. Do something interesting with the interviews. Introduce the interviews in your post with a couple of paragraphs of text telling us what you were trying to achieve.
By Friday by 5 p.m.- A preview of the Askia Sabur preliminary hearing, which is October 18. We will go over the story in class on Wednesday, including getting a lead started. The story should be 350 words and include at least two quotes from Akisha, Askia’s wife, which is below. NOTE: I changed this to 9 a.m. Monday morning. Please e-mail me your story.
The structure of your story should consist of:
• A lead that has some detail about the case and the preliminary hearing date.
• Two quotes from Akisha
• Background on his charges and the fact that iwas captured on video.
• Other elements of your choosing. What is most important for the reader to know before the hearing?
Interview with Akisha Holland-Sabur on October 12, 2010.
Week 8 • Oct. 18-22
No class Tuesday, October 19 – Fall Break
Social media as sources
Chapter 9 – Color: Dip your Brush in Small Details
Leads powerpoint • leads
Week 8 • Oct. 25-Oct. 29
Presentation on soft leads and nut grafs
Reading for Wednesday:
Why did the U.S government want John Lennon and Yoko On deported in 1972? Why did the FBI keep tabs on Elvis? It’s all at…
We will spend the next couple of weeks at this site – the next stop in our mastery of online documents.
Write a blog post critique of the Rick Bragg story “Tried by Deadly Tornado.” If you love it, tell us why. If you don’t, tell us why. Remember the “way of Reading” rubric we talked about earlier in the semester: Specifically, what do you like? Where in the story are you confused? Elated? Enthralled? Appalled?
Week 10 • Nov. 8-12
Presentation on finding the profile story
Prezi on Oseola McCarty story and elements of a feature/profile
Chapter 9 – Color: Dip your Brush in Small Details
Profile interviews and reporting
Blog Post for Friday:
Find a target publication for your story and write a blog post about it. Why does your story work for this? Who is the audience?
Week 11 • Nov. 15-19
By now you should have a profile topic and should be started on interviews etc. A rough draft is due next Wednesday, Nov. 23 at 5 p.m. by e-mail.
Profiles, profiles, profiles
Read “First Woman Ascends to Top Drill Sergeant” and write a 250-word blog post that breaks the story down. Describe its parts (it “elements” as we have called them.)
Read “Too Cool for Schul” from above and write a 300-word blog post about it. What works? What doesn’t? How would you change it?
Write a 150-word blog post (with an image) about the story Children of the Sword.
Write a 200-word blog post about your favorite restaurant. Remember links and all of that stuff. Also, include a Google map image like the one below. You’re going to have to figure out how to do that on your own. It’s very easy.
Week 11 • Nov. 15-19
Reporter’s Guide to Multimedia Proficiency • Here is a pdf: Multimedia Guide
For this week, read pages 6-9 on interviewing and editing audio; and 13-27 on taking photos and making slideshows.
Soundslides • This is the program we will use to combine sound and images. Download the free trial version.
Soundslides video converter • This will turn your slideshow into a video that you can upload to youtube and then embed in your blog.
For Friday: 1. Go to the site Multimedia Standards and click on The Grid. Listen to the entries on “Essentials of Good Multimedia.” What are some of the essentials that are often mentioned? 2. Find a slideshow that includes these elements and discuss how they are used. Here is a place to look. Write a 250-word blog post.
For Tuesday: Create a 3-minute slideshow using the sound and photos you gathered in class on Wednesday. Edit the sound in Audacity and place that file on your desktop. This assignment will be pushed to later in the week for the 2-3 p.m. class because you don’t yet have audio and images.