assignments

Blog/Blog posts
Two blog posts per week are required (although you can write as many as you like). The success of a blog depends a lot on how often fresh stuff. Blogs are typically updated at least once daily. I will provide one topic per week and you choose the other two. These are due each Thursday by noon.

Here is some handy advice on blogging. These posts are tough to evaluate because sometimes they will be great and insightful and we will learn a lot, but sometimes they will suck. Such is the nature of blogging. The risk of sucking (or even being wrong) is part of the deal. The beauty is that you can start a fresh post any time you like.

Audio interview
You will record and edit a 10-minute interview. The interview itself, of course, will be much longer. The interview is due October 7 in class. We will play them in class. It is important to choose a subject for the interview that has an interesting, specific story to tell. Remember the Crispy with the Rock piece that we listened to. It was specifically about Luis’ basketball skills, not a life story. You have the make the decision, based on stuff that we have read and the nature of your interview, how much of yourself you should place in the interview. Should the audience hear your questions? Should they hear the banter between you and the subject?

I will also ask you to upload your piece to PRX. You can do that here.

Some basics:

• Don’t forget to get the person to introduce themselves on tape and talk a little about themselves.

• Remember that this is audio. It’s writing for the ear. So if the place in which you are interviewing the person is important, have them describe it. If what they are wearing is important, heave them describe it.

• Be wary of background noise in places like cafes. Make sure you have good levels. Wear headphones and, very importantly, CHECK THE BATTERIES.

• Your story should be submitted to me as an mp3 file. To do that in audacity you have to get the “LAME MP3” encoder. This is an annoying feature of audacity. It’s native output format is a WAV file, which is tougher to use. So you need to turn it into an MP3. That link above will tell you how to do that.

Audio story
This will be a journalistic piece of no more than five minutes. It can be narrated or not (we will discuss the differences in class). You will find the story.

Audio/image slideshow.
Another journalistic piece of no more than five minutes. This time photographs will accompany the audio.

Video piece
This could be a short journalistic piece or a “how to” piece (for example, you making a California roll) or some other kind of non-fiction piece. The task is to tell a story using video.

Story assignments include four things to be turned in:

Cluster model (for audio story, audio/image slideshow and video if you do a journalistic piece)
Pitch
Story draft
Revision

Grade Breakdown

Blog posts – 20 points

Audio interview – 20 points

Audio story – 20 points

Image/Audio story – 20 points

Video piece – 20 points

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