Week 3

In Class:
-Reviewing Beat Note Assignments
-More on finding stories
-Multimedia Profile assignment overview
-Quiz on Chapters 1, 2, 3, 14, 15, 16 on Wednesday

-Read Kobre Chap 4 – Producing a Story and browse
-Bring audio recorders and headphones to class next week

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Assignment 2: Multimedia Profile

Due: Wednesday, Oct. 1 at the beginning of class
(Worth 10 points. Late = deduction of 2 points)

Find a person or a location along Route 47 or just off of it. Your sources must NOT be friends or relatives. For this assignment, you will record audio, take photographs, and write a short article. You must create all media content yourself. If you are including audio clip that you did not create (i.e., music from a band) you must obtain permission to use it from the owner and give proper credit in the text of your article. No photos from other sources allowed.

Your goal is to create a vivid profile of a person or a place. You will mix text, photos and audio.

You will turn in all of the following items:

300-500 word article with a headline and byline
•    Saved as word .doc or .docx
•    Saved as YourLastNameA2Text.docx”

60 to 90 second audio clip
•    Exported in .mp3 format
•    Saved as YourLastNameA2Audio.mp3

3 photos
•    .jpg format
•    High quality
•    Sized approx 600 width x 450 height
•    Saved as YourLastNameA2Photo1.jpg, YourLastNameA2Photo2.jpg, YourLastNameA2Photo3.jpg

To create these media elements:

1. Do some leg work to find a story. Do research. Make phone calls. Go somewhere. You are looking for something unexpected, surprising, and unique.  Find the most compelling story you can.

2. Take a camera, your audio recorder, microphone, and headphones. Introduce yourself. Let everyone you talk to or photograph know that this is for a public web site.

3. Audio Reporting: Interview your subject(s). Try to ask questions that elicit anecdotes and stories, not just information. Also gather other sounds (natural sound effects) to enhance your audio and tell your story.

4. Photo Reporting: Take photos of the event, activity, and people you interview. Capture a variety of shots (wide, medium, close-up, detail, etc). Take more photos than you need (Try to take at least 50 photos). Look for moments that capture the essence of the experience. Make sure you have strong images the person or people in your audio.

6. Audio Editing: Edit your audio to 60 to 90 seconds. Edit out the sound of your own voice and questions. Integrate natural sounds to make it more vivid. Use your audio to capture voice, emotion, personality, and anecdotes. Try to identify and include an anecdote and a moment of reflection in your audio edit.

7. Photo Editing: Pick your three best photographs to accompany the audio and text. Use your photos to present visuals, portraits of people, action, and specific moments.

8. Writing: Write a short article to go with your audio and photos (approximately 300-500 words). Use the text to convey basic information (who, what, where, when, why) and to entice the viewer to explore the audio and photos. Make sure you have first and last names spelled correctly. Write a compelling headline for your story that is descriptive and uses key words.

10. Make sure all of your media is saved in the proper format and named correctly. (See list above).

11. Put your audio clip, three photos, and text document in a folder calledYourLastNameA2. Turn in your entire folder and its contents via Flash drive.

Grading: Worth Total 10 points

1 point = Audio edited to 60 to 90 seconds, no reporter’s voice, natural sounds.
1 point = Quality of audio gathering and editing.
1 point = 3 photos. At least one photo must be of a person. At least one photo must show some action.
1 point = Quality of photos. Focus, framing, light, variety.
1 point = 300-500 words article with a compelling and descriptive headline.
1 point = Quality of text. 5 Ws, lead, structure, free of grammatical errors and typos.
3 points = Story content. Is it compelling, relevant, worth reading, hearing, seeing, and sharing? Do the elements work together to provide a cohesive and vivid story?
1 point = Files submitted in proper formats with appropriate file names

 Some inspiration:
Patient Voices (NYTimes.com)
Caught Between Love and Country (NYTimes.com)
A Tattoo To Remember (NYTimes.com)
Portraits of the New Homeless (NYTimes.com)
Subway Preachers (NYTimes.com)
Running Voices (NYTimes.com)

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Week 2

In Class:
-Thoughts on the beat, what has been done, and what you hope to do this semester
-Multimedia examples… for inspiration
-Assignment 1: Multimedia Beat Note  – Due Sept. 15
-Chap 16 review: Marketing a story
-Chap 14 and 15 review: Ethics and Law 
-Online Prep Tasks - social media, rough draft blog, etc.
-The art of story hunting

-Work on Multimedia Beat Note
-Read Kobre Chap 1 – 1 Telling Stories and browse http://www.kobreguide.com/content/videojournalism#chap1
-Read Kobre Chap 2 – Finding and Evaluating a Story and browse http://www.kobreguide.com/content/videojournalism#chap2
-Read Kobre Chap 3 – Successful Story Topics and browse http://www.kobreguide.com/content/videojournalism#chap3
-Quiz on Chapters 1, 2, 3, 14, 15, 16 next Wed., Sept. 17

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Assignment 1: Multimedia Beat Note

Due Monday, Sept. 15 at beginning of class
Worth 10 points (No late work accepted)
Please post all of your media to njsouthboundroughdraft.wordpress.com before you come to class on Monday. 

Here are instructions for how to turn-in/post your assignment.

A beat note or “beat memo” is a way that reporters let their editors and others know what they are working on. They often include story ideas, where the person is reporting, and sources.

This multimedia beat note assignment is designed to get you out on Route 47 and help you explore. The goal is to see things, talk to people, and start brainstorming ideas. Be creative. Try new things. Take risks.

Here are some resources to inspire you in your assignment:

Family Beat: Stories We Tell Around the Kitchen Table (Nieman Lab)
Beat Memos: Two examples
Richard Koci Hernandez image hunting in Mission District (Lynda.com)
Once Around an Island (NYTimes)
Jim MacMillian’s Instagram

Assignment requirements:

1. Take 20 photos somewhere along Route 47 (worth 2 points)

You can go to one location or you can visit several. Take your time. Take the best photos you can. Look for things that will get your viewer’s attention.

Strive to get:
-5 photos with people or action
-5 wide angle shots
-5 medium shots
-5 close ups

2. Shoot a short video – maximum 20 seconds (worth 2 points)

Look for some place with action or motion. Take a short video.

You can use social media video apps as long as it you can share it publically. For example, you can use Vine (max. 6 seconds) or Instagram’s Hyperlapse (it stabilizes and adds speeds it up with time-lapse).

3. Interview and photograph a local (worth 2 points)

Go somewhere on Route 47 and find someone interesting. You must go off campus and talk to people who aren’t connected to Rowan. Introduce yourself. Explain the class project. Ask them about their job, business, or whatever it is that connects them to Delsea Drive. Who are they? What do they do? Why are they here? Take notes. Get quotes. Get full names. Take a photo of them that says something about who they are and what they do.

You must get:
-A photo
-Full name, age, occupation
-Exact location (address if possible)
-Contact info (phone, email, Twitter account, etc) so you can follow up
-A good word-for-word quote (2-3 sentences)

4. Two story ideas (worth 4 points)

Pitch two solid story ideas.

Your story ideas can come from research, other news stories, social media, flyers, bulletin boards, events, things you overhear, a way to localize a national story, or something about the past.

Each story idea pitch should be about 150-200 words long. Do your research. Your pitch should explain why this is a compelling story and include at least two likely sources for each.

Follow the advice given here:

Do not tell me “A lot of bands come to town and it would be fun to write about them.”

Tell me instead: There’s a band called Those Darlins coming to play at Proud Larrys – they represent a new wave of indie rock out of Nashville, and this show is part of a new touring corridor that puts Oxford on the map of bigger-ticket shows.” I would like to talk with the person who books talent at Proud Larry’s, as well as the band’s manager ______ and the lead singer _______.

Do not tell me: “The men’s tennis team is awesome.”

Tell me instead: Half of the men’s tennis team is from outside of the U.S. — the recruiting staff spends $____ each year traveling abroad to court them. This year, they’ll go to Spain, Sweden and Portugal – I plan to write about a typical recruiting year and the lengths they go to, literally, to bring top-notch players to Ole Miss. I plan to talk to the players __________ and_________ as well as the assistant head coach_______.

How to Turn-in/Post Your Assignment

Log-in to njsouthboundroughdraft.wordpress.com

Make a New Post (Don’t use the Quick Post option. Go to Dashboard>Posts>Add New.)

Add “Your Name’s Beat Note” to Headline.

Upload your 20 photos. Insert them into the post as a Gallery.

Post a link to your video. (You can’t upload video directly so you will need to put it somewhere else first – i.e, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, etc then embed the link or code into WordPress.com)

Post your Interview info:

-A photo
-Full name, age, occupation
-Exact location (address if possible)
-Contact info (phone, email, Twitter account, etc) so you can follow up
-A good word-for-word quote (2-3 sentences)

Post your two story ideas

Set a feature image (your best photo)

Publish your post

Visit njsouthboundroughdraft.wordpress.com to make sure it is visible

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Online Prep Tasks

1. Rough draft blog

I sent each of you an invitation to be an author of njsouthboundroughdraft.wordpress.com. Log in to your WordPress account and make sure you have access.

2. Twitter

You’ll need a public Twitter account to use for this class. You can use an existing one or make a new one.

Follow @NJ_Southbound

3. Get a South Jersey news into your regular reading.

I suggest:

NJ News Commons
Philly.com Southern New Jersey
Courier Post
Gloucester County Times
Daily Journal
Press of Atlantic City
NewsWorks New Jersey
South Jersey Magazine
NJ Spotlight
Jersey Bites
Jersey Arts
NJ Arts News
Weird New Jersey

4. Geography or Route 47

Spend some time on the map or Route 47 and going through the towns on the left side bar of NJSouthbound.com. Start brainstorming where you might want to go. What parts of Route 47 do you have access to? Which areas interest you the most?

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Week 1

In Class:
-Course overview and introductions (here is a pdf version of the syllabus)
-Multimedia Reporting Checklist
-Delsea Drive Project overview

-Get your equipment bag organized and ready to go. What do you need?

-Read Kobre Chap 16 – Marketing a Story and browse
-Read Kobre Chap 14 – Ethics and browse http://www.kobreguide.com/content/videojournalism#chap14
-Read Kobre Chap 15 – The Law and browse http://www.kobreguide.com/content/videojournalism#chap15

-Spend some time on our publication and our partners:

-Spend some time on these websites which do similar:

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Welcome to Online Journalism 2 – Fall 2014

Students will learn to conceptualize, design and implement a news website with emphasis on multimedia content creation and presentation. The course will examine content strategy, editing and production techniques.

This class uses a hands-on workshop approach to explore online journalism. Students will refine their multimedia skills – integrating text, audio, photographs and video to produce news stories for an online audience. It will also explore social networking and creating multimedia content for websites, tablets and mobile devices. The class will create an online multimedia publication about New Jersey issues and residents.

Prerequisites: News Reporting I and Online Journalism I
Recommended: Photojournalism, Publication Layout and Design and/or On-Camera Field Reporting

This course is a continuation of Online Journalism I. Each student will become more proficient in her/his interviewing, reporting, writing, editing and multimedia production skills. Each student will contribute to the tasks of building the student-run online publication http://njsouthbound.com By the end of the semester, each student will also have created several multimedia news stories suitable for internship or job applications.

In this course, students will:

  • Learn how to generate story ideas through original reporting.
  • Explore the art of interviewing and listening to subjects in a way that allows people to tell their own stories in a vivid and intimate manner.
  • Improve multimedia reporting skills, including how to best use and integrate text, photos, audio, video and graphics.
  • Explore multimedia storytelling forms and narrative structures.
  • Gain basic knowledge of JavaScript and jQuery, programs used for making interactive websites.
  • Produce multimedia stories solo and as member of team.
  • Work together as a class to build an online publication (http://njsouthbound.com) with special attention to journalistic ethics, strategy, design, mobile capabilities, social networking, and interactivity.
  • Uncover interesting stories about local people and issues – and hopefully gain new insight into Southern New Jersey life and culture.

This is a fast-paced, advanced-level multimedia journalism workshop. Students are assigned a series of multimedia reporting and production assignments. The class will devise a strategy and a work plan for building, editing and promoting a website to host the best multimedia projects. This class will also include collaboration with students in the Photojournalism course. There will be a lot of discussion, back-and-forth, and, as is the case in the creation and editing of any publication, a fair amount of chaos. The success of the course and the finished product will depend on your energy, entrepreneurial spirit, work ethic, and ability to work together as a team. It will require personal responsibility and journalistic standards. I will conduct the course as a group facilitator, editor and publisher.

All work for this class must meet journalistic standards for accuracy and ethics. All interviews, photos, articles, videos, etc. must be able to hold up to criticism and legal challenge. This is a public website, and students are responsible for all content.

The “beat” of NJSouthbound.com for the semester is “From the Delaware to the Sea.” The students will find stories along Route 47, also known as Delsea Drive. It’s a 75-mile long road that runs from Brooklawn (at Route 130 near Camden) to the Wildwood boardwalk. It is the longest continuous road in the state, and it offers a tour of the diverse communities and landscapes of South Jersey. As the name suggests, it connects the Delaware River to the sea. It offers a physical location to explore and hunt for stories. It is near campus and accessible by public transit. NJ Transit Bus 313 goes all the way from campus to Wildwood ($7.70 to go all the way.) The beat also allows students to pursue news stories as well as stories within their area of interests (political, sports, environmental, food, arts, etc).

The stories produced for the website will be “evergreen” feature stories or profile based, rather than news based. You are looking for stories that won’t go out of date quickly. However, they can still be timely.

The stories produced for the website will be rooted in a sense of place and should reveal something unique about the people, culture, or issues of Southern New Jersey. The majority of the stories must be about people and places off campus. There is already a school newspaper, TV station, radio station, and several other publications about Rowan. There is no need to replicate them.

Students will collect information through in person interviews and reporting. You will do this individually and in teams. Email and phone interviews won’t reap the required multimedia elements. Start early on your assignments. Use the entire time given. Always have a back up plan.

Stories will be gathered and presented in a variety of multimedia formats: articles, audio recordings, photos, audio slideshows, and short video segments.

The NJSouthbound.com website will be interactive allowing visitors to read, listen, watch, and contribute. It will promoted (via social networks, etc) so that it reaches an audience outside of the university. And it will showcase the best multimedia journalism by Rowan journalism students.

Students will create multimedia stories with the goal of having them published on NJ News Commons and NewsWorks.org, two local websites. Throughout the semester, the editors of those publications will be reviewing student stories and may publish some of them. These stories can also be added to a student’s portfolio for internships and job applications.

Download a pdf version of the syllabus

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