Multimedia Reporting Assignment I

Due: Thurs, Feb 9 at the end of class
(Worth 10 points. Late = deduction of 2 points)

Topic: “Extreme South Jersey”
The story must have a local angle. It may be a person who resides locally. It may be an activity or event that occurs in South Jersey. It may be someone who has a particular passion for the geography or sense of place.

Extreme is defined as:

  • reaching a high or the highest degree
  • not usual; exceptional
  • very severe or serious
  • advocating severe or drastic measures; far from moderate, esp. politically
  • denoting or relating to a sport or activity performed in a hazardous environment and involving great physical risk
  • furthest from the center or a given point; outermost

Subjects should not be a friends or relatives. It can be about a Rowan related activity or person, but you are encouraged to go off campus.

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.

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 YourLastNameA1Text.docx”

60 to 90 second audio clip
•    Exported in .mp3 format
•    Saved as YourLastNameA1Audio.mp3

3 photos
•    .jpg format
•    Medium quality
•    Sized approx 600 width x 450 height
•    Saved as YourLastNameA1Photo1.jpg, YourLastNameA1Photo2.jpg, YourLastNameA1Photo3.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. You must be able to explain why the story fits the theme of “Extreme South Jersey.” 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 stories, not just information. You must 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 100 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 called YourLastNameOJ2A1. 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

Here are some examples of multimedia stories that are in the same “spirit” as your assignment:

Subway Preachers (NYTimes.com)
Running Voices (NYTimes.com)
High School Students Predict their Future (NYTimes.com)

See some student work from last semester:
Renter Keeps Folk Art Sculpture Alive
Looking After the Atlantic City Cats
More than Just a Girl Band

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