NJSouthbound Overview – Spring 2013

The Online Journalism 2 class will advance the website http://njsouthbound.com created by past classes. The basic premise will remain the same: to create a journalistic web site of multimedia stories (text, photos, audio, video, graphics) on issues and residents of Southern New Jersey. We will collaborate with the Photojournalism class. The website will showcase some of the best multimedia work by Rowan journalism students and serve as an online magazine for the residents of South Jersey. The website will be updated throughout the semester. We will build an audience and traffic over the course of the semester and solicit feedback and responses. The site will culminate in an official launch in late April.

Perimeters:
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 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 You are looking for stories that won’t go out of date quickly.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: text, audio recordings, photos, audio slideshows, and short video segments.

Students will create multimedia stories with the goal of pitching them and selling them to local news outlets. These stories can also be added to a student’s portfolio for internships and job applications.

The website will be interactive allowing visitors to read, listen, watch, and contribute.

The website will be promoted (via social networks, etc) so that it reaches an audience outside of the university.

The website will showcase the best multimedia work by Rowan journalism students.

The Beat – Delsea Drive

The theme and “beat” of NJSouthbound.com for the semester is “From the Delaware to the Sea.” The students will stories and assignments along Route 47, also known as Delsea Drive. It’s a 75 mile stretch of road from Brooklawn (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. 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).

Check out where students went last semester.

The following are along Route 47:
-Many houses of worship
-Junk yards
-A combo video rental/tanning salon
-Animal resorts
-Schools
-Lots of mom and pop restaurants
-Lots of local seafood joints
-Bike path
-Tattoo parlors
-Farmland
-Massage parlor that got busted for prostitution
-Housing developments
-Cemeteries
-State prison
-Wildlife preserves
-Country clubs
-Bowling alley
-Gun shooting range
-Ethnic grocery stores
-Boys and Girls Club
-Drive-in Movie Theater
-River crossings
-Marinas
-Campgrounds
-Wildwood boardwalk

And much more….

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