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J453 Sylb_040311

J453 Sylb_040311

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Published by Brian Duggan

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Published by: Brian Duggan on Apr 04, 2011
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Journalism 453: Online Reporting and EditingSpring 2011
Syllabus is available online at:www.journalism453.wordpress.com Class meets Monday and Wednesday 9-10:15 a.m.Instructors:Brian Duggan: bpduggan@gmail.com (@brianduggan)David Calvert: david@calvertphotography.com (@calvertphoto)
All e-mails must include “J453” in the subject line.
Office hours by appointment
Welcome to online reporting and editing. This is a senior-level class, which means it willbe fast-paced and carry with it high standards of journalism and productivity. Think of yourself as a new hire at a media organization and your task is to produce content for it.Over the course of the semester we will discuss the trends affecting journalism and thetools that are becoming increasingly necessary to perform it effectively. That meanseverything from social media practices to database reporting to multimedia presentationsto simply setting up and managing a blog. You will be required to use all of these toolsover the course of the semester.Your assignment: Think about the recession and how it’s affected life at the University of Nevada, Reno and higher education in Nevada. Think about the effects of unemploymentand how it’s related to education. Think about students who are drowning in student debt.Think about tenured professors losing jobs. Think about the decisions that are being madein Carson City starting next month. Think about recent graduates who moved back hometo live with parents because they couldn’t find a job. In other words, put a human face onthese statistics and help put this event into context — conduct journalism the way itshould be done in the 21
What you will do
The semester will begin with discussions about online tools and how to use themeffectively. We’ll talk about audience trends and debate the merits of Twitter. Themajority of the class will be dedicated to producing content, which will require asubstantial amount of work outside the classroom to pass (and lots more if you want toexcel). Reporting requires footwork. Also there will be five quizzes (expect a JakeHighton-style AP test and others that will test your multimedia skills).
— Blogging: 12.5 percent of grade
Starting Feb. 7, you will be required update a blog at least three times a week. Youcan blog about the stories you cover, adding relevant links and commentary to thepostings. If you do not want to blog about the content you are covering in the class,then you can present a blog proposal to the instructors by Jan. 31. The blog must berelated to something in the Reno-Sparks-Carson-Tahoe region and must be original.
Blogging means offering people an original piece of reporting or it could meanlinking to an article, photo, video or other relevant piece of online information youfound interesting and giving it some context. What cannot be is just your opinion — so no partisan political polemics, please. Spelling and factual errors will deduct fromyour grade. Grading standards are outlined below. Also, once you pick a topic youhave to stick with it until the semester is over. And hey, maybe keep it going after you graduate.
— Stories: 75 percent of grade, or 12.5 percent each
Over the course of the semester you will be required to propose, report and create fiveoriginal stories that relate to the class topic using a variety of online tools. They willbe published on your blog and, if your able to set it up, another publication such asthe Nevada Sagebrush or another media outlet. At the end of the semester you will berequired to develop a 10-minute group presentation with two other classmates. Theassignments will be required in this order:1.
Live blog an event (Due by March 9)2.
Create a click through slide show with copy (Due Feb. 23)3.
Record an audio story or podcast (Due March 23)4.
Create a visual story by using of data (Due April 27)5.
Create a video story and upload it to Youtube (Due April 27)6.
Give a 10-minute group presentation addressing this question: Is journalism stillrelevant? Why or why not? What is the future of journalism? (Due May 5)A story must be turned in on each assigned due date. Late work will not be accepted andwill result in an automatic 0 percent for that particular story unless there is a pre-approved or verifiable and acceptable reason for the missed deadline. Over the course of the semester the class will include “budget meetings” where the class will discuss storyideas and reporting ideas. Along the way there will be occasional progress reports onstories and your blog, too.The 10-minute group presentation can be presented with any online tool of your choosing, through a survey of compelling websites, with just plain, old PowerPoint or acombination of all of them. Just be creative. Your task is to develop a thesis and ananswer, supported by at least three sources, to the question: Is journalism still relevant?Why or why not?
— Short Assignments: 12.5 percent
You will be given five short assignments over the course of the semester that will testyou on your knowledge of AP style as well as ethical and website design questionsThey are worth 2.5 percent each and are scheduled in the dates below.
Required materials:
— The Associated Press Style Book — 
Producing Online News, Ryan M. Thornburg— 
An external hard drive, especially needed for multimedia— 
Additional readings will be linked on instructor blog:http://www.journalism453.wordpress.com
Schedule: 16 weeks, 31 classes
Week 1
Jan. 19: Introduction, discussion of professional and journalism landscape, digital media• Class Activity: Write blog post on whether you think Twitter is a usefuljournalism tool; review and discuss examples of online media today
Week 2:
Jan. 24: Audience behavior and blogging• Reading due: Chapters 10 Thornburg• Assignment due: Establish Twitter account• Class Activity: Discuss role of social media, blogging in industryJan. 26: HTML, discuss possible blogging ideas• Reading due: Chapters 4, 11, Thornburg; “Newspapers and the Unthinkable”,Clay Shirky;Search and Destroy • Assignment due: --• Class Activity: Overview of WordPress capabilities, Install WordPress blog;WordPress guest speaker, Chelsea Otakan
Week 3
Jan. 31: What makes a good blog?• Reading due: Foster Kamer: Thoughts on Blogging• Assignment due: Blog proposals, WordPress blog customized• Class Activity: Discuss blog examples, CMS example such as the NevadaAppealFeb. 2: Live blogging• Reading due: Chapter 11; Thornburg• Assignment due: Live blog examples• Class Activity: Story 1 budget meeting (Live blog, due by March 9)
Week 4
Feb. 7: Online ethics• Reading due: Chapter 7; Thornburg• Assignment due: Weekly blogging starts today

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