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Journalism Writing Interview

Journalism Writing Interview

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Hofstra University, School of Communication

Spring 2009 Syllabus JRNL 10 (Journalism Tools)
Assistant Professor Mo Krochmal Department of Journalism, Media Studies, and Public Relations.

Instructor Information
Mo Krochmal, Assistant Professor of Journalism, Media Studies, and Public Relations School of Communication, Hofstra University Website: http://krochmal.synthasite.com Office Telephone: 516 463 4338 Hofstra E-mail: maurice.krochmal@hofstra.edu Personal E-mail: mo.krochmal@gmail.com Office: 147 Dempster Hall Fall Semester Office Hours Monday – 12:00-1:30 Tuesday – 3:00-4:00 Thursday – 5:00-6:00 And, by appointment.


Every student enrolled in this course is responsible for understanding and complying with the information, requirements and policies contained in this syllabus. Please read this syllabus thoroughly so that you are familiar with the format, policies, requirements and any deadlines. You should also have it for reference throughout the rest of the semester.


DISABILITIES If you have any documented disability-related concerns that may have an impact upon your performance in this course, please meet with me within the first two weeks of the semester, so that we can work out the appropriate accommodations. Accommodations are provided on an individualized, as-needed basis after the needs, circumstances and documentation have been evaluated by the appropriate office on campus. For more information on services provided by Hofstra, and for submission of documentation of your disability, please contact: Ann Marie Ferro in 101 Memorial Hall at 516 463-5341 (for physical and/or psychological disabilities) or Dr. Diane Herbert in 202 Roosevelt Hall at 516 4635761 (for learning disabilities and/or ADHD). All disability-related information will be kept confidential. COMMUNICATION Please make sure that you forward your Hofstra e-mail address to your favored e-mail address. The professor may send you class or individual information through your official Hofstra e-mail address. I am available to you in my office, and via text message or other channels. Do not expect immediate answers, but don't be surprised. Courtesy is expected. COURSE DESCRIPTION Journalism Tools is just what it sounds like. It’s about the tools journalists use. Journalists in the multimedia age need a variety of skills and tools to effectively tell their stories to the public and succeed in the profession. This course will introduce students to a number of different tools journalists use to gather information, audio and pictures/video as well as produce the stories for a converged media environment. The course is an elective, but, pending regulatory approval, will become a requirement in the accredited journalism curriculum of the Department of Journalism, Media Studies, and Public Relations. GOALS The journalism program aims to make sure students are exposed to the skills they will need in multimedia journalism early in the journalism curriculum and then go on to master them in later, more-specialized classes. This is an introductory skills class.


OBJECTIVES Students who go through the Journalism Tools class become familiar with a variety of technical methods of enhancing the gathering and disseminating of news stories. The class is not expected to give students a mastery of any one tool, but instead, expose them to a variety of tools available for their use in news production to the highest standards of ethical and responsible journalism. Students learn the basics of gathering information through interviews, covering events, public record searches of computer databases, and other online sources. They will also be introduced to the use of audio recorders, digital still photography and videography and their use in news gathering. The ethics of the uses of these tools will also be emphasized. Students will learn: how to use computers and software for writing and editing copy, how to use HTML in online journalism, how to gather data for information graphics, how to record and edit audio, video and digital images and how to weave these together into articles for publication. Students also learn how to put stories together for the department’s online news outlet, Nassau News (NassauNews.org/news). As part of that, students are required to work at least 1 hour a week in the department’s multimedia newsroom. Tests on lectures and graded exercises using the actual equipment will help assess how well students learn these journalism tools. REQUIRED TEXTS/READINGS Multimedia journalism is a new and growing field. We will use two textbooks to cover the range of tools that this course addresses. Available at the student bookstore, this is your official textbook for this course: "Convergent Journalism, an Introduction." By Stephen Quinn, Vincent F. Filak. 2005, Focal Press Title, ISBN: 978-0-240-80724-9. Available for free download is the second required text at http://www.kcnn.org/resources/journalism_20/, is “Journalism 2.0: How to Survive and Thrive. A digital literacy guide for the information age” Download, print out and put in a binder. In addition to the required readings in the textbooks, you are required to be informed on the news.


GRADING CRITERIA No letter grades will be given for papers, tests, quizzes or projects during the semester. You will receive points for each assignment. At the end of the semester I will add up the points and weight them according to the percentages listed below. Your points then will determine your grade based on this scale: A = 95-100 A- = 90-94 B+ = 88-89 B = 84-87 B- = 80-83 C+ = 78-79 C = 74-77 C- = 70-73 D+ = 68-69 D = 64-67 F = 0-63 Grades are determined by the following formula. Assignments/events 50% NewsHub participation 10% Midterm Exam 5% Final Exam 10% Class attendance, participation, punctuality 25% TOTAL 100% You will in a shift of at least 1 hour per week in the NewsHub working on the assignment desk. This is a proud activity of the JRNL10 class where you learn how to research events in the surrounding community and how to keep an active assignment calendar that serves as a resource for the rest of the school.


ATTENDANCE POLICY Attending class and arriving on time will be important to your grade. There are no grace days; every day counts for attendance. Do not be late. Attendance will be taken at the start of class. If you are late, you will have points deducted. If you tell me a few weeks after a class that you were there, I will be sympathetic, but will not excuse the absence, relying on my attendance records as the official attendance roster. Internship/job interviews, doctor’s appointments, late night at The Chronicle, etc. are not excused absences. You must provide documentation for funerals, sickness when you return to class. If you miss class, you must communicate with me via e-mail that day you missed the class to explain why. ASSIGNMENTS/REQUIREMENTS See Course Schedule for assignments. Assignments not e-mailed to me before the start of class will not be counted. You will have a 1-hour window, from 10 p.m. until 11 p.m. the night before the class, to earn a deadline point. Assignment Work will be assessed on a 4-point scale (0=Fail, 1=Poor, 2=Average, 3=Superior). You must use Microsoft Word for your assignments and you have to save your file as a Word 93-2003 Document -- without formatting such as paragraph indents and "curly" quotes -- and attach it to an e-mail with the Class and Assignment Name in the subject line. Clues for success: Come to class on time, every time. Do your work on deadline, show your work/cite your sources, communicate with your professor and your classmates. Ask questions, get excited/inspired, share your learning.


COURSE SCHEDULE Class 1 -- Introduction: Getting to know each other, overview of the course. The goal of this class is to quickly establish community and a collaborative atmosphere and to get students prepared for the semester. Welcome, Social media/tagging exercise, Review, 1-minute paper.
Reading for Class 2: Textbook: Convergent Journalism Chapter 3, "Words: The Foundation Stone of Journalism;" Chapter 4, "Broadcast Writing and Speaking;" Chapter 5, "Writing for the Web." Web reading: How, and where, to hyperlink within a news story, By Robert Niles, 2008-0215, via Knight Digital Media Center. Writing Assignment for Class 2: Write a 500-word essay that summarizes the readings and will serve as a document that you can refer to in the future.

Class 2 – Writing, the Keystone Drawing on the readings, the students will examine the different types of writing styles required to participate in the different disciplines of journalism.Writing is the cornerstone of journalism, no matter the medium. In this class, we will establish practices and disciplines for turning in work.

Reading for Class 3 Managing Personal Data: What We Have, What We Need Exposed, by Emily Gould (NYTimes, May 2008) Writing for Class 3 Create Your Professional Profile (200 words)

Class 3 – Research, Information Skills Review the reading and discuss the idea of personal information online. Students will expand their use of search techniques and learn how to set up RSS feeds and alerts for text and multimedia. This skill will be tested in a practicum.
Reading: Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics 8

Assignment: Identify 5 keywords and search categories and use this to create your personal information tool – a set of feed subscriptions that you will want to check frequently to keep you informed. Write a 250-word essay to explain your choices and how you will use this information flow cleverly in preparing for the work world and for your personal edification.

Class 4 -- Ethics Students will learn about credibility, attribution, copyright, corrections and other fundamental considerations in using information in ethical journalism. Students will be responsible and accountable for respecting copyright and understanding the risks of plagiarism in the information they use in their journalism, including, but not limited, to: photographs, video, graphics and quotes. Students will identify websites that offer copyright cleared content. This will be tested in practicum.
Reading: Jan. 19, 2008 Poynter Online - New York Times' Policy on Facebook and Other Social Networking Sites Jan. 22, 2008 CNN: Social-networking sites share breaking news Assignment – Students will select a current national news issue and search for articles related to that topic. Having searched, read and recorded the information they found, write a summary article, providing links and citations and locate and provide a copyright-cleared photograph.

Class 5 -- Social Networks in Journalism Students, building on their knowledge of personal information, their "ego surf" inventory and profile, will examine the growth of social networks in journalism, explore the ethics, and the limitations and benefits of using these new tools.
Reading: -- Convergent Journalism, Chapter 2 "The Multimedia Assignment Editor and Producer." -- Journalism 2.0, Chapter 4: "New Reporting Methods" Assignment – Find five journalists on social media networks, identify then and their organization and provide clickable links to their profiles.

Class 6 -- Reporting Students will be introduced to best practices and expectations in reporting. They will practice interview techniques and get practical hints for success.
Reading: Convergent Journalism, Ch. 9, "Editing for Moving Pictures." 9

Microsoft MovieMaker Manual (via Amherst College). MovieMaker Tutorial (video) Assignment -- Conduct an interview with people -- not your friends -- on a current news event. Take notes. Identify the person with name, age, and hometown. Write a short article of 200 words with headline that integrates the quotes you get, and provides proper attribution.

Class 7 – Production Students will learn how to use the MovieMaker software to edit audio, video and create slideshows. This will be the backbone for production in the remainder of the semester. Students will be responsible for being able to edit audio and levels, edit video by frame, combine audio and video and voiceover, create slideshows with narration, create lowerthird graphics and post for publication. Assignment: Students will check out FlipCams to conduct interviews and learn how to interact properly with the Equipment Room and care for equipment.
Read for Next Class: Journalism 2.0, Ch. 7, "Digital Audio and Podcasting;" Convergent Journalism: Chapter 10, "Multimedia Journalism: Putting it all Together."

Production assignment: Interview people about a current news event, collect natural sound and then produce a 1-minute audio story using video from the FlipCam, voice on tape, natural sound. Save it as an MP3 file

Class 8 – Convergence Students will look at the news and journalism environment to get an understanding of the idea of convergence and multimedia in journalism and ideas surrounding that in journalism higher education.


Read for Next Class: J-School: The Right Tools Teach the Right Mindset, by Amy Gahran Journalism training must face up to rapid change, by Andrew Grant-Adamson, Jan. 17, 2007 Assignment: Write a summary of each of the Class 2 chapters in 200 words. Separately, write a reaction and set a goal for your learning in this course that reflects an understanding of your reading, including the two links above.

Class 9 – Content management Content management systems are the backbone of today's journalism enterprises and their functionally is inherently similar. Students will get experience in the concepts of CMS, and learn how to enter stories, how to mark them up, and correct them in these systems.
Assignment: Access the class wiki at http://jrnl10spring09.pbwiki.com/. Post your previous writing in this reverse chronological order (profile, personal ethics, class goal). Make sure you have formatted it correctly, print out your completed work. Read: Convergent Journalism, Ch. 7, " Digital Still Photography." Journalism 2.0, Chapter 8 "Shooting and Managing Digital Photos."

Class 10 – Photography Basics Going beyond Facebook pictures. Students will leave this session with knowledge that will improve their skills in taking journalistically sound still photographs and writing full and complete captions to accompany them.
Assignment: Take at least 72 pictures of a Day in the Life of someone interesting. Print out your photographs, select a dozen pictures that tell the story of this day. Write captions for each picture that are full and complete. Create a slideshow and embed this in your wiki page. Read for Next Class: Journalism 2.0, Chapter 4: "New Reporting Methods."

Class 11 – Computer Assisted Reporting Students will learn how to access and evaluate web 2.0 tools that can enhance productivity and efficiency in reporting.
Assignment: Find 5 different verified sources for a news article using Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Linkedin, or YouTube. List these sources with links. Read: Journalism 2.0, Ch. 6, How to Report News for the Web, 11

Class 12 – Spreadsheets, Databases Spreadsheets can be the backbone of many a reporters' repertoire. Students will learn how to do simple mathematics and analysis using spreadsheets. Students will be expected to master the processes and applications determining percentage and percentage change.
Assignment: Find and evaluate 5 databases from public sources and export data to a spreadsheet for analysis. Read for Next Class: Convergent Journalism , Ch. 6, ”Converged Graphics Across All Media."

Class 13 – Graphics Students will examine the use of graphics in broadcasting, print and online. They will be responsible for understanding the value that graphics can add and appropriate and value-adding use of graphics.

Assignment: Create at least one graphic from your database exercise.

Class 14 – Review for Midterm Class 15 – Midterm Examination Students will have a practical deadline exercise and a written examination.
Read for Next Class: Convergent Journalism, Ch. 8, "Digital Video Photography."

Class 16 – Videography Students will begin to integrate Flipcams into their reporting techniques by looking at how they are use, learning proper techniques for shooting and storing portable video. Assignment: Pairing up, students will read their profiles for video. These will then be uploaded to the wiki sites for archiving. Class 17 -- Simple video editing techniques.

Assignment: Go out on campus, 30 minutes to gather raw interviews from at least five people on a news topic.
Read for Next Class: Chapter 11: Writing Scripts, Doing Voice-overs, Journalism 2.0

Class 18 – Assembling a Video Story Assignment: Edit your videos into sound bites and place them on a timeline in MovieMaker. Be able to save the work and reopen it again. Class 19 -- Writing a simple television VO/SOT Assignment: Write a script for the story that goes with the video bites. Write an article that complements the video, and shows that you can tell a story in text, and in video and that the two pieces are complementary.l;op[0Class 20 – Final Project Students will present a pitch for a final package that will demonstrate their ability to report and produce a converged article that has video and text elements as well as other multimedia. The pitch should show evidence of research and preparation and should have a good chance to be executed. Read for Next Class: Journalism 2.0 Chapter 5: How to Blog Class 21 -- Blogging Assignment: Write a blog post on a news event with links. Write a script for a breaking news event you are reporting live via stream. Read for Next Class: Chapter 3: Tools and Toys, Journalism 2.0

Class 22 – Final Product Rough Draft Assignment: Students should have rough drafts of a 1:30 video package and a 500word article with hyperlinks. Students will present their packages in class for critique and final editing instructions Class 23 -- Podcasting, vlogging, mobilecasting Assignment: Students will collaborate to write a script for a 5-minute newscast for webcast, mobilecast and then produce it.

Class 24 -- How everything comes together in the world of new media. What’s expected of today’s multimedia journalists. Read for Next Class: Journalism 2.0 "Epilogue: Putting It All Together." Class 26 – Students will present their final projects with edits for review and critique. Final Examination Students will upload their final projects into a content management system the take a practical examination and a written test covering the readings and lectures of the semester.


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