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Spring 2009 JR 200 A, B, C 4 Credits Tuesday: Lecture, 4‐5:45, T503 Thursday: Lab, 4‐5:45 (Location, instructors vary. See section on labs for details.) Instructor: Michelle Johnson Office #615, Walker 617‐824‐8964 Michelle_Johnson@emerson.edu Office Hours: Monday, Wednesday 4‐6, Thursday 2‐4, or by appointment
Course Description As the concept of “convergence” continues to take root in journalism more reporters are finding themselves working on teams alongside editors, visual journalists and online producers to craft multimedia packages. This course is designed to give you an understanding of how visual elements can add depth to news coverage. It will focus on issues such as ethical use of images, symbolism, stereotypes and proper application of editorial standards in the selection of images for news. Course Objectives Through lectures, discussion and reading students will gain an understanding of the impact of powerful images and the role that they can play in delivering news. Labs will give students opportunities to learn the basics of producing images and effectively using them to tell stories in print, broadcast and online. Note: This IS NOT a photography or web production course. While students will learn to shoot photos and video and produce multimedia in lab sessions, this exposure will not result in advanced technical expertise in these areas. This course is meant to expose students to the basics of using current multimedia technologies and to explore how they are being used in journalism.
Learning Objectives Upon completion of this course students should understand how to: • Apply professional ethical standards and exercise news judgment in selection of images. • Work effectively with a team that includes editorial and visual journalists to produce multimedia. How this Course is Organized Images of News consists of a weekly lecture/discussion and a lab. The entire class will meet on Tuesdays in the Ansin building, Room 503, for lecture/discussion. On Thursday the class will divide up by section (A, B, C) and meet in different classrooms in the Walker building for lab. The labs are taught by: Michelle Johnson, Brendan Lynch and Bridget Driscoll‐Tendler. Students will rotate between a photo/web lab and a video lab. The video lab meets for four weeks. The photo/web labs meet for a total of eight weeks. The labs will give each student a chance to learn the fundamentals of how to shoot and edit still images and video and how to use various software programs to produce a multimedia story for the web. Lectures will focus on history, technology and ethical issues related to the use of still, moving and graphical images in news. Required Texts and Materials Textbook: Ethics in the Digital Age, Larry Gross, John Katz, Jay Ruby. eBook: Photojournalism, Technology, and Ethics: What’s Right and Wrong Today, Black Star Rising Other readings, material for discussion and assignments will be made available by the instructor online. Please make sure that you have a valid, working EC mail account so that you can access assigned material and complete assigned lab work.
You will also need access to a computer and the Internet to complete assignments. You will be assigned online exercises to complete. You will need to purchase the following for use in lab:
A 1GB Compact Flash Memory Card (CF) for the web/photo lab. Pick one up at the bookstore, CVS or online. For more on buying CF cards: http://journalism.emerson.edu/resources/cfcard.htm Ethics Briefings In an age of terrorist attacks, large‐scale disasters and camera‐phone wielding “citizen journalists,” professional journalists are sometimes called upon to make quick decisions about using controversial images. And, they’re required to make those calls under tremendous deadline pressure. It’s not uncommon for discussions to focus on the impact of running an image on all parties involved, from the readers/viewers to the subjects shown in the images. To prepare you to participate in those types of discussions someday in the newsroom, we will engage in a series of “ethics briefings” throughout the semester. You will be assigned to a team that will evaluate and discuss images related to a controversial case. Members of each group will be selected to play the roles of “stakeholders” in the case and present their arguments to the class. Each individual in the group will be assigned to write a short discussion briefing memo that identifies all of the stakeholders and their assigned stakeholder’s perspective on the use of the image(s).
This will be graded as a team AND individual assignment. You will receive additional details about the ethics briefings in a separate handout. Final Project Each student will produce a multimedia project that demonstrates what you have learned in this class. This piece will be a news or feature story of your choice, however, the topic and focus will be subject to the approval of the instructor. You will be required to write a focus statement and complete a worksheet that will help you to clarify your choice of interactive elements to include in the piece. Your piece will be a hard news or feature story, presented in a web format. It should be thoroughly researched, well‐written, well‐photographed or filmed and utilize appropriate images and graphics. Topics that are not journalistic will be rejected. Your piece should include at least two of the interactive elements that you will learn to produce in lab: a slideshow, video, audio, timeline, data map or interactive game/quiz. You will also be required to do a five‐minute presentation outlining how you produced your project. You should discuss: • How you came up with your story. • Why you chose the medium (video, slideshow, web site) • Who you interviewed and resources that you used to do research. • What you learned from the project. We’ll try to leave time for questions after each presentation. You will receive a separate handout with detailed guidelines for the final project. Midterm There will be a mid‐term exam based on the reading and lectures. However, material presented by guest speakers will also be fair game. Quiz There will be one unannounced quiz in the second half of the semester. 4
Grading Your final grade will be based on the following: Lab – 30% Quiz, assignments ‐ Ethics briefings, homework ‐ 20% Midterm – 20% Final Project – 20% Class participation, attendance – 10% Grading Policy A (90‐100) – Excellent work that met or exceeded the requirements of the assignment. Reflects solid research, news judgment, accuracy, attribution, critical thinking. Assignment could be published or aired with minor editing. B (80‐85) – Good work with one or two minor grammatical or style errors. Well‐ documented but may contain problem with news judgment, attribution, balance or organization. Assignment could be published or aired with editing. C (65‐70) – Average work. Failed to meet most of the requirements of the assignment. Shows lack of news judgment, accuracy, balance, etc. Assignment not good enough to be published or aired. D (55‐60), F (0‐55) – Below average work that shows little or no understanding of the requirements of the assignment, numerous grammatical, style errors, major factual errors. Course Policies • No laptop use during class. No internet browsing, e‐mailing, text messaging or other unassigned online activity during lecture or labs. • Please turn off your cell phone before class. • Spelling, style and grammar count! When you submit a written assignment points will be deducted for spelling and grammatical errors.
• JR 200 Johnson Name of Assignment (Example: Ethics Briefing) Your Name Text double spaced. From time to time you will be called on to critique the work of your classmates or debate issues. There may be times when you disagree. Rudeness and disrespectful behavior will not be tolerated. Late Assignments Deadlines are a key concept in journalism. If you miss a deadline in the real world you might lose your job. If you miss a deadline in this class it will affect your final grade. Homework and other assignments are due when I collect them in class. If you turn in an assignment after class, your assignment will drop one letter grade if it is turned in within 2 hours; two letter grades within 4 hours or more. Assignments later than 24 hours will not be accepted unless I am aware of your absence in advance. Attendance Attendance for this course is simply not optional. You are expected to be in class each week, on time. Roll will be taken in both lectures and lab. A very strict attendance policy has been set for the labs. The material covered in the labs is key to completion of the final project and makeups are nearly impossible. If you have an unexcused absence from lab points will be deducted from your final grade. Multiple unexcused absences will affect your final grade. If you miss more than three classes you will not receive credit for this course. If you have an illness or emergency which can be documented, your absence will be excused. However, you will be expected to complete any assignments that you missed. Missed assignments are due by the next class. All assignments should be typed, double spaced and formatted as follows:
Weather‐related Cancellations If class is cancelled due to inclement weather, assignments are due the next class. Lab Rotation Schedule Sections A‐C Friday, 2‐3:45 Instructor 1: Michelle Johnson, web, Walker, 638 Instructor 2: Bridget Driscoll‐Tendler, video, Walker, 628 Instructor 3: Brendan Lynch, web, Walker, 634
Week Date 1 1/22 2 1/29 3 2/5 4 2/12 Sections B, C Rotate 5 2/19 6 2/26 7 3/5 8 3/12 9 3/19 Sections A, C Rotate 10 3/26 11 4/2 12 13 14 4/9 4/16 4/23 Section A Web (Johnson) W638 Section B Video (Driscoll-Tendler) W628 Section C Web (Lynch) W634
Web (Lynch) W634 No class. Spring break
Video (Driscoll-Tendler) W628
Video (Driscoll-Tendler) W628
Web (Johnson) W638
Work on final projects
Work on final projects
Work on final projects
Lecture/Lab Schedule Week 1 Jan. 20 ‐ Course Introduction & Overview Expectations, preview of upcoming lectures, labs and course requirements. Jan. 22 ‐ Labs Begin Note: Students taking the photo/web lab, please bring your Compact Flash card. Week 2 Jan. 27 ‐ A Brief History of Visual Communication An overview of the earliest forms of visual communication, early photography, symbolism and theory. Discuss Ethics Briefings, team assignments. Homework 1. Reading: Visual Journalism, Paul Lester, Chapters 1‐2 (Note: Handouts and online reading assignment will be posted on the course web site: blog.emerson.edu/JR200) 2. Photojournalism, Technology, and Ethics: What’s Right and Wrong Today, Black Star Rising, Chapters 1‐2 (Download from course web site) 3. Online Interactive Assignment: Go to newsu.org and sign up for an account. (It’s free!) Enroll in and complete the course: “The Language of the Image” When you have completed the course, fill out the course report form and email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org. (See NewsU handout for details.) Jan. 29 ‐ Lab
Week 3 Feb. 3 ‐ News Judgment & Photojournalism How to select photos to tell stories visually, journalistically. Ethics Briefing I Homework: Log on to Newsu.org. Enroll in and complete the courses: “Community Service Photojournalism: Lessons from a Contest (2005 AND 2006).” Send “Course Reports” for both courses when you finish AND select one photo, and write a 400‐word analysis of the photo. Discuss usage of light, perspective, lens, etc. Explain what drew you to the photograph and what makes it successful. Print out a copy of the photo and your essay and turn them in. Reading: 1. “Telling Stories with Pictures,” by Kenneth Kobre. (Handout, posted online: blog.emerson.edu/JR200) 2. Ethics in the Digital Age: Introduction, Chapter I Feb. 5 ‐ Lab Week 4 Feb. 10 ‐ Handling Gruesome Images How do you make decisions about running a particularly graphic video clip or photograph? Is once enough, or is it OK to run a clip/photo multiple times? Guidelines for handling sensitive images. Ethics Briefing II Reading: (Note: these links will be posted on the course web site: blog.emerson.edu/JR200) 1. The Importance of Disturbing Images by Pat Blue http://www.poynter.org/content/content_view.asp?id=6254 2. The Violence Network http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2009/01/18/the_ violence_network/ 9
3. RTNDA Guidelines on Graphic Images http://www.rtnda.org/pages/media_items/guidelines‐for‐graphic‐ content155.php?g=37?id=155 4. Ethics in the Digital Age, chapters 3,4 Feb. 12 ‐ Lab Week 5 Feb. 17 – NO CLASS DUE TO HOLIDAY Feb. 19 – Lab (NOTE: SOME LAB SECTIONS ROTATE. See schedule above.) Week 6 Feb. 24 ‐ Ethics and Privacy Is it OK to photograph someone in their backyard? Is it OK to lie to get a photo? How far can or should you go to get the shot? Ethics Briefing III Discuss final project worksheet. Reading: 1. Photojournalism: An Ethical Approach by Paul Lester, ch. 5 (Download pdf from course web site.) 2. Respecting Privacy Guidelines by Bob Steele http://www.poynter.org/content/content_view.asp?id=5645 (Note: Links are posted on course web site.) 3. Ask These 10 Questions to Make Good Ethical Decisions, by Bob Steele http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=36&aid=4346 4. Complete the Final Project Worksheet. List your focus statement and other required information on this form. (Note: Form will be posted online.) Due March 3. Midterm Exam Review (posted online) Feb. 26 – Lab 10
Week 7 March 3 ‐ MIDTERM EXAM Homework due: Final Project Worksheet March 5 ‐ Lab Week 8 March 10, 12 – NO CLASSES SPRING BREAK Week 9 March 17 – Symbolism & Stereotypes How to steer clear of running images that hurt, defame or can lead to a lawsuit. What are the laws? What can you be sued for? Ethics Briefing IV Reading: 1. Talking Race over a Slice of Watermelon http://poynteronline.org/column.asp?id=58&aid=42722 2. “Images & Stereotypes” (download Word doc) http://commfaculty.fullerton.edu/lester/abacon/pjdis.html March 19 – Lab Week 10 March 24 ‐ Seeing and Believing Fakery and photo manipulation in the digital age. Ethics Briefing V Reading: 1. Photojournalism, Technology, and Ethics: What’s Right and Wrong Today, Black Star Rising, Chapters 3‐4. 2. RTNDA/NPPA Guidelines for Digital Manipulation http://www.rtnda.org/pages/media_items/guidelines‐for‐digital‐ manipulation150.php 11
3. Phototruth or Photofiction? by Thomas Wheeler, Chapters 1, 2 (Download pdf online.) March 26 – Lab (LAST LAB ROTATION) Week 11 March 31 – Multimedia News, Informational Graphics Graphics can be a story themselves or serve as substitutes for photographic images or video. Guidelines for proper usage, trends in infographics. How to select elements for an online news story. Ethics briefing VI April 2 ‐ Lab Week 12 April 7 – Copyright and captioning Is it OK to use photos from the Internet? Is it OK to use part of an image without credit? Avoiding legal pitfalls, understanding copyright law. Ethics briefing VII Reading: 1. Copyright FAQ (Sections A, B, C) http://fairuse.stanford.edu/Copyright_and_Fair_Use_Overview/cha pter0/index.html 2. 10 Big Myths About Copyright Explained by Brad Templeton http://www.templetons.com/brad/copymyths.html 3. Linking Rights by Brad Templeton http://www.templetons.com/brad/linkright.html 4. Hot Tips for Writing Photo Captions by Kenneth Irby http://poynter.org/content/content_view.asp?id=4355 5. Ethics in the Digital Age, Chapter 7 12
April 9 – Lab Week 13 April 21 ‐ Guest Speaker, TBA April 23 – Last Lab (Work on Final Projects Week 14 April 28 – Final Project Presentations I (Last Class) The remainder of the presentations will take place during our scheduled final exam time on May 5. Final Exam Day May 5 ‐ Final project presentations II. Scheduled exam time, Monday, May 5. Plagiarism and Fabrication (Excerpted from the Academic Policy Committee and approved by the Faculty Assembly May, 1983, and updated and approved by Faculty Assembly, October 2005.) “Plagiarism is the use of the words and ideas of another as if they were oneʹs own and without acknowledgment of their source. Plagiarism is stealing, and constitutes a serious offense against any ethical code, be it scholastic, artistic, or professional. Plagiarism can be committed intentionally, or it can happen inadvertently, due to careless note‐taking, or to a lack of knowledge of the conventions by which sources are credited, or even because of a misunderstanding on what constitutes original thinking. Plagiarism is unethical in any context.” (Excerpted from the Department of Journalism’s statement.) There is nothing more central to the credibility of journalism and to the trust of readers, listeners and viewers than the implicit promise that every journalist makes to the public that the information provided is accurate, original and truthful. Journalists who fabricate stories or portions of them, or who steal the work of others and pass it off as their own, undermine not only their careers, but the careers of other journalists, the public’s trust in the Fourth Estate and the credibility of the entire profession. This department will not tolerate plagiarism 13
or fabrication — any student caught doing either will automatically fail and will face possible suspension from the college. Ignorance is not a defense when it comes to plagiarism, fabrication and/or cheating. If you have a question about attribution, ask. Disability Statement If you have a disability that may impact your performance in this class, please register with the Disability Services Coordinator so that you can work together to develop methods of addressing needed accommodations.