REPORTING FOR THE WEB

JRN305 - Spring 2010 Prof. Brett Orzechowski 203.889.8074 bjorzechowski@quinnpiac.edu (Outside of class meetings available upon request at least 48 hours in advance.)

Purpose of the Course: Students will be able to help define and enhance the future of journalism and further their development as aspiring journalists by mastering an assortment of multimedia tools. They will also complete the course with a full understanding of the media industry's rapidly changing landscape. Required Texts, Resources, Supplies, & Materials: There is no required text for this class. If editing suite time is needed to complete assignments, please see the professor. At the beginning of the semester, each student should e-mail the professor and inform him of which, if any, video and audio editing programs they have in order to complete out-of-class assignments. Accommodations can and will be made for all students on a need basis. Course Objectives: Students will complete the class with a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of multimedia reporting and journalism. Students will be graded on their complete body of work. Overall, everything produced will reflect what each student comprehends and masters over the course of the semester. Course Schedule: JRN305A - Tuesday JRN305B - Thursday Tuesday, January 19/Thursday, January 21 Blogging preparation: Each student should choose and be prepared to explain why at least two online media outlets are effective in their reporting. Explanation should focus on the outlet's tools, content quality, audience and what they offer visitors. Assignment: Develop a blog for a niche audience. Incorporate basic themes, design and write at least two blog entries - one explaining the purpose; one explaining what drove the journalist to create this blog. Both entries must be written with elements of AP style and must be no longer than 250 words each. The entries should include at least three hyperlinks to other Web content. Tuesday, January 26/Thursday, January 28 Exercises in brevity preparation: Students should identify two media outlets that are comparable to their blog for

a niche audience. Be prepared to discuss how these outlets relate and differentiate from your blog. Assignment: Add a blog post analyzing a topic from your niche audience. The post must include two well-written concise paragraphs with three hyperlinks each. The analysis should also include two forms of rich media that tie into the analysis of the topic. Tuesday, February 2/Thursday, February 4 Visual components preparation: Identify two videos that tell complete, compelling stories from any media outlet. One video must be one minute or less. The other must be three minutes or more. Be prepared to discuss why you chose each video. Assignment: Incorporate two best practices of visual multimedia journalism that relate to your audience and explain in two paragraphs each why the content would add value to your niche audience. Two hyperlinks are required for each explanation. Tuesday, February 9/Thursday, February 11 Video preparation: Be prepared to identify what makes good video storytelling. An in-class graded exercise will follow. Assignment: Write and produce one (1) two-minute video for an aspect of your niche audience. Be creative. Tell a story. Interview at least two people. Take chances. Tuesday, February 16/Thursday, February 18 Photos/Images preparation: Be prepared to identify what makes a good photo. An in-class graded exercise will follow. Assignment: Produce one (1) two-minute soundslide presentation for an aspect of your niche audience. Be creative. Tell a story. Interview at least two people. Take chances. Tuesday, February 23/Thursday, February 25 Audio/Podcast preparation: Be prepared to identify what makes good audio storytelling. An in-class graded exercise will follow. Assignment: Write and produce one (1) two-minute podcast for an aspect of your niche audience. Be creative. Tell a story. Interview at least two people. Take chances. Tuesday, March 2/Thursday, March 4 Mid-Term: The multimedia interview Tuesday, March 9/Thursday, March 11 No Class Spring Break

Tuesday, March 16/Thursday, March 18 Social Media/Maps/distribution preparation: Be prepared to discuss how social media benefits reporting. An in-class graded exercise will follow. Assignment: Incorporate one open-source tool that will benefit your niche audience. Include two well-written paragraphs with three hyperlinks each (six total) discussing why this will benefit your audience. Also, interview two people and include two quotes - one from a citizen, one from an expert - that help explain the purpose of your open-source tool. Tuesday, March 23/Thursday, March 25 Widgets/APPs preparation: Identify two widgets or applications that will add depth to your overall semester's work. Be prepared to discuss how they will benefit your niche audience. Assignment: Select one of the following: 1) Link to the widget or app and use it as a visual to support your reporting. You can also link to any story on the widget or app and explain how the tool helps your reporting/society/etc. 2) Interview the creator of the widget or the app and ask them why they did so and what role does the tool play. (Only one source needed, two is preferred). 3) Create your own app or widget and explain what function the tool serves. Do not use first person. Explain the social situation - cause and effect style. Tuesday, March 30/Thursday, April 1 Documents/Timeline/Streaming preparation: Find one public document through original reporting and be prepared to pinpoint the three most important components of the document. An in-class graded exercise will follow. Assignment: Select one of the following: 1) Find one document and explain why it add depths to your presentation. Interview two people - one citizen and one expert - regarding the contents of the document. 2) Create one interactive timeline with Dipity - a good practice of explanatory journalism. 3) Stream one three-minute segment live and explain what value this adds to your audience in a written blog entry. Must be presented next class. Tuesday, April 6/Thursday, April 8 Database preparation: Go to the Texas Tribune (www.texastribune.org) and be prepared to analyze three aspects of their Web site that add depth to their reporting. An in-class graded exercise will follow. Please e-mail instructor concept for final presentation by this class. Assignment: Conduct your own data research through polls or find data that can be embedded into your presentation. Discuss the results in three well-written paragraphs and hyperlink to three (3) news stories that strengthen your case and two (2) that dispute your findings.

Tuesday, April 13/Thursday, April 15 Open source/Breaking News preparation: Identify three open-source tools that will add depth to your overall semester's work. Be prepared to discuss how they will benefit your niche audience. Assignment: Selection for Mobile Journalism exercise. Each student will select an assignment and work with a team for this out-of-class exercise. Simply go to the chosen location and tell a story with multimedia components. You will work in teams and each student will produce a multimedia component. More guidelines will be discussed in class. Tuesday, April 20/Thursday, April 22 Mobile Journalism preparation: Bring your "A" game. Assignment: Work toward final. Tuesday, April 27/Thursday, April 29 Open Date Each student is required to meet with the instructor to discuss any concerns or needs to fulfill their final requirement. A meeting on this date is mandatory and a calendar will be posted. Grading System: A 93-100 A- 90-92 B+ 87-89 B 83-86 B- 80-82 C+ 77-79 C 73-76 C- 70-72 D 60-69 F 0-59 Course Policies: Peer Review Students are asked to be constructive in their criticism and treat peers the same way they expect to be treated. Peer review is essential not only to advance the conversation but for others to learn in a cooperative environment. Reviews serve as exercises to help one another, voice views, and enhance the learning experience. Attendance A student can miss one class a semester and not be penalized. Any class missed after that without a medical/reasonable excuse lowers their class grade by a full letter.

Extra Credit Opportunities for students will be discussed at the beginning of the semester. Course Breakdown: 1) Body of work/blog/content/final - 40 percent 2) Participation/Attendance - 30 percent 3) Weekly mastery - 20 percent 4) Midterm - 10 percent
Note: Syllabus subject to change