Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Multi-media projects are ready

Here are the students' final multi-media projects. They worked in groups of six in telling a single story with the many tools available to them. Some had video production experience, some didn't. Some had photojournalism experience, some didn't. In all, they stretched their experiences to include a format they hadn't worked with in a professional setting with professional standards.

Here they are:

Larimer County's experience with West Nile

Homeless in Fort Collins

The GLBT experience at CSU post-Matthew Shepard

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Schedule Nov. 6 through Nov. 15

Tuesday, Nov. 6

Web design basics PowerPoint
Article on basic design from OJR
Topics for multi-media project finalized
Begin reporting and site design planning
Read article on multi-media storytelling from OJR

Thursday, Nov. 8

Bring finished plan to class for discussion and revision
Begin reporting
Read "Tips for shooting better online video" from OJR

Tuesday, Nov. 13

Check in with group in classroom
Workday to report on multi-media assignments

Thursday, Nov. 15

Check in with group in classroom
Workday to report on multi-media assignments

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Reporting assignments completed

The students worked on these packages in teams of three. The focus of the assignment was to practice gathering information from the Web and presenting it in a way that would be consistent with Web standards. This was not to be a complicated or technically sophisticated multimedia presentation.

For some, it was a re-introduction to reporting basics. For others, it was a more of a refresher course.

The teams that generally mixed students from the various concentrations in the journalism department. This is a precursor to the more complex multimedia storytelling assignment that will take up most of the last six weeks of the course.

Here are the packages:

State of the C-State
Fighting a Killer: CSU takes on tuberculosis
CSU anticipates news computer science building
The word on the street
America's best place to live?
Creativity comes alive on the streets

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Schedule Oct. 23 through Nov. 1

Standards, Law and Ethics for Online Media

Tuesday, Oct. 23
Report from Online News Association conference in Toronto -- Jeff
Read Chapter 14 in text "Online Standards versus Journalistic Standards"
Introduce Web site critiques "reporting" assignment
Show and Tell of First Reporting Assignment

Thursday, Oct. 25
Guest speaker: Wendy Norris, founder Colorado Confidential Web site, Web editor, blogger and reporter.
Read Chapter 15 in text "Legal Issues Online and Offline"

Tuesday, Oct. 30
Read Chapter 16 in text "Ethics in Cyberland"
Quiz over Chapters 14-16
Introduce Multi-media reporting assignment
Blog Replacement activity: Attend Roger Ogden's lecture at 5 p.m. in North Ballroom of the LSC. Check in with me and get credit for a blog post.

Thursday, Nov. 1
Guest speaker: Mathmatician and journalist Darryl Stafford, CHSPA Adviser of the Year speaks on reporting and writing about statistics
In-class assignment on reporting statistics online
Read "Sacramento journalists use multimedia to bring statistics to life" from OJR
Read "Free Web-based production tools help students invigorate online news projects" from OJR

Monday, September 17, 2007

Schedule Sept. 18 through Oct. 18

Reporting and Writing for Online Media

Tuesday, Sept. 18
Read and Review Chapter 3 "Generating and Focusing Story Ideas"
Elements of a Digital Story
Online News and Games
Lab Assignment: Developing Story Ideas for first reporting project

Thursday, Sept. 20
Read and Review Chapter 4 "Web Resources and Databases"
Lab Assignment: Focus further and reporting project and begin to develop both online sources and other sources

Tuesday, Sept. 25
Read and Review Chapter 5 "Sources and Interviewing"
Lab: Begin to develop questions and set up interviews for reporting project
Further develop other elements of first reporting projects

Thursday, Sept. 27
Work day for project teams
Final plans for reporting projects due

Tuesday, Oct. 2
Read and Review Chapter 6 "Online Writing Styles"
Lab: In-class writing assignment

Thursday, Oct. 4
Read and Review Chapter 7 "Hooking and Keeping Readers"

Tuesday, Oct. 9
Read and Review Chapter 8 "Revving up Your Writing"
Work individually and in groups on reporting project stories

Thursday, Oct. 11
Journalism Day at CSU

Tuesday, Oct. 16
Read and Review Chapter 9 "The Last Minute(s)"
Lab: Work day on reporting projects

Thursday, Oct. 18
Fine tune stories and other information for reporting projects, which are due at 11:40 a.m.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Class schedule through Sept. 13

Tuesday, Aug. 28

“State of the News Media 2007” Summary PowerPoint
Finish Viewing “News War” and Discuss

Thursday, Aug. 30

Before class: Read articles on convergence/Discuss/Quiz?
" 'New news' retrospective: Is online news reaching its potential?"

“Teaching the Future of Journalism”

"Go to the Web, Young Journalist"

“Hyper-Local Hero” by Chuck Salter

“Bloggers and Citizen Journalists” Summary PowerPoint

Tuesday, Sept. 4

Before class: Read/Discuss articles on Citizen Journalism/Blogs
“Your Guide to Citizen Journalism”

“The 11 Layers of Citizen Journalism”

"Just What is a Blog Anyway?"

“Amateur Hour: Journalism without Journalists” by Nicholas Lemann


“Journalistic Blogging” Summary PowerPoint

Begin Blogging after class

Thursday, Sept. 6

Review first blogging assignments/edit

Read and Discuss articles about Gannett Information Center concept:
From inside Gannett

From outside Gannett

Tuesday, Sept. 11

Road Trip to the Fort Collins Coloradoan,1300 Riverside Avenue
(If you need a ride, a couple of us will meet at the Collegian at 9:30 to carpool)

Meet with Local Editor Miles Blumhardt, reporter Jason Kosena and others to talk about the Gannett Information Center concept

Go to the front entrance and tell them you're with the CSU Online News and Journalism class, and they'll take you where you need to go.

Thursday, Sept. 13

Section Quiz about Convergence, Citizen Journalism and Blogs

Blogs up and running

Seventeen of the 18 students in this class have written their introductory posts for the regular blog requirement. The students will begin twice-a-week journalistic blogging on a variety of topics beginning Sept. 4.

Here are the students (click on the name to access the blog):

Ben Aaker, Mike Albert, Sarah Bauer, Maggie Canty, Jeff Dillon, Nick Hubel, Melanie Huntrods, Brandon Lowrey, Tara Marquis, Ted Mast, Matt Pucak, Justin Roush, Sean Star, Candace Taylor, Chad Taylor, Laura Waldchen and David Welch.

Also, check out Aaron Rognstad and Marcella Burg.

If you're in the class, I later will outline more detailed requirements for your regular posts.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Assignment for Thursday, Aug. 23

Please read the following before class on Thursday:
  1. Preface to Online Journalism by Richard Craig.
  2. Chapter 1, “Why is Online Journalism Different, and Why Should You Care?” Online Journalism text.
  3. Article: "How newspapers can thrive on the World Wide Web" by Robin Miller

Be wary of a potential quiz on Thursday.
Don’t fall behind in readings, as your text will be supplemented by articles.

Thursday’s class:
Review of reading (Quiz?) and discussion
Begin viewing PBS’ “News War, Part III” and discussion

Monday, August 13, 2007


About this course

In this class, you will become better researchers, writers and editors in an online world, no matter the discipline, be it public relations or news reporting. It will help you write clearly, concisely, conversationally and creatively for the World Wide Web. The focus is on quality reporting, writing and editing, not computer skills.

Original reporting and writing are required for this class. You can do well in this class even if you, at the beginning of the course, know nothing about Web design. Online Web packages generally are produced by teams comprised of people with many different skills.

By the end of the semester, you'll have a better understanding of the challenges facing both online and traditional journalism today, mostly because:
  • You'll have created your own twice-weekly blog;
  • You'll have published a few stories for the Web, some individually, and some as part of a group;
  • You'll have read about and discussed the changing face of journalism and the role that online media have had in that change; and
  • You'll have produced one multi-media package as part of a team.
In short, you'll leave this class not only with the skills considered vital in today's communication fields, but also a critical understanding of how communicators in the converging new media can best serve society.


Students who complete this course should be able to:
  • Tell interesting stories and convey factual information more effectively over the Internet;
  • Write in a style appropriate for online media, in blogs, in online-only stories, and in multi-media news or public relations packages;
  • Search efficiently for credible information, documents and statistics on the Internet;
  • Think critically about issues involving online journalism;
  • Work with a team that plans, designs and creates a news site on the Web; and
  • Work in a newsroom setting, complete with a commitment to accuracy, fairness, diversity, creativity and meeting deadlines.

Required books:
  • Craig, Richard (2005) Online Journalism: Reporting, Writing and Editing for New Media. Thomsen/Wadsworth.
  • Associated Press Stylebook, any edition published 2003 or after.
I will be summarizing important points from The Elements on Online Journalism by Rey Rosales, but if you want to purchase this text as backup, you may. It is not required, however.

The Work

  • Twice-Weekly Blog Posts
Beginning and after the Sept. 4 class, you will be required to set up and maintain your own blog for the duration of the course. Your blog must have a specific focus (from the general areas of politics, education, environment, entertainment and sports, pick a more specific topic, such as CSU football, the Presidential race, global warming, etc.). You will post twice every week, once between every class.

Each post must link to and comment on at least one pertinent and recent Web page, Web site, or specific blog post by another author. Posts don't need to be long (in fact, they'll be better if they aren't), and they must make a point.

Blogs will be graded on content, mechanics, and the quality and relevance of the links. I will be writing a blog along with you, and you can check Browne Knows for examples.
  • Reporting Projects/PR Campaigns
You will work in a news team of 4-5 students to produce two reporting projects/public relations campaigns during the middle portion of the class. I will provide more details on these assignments as they approach. One will be a local story, and the other will be a national or international topic.
  • Section and Reading Quizzes
If you are assigned a reading, you may be quizzed over the content of that reading, whether it's a textbook chapter or a series of articles. Also, we'll have an occasional "section" quiz, in which I will ask you to distill information from lectures, articles and readings in order to determine if you understand the key concepts of online news and journalism.
  • Attendance and Participation
Regular attendance and active participation is expected -- this includes contributing comments and questions, respecting the views of others, offering constructive critiques of other students' work, and sharing skills and knowledge with peers.
Unexcused absences will negatively affect your final grade. Excused absences involve documented personal or family illness. You are responsible for any missed material. Also, if you miss a graded exercise or quiz, a zero will be recorded.
Also, you may earn extra credit by attending, participating in and reporting to the class about a couple of events:
    • A Diversity Conference media panel, "Racism in the Media: A Panel Discussion about Fallen Shock-Jock Don Imus," sponsored by Student Media, scheduled for Sept. 26 in the LSC, Room 230, 1 to 2 p.m.; or
    • Journalism Day at CSU, scheduled for Oct. 11, 2007. We will not have class that day.
  • Multi-Media News/PR Site Project
This is the class' culiminating activity, and it will combine the varied skills of students in creating a multi-media news or public relations site about an issue in the Fort Collins community.


Late assignments will not be accepted. Period. If an illness or personal emergency prevents you from completing an assignment on time, advanced notice and written documentation are required.

Odds and Ends
  • You need a USB Jump Drive or other portable storage unit of at least 512 MB for this class. Bring it with you every day. Keep backup copies of all your work on it, even work that you have already published online.
  • Please turn off your cell phones in class.
  • Check your e-mail and this blog regularly. I communicate electronically with the class at times.
  • You may not "double-dip," or use the reporting, writing or design work in this class for another class, or vice versa, unless cleared with me and the other instructor in advance.
  • You are encouraged to have your work published in traditional media (such as The Rocky Mountain Collegian, College Avenue or The Fort Collins Coloradoan) or on professional Web sites in addition to publishing work for this class. If you can get a piece published in a traditional medium, you will earn extra credit.
  • Cheating in any way (plagiarism, unauthorized collaboration, falsification, cheating on a quiz) will result in an F for the course, and may result in further ramifications. CSU's policy on academic integrity is stated in the general catalog.
  • Beware of violating copyright laws and the No Electronic Theft Act, which allows you to link to other documents, but you may not use information from other sites in your own pieces without crediting the sources, just as you would in print pieces. You also may not grab graphics and photos from other sites without prior approval. Check the copyright policies when you take graphics from sites that offer free materials.

Grades will be assigned on a point basis for each assignment or quiz, then averaged over the course of the semester: 60-69=D; 70-79=C; 80-89=B; 90-100=A. I will assign plusses and minuses, e.g., 60-62-D-minus; 67-69=D-plus.

Total points (about 800 for the semester) will look something like this:
  • Blogs 25 x 6 points each = 150 points.
  • Reporting projects 2 x 100 points each = 200 points.
  • Section and Reading Quizzes = 190 points.
  • Attendance and participation 30 classes x 2 points each = 60 points.
  • Multi-media presentation = 1 x 200 points = 200 points
Course Schedule

What follows is a general schedule for the course. Please subscribe to this blog or just check in regularly for specific assignments, deadlines, etc. These are not line-in-the-sand dates regarding content for discussion, as we will re-visit previously introduced topics throughout the course.

Aug. 21 through Sept. 13
Convergence, Citizen Journalism, and the Business of Online Journalism

Sept. 18 through Oct. 18
Reporting and Writing for Online Media

Oct. 23 through Nov. 1
Standards, Law and Ethics for Online Media

Nov. 6 through Nov. 15
Editing for Online Media

Nov. 27 through Dec. 6
Multi-Media Presentation

Dec. 11
Final Exam Period (11:20 a.m. to 1:20 p.m.)