Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Final Projects are done!

After a long and arduous semester, the students in JTC 326 (Online Writing and Journalism) have completed their collaborative multimedia projects.

One team focused on Fort Zed, a sustainable energy partnership between CSU and Fort Collins.

Another team wrote and recorded stories about how members of the Fort Collins community volunteer to help the world.

A third team took a pro-active public relations approach in warning readers about a campaign to fight melanoma.

And the final team wrote and produced story's about a CSU employee's fight against lymphoma.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Welcome summer students!

Here's a four-minute audio package created to welcome students in both versions of JTC 326 to the class.

Just as a short reminder, there's a traditional classroom version of the class during the four-week summer session (May 18 through June 12). That's Section 001.

There's also an online version of the course during the final eight weeks of summer (June 15 through August 7. That's section 801.

See you soon.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A classic piece from "The Daily Show" on "The New Journalism"

Circa March 2005, Rob Corddry as Dino Ironbody blogs all over himself.

Somebody get a towel.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
$ecret$ of New Journali$m $ucce$$
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic CrisisPolitical Humor

PBS story highlights online journalists' role in new media landscape

A story aired last week on Public Broadcasting System's "NewsHour" that highlighted both the decreasing number of reporters working for newspapers and how their role is being taken up by online-only reporters.

"As Newspapers Cut Back, Online Reporters Step In," reported by Jeffrey Brown (clearly brilliant, despite the misspelling of his last name), aired April 13.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The stretch run: class schedule weeks 10-16

Longer Podcasts, Standards, Law, and Ethics
Monday, March 30
Class: “Radio News Packages versus Online Audio News Packages"
Guest Instructor, Mario Caballero, KCSU-FM and Student Media
Lab: Audio Script Writing/Natural Sound Gathering/Package Planning

Wednesday, April 2
Class: Introduction to first Web site critique (legacy news sites vs. online only sites) due 4/15
Lab: Second audio project editing work

Monday, April 6
No class scheduled Lab open to work on audio editing, if needed

Wednesday, April 8
Class: “Legal and Ethical Issues Online”
Readings for class: "Diversity at Work: Rewriting the American Story" by Tom Huang
"RTNDA Survey: Women, Minorities Progress in TV Newsrooms" by Jill Geisler
"Legal and business advice for online publishers and bloggers" by Kim Pearson
Lab: Second audio project editing
Project is due before class April 13, posted on or linked from blog site

Multi-media Reporting and Design
Monday, April 13
Class: Introduction to in-depth cooperative “Multi-Media Reporting” and Planning Guide
Reading for class: Chapters 9, 10 and 11 from Briggs and "Multi-media Storytelling" by Jane Stevens
Lab : Form teams and brainstorm assignment

Wednesday, April 15
First Web site critique due
Story idea due
Readings for class: "Video Techniques" and "Standups and Voice-overs"

Monday, April 20
Class: “Basic Online Design Usability” with guest instructor Mike Gaede
Group outline/Package Planning Guide due

Wednesday, April 22
Introduction to second Web site critique assignment (multimedia packages) due 4/29
Newsroom: Groups meet after Web site critique assignment
Readings for class: "Google Map Basics" by Jerry Monti
"Map Mashup Resources" by Jerry Monti
"Using Spreadsheet Data in Google Maps and Google Earth" by Jerry Monti
Lab: Work on critique and/or group project

Monday, April 27
Class: Newsroom (Your group must meet at 1 p.m.)
Lab: Work on critique and/or group project

Wednesday, April 29
Second Web site critique due Class: Newsroom (Your group must meet at 1 p.m.)

Monday, May 4
Class: Newsroom (Your group must meet at 1 p.m.)
Class: Drafts of all materials due to instructor (page designs, written, video, audio, graphics, etc.) at the beginning of the class (1 p.m.)

Wednesday, May 6
Class: Newsroom (Your group must meet at 1 p.m.)
Presentations of multi-media projects: Q&A
Evaluations of class, peers and self

Each group leader must meet with instructor to review work before it is posted to Web.

All Multi-Media projects must be posted to the Web BEFORE the beginning of the final exam period on May 14 at 1:30 p.m.

Thursday, May 14, at 1:30 p.m.
to 3:30 p.m.
Open lab to work on final project

Monday, March 16, 2009

Seattle P-I goes Web only

The dominoes continue to fall in the printed newspaper business, but unlike The Rocky Mountain News and Scripps Howard, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer and parent company Hearst announced Monday they'd give a Web-only version of the P-I a try.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) will mark the final print edition of the 146-year-old paper, which was put up for sale in January. Hearst found no buyers, but instead of shutting down entirely, the P-I likely will significantly downsize its newsroom and continue as a hyper-local Web only publication.

This will be worth watching over the next several months to see if the P-I can make a go of it in that netherworld where newspapers save tons of money by cutting out the print product. But have they killed the golden goose at the same time?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Student Media finishes third multimedia project

Student Media at CSU's multimedia coordinator Ryan Avery introduced his team's third online project today. This project -- with parts contributed by CTV, KCSU-FM, The Rocky Mountain Collegian and College Avenue magazine -- focuses on African-American history at CSU.

Avery and Web designer Trevor Simonton added a feature to this package allowing for community feedback.

In addition to viewing the package online, you can also watch the selected video segments on CTV News this week or read the Collegian. "KCSU Live" on Sunday night dedicated its show to the topic.

The two previous packages focused on AIDS awareness and students with disabilities.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Another story on the future of newspapers (and the death of reporting)

This time it's coming to the defense of, not newspapers, but of the reporting traditionally done by newspapers.

Check out the subheads, too. More fodder for your mid-term exam responses on March 11.

Also, I've added my audio (edited by Matt Stephens) on the side of this blog page. Listen well.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Class Schedule through March 25

Here it is, from the end of Week 5 through Week 9 this semester

Wednesday, Feb. 18
Class: "News War, Part III" video and discussion completed
"The Morgue: A reporter's elegy for his dying paper" by Joe Mathews about the Los Angeles Times
"The Scoop Factory: Inside Politico and the brave new world of post-print journalism" from The New Republic
"Battle Plans for Newspapers" from The New York Times
Lab: View and discuss Audio Project; embed audio edited by partner in your page

Reporting and Writing for Online Media
Monday, Feb. 23

Class: "Generating and Focusing Story Ideas"
Lab: Begin generating ideas for Reporting Assignment (See Ram CT for assignment details)

Readings for Class: Chapters 4 and 6 of Briggs
"Distinction Between Bloggers, Journalists Blurring More Than Ever"
by Mark Glaser in MediaShift Arrange carpools for Wednesday's road trip

Wednesday, Feb. 25
Class: Road Trip to Fort Collins Coloradoan, 1300 Riverside Avenue, to discuss the role that multi-media reporting plays in the modern newsroom
Meet in the lobby of the Coloradoan

Monday, March 2
Class: "Web Resources and Databases"Readings for Class: "Wikipedia in the Newsroom" and "Citing Wikipedia" by Donna Shaw, AJR
"Open-Source Journalism: It's a Lot Tougher than You Think"
by Anna Haynes,

"Give Each Blog Post a Pretty Face" by Chris Brogan about using Flickr's Creative Commons to find photos

Lab: Finalize story ideas and assignments (includes traditional Web writing,audio storytelling and complementary photography)

Wednesday, March 4
Class: "Photo storytelling on the Web"
Readings for Class: Chapter 8 of Briggs
San Francisco State Golden Gate Xpress
Audio Slide Shows with Microsoft Photo Story
Soundslides Tutorial
And Another Tutorial
Or just flickr it in five frames
Lab: Continue working on Reporting Assignment

Monday, March 9

Class: “Online Writing Styles, Hooking and Keeping Readers”
Readings for Class: Writing style for print vs. Web

Review for Mid-Term Exam
Lab: Editing project

Wednesday, March 11
Class: Mid-term essay exam on blogs, citizen journalism, convergence, and online news reporting and writing

Monday, March 23
Class: Work on all aspects of Individual Multi-Media Reporting Project
Lab: Feedback and work on written and audio drafts, which are due at beginning of class

Wednesday, March 25
Lab: Finish and post reporting projects on blog site

Friday, February 13, 2009

SPJ Region 9 Conference approaches

CSU's award-winning chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is gearing up for its annual road trip to the SPJ Region 9 conference. Only this year, they get to go farther than Denver because the conference is in Salt Lake City.

The two -day conference starts Friday afternoon, April 3 and continues through Saturday, April 4. If you're interested in making the trip with the CSU group, contact Valerie Hisam at or Holly Wolcott at

The conference theme is "Evolution: Journalism is Changing; Be a part of the Digital Revolution."

You can also find out more by hitting up the Utah SPJ blog.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Some audio tips from Mindy McAdams

Mindy McAdams from the University of Florida (my master's degree alma mater) today posted a great set of instructions on editing audio for podcasts.

This comes on the heels of a post about buying an audio recorder that works.

These are the third and fourth posts of her series "Reporter's Guide to Multimedia Proficiency," which is where we hope we're all headed in this class.

Her entire blog is a great resource for everybody.

Getting ready for the mid-term

As I mentioned earlier this week, the mid-term exam is set for March 11, and it will take the entire 1 hour, 50 minutes of the class.

It will consist of three questions, all of which you will respond to.

You will be answering questions about all of the topics to that point in the course, including the future of journalism online, the impact of online journalism on traditional media, media convergence, citizen journalism and blogging.

I will spend more time in March specifically getting you ready for that exam, so don't sweat the small stuff.

In the meantime, it is your job to peruse articles posted here, linked to from my Twitter page, posted to RamCT and anywhere else you might be able to find on these fantabulous Inter-Tubes. There's a million of 'em.

Here's another fine example, summarizing many ideas we've already heard about.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Former Time editor advocates charging for newspaper content

Aspen Institute director Walter Isaacson, formerly the managing editor at Time, is on a media blitz with his idea to save newspapers, or more specifically, the system of reporting provided by traditional newspapers.

He has written an article for Time and appeared on The Daily Show yesterday, pushing his idea of charging for newspaper content on the Web, much as iTunes charges using for downloading songs.

Our guest on Wednesday, Steve Outing, likely will have a few ideas on this, so read and watch.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Guest speakers next week

Just a quick reminder that we will have guest speakers in class both days next week. My only requirement is that guest speakers be named "Steve," apparently.

First, on Monday, Feb. 9, Steve Harbula, the sports channel content manager for, will come to our class to participate in our initial discussion about citizen journalism. is a nation-wide citizen journalism initiative backed by Denver's Philip Anschutz, and the company has its national offices in Denver. It was discussed also in a column by David Kopel in The Rocky Mountain News on Saturday.

Next, on Wednesday, Feb. 11, CSU graduate and new media guru Steve Outing will come to class for the first hour to talk about a variety of issues, but we'll pay particular interest to his ideas on the paperless newsroom: "What a surviving newsroom will look like when the presses go silent." Also, be ready to discuss other initiatives being started by journalists.

This is a change from our initial schedule, and I'll adjust the schedule below to reflect this change.
Please be prepared for both classes by watching the News 4 video and reading the articles linked above.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Audio editing help from Audacity

If you would rather work at home (or on your laptop at other locations) on your audio files rather than working in Clark C255, you should probably download Audacity editing software.

It's free. Adobe Audition is not, but Audition is more robust and it's loaded in the C255 lab. The C255 lab is free only on Fridays, generally, so by using Audition, you're limiting yourself to those times unless you buy it for own use.

The first Audio Project (podcast to introduce a blogger) is due on Feb. 18, so you need to figure out how you're going to get that done.

Audacity has a great Wiki site to help you get started doing the basics of sound recording.

If you're going to use Audition, the 390-page user manual also is available via PDF online.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Spring Semester 2009 schedule, Part I

Introduction to Class and Blogging
Wednesday, Jan. 21
Course Introduction
Why Online Journalism is Different and Why You Should Care (PP)

Monday, Jan. 26
Before Class: Read Introduction and Chapters 1 and 2 from Briggs
Journalistic Blogging (PP)
Lab: Exercises from Chapters 1 and 2

Wednesday, Jan. 28
Before Class: Read Chapter 5: How to Blog
Prepare Blog Beat Coverage Plan
Lab: Set up and Begin Blogging
Homework Reading: "Daily posts, perseverance make the difference . . ."
"How to Make Your Blog a Paying Business"
"Papers must charge for Web sites to survive"

Convergence, Citizen Journalism and the Business of Online Journalism
Monday, Feb. 2
State of the News Media 2008
Class: Discussion of readings
Lab: Review First Blog Entries and Revise (Peer Editing Exercise)

Wednesday, Feb. 4 (Bring your audio recorders)
Readings for Class: Chapters 3 and 7 of Briggs
"Non-profit journalism" available at RamCT
Rocky Mountain News: "Non-profit newspaper? Nonsense" "Denver journalists hold candlelight vigil" (click on and watch/read links)
Class: Discussion of readings
Lab: Begin Audio Project: "Classmate Interview with Photo”

Monday, Feb. 9
Readings for class: Nicholas Lemann: "Amateur Hour: Journalism without Journalists"
“Citizen Journalism” “A Most Useful Definition of Citizen Journalism” by Jay Rosen
Class: Guest Speaker: Steve Harbula,

Wednesday, Feb. 11
First Hour: Guest Speaker Steve Outing
Second Hour: “Convergence Continuum”
Before Class: “Convergence Defined” by Rich Gordon

Monday, Feb. 16
Class: “News War, Part III” video and discussion
Readings for Class: TBA
Lab: Editing of first audio project

Wednesday, Feb. 18
Audio project due at 1 p.m.
Class: “News War, Part III” video and discussion completed
Readings for Class: TBA
Lab: Listen to and discuss Lab Project “Classmate Interview”