Readings and assignments

 April 18

Last class! Yeah! You all made it! We’ll be finishing up our class project today, as well as outlining opportunities for an extra credit blog, extra credit on your second story and time for class evaluations.

After this class, I’ll compile class participation points and will get all blogs and corrected blogs graded by Sunday, April 22. That will give you time to decide whether you want to do the extra credit blog or extra credit on the second story, both of which will be due at 6 p.m. April 25 (the day of our “final.”)

We will not MEET on Final Day, but you can turn in your extra credit until then. All blogs should be in by Friday, April 20, and all corrected blogs need to be in by 6 p.m. April 25.

See you all in class!

Here’s the timeline to add your info

April 11-18: Class project

https://docs.google.com/document/d/185CYXczyOMCmA2mIUhKKsTudYr2zFbeewfvrSB2uxaQ/edit?usp=sharing

Also, for a refresher on the basic HTML elements, you can find most of them here (and a lot you didn’t learn in class, if you are curious!): https://www.w3schools.com/html/html_elements.asp

I’ve also created a cheat sheet here for you.

In-class assignments for April 4

Factitious quiz (5 points)
News story exercise (5 points)
Interviewing exercise (10 points)

For April 11: Readings and assignments

Data Story: Due 6 p.m. April 11

Your major assignment due next week is your second paper. Read here what I’ll be expecting out of your paper. Make sure you do a good self-edit of this one — it’s your one-and-only final version. It’s worth 150 points (including the 15 for the proposal)

In addition, here are your next three blog assignments, Blogs 19, 20 and 21, due April 18 (so that you won’t have them due at the same time as your paper):

Blog 19: Aggregation/curation of your story sources

Write a blog that lists your sources for your Story #2. You can do it in aggregation or curation fashion, but list at least 3 sources and why you are using them in your story. They can simply be a list of sources — what they are and links — or you can curate and have a “theme” to why you used them.

Blog 20: Photo gallery, audio or timeline JS blog (we will discuss more this week and next)

Shoot a “news” photo gallery that includes at least five images. Make sure you caption them and that they tell a story. You can use one of the tools discussed in class to create a gallery, an audio slideshow, and audio story. Or, create a Timeline JS. Link off to whatever you have done and tell about why you did the project you did.

Blog 21: Wildcard.

Write about something you’ve been wanting to write — but make sure it fits within the subject of this class. News, bias, research, reporting, data stories, multimedia use in storytelling. Any of these things are possible subjects.

 

 

 

 For April 4: Readings and assignments

Your Story 2 proposal is due by start of class next week. See details about Story 2 here.  The proposal is worth 15 points; your full paper will be due April 11, and is worth 135 points. You can include as MUCH detail as you want in your proposal if you want more feedback from me.

Readings and assignments

There are numerous ways to find good research about your selected topic. Here’s a really good article about how to narrow it down and find what you are really looking for. This article has a ton of good tips:

https://journalistsresource.org/tip-sheets/find-academic-research-paper-for-journalists

Finding good research and good media reports will be two very important things you’ll need to do for your second story.

Finding people who are experts in or who report on your topics is also very important. There are a number of places where you can find people and organizations to follow on Twitter. Here are a few; review these and follow people or organizations you are interested in, especially those covering your topic areas of interest.

Mashable Twitter list of media

151 Twitters worth following

Michigan media members (a list by Michigan Patch)

Muckrack.com

Create columns in Tweetdeck for your topics and people you want to follow. The more people you follow the more relevant your own twitter feed will be to you.

Curation and aggregation tools, techniques and research: Here are links to the presentation from class on March 28, and a lot of the research sites and tools I introduced.

Blogs

You should be following or aggregating content about at least one topic (you can do more) using Tweetdeck, Nuzzel, TweetedTimes, Flipbook, Google Alerts or other aggregation tools we’ve learned about in class.

Blog 17 should be a blog about a person or organization you are following on twitter or that you are aggregating coverage from using another tool. Who is this person or what is the media organization? If it’s a person, what is his or her professional title (if he/she has one) and what do they do? What about their twitter feed, social media presence or content makes them worth following?

Blog 18 should be a short, curated blog to your social media accounts (the ones you want to use professionally — LinkedIn, Twitter, perhaps Instagram) and aggregation sources — your Google alerts, your TweetedTimes, your Twitter feed, and any other aggregation sources you have discovered.

Here’s an example of mine, so you have an idea what I’m looking for. Yours needn’t be extensive — if you have your twitter account and a couple of aggregation tools that should be fine.

 

March 21: In-class assignment

For those of you who either weren’t in class on March 21 or had to leave early, here’s what you’ll need to do to get points for the assignment we did:

Review the powerpoint on curation and aggregation

If you don’t have a Twitter account, create one, and add a bio. Create your own Twitter List that includes everyone in the class. Follow everyone else’s twitter feed, and include them on your list.

Got to Tweetdeck.twitter.com. Create columns in Tweetdeck, including one for you as a user, and another for the class list. You can add others as well. Make a screen shot of your tweetdeck to show me if you weren’t in class (those in class are OK — I saw your Tweetdeck)

Go to TweetedTimes.com. Create an account by linking to your own Twitter handle. Create a TweetedTimes Newspaper and send a link to me.

Go to Nuzzel.com. Sign up, and create your own Nuzzle Newsletter.

The curation and aggregation information we discussed in class — and all the assignments given on curation and aggregation — will be important to your next story, which will be due in two parts, April 4 and April 11.

March 28: Readings and assignments

I’m posting these assignments early in case any of you  want to get a start on the blogs and readings before Wednesday. Please work on your rewrites of your data stories first! But if you get that done, here are the next assignments.

Readings

Read this article by Ron French, who’ll be speaking on March 28:

http://www.bridgemi.com/talent-education/betsy-devos-cheat-sheet-next-60-minutes-interview-michigan-schools

Follow the links in this article. Taking the Betsy DeVos interview as a base, Ron systematically picks apart her contentions and her non-answers about Michigan education. This is reporting at its finest — and in this case, a great example of CURATION.

Aggregation and curation are two concepts that allow journalists to take others’ reporting and work and weave it into a reported story.

Read this blog by Steve Buttry about aggregation and curation:

https://stevebuttry.wordpress.com/2012/05/16/aggregation-guidelines-link-attribute-add-value/

Blog assignments

We will discuss aggregation and curation more next week. For March 28  I’d like to see the following  THREE blogs:

  • RON’S STORY: Write a blog about Ron French’s curated story about Betsy DeVos. Name two of his sources — one to his own publication,  Bridgemi.com (there are several), one to a primary data source outside of Bridge. How does he introduce and use those sources in his reported story? Now, also talk about how he introduces “contextually linked” people or content (like an article or a person) by making sure the reader knows who or what someone is before they click.
  • CURATION OR AGGREGATION EXAMPLE: Find at least one example of aggregation or curation that you think is done particularly well — or done really poorly. Some of the most common places to find them: Huffington Post, Deadline Detroit, Buzzfeed. Even the NY Times aggregates and curates, as they did with these things said by Stephen Hawking. Find an example, and write about WHY it works. How does it link and attribute? How does it add value beyond the links and attribution to other sources? On the other side of that: How does it NOT do what it is supposed to do to be a good curation or aggregation?
  • YOUR OWN CURATION: Find a news story or event or issue that you’d like to aggregate and curate a blog about. Here are some ideas:
    • The student walkouts across the country last week
    • Reports about Stephen Hawkings’ death and his work
    • Stories about Cambridge Analytica and the misappropriation of millions of Facebook users’ information
    • The NCAA tournament results

The idea is to find something IN THE NEWS that more than one publication is writing about, and curate those sources into a story of your own, bringing context and insight through your own approach.

If you want to tackle this before Wednesday, go for it. But we’ll be working on a class assignment doing this on Wednesday, and that will give you a much better idea of HOW to do it then.

March 21: Readings and assignments

Primary assignment: Turn in your final draft of your Data Story No. 1. Your final draft is worth 35 points. If your final draft is so good that the grade would be better if I graded it as a sole submission, I’ll discard your first draft grade and give you one grade. If your final draft does not do all it is supposed to do, I’ll give you a percentage of the 35 points and add it to the points you got for the first draft.

Here’s where all the points for the Data Story have come from:

  • Data story exercise (step 1): 15 points
  • Data details (step 2): 30 points
  • Data story submission (step 3): 70 points
  • Data story rewrite (step 4, due March 21 BEFORE class): 35 points

TOTAL: 150 points

I will be sending your graded and marked up stories to you tonight after class. I want to explain the grading and the particulars before you all see your grades!

Reading in prep for next week

In addition, please read these stories in preparation for discussion next week on curation, aggregation and proper linking and sourcing to others’ work. Ron French, an investigative reporter for Bridge Magazine, will be speaking to the class on March 28, so the first story is particularly relevant:

http://www.bridgemi.com/talent-education/betsy-devos-cheat-sheet-next-60-minutes-interview-michigan-schools

Follow the links in this article. Taking the Betsy DeVos interview as a base, Ron systematically picks apart her contentions and her non-answers about Michigan education. This is reporting at its finest — and in this case, a great example of CURATION.

Aggregation and curation are two concepts that allow journalists to take others’ reporting and work and weave it into a reported story.

Here’s an article by a journalist and digital leader, Steve Buttry, on curation and aggregation.

Blogging: Nothing due for next week, but an EC opportunity (5 points)

You will have three more blogs due on March 28; I’m skipping blog assignments this week so you can focus on your data story rewrite. If you do want to blog as well, you can do an extra credit blog based on this article, and earn an additional five points EC. Please put extra credit as a tag in your blog so I know that is what it is.

Be sure to summarize the article and speak to how this does or does not resonate with how you approach information and seeking it for research:

https://journalistsresource.org/studies/society/education/how-college-graduates-solve-information-problems-join-workplace

 

March 7 in-class assignment

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1yvu3bCwb0yZ5BiwCI889UjIpPT0kdWljdewhZj0Zwtg/edit?usp=sharing

Here’s the version on the site, and the powerpoint with all the links and sources for verification:

Online ethics powerpoint

And another verification powerpoint:

Verification tools powerpoint

 

March 7 and March 14: Readings and assignments

(Combining them to allow you time to plan because of your data story, which is due March 7):

Law, libel, ethics and the First Amendment:

Review some basic information about the Freedom of Information Act, and how it protects not just journalists but any U.S. citizen by allowing anyone to request government-related information be released to them. We will be discussing law, libel and verification the next few classes, so it’s a good time to dive into the basics.

You don’t need to read every word of these sites — this is meant to give you an overview. Dive deeper into the pieces that interest you. We’ll be talking a lot about this after the break.

What is the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA)?

https://www.foia.gov/about.html

https://www.foia.gov/

Michigan’s FOIA:

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/ag/FOIA_Pamphlet_380084_7.pdf

Digital Journalists Legal Guide: A guide from the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

https://www.rcfp.org/browse-media-law-resources/digital-journalists-legal-guide

Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics:

https://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp

FOIAing the Trump Administration:

https://www.muckrock.com/project/foia-the-trump-administration-85/

Muckrock and the ALPR Data Sharing Project:

https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2018/feb/16/eff-alpr-project/

Code Words blog:

https://blogs.spjnetwork.org/ethics/

The Power of Words:

https://blogs.spjnetwork.org/ethics/2018/01/

Quick Guide to Spotting Fake News: http://www.newseuminstitute.org/first-amendment-center/primers/fake-news-primer/

Assignments:

Data Story #1 — First draft is due March 7 at start of class. Please see SPECIFICS about what I’ll be looking for in this separate page. First draft means a complete story, with all the elements. So take some time with this crucial class assignment.

Blogs 11, 12, 13

All of these blogs will be due on March 14. That gives you three weeks, and doesn’t put pressure on you to do both the blogs and the data story by March 7. If you want to get ahead on these, go for it! But I won’t be looking at any of them until March 14 (unless you ask me to take a look at one).  We’ll be tackling these topics on March 7 and March 14 as well.

Blog 11: FOIA and the LAW

After reading about FOIA, the law, and the specific issues faced by today’s digital journalists, write about one of the cases I gave you to read about or find one on your own. Muckrock lists current and former FOIA requests on its site. Also, there are multiple FOIA-fueled stories chronicled here: https://withoutfoia.tumblr.com/. You can, of course, find your own as well.

Blog 12:  Ethics for journalists

Ethics also plays a huge part in journalism. Ethics Week is coming up in April; the Society of Professional Journalists has a great blog that explores many ethics issues. You can find it here:

https://www.spj.org/ethicsweek-whoarejournalists.asp#ethicaljournalism

There is a video on that page as well that I’d like you to watch: https://www.spj.org/ethicsweek-whoarejournalists.asp

And there are numerous cases documented in the Code of Words blog that explore ethical issues.

Now write a blog that talks about what biases or world life/experiences you bring to your reporting — and how you balance your reporting by focusing on the “process” instead of your biases.

Blog 13: Verification

We’ll be talking more about verification in the next few weeks, but for March 14, please take a look at these sources and write a blog about something you found in your research that you needed to verify — a photo, a social media post, a fact, a video — and how you did it.

The Verification Handbook:

http://verificationhandbook.com/book/

Verifying images:

http://verificationhandbook.com/book/chapter4.php

Verification fundamentals: Rules to live by

http://verificationhandbook.com/book/chapter2.php

Verification tools:

http://verificationhandbook.com/book/chapter10.php

Taking Content: How Much is Too Much?

https://www.rcfp.org/browse-media-law-resources/digital-journalists-legal-guide/taking-content-how-much-too-much-0

Feb. 21 readings and assignments:

In class: How to write a news story and ledes

Step 2 for data story:

This piece is worth 30 additional points. So between the 15 points for last week’s exercise and this 30, that accounts for 45 of the 150 points in the first data story for class. Here’s what you need to do:

Directions for the assignment are on a separate page on the site.

The assignment is self-explanatory; what you need to turn in by class next week is a word doc, in Canvas, with the following included:

  • 20 data or research details or points from the data you analyze.
  • 10 additional questions you want to answer in your next steps of researching and interviewing.
  • 3 people you plan to interview and about what.

Next week, we will have working sessions during class for each of you during which we’ll go over all of your materials and come up with a story plan for your first data story.

Blogging:

Blogs 9 and 10 will be due next week. But instead of having two blogs worth 15 points, you will have one blog plus an opportunity for extra credit (15 points). This will help those of you who may have missed a blog or some points.

Blog No. 9:

Find an example of a good headline and/or lede of a NEWS story published in the past two weeks. Write a blog about why it’s a good headline or lede. Did it capture most of the 5 W’s and H? Did the headline draw you in? Link to the story, but also include the headline and/or lede in your blog.

Was there also an image, or additional links, in the story? Google the headline; what does it look like when it comes up on Google? Does an image show on Google?

Blog 10:

Find a podcast, video or interactive story that captures your attention or that does a good job at telling a story. Link to it and tell why this multimedia storytelling worked. Please avoid commercial videos, or entertainment videos. You can include news, business, education, technology, sports and features that are newsy in nature. But no celebrity or entertainment related posts.

 

 

In-class assignment for Feb. 14:

Data dive and research practice exercise

Feb. 14 readings and assignments:

Readings:

S&S, Chapter 4:

If investigative journalists don’t explain why their work matters, who will? 

We will be having investigative reporters Rob Snell and Ron French speaking to our class in the next few weeks. In advance of that, after you read the above chapter, take a look at these three sites and how they pursue investigative reporting with vigor. Think of questions you’d like to ask Rob and Ron about how they pursued their own investigations and then reported on them — and what the impact of that reporting has been.

Revealnews.org (From the Center for Investigative Reporting)

ProPublica.org (and specifically this report there on brain injuries in the military — but feel free to look at others as well)

Center for Public Integrity

 

Fusion tables and blogging

We worked in class on finding a data set, cleaning it up, uploading it into Fusion Tables and publishing it. Now it’s time for you to find your own data set and do the same. You can use the example data set in the Fusion Table tutorial if you like — or find one of your own and give it a go.

Here’s the step-by-step we used in class.

Here are some examples of Fusion Tables, as well as links to tutorials if you want to get fancy:

https://sites.google.com/site/fusiontablestalks/stories

After you create your fusion table, publish it to the JASStools blog I introduced in class (NancyHanus.com/JASS331). Then write a blog about it in the class blog, and LINK from the class blog post to your post in the tools blog. The class blog post should be a couple of paragraphs about what you did and what you found, and a quick link with a screenshot of your fusion table or map. The tools blog allows you to actually embed and publish the fusion table — so that’s why we are using it to publish the actual embed.

So to be clear: The tools blog is just for you to put your embed in — and a headline. ALSO, please use your name as the category, and add your name in the blog as well, so I can tell who did what. You are all using the same sign-on so it will be impossible to tell otherwise.

Your second blog this week can be on anything you want to write about — as long as it fits within the confines of this class. Write about a website, a tool, a social media platform, a publication — or about a data set that you find interesting. It’s up to you! Be creative.

Next week, after I read and grade your data project assignment, we’ll go over the next step of the first data story, which is due in March. We’ll also have time to work on it in class, so you can ask questions at that time as you start to dig into your data and do some additional reporting.

Remember, your blogs 5 and 6 were due Feb. 7; if you did NOT get them in by classtime Feb. 7, you have another week to get them done and still get some points. After Feb. 14, you won’t be able to get any credit on those two blogs.

Blogs 7 and 8 — as detailed above — are due before class on Feb. 14. Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

Feb. 7 readings and assignments:

Getting caught up on your blogs

If you do not have four blogs already turned in, be sure to catch up and do them. If the first four blogs are not in by next class (Feb. 7), you’ll get no credit on the ones not submitted.

From here on, blogs for the week should be submitted before class that week, unless there are extenuating circumstances that you make me aware of in advance.

There will be enough leeway and opportunity to do extra blogs that you can be late or miss doing TWO blogs throughout the semester. But after that, it will start impacting your grade to be late or to not do the assigned blogs for the week.

So catch up — and let me know if you need help! I’m here to help (and I have office hours for two hours before class, so feel free to drop in and we can go over things together).

As a reminder, here were the first four blog assignments (due Jan. 24 and Jan. 31):

  • Blog 1: Ten Tools (from reading online text)
  • Blog 2: An engaging blog, online story or the Age of Walls
  • Blog 3: A data set and why it’s interesting
  • Blog 4: Social media as a news tool

For next week’s class:

Out-of-class assignment (15 points): Data-driven exercise and story (download the directions here). Submit your data story to Canvas before class starts on Feb. 7. These points will count toward your first data story, which in total is worth 150 points. It is the first step in downloading and manipulating data. I’d suggest you do this a few days before class so if you have any questions you can message me and I can help you. We will also discuss during class today.

Blog 1 (15 points): Write 150 to 400 words (approx) on one piece of data you found interesting while doing the school tuition data exercise and story. It can be data found directly in the downloaded data sheet you used, or in additional information you found on your own. Talk about why this data was relevant to you — or to the report. Was it surprising? Did it confirm something you already knew? Did it shed light on something you did not know?

Blog 1 alternative (15 points): Read the NPR annotation of the president’s state of the union. Find at least three annotations that relied on data for the reporting, and write a blog about them.

Blog 2 assignment (not really a blog — but related, 15 points): Go back and read the blogs done by your classmates, and comment on at least two of the posts. Make your comments relevant and meaningful (I really like the way you explained how to use Storify, and gave examples of how to do it as well. It gave me perspective on this tool and made we want to try it). Your COMMENTS will serve as your second blog assignment for the week.

We’ll talk next week (Feb 7) about your first Data-Driven Story, which will be due March 7. That will give you a full month to work on it in and out of class.

Above and Beyond: We’ll also tackle some actual tools in class on Feb. 7. One we’ll be using is Google Fusion Tables. If you want to check out this gallery of how Fusion Tables are being used, it will get you a head start for Feb. 7 class.

Rules and grading on blogs

Remember, blogs are due the day of class, before class begins. Starting this week:

  • If you turn a blog in late, you will have points deducted.
  • If a blog is more than one week late, you will not receive points for that blog.
  • You’ll receive grace on TWO late  blogs going forward (meaning if you turn them in within the next week, you’ll get credit).
  • From here out, I’ll start looking at grammar, spelling, headlines and writing –  and will factor that into the blog grades.
  • If I request fixes and you make them, you have the chance to get full credit on every blog.
  • There will be a total of 300 blog points throughout the semester — that’s 20 blog assignments. By next week, you will be responsible for 6 blog assignments turned in.
  • If you turn things in on time (with grace for TWO late times), do the blog assignments as asked, and make fixes, you can get all 300 points for blogging — and that’s a full 30% of your final grade.

 

 

Jan. 31 readings and assignments:

Next week, we are starting to really look at what is involved in creating your own data-driven reports/articles/stories. To prepare for that, I’d like you to take a look at  the following sites and resources. Some are data sites — places where you find the “data” that you can incorporate in your reporting. Others are examples of HOW that data is being used.

The Centers for Disease Control

Data.gov

State Agency Database Project

Census.gov

The Texas Tribune: Elected officials directory

Datablog, The Guardian: The most pirated Christmas movies — Follow the data to the ORIGINAL source, linked high up in the blog

Neiman Labs on worldwide collaboration on data stories

ProPublica’s database that tracks Congress

MLive database of state employee salaries

USA Today: NCAA salaries database

USA Today: NCAAB coaches salaries database (basketball)

Blogging:

You have dived into blogging for the class, and most of you did the first two blogs. Congratulations! I was pretty easy on grading — and on deadlines — because we all need to work up to doing a good job on these. But as we progress, I’ll hold you all to higher standards on cleaning up your blogs, including links, adding categories and tags, and writing good headlines. Keep working at it, and I’ll surely help.

Your assignments in blogging for next week are the following:

Self-edit your first two: If you haven’t done so already, self-edit and make improvements to the first two blogs based on my suggestions. There is a blogging powerpoint in the class materials that may help for steps you may have forgotten. But remember the following:

  • Write a meaningful and engaging headline. Use “downstyle” as we talked about today in class
  • Break up your paragraphs in chunks — no more than a few sentences per paragraph.
  • Link fairly quickly to a source if you are writing about an article, package or tool. Don’t wait til the end, and use intuitive “link text” for your links.
  • Include an image if appropriate. Make sure you have permission, or use a “snapshot” of a page or publication. Credit and caption your images.
  • Go back through and check all links. Make sure they all work properly.
  • Edit for spelling, grammar and punctuation. Edit again. Read it aloud to yourself, or go backward through the blog to be sure you get all your mistakes. Many happen at the very beginning and very end!

Your next two blogs:

Data sets:

Of the data sets I’d listed above, choose one set of “data” you think would be interesting to incorporate into a story and say how you might do it. For example, if you want to write about the current flu season, you might incorporate data from the CDC’s influenza reporting map.  Before writing your blog, think about what your readers might need to know about the subject — then in a few paragraphs, present how the data you choose would support the reporting you do. TO BE CLEAR: You don’t have to do anything with the data sets … YET. Just identify a good data set, and say how it might enhance your reporting. How does the data back up your blog premise?

In class on Jan. 24, we’ll talk about how to use social media and other sources to support your reporting. Choose one social media platform — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, SnapChat — and find at least one news organization online that uses the platform. How do they use it for reporting? Make sure to link to at least one example of a journalist’s feed or an organization’s account that illustrates whatever you think is being done right.

Here are some examples to get your started: 

Texas Tribune on Twitter

Muckrack.com: Search accounts by person, area, publication: https://muckrack.com/search/

Bridge Magazine on Facebook

NPR on Snap Maps

National Geographic on Instagram

Feel free to find your own. There are plenty of news organizations and journalists — just make sure you are finding a “legitimate” news source, and not a commercial one. I want this to be based on news and facts.

Looking ahead, here are some thought-starters on the kinds of reports you can do using available data sets. We’ll start talking about ideas for your reports next week, so if you want to get your head into it before class, here’s a list to peruse.

Questions? As always, email me!

 

 

 

 

Jan. 24 readings and assignments:

Searchlights & Sunglasses:

Read in Chapter 1: Digital Tools Can Open Up Newspapers 

Read in Chapter 1: Ten tools to learn, more to explore

In the Ten tools article, there is a list of several new tools that most of you probably haven’t heard of or used. Explore a few of them by clicking on the links and looking at examples of how they are used, and then write a blog about one of these tools.  If you find another tool, not on the list, that you believe would be worth teaching to teachers, other student journalists or others, you can write about that one.

———

Extra Credit opportunity:
If you are feeling especially ambitious and want 5 extra credit points, actually try one of the tools. Link to your work in the blog. (I’ve used Timeline JS, Storify and DocumentCloud, and can say they are all pretty easy to learn). 

——–

Have the Ten tools blog done by 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 23.  Put it in draft form  so I can take a look at it and give feedback or publish it before class on Wednesday.

This will be the first “graded blog” for the class, as well as the first opportunity for extra credit.

Your second blog for next week should also be on the site, in draft form, by 5 p.m. Tuesday. This blog can be one of the following:

  • Find a blog that you think is interesting and engaging. Write a blog about why you think so, using a link to the blog. Take a screen shot of the blog and embed it in the blog entry. If there are more than one you like, feel free to include a few. Be sure to write a headline that is engaging and informative.
  • Find an online story that is engaging and strongly written. It can be a long-form article or a series of them, a project or a single story. Write 3-4 paragraphs on what the story is about, why it’s an example of strong journalism. Be sure to link to the article and add appropriate tags to it. Write a headline as well.
  • Watch this interactive project from the Washington Post, The Age of Walls. Write a blog about one piece of it that resonated (or more than one if you want). If this project intrigues you as much as it did me, you might want to read this piece about why it’s a groundbreaker.
  • Write me and email by midnight Sunday, Jan. 21, and tell me about something else you’d like to do. If I think it’s appropriate I’ll approve it Monday and you can write  your own blog idea.

These two blogs — again both DUE TUESDAY, JAN. 23 —  will get us started on writing and exploring online blogging, tools, data and other topics. If you have others you’d like to do, send me a pitch and I’ll discuss with you and approve if it seems to fit within the class. Each of the blogs is worth 15 points toward your grade.

Jan. 17 readings and assignments:

In their book “The Elements of Journalism,” Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel identify the essential principles and practices of journalism. Read this synopsis, and be ready to discuss in class. Pick one of the elements that resonates the most with you — and be ready to share with the class why it is especially meaningful to you.

(If you like what you read, and want to read the entire book, I consider it pretty much the bible of journalism and highly recommend it. You can buy it on Amazon for 25 cents! )

Searchlights & Sunglasses:  There’s a lot of history here in the Intro and Chapter 1, and you don’t need to do a deep read.  But do read these two parts: To journalism students: Yes, there are jobs and Skills for digital adventurers

Now, based on the excerpt below, tell me how YOU think you’d best learn to be a digital leader through this class, and how I can help get you there?

Students get to build the new companies, the new products and the new standards of the digital age. Since the new tools create a need for new rules, it’s truly a great time to be in journalism education.

The New York Times, Washington Post, ProPublica and the Guardian all do some great data and alternative form projects. Take a look at these areas of their websites and find a data project or alternative form project that you think is exceptional and worth sharing. Or, find something elsewhere.

Send me a link before next class so I can put all the links together and we can discuss.

The Guardian Data Blog: https://www.theguardian.com/data

The New York Times Upshot: https://www.nytimes.com/section/upshot

Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/politics/virginia-election-history/?tid=graphics-story&utm_term=.8396cda5aa5f

ProPublica: https://www.propublica.org/datastore/