JO 704 Digital Toolkit, A1
Peter Smith Master Lecturer
Class meets 2:30 – 5:15pm
Office Hours: room B33
Tuesday: 12-1pm in-office, 2-3pm Zoom meeting
Friday: 11am-12pm in-office, 12-2pm Zoom meeting
Book here: https://calendly.com/pasmith/15min
Cell: 617 548 0109
Grad Assistant, Mohan Ge
Mohan’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This course will introduce you to reporting, writing, editing and producing multimedia journalism for the web and other digital platforms. You will explore how online stories differ from stories produced for “legacy” media such as newspapers and broadcast television.
We’ll also look at how digital newsrooms use current technologies to engage in delivery of breaking news and features. Through in-class and online discussions we will evaluate the effectiveness of these current technologies and methods of digital news gathering.
In addition, you will gain valuable experience producing stories, interactives and multimedia for publication. Your best work will be submitted for publication on bunewsservice.com.
You will be required to configure and maintain a blog that you will use to critique an assigned news organization’s web site throughout the semester, pointing to good (and bad) examples, and analyzing best and worst practices.
Guest speakers who currently work on the front lines of digital journalism will provide valuable insight and context.
Students will study key industry trends, technologies and multimedia reporting techniques in order to gain an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the web and other digital platforms as a journalistic medium. With this knowledge as a foundation, students will learn to produce content specifically for digital platforms.
Upon completion of this course you will know how to:
• Write specifically for online, including via social media.
• Think “digital first” and produce content for multiple platforms on deadline.
• Use social media tools to build a following and brand yourself as a multimedia journalist.
• Produce basic multimedia stories incorporating elements such as slideshows, audio, maps, data visualizations and video.
• Work solo or in a team environment to produce digital content.
• Curate the torrent of information online to add context to stories.
• Understand the differences between producing for the web and other digital platforms versus traditional mediums.
If you do not already have access to self-hosted Wordpress (not the free wordpress.com), you will be required to purchase an account and install Wordpress for class assignments.
Recommended: https://reclaimhosting.com/ student account, $25/yr.
￼ TWO SD cards, 16GB, Class 6, or higher for use in a camera and audio recorder. (Buy the largest capacity that your wallet can withstand.) You should also purchase a portable hard drive formatted to work on a Mac.
Tip: Put your name and contact info somewhere on your equipment so that you can be reunited in the event that you leave it in a lab or elsewhere.
Please set up accounts on the following sites/services:
• YouTube or Vimeo
• Adobe Portfolio
• wordpress.com Note: We’ll be adding more throughout the semester.
We have an equipment depot located in the basement of the building (B-17) where you can check out cameras, audio recorders, tripods and other equipment. You can reserve equipment online at wco.bu.edu. Make sure that you have your student ID with you when you pick up gear.
Download Creative Cloud
You will need to download Premiere Pro, Lightroom Classic, and Portfolio all from the Adobe Creative Cloud. You can download them once you sign up for Adobe Creative Cloud using your Kerberos username and password.
Two Daily News Outlets: NYTimes.com, SouthChinaMorningPost, WashingtonPost.com, BostonGlobe.com
Review syllabus for class goals, policies, review of required apps, week-to-week schedule, assignments, exercises and rubrics. Guest Speaker, Saum, will talk about the experience of feature and documentary photography with a DSLR and with a smart phone – and how to photograph a stranger.
Review hardware needed for this class.
All assignments will be posted to social media (twitter, insta, etc.)
NewsTrack assignment: Follow an online news site and write media critique in third person in two installments. First story is an intro, second story is wrap-up.
Topics will include evidence of bias (be specific), ease of navigation, style and design, depth of content, links to related stories, how well are photos and video integrated with stories, is live streaming used or are other features like click bate employed to entertain or tell story. How is social media used to entice readers?
500 words, links, screen shots.
Guest speaker Boston Globe Copy Writer Mary Crane.
Writing for online multimedia journalism,
Learn Wordpress/ student story and NewsTrack will be posted to Wordpress site.
NewsTrack presentations schedule will be announced.
Create an About Page, an exercise page, add social media links to Twitter and Instagram
Write a short bio of four to five grafs. Write in first person and tell your audience who you are and where you’re from; what experience you have in journalism with writing, photography, video, data, etc.; what your aspirations are in journalism?
Add a photo to your ‘about’ page. Use one that you currently have or use a photo taken by your partner – don’t forget to add their photo credit.
Photo exercise with ProCamera app.
Photo editing workshop with Lightroom
Finish setting up your portfolio and your social media accounts. Download Adobe Premier Rush for next week.
How to shoot video with an iPhone.
Review video settings for Pro Camera
Learn: handheld shooting, tripod shooting, 180 degree rule, a b-roll sequence, framing for variety.
How to interview your subject for strong soundbites and to create a story arc.
Use Zoom H5 or smart phone to record audio.
Class exercise: Shoot a four-clip process sequence of your subject typing or other activity, interview your partner
How to Find and Pitch a Story.
Learn how to edit video in Adobe Rush
shoot a sequence of your subject coming to campus, redo interview if necessary.
Research event to shoot for multimedia story
10/12 (holiday schedule)
Pitch a story on an event.
Finish and publish your student video story.
Adobe Rush workshop. Upload to Smugmug and YouTube or Vimeo.
Learn Adobe Spark
Review multimedia stories for technique and ideas.
Put student story on Wordpress site.
Shoot event. Write rough draft, organize files into photo and video folders.
Edit Story with Rush, Lightroom and Spark.
Due by the beginning of next class.
Homework: research final story
Using data visuals and Google Maps
Team story: Coffee in the time of Covid – a data story including multimedia (video, photo, words)
Homework: research final story
Finish editing Coffee in the Time of Covid. Publish to Wordpress. Due at the end of class.
Pitch your final project.
Editing workshop for final project
Second Newstrack presentations
Rough draft due of final
final story due
Review portfolio and final project.
Dates and weights
Student story, 10 points, Due: 10/12
Spark Event, 20 points, Due 11/01
Coffee in the Time of Covid, Data Story, 20 points Due: 11/08
NewsTrack 1+2, 10 points Due: assigned dates
Final Project, 30 points Due: 11/29
Portfolio, 10 points Due: 12/06
To be announced…
Percentage-based Grade Scale
A: 93-100 A-: 90-92.99
B+: 87-89.99 B: 83-86.99 B-: 80-82.99
C+: 77-79.99 C: 73- 76.99 C-: 70-72.99
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