Supraprint class notes

Seattle University – Multimedia Storytelling – Spring 2014


May 1, 2014


April 8, 2014

Seattle Rep Goes to the Dogs

Young Catholics


April 1, 2014


Journalism, back then.

Oso –













Screened April 18

Please read Chapter 8 in Journalism 2.0 and read the Photoshop Tutorial


Pig Scramble

Bout Time slideshows

Welcome Home

Lady Jaguars

Political campaign diptychs

Screened April 16

Josh’s Journey

Social Network trailer

Screened April 11

Caine’s Arcade

The Dog Strikes Back

Screened April 9

Home Front

What we screened in class April 4, 2012

NYT- Athletes

Seattle Rep Goes to the Dogs

Hunting and Gathering

STory Corps

What we screened in class March 26, 2012:

Adam Wong

Listen Whitey!

Luke Haynes

Murakami’s Japan

Is Silence Going Extinct?


This is an old page. If you’re enrolled in my writing class (Fall 2010) please go here.

May 25, 2010


House finale

Vince Laforet

Intl Doc Challenge

May 18, 2010

Why make a video?

Why make a video, part Two.

Flip Channel – Pretty Glenn

A Day Among the Cherry Blossoms

Left Behind:

Public Servant

April 22, 2010: Photoshop videos, as noted on the handout.

FYI: Photo captions. Go here.

What we screened in class April 20, 2010:

One Final Day in Office

Bull Sessions

Waiting for Death

Step Afrika

Sled Dogs



Health Care timeline

Past Olympians

Super Bowl Twitter

Health Care stakeholders

Jesusita fire panoramic

Previous “Supraprint” student projects:

Somebody’s Mama

Grape Whisperer

Mars Hill

Word Cloud analysis of Presidential speeches

On Wednesday:

HOUR ONE: Kristina Bowman will give you instruction on basic HTML for the first hour.
Please attend.
This is one of those skills that employers are increasingly demanding from job applicants. And, it’ll make you smarter when it comes to publishing your own blog – and our magazine, which will “live” on WordPress.
Starting your own WordPress blog.
If you don’t know WordPress and/or don’t yet have a blog please watch this tutorial

(Supraprint>Create Your Own Stuff>A WordPress tutorial)
If you do have a blog and need a refresher, watch the tutorial.
HOMEWORK: Activate a WordPress account and a blog. If you think you’re going to want to blog longterm then I suggest you start a blog named with your name. (i.e. Florangela). If you have another blog that’s your primary blog then start one for this class and you can “kill it” later (I.E. ComFlor).
Once you have your blog start playing around.
Play around with the “templates.” Play around with the “header.” I want you to start getting a feel for What a GOOD BLOG SHOULD LOOK Like. Post a photo. Post a video. If you want to be super-ambitious try posting your Soundslides (yes, it’s doable).
1. Upload your blog’s url to GoPost.
1. Write up two different posts.
2. The first post: Find three blogs or websites and critique them. (One should be one you like. The second should be one you don’t. The third is your call). Aim to critique journalistic blogs. What you’re critiquing: The Look; the content; its success targeting its AUDIENCE (so you have to figure out who is the audience); its interactivity. You did nice crits of the photos. So weigh in. Note, you should hyperlink to each blog that you critique. Remember, your blog is public. So attention to grammar and spelling.
3. Your second post has to do with Identity. Find a blog or website that deals with Identity. Be as creative as you’d like. Essentially, we’re going to build a “blogroll” for our magazine. A list of interesting/related/useful links that we want to offer up to readers. Write a one sentence description about the site and hyperlink to it. Then, in that same post, write a few paragraphs explaining your hope/goal for our magazine: the kind of content you’d like to see. Review our story budget. Are there stories there that seem ideal for the magazine. Do you have other ideas to pitch? Think of the audience you want to pitch to. Essentially, I want you to start moving from your one story and start thinking about the class project.
Both posts should be published on your blogs by the beginning of class on Monday. Please don’t forget to post your urls to GoPost.


Examples of really nice explainers. Use them as examples of how you might want to explain your slideshow statements.

Jane  Austin

COM 466

Natural Sound Assignment

Music, Machinery, and Man

The three sounds I chose were from the corner of the Ave near café Allegro where construction is taking place to transform what was once a parking lot into a monolithic building with shops and condos.

First, I captured the sound of the construction machinery.  The men’s voices are barely audible over unnatural sounds that sound violent and inhuman.  Occasionally a conversation bit from the Café Allegro patrons sipping coffee rises to the surface of the soundscape to sink back again unintelligibly.  The construction looms over Allegro’s patrons as the machinery muffles their conversation.

As I walked away from the construction I continued to record and came upon an elderly, perhaps homeless busker.  In a weathered voice he sang the songs of Bob Dylan loudly over the noise of the construction.  The song was about change and the indifference of passerby to the troubles he faced, and reflected the changing nature of that corner.  The footsteps of passerby and the open and closing of the bookstore next to the construction add to the creation of that moment in sound.

I turned the corner to find another busker, beating upon an unknown instrument with the sound of cars zooming past and the screaming of a woman at her dog.  The cars and students rushing by seemed indifferent to his music.  Perhaps they were indifferent as well to the construction work, but graffiti I saw on the concrete wall surrounding the building’s foundation this summer portrayed a city in flames.

Each sound reflects a man made process:  men making a building or a song.  Each sound furthermore reflects learned skills passed down from generation to generation, whether it be construction or songwriting.  The sounds portray a landscape of change.  [This may not be the project I turn in on Tuesday, as the sounds I particularly coveted (the rides and games at Seattle Center) are not open during the week.]

LiCheng Tay

Natural Sound Assignment – The Bus Stop (When will the next bus arrive?)

Sound 1 – Arrival and departure of Bus

“The bus arrives, the passengers get up in a hurry. The loud mechanic chugging of the engine drowns the waiting commuter at the bus stop, cutting off all other sounds in the environment.

Standing right in front of the engine, its heat radiates at you. Finally the bus driver shoots a look out of the door before closing it in your face, driving off in a huff of exhaust smoke. Stares from others as you cough at the dust thrown up.”

This sound works because of its dynamics; the volume of the bus gets louder as it nears the recorder, and softens as it leaves. A sense of movement is evoked, emphasizing the wait at the bus stop. The leaving bus (and stationary listener) might trigger images of a long wait and other buses passing by.

Sound 2 – Newspaper Dispenser

“The old creaky news dispenser, that familiar noise. How many have spent the long wait at the bus stop reading the papers that come out of its dark mouth? It’s of no coincidence that the box is situated so close to the waiting throng. Open and slam.”

The sound should be familiar to commuters who get their daily free news through the black boxes that line the streets next to bus stops. Metal on metal, creaks and clangs.

Sound 3 – Foot steps walking by with background noise of traffic

“In stark contrast to the motionless statues at the bus stop, the rush of peak hour human traffic starts to pile up. Cars honk, women walk by in heels, men with grey trenchcoats. The only constant is change.”

This sound once again signals movement. The footsteps get closer, then pass the listener and eventually fade off into the distant background, giving a sense of stillness. The listener is waiting, motionless.

James Brown:

Story statement:

My story is about Von’s Grand City Cafe—a restaurant and bar downtown—and how its staff has attempted to combat the declining dining industry. I wanted to use the point of view of a server to examine how and why Von’s has survived and kept steady business when many other restaurants in the area are losing money and closing their doors; I opted for a server instead of a manager because I think that in the restaurant business, management setting new policies in an effort to increase customer service is not nearly as effective as a server with a natural knack for it.

A big challenge in reporting this assignment was collecting audio. The two pieces I used in the story—bottles clinking and a bar-like din of chatter—were fine, but I felt like the story could have transported the listener better with more sound. I recorded my interview in a quiet space as was suggested, but I think perhaps in this instance that worked against me—a little chatter in the background might have helped set the scene as long as I kept it low enough to not distract from the interview.


I like how the story came out and I feel like it effectively conveyed its point, that Von’s has stayed in the black because of quality customer service and the ability to cater to a diverse clientèle. I learned some good tricks to collect unique audio, and how to have the gusto to walk up to people at their jobs and ask if I can record them. If I started over, I would try to collect more effective audio—I particularly would’ve liked to have gotten audio of the wheel in the bar spinning, but management didn’t want me there during busy hours. I think I would have pushed a little bit harder to get more access to the restaurant. Also, of course, I would liked to have not recorded that siren during my interview. The server and I couldn’t figure out a time to rerecord that piece of it; though I managed to edit out almost all of it, there was one key piece that I just couldn’t cut without the story suffering.

Feb. 10, 2008

Things to keep in mind when you’re shooting, by Harley Soltes

“All photography is is light on surfaces.”

There are two kinds of photography:  you watch someone. You invest in them. You You watch what happens. And then you document.

Or it’s manipulated. You bring in lights. You moved them around.

Be ready. Always be ready. Carry extra batteries. Recharge your battery. Have an extra card.

See the light. Think about light. The light will improve the quality of a photo; will make a photo more readable; and sometimes more artsy.

Turn the flash off. Digital cameras are excellent in low light.  “I always think when I use flash on someone it’s like I slapped them.” Flash is also untruthful.

But additional light is OK if it’s a PORTRAIT. And if it’s clear to the viewer that this is not a person captured “as is.”

Rule of thirds.

Understand that most of photography is waiting. Waiting for moments.

Vary the angle of view.

Vary your lens choice.

Have some depth and some scale.

Look for the eyes. Sometimes if you go in really tight it’s nice to cut the top of the head off. Because it draws you to the eyes.

Watch how you frame a photo. Never cut off hands, or feet or between knee and feet.

Take some chances. Surprise me.

Feb. 4, 2008


Create a twitter account. Follow me so I can in turn follow you. Follow Kathy Gill, Mark Trahant, Monica Guzman.

By the end of the quarter, post 10 tweets (screen grab them) , find 10 people worth following (list them and explain why) and list 10 interesting tweets that others have posted. Then in a half-page explain whether twitter is useful or whether it’s just one big giant time suck.

Immediately: Submit raw audio to Collect It.

Reminder: Open Lab time with Kristina here, Monday.

Due Tuesday before class starts: Upload final audio into Collect It.
Upload final log, which is actually your script.
Upload story statement and self-critique.

What’s that?

Story statement: A one to two paragraph statement that spells out what this story is about and what you wanted to accomplish. Point out any reporting challenges. Sort of like an artist’s statement that you read when you walk into a museum.
Self-critique: One to two paragraphs stating whether you accomplished your intended goals. What you learned doing this. And what you would do differently if you had a chance to redo this assignment from scratch.


What I’ll look for in your final audio piece.

Content – Does the audio tell a story?

Do the sound bites follow a logical order?

Are you giving the listener all the information that is needed?

Is each person clearly identified?

Can this audio stand alone?

Sound –

Is the audio listenable?

Is there some nat sound and is it used effectively or is it gimmicky??

Note: Do not use music unless it was recorded live and it’s critical to your story. I.E. Your story is about a busker.

Your final piece should be between 2 and 3 minutes long.

Extra credit for:

News value – It’s ok if you pursued a feature story. But this is a journalism class and so I’ll be looking as to whether you did, in fact, pursue a story that has some relevancy to what’s going on in the world right now. That doesn’t mean you couldn’t do something “quirky.” But you’ll have a stronger story if your “quirky” story connects to some larger, real-world theme. And a stronger story/subject will elevate your grade.

Creativity – Some unusual piece of sound; some thought given to “pacing” or rhythm of the story; a unique way of starting or ending your piece.

1-22. Audio assignment

Interview someone (or more than one person) for no more than 5-7 minutes. This could be your place where you collected your nat sound. Or it could be a new place. Look for a story. Remember: beg, middle, end. Think: news value.

Log ALL OF YOUR  tape. Upload it to Collect It by Tuesday AM.

Have your log and tape available for class Tuesday. We’ll spend hour two talking more about mixing.

El Vez, the Mexican Elvis.

The audio slideshow is here.

The print story is here.

And the powerpoint on how to get good audio interviews is here.

This is happening at the end of the month. Take a look. Worth going to. I am.

What are new models for journalism? How can journalists apply their skills outside traditional newsrooms?

is the first of what we hope will be a series of career workshops this
year to inspire fresh ideas. Explode your assumptions. Find training
resources. Network.

This FREE event is open to ALL JOURNALISTS,
although AAJA Members have priority due to limited seating. To become
an AAJA member, go to

Please RSVP by
THURSDAY, JAN. 22 by emailing and putting “career
workshop” in the subject line. Also, please indicate if you want to
participate in the networking luncheon, for which there is a small

Confirmed speakers:
David Cohn, Founder,
Tyler Adams, Community Moderator,
Russ Walker, Executive Editor,
Luke Timmerman, National Biotech Editor,
Tracy Record, Co-publisher/Editor,
Hanson Hosein, Director, UW MCDM program
Sarah Wallace, Special Projects Editor, Bellingham Herald
Elisa Murray, Communications Director, Sightline Institute
Heidi Dahmen, documentary/reality television producer

Saturday, January 31, 2009
8:00am – 3:00pm
Cascade room, Haggett Hall, University of Washington
Seattle, WA
Contact Info
Saturday, January 31, 2009


Required reading for video class.–2.html

Required reading for Social Media classes.

Networking News.


Required reading for multimedia classes.

Goosing the Gray Lady:


Field assignment: Pick a street corner. Choose wisely. You’re going to hunt for a story so you might want to pick a lively corner.
Use your eyes and explore the corner. What do you see? Who do you see? What’s the ACTION taking place here? What are the EMOTIONS happening here? Then, use your ears to explore the corner. Visit the corner at different times of the day.
Record natural  sounds from your corner. Find three strong, significant, unique and essential sounds from your corner. Collect no more than 1-minute of each ambient sound. Bring the unedited audio to class next week. And write up 1-2 paragraphs explaining why each sound would be an element in a “soundscape” of your corner. Upload it into Collect It by 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

Collect It for POY assignments is reopened. So dump your audio, photos there.


5 responses to “Supraprint class notes

  1. Do you want us to upload the soundbites and the written portion to Collect It, or just the written portion?

  2. Not sure if this is a good place to ask this, but does anybody have a good book/source for interviewing skills? I see the “hone your interview skills” link on the right, but has anyone read any books lately?

  3. "Teacher Ted" Lockery

    FYI — Lot’s of Free Transcribing Software Out There–Speeds Things Up

    I downloaded Express Scribe, a free transcription program that allows you to operate your audio (Play, Pause, Rewind) with either hot keys or foot pedal.

  4. I have a question about the grading criteria for the final sound piece. The biggest problem I have is having “each person clearly identified.” While my subjects did give me their names, it think it would be awkward and distracting to have them introduce themselves during the audio piece. Any other suggestions?

  5. Pingback: Supraprint Students: For Wednesday Nov. 4 « Supraprint

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