Final project –
Tell a journalistic story using at least two mediums: audio, video (video with audio), still photography, text. An audio slideshow would also work.
Aim for a 2-minute video/audio slideshow. Aim for 750 words (or so) if it’s text.
If it’s text, you must still include some other element – embedded video, embedded audio, a photo gallery.
You will ultimately post your final project on your web site, dedicating an entire page to it. So you will likely want a still photo to anchor your page.
How you’ll be graded:
The story: Its value as a story, its relevance, its facts, its appeal to a wide audience, its angle. Are you breaking new ground? Are you telling a unique story? Are you examining an issue? Do you have a strong character (subject) and do you have a compelling verb?
The storytelling: A strong opening/beginning that prompts the viewer/reader to want to continue reading/watching/listening.
A strong ending. The end visual/quote/sentence prompts you to want to share/re-listen/dwell on this story.
A strong middle. The story moves. It’s going somewhere.
Your command of using various elements and how those elements (visual, audio) help propel your story forward.
Quality of media will be evaluated (i.e. shaky video, ambulance siren drowning out your interview, super choppy editing, etc).
Audio: tight, concrete quotes; interesting nat sound (s) that transport the listener; if you include yourself on tape you’re doing so because it’s relevant to the story; emotional intimacy; no sound effects. IF you use music, use it sparingly and be able to defend its usage. You must also find a way of attributing it.
Photography/video: composition (rule of 3rds); variety of shots; use of a tripod; no pans or zooms; no over processing if you’re using photoshop or some other filter. Stick to straight cuts when editing video.
Online presentation: Headline, contextual text, how you incorporated additional elements on the page; is it visually appealing?
In class presentation: Your reporting method, your storytelling choices (why you chose video vs audio) What you were trying to accomplish and your own self-critique of your project: what you learned. How you would pitch this story to an editor.
Final paper: A thorough analysis of what you tried to do and what you accomplished. This is similar to your in class presentation but it goes deeper. Take me through your choices; Tell me about the obstacles, the challenges you faced. What are the strongest elements of your project? What are the weakest? If you could do it over, what would you have done differently? Why did you choose this story? Why did you storytell the way you did? This is also your opportunity to think BIG and/or outside the box in terms of how you would have liked to present your story online. The paper should also address why you chose the story to begin with so you should incorporate a pitch.
Length: at least 3 pages.
In addition to the final paper, you will include your log – your log of all your tape, with what you ended up using in bold; a list of sources, including first and last names and contact info of everyone you interviewed. Depending on your log, what you turn into me could be in the 5, 7,10 page length.
Final projects must be posted June 3. We’ll begin presentations on that day.
Final papers – handed in to me (hard copies are preferred) due in class June 5.
So yes, some of you might be presenting your projects to the class on a Tuesday but your final papers aren’t due until 2 days later.
Please count Thursday as a field reporting day. We will not be meeting so I am sure you will use your morning wisely.
Attached is the final project memo. Take a look and we’ll go over it next week on Tuesday.
For those who weren’t in class today: we spent a lot of time evaluating and critiquing various multimedia stories. I’m reposting what we watched. By this point, you can tell that I’m big on you critiquing work (and I’m asking you to critique your own work in your final paper). So the more you look at and absorb as you create — the more you evaluate the choices these various reporters made for their stories — the likelihood is that you will in turn deliver a more sophisticated final project.
What we screened:
What else you should watch:
What’s due May 6
Shoot one standalone photo that tells a story. A news story, which means you’re documenting the world around you. Your subject should not be someone you know. Those who were in class had the choice of documenting The Hot Weather or May 1. The rest of you — find something “newsy” and post your best photo, WITH caption information. Make sure you caption IDs the person in the photo and provides some interesting context – perhaps a quote. The caption should not just say what’s obvious to the viewer – Joe Schmoe sits on a lawn wearing a blue shirt. Rather – Joe Schmoe, 37, takes a break from his marketing job to enjoy the hot weather on Thursday. Temperatures in Seattle broke records….
Aim for active vs passive voice – and aim to answer Who What Where When and Why in the caption.
Also, create a STRONG headline. Post everything on your blog.
A heads up — You’ll be turning in a reporting memo for your final project that will include a list of sources you will use. That will be due Thursday, which is our guest speaker day – Joshua Trujillo. Attendance is mandatory unless you want your final grade docked (per syllabus). Thanks.
What’s due April 29
DO: Based on some initial reporting, write up a 3-4 sentence treatment of the story. Think “Host Intro.” Think headline. Think Subject and VERB. Your written pitch should spark interest in the topic and explain the tension/conflict in the story. What’s tension/conflict? — What’s at stake in your story? What’s surprising? What hasn’t been reported on the subject? Why is this story DIFFERENT than any other/all other stories on the subject/person that have been done before. The pitch should include a few people — be specific/not “student beekeepers” but Joe Smith, a freshman who has been raising bees for 5 years and now captains the SU bee club — you want to interview. The pitch should include relevant news pegs. (Think statistics). The pitch should include the “scenes” and/or the action you’re going to unveil. Where are you going to take me? (And again, if you take me there, why do I care?) It should also address the compelling visuals that you think you’ll be able to capture. The visuals have to do with the “action” or the “intimacy” that you hope to capture. (It’s not “I want to shoot this really cool sequence of jump cuts at night. It’s “I want to document how a tattoo gets made from beginning to end – the person’s face; the needle on skin; the person looking in the mirror to see the final tattoo).
What’s due April 24, 2014
DO: Come up with 2 story ideas for your final project. Do some reporting in order to find a “news” peg. Be ready to answer Why this story? Why this story NOW? What are the audio elements and the visual elements you hope to get.
You’ll pitch to your classmates.
Also, please bring your smart phones or a digital camera. If we have time, we’ll be doing some field work.
April 17, 2014
DO: Using audio, take me somewhere and let me “see” something happen. Find a character. Use nat sound to convey a place as well as action. Use a series of sound bytes to convey information. Aim for a tight, surprising, intimate 1-minute mp3. You can mike yourselves and include your questions, if you’d like, for narrative flow. But this is a story about Your Person and not You. So keep the focus on what the person is saying. Quality of audio/power of “quotes”/richness of nat sound — all are factors in how you’ll be graded.
Before you start editing, transcribe — log — your tape. That will help inform your editing choices.
Post the MP3 to your blog. Post the entire transcript and bold the tape you actually ended up using in your audio. Include a strong headline – subject/verb.
Deadline: April 22.
READ/LISTEN: Please spend time looking at this. It’s a rich manifesto on how to put together a radio feature. But it should also help inspire you as you start brainstorming your final projects, which will be audio AND visual. It also introduces you to a wealth of radio resources. Check out all the links as well as some of the “This is Radio” videos. This is one of my favorite all-time resources.
PLAN: You will be making your first story pitch next Thursday, April 24 to the class. Come with 1 or 2 ideas. Start researching. The “why” this story will be critical for you to answer and your peers will help judge whether your story sounds promising.
April 8, 2014
DO: Collaborate with a partner (this applies to those who were in class and partnered up; the rest of you should do the assignment solo). Do a vox populi based on the question (or some form of this question): What are you doing on 4-20, which also happens to be Easter Sunday?
Aim for a variety/diversity of voices.
Interview at least 6 people. Choose the best 3. Make sure to get IDs on tape. Stitch the best three into an mp3 — this’ll be in the 1-2 minute range. Post an mp3 as a blog post, with a headline — subject/verb — and the introductory text that a host would read. The intro text is essentially the context for your mp3.
In your blog post, please note your partner’s name to give that person credit for the story.
What I’ll be looking for: diversity of voices; diversity of answers; complete sentences; IDs; creativity in terms of sequencing the cuts.
If you can’t embed the mp3 into your blog, post it onto soundcloud (or some other audio hosting platform) and then include the hyperlink to the mp3.
DUE Tuesday. Be prepared to present in class.
There’s a vox buried deep in this story about the walkman.
We covered all of these points in class but here’s a handy cheat sheet on how to do a vox.
Additional reading: Killing the “man on the street” segment.
April 3, 2014
DO: Spend 30 minutes listening to radio stories. Download an app – NPR, KUOW, KPLU, Stitcher. Radio shows — This American Life and or RadioLab also have apps as well as podcasts. The assignment here is to 1)listen for sound that transports you 2) listen for effective use of ‘nat’ sound.
DO: Spend some time looking and critiquing these Oso stories. What makes them compelling? How do they use audio, text, video, visuals? What’s the power of the storytelling? What connects with you? Is there emotion? Be prepared to continue our discussion in class Tuesday.
Oso – One
DO: Bring in smart phone on Tuesday for a field assignment.
April 1, 2014 DO: Produce a multimedia “story” about yourself. Incorporate one element of “nat” sound. That sound must be acquired by you and not staged. Final product no longer than 1 minute. Have fun. I just want to see your definition of “multimedia” and learn a little bit about you. Please post your story on your website. Please be sure to send me the url for your website so I can add it to this website. Be prepared to present your story to your classmates for critique on Thursday. Listen: Profile of a building. Take note of the “nat” sound used in here. We’ll discuss Thursday. —————————what’s below is old/but i keep it as a reference —————- For Wed. May 4 Please upload 1 photo – well composed and processed with photoshop or any other photo editing tool — that tells a story. Please watch this video tutorial on Soundslides. Please be sure to read the photoshop tutorial – below. And take a look at these additional tutorials: Cropping, Curves, Levels. Due Monday April 23: Two photos, well composed. Same place or story or event or person but two different shots: close-up/environmental. Quirky/serious. Before/After. You decide. Create a diptych. Use photoshop. Or just upload your photos to catalyst. Thanks. HEADS UP – Verbal story pitches to your classmates re: your final projects will be April 30. READING: Please read Chapter 8 in Journalism 2.0 and read the Photoshop Tutorial. —————————————————————————————– Due Monday April 16: A 1 minute story. Whatever you want so long as it includes all the essential elements – character, SEXY VERB, climax, resolution. Maybe catharsis. Either tell me a story in your own words – recording your voice — or interview someone or whatever you’d like. Be as creative as you’d like. Also mix in one piece of sound (nat; sound effect). Upload the mp3 to catalyst; also upload a written transcript. Be prepared to present your story in class. Due Monday April 9: Find an interesting person. Record them. The goal is to find an interesting, complete, emotional, captivating quote or in this case, sound bite. Think Story Corps. Make sure you get them to introduce themselves. Mix in room tone OR ambi (if you interviewed them in a noisy place). Upload a 1 minute mix — mp3 — to catalyst. Also upload a transcript. Week Two: — Honing your aural skills. Listening for nat sound, good sound bites. Listening assignment: The Teen Contender. (Listen to the radio story without looking at the visuals) The Bra Salesman And a really nice one that is just one person talking mixed in with music — note how much music and WHEN the music is mixed in: Personal Soundtracks to War HOMEWORK due April 9: Week One: Read Chapter 7 in “Journalism 2.0.” – That’s the Digital Audio and Podcasting chapter.Under “class essentials.” —————-OLD STUFF IS BELOW THIS. PLEASE IGNORE ————– Assigned May 6: Read chapter 9 – Shooting Video — in Journalism 2.0 Find a subject to shoot. Remember: ACTION is going to make a sexier video. Shoot a sequence using ALL FIVE Shots. Remember, the rules (see your email) Upload sequence to youtube or to vimeo. Then embed video onto your blog, with a short blurb, by Thursday May 13. For Thursday April 22 Read Chapter 8 in Journalism 2.0. “Shooting and Managing Digital Photos.” Download a trial version of Photoshop onto your computer. Go to http://www.adobe.com (Note: PS is available in the lab) A tutorial that can be ahead of time or, after Thursday. This will get you extra ready for Lab Production Day Tuesday Photoshop Tutorial. DEADLINES: Week Three: Tues: More on mixing with Audacity. Have audio (preferably your interview) to play with. Lab production day. Thurs: Photography. Guest speaker. Weekend assignment: audio. Interview AND ambi. Begin to mix it down into an mp3. Week Four: Tues: The Seattle sketcher is our guest speaker. Photo 101 lecture/ (If you have your final audio mixed down by this day you’re in great shape). If you don’t, don’t panic. Thursday: Photoshop 101 lecture. Have photos available (any kind of photos) to practice on. Download free trial of Photoshop onto your computers. But yes, labs will be available. Weekend assignment: Shoot all your photos for soundslides. And, if need be, collect additional audio. Have final mix done by Tuesday. If you don’t have final mix done by Tues you’re in bad shape. ***Activate your web page *** Five: Tuesday: Soundslides 101 lecture. Uploading your project onto your UW pages. Have raw photos in hand. Have final mp3 available. Lab day. Thurs: Final Soundslides production day. Be ready to present your projects Tuesday Six: Video lecture 101. Soundslides presentation More on video. Soundslides presentation. You should connect with your profile subject by Thursday and set up an interview time for next week Seven: Video editing 101 Eight: Video sequencing assignment due. The rest of the time should be working on your MAJOR video assignments. You’ll be working in teams. They are due Tuesday, Week 10. And yes, there is NO final exam. ————————————————————————- For Tuesday April 13 Interview someone, preferably your audio slideshow subject. Bring your raw audio to class on Tuesday. Tues will be a class production day; a chance to touch base with your group. Your raw audio might be an interview with some ambi. But don’t feel like you have to have EVERYTHING done by Tuesday. Keep playing around with Audacity. Review the tutorials, below. Need/want audio files to import as practice? Go here. For Thursday April 8 In advance of Thursday’s lecture on editing audio, please review the following tutorials. I don’t care if you choose to use some other audio editing program besides audacity (free to download and also, in the labs); or Garage band (if you’ve got it on your mac) or even Adobe audition (not free but on the labs upstairs). All that matters is that you know how to upload your audio files off your recorders. You know how to edit. And you, most importantly, know how to export your audio project as an mp3. Basic audio editing using Audacity. (For those planning on using the free software on their own computers; and/or those who want to use the lab computers). Required viewing. For those who want to use Garage Band please watch this tutorial. If you plan on using your own laptop please download the audacity software onto your computer. You will also want to download the LAME encoder. Read Chapter 7 in “Journalism 2.0.” – That’s the Digital Audio and Podcasting chapter. For Tuesday April 6
For Thursday April 1. 1. Create a WP blog and send me the url so I can link to it. 2. Create a word cloud. Upload it onto your blog and give a short explainer as to its look and why you think your text is effective in this way. 3. Reserve audio equipment and bring it to class on Thursday. Or, you can use your own equipment. 3a. Sign up for multimedia crits — go to Catalyst discussion board. 4. Read “Goosing the Gray Lady.” ——————————————————- Old notes. Just ignore. For Oct 14 1. Bring in sound files to class. (This may mean you might also be bringing in your actual recorders). If you work on a laptop and plan to edit on your laptop then bring that in also. 2. Rework your bios. Those who are confident their 500-word bios need no reworking can proceed to whacking it down (100-200 words) and submitting that. (Collect It, 9:30 a.m. Oct 18). Everyone else, rework your 500-word bios and upload to CollectIt by Oct. 18 (9:30 a.m.) 3. Continue the magazine topic discussion on GoPost. We will vote Wednesday. For Oct. 12 Completion of “Cleaning Your Copy” course on NewsU. Link is here. Course report due 11:30 a.m. Oct. 12 Magazine topic proposal: Propose a topic; list 3 compelling reasons for the topic; think “relevance,” “potential audience,” and existing competition. Upload your post to GoPost (under “Magazine Proposals” thread). Due midnight Oct. 11. Be sure to log back on and read your classmates’ proposals before class Oct. 12 and be prepared to vote for your top 2. Start brainstorming on possible subjects for your field assignment. You must have raw audio to work with for Oct 14. class. —————————————————— For Oct. 7 “Out of Print” by Eric Alterman ———————— ————————- ————————– For Tuesday, April 14. COMPLETION DATE IS MIDNIGHT MONDAY. Have the course report emailed to me. Managers will complete Build and Engage Local Audiences Online Producers will complete EITHER “Telling Stories With Sound” (mandatory if you were not with me last quarter and your story will include audio or video). Or if you were with me last quarter do this one. Five steps to multimedia storytelling. Even if you’re a producer who is experience with multimedia you need to take one of these courses. I’ve been writing for 14 years and I still learn something from listening to a writer talk about her work. So the “five steps” course will help you with your story (now that you’ve got one) and/or could inspire you to approach things differently. Week TWO, clarification The NewsU course you should complete by Tuesday is this one, about Finding Your Niche. I had it wrong on the syllabus. The Build Your Local Online Audience course is for Week Three. If you already started the wrong one go ahead and finish it. It’s my fault. Just finish ONE of these courses by Tuesday. You’ll eventually have to do the other one in any event. Thanks. NOTE: LINKS BELOW FIXED. THEY SHOULD ALL WORK NOW – FD. 4-2 Week Two: For Tuesday April 7, in prep of our guest speaker, some readings about legal issues and online journalism. Read this. And read this Also, the News U course, which should take 2-3 hours: “Targeting New Audiences and Finding Your Niche.” (Under Online/Multimedia). Course report due to me — have it sent to my email — by start of class time Tuesday. Week One: Placing Hot Dish in the Context of the Newspaper Industry Turmoil, by Jeff Reifman Key News Audiences Now Blend Online and Traditional Sources, a survey by the Pew Center for the People & the Press. The Hot Dish app The Minnesota Daily app