Listen Up

Ear Horn

I’m delighted to see that almost everyone is finished with audio projects. I was hoping that students would listen to one another’s work and leave comments on the blogs. So far this doesn’t seem to  have been happening. So I guess I should ask everyone to please listen and leave feedback.

Try to leave comments that are honest and helpful. Don’t be afraid to point out something that you think could be improved. Or ask questions about particular production decisions.

If I’m not mistaken, there is a blogging component to everyone’s final course grade. As far as I’m concerned, commenting is an important part of blogging.

For tonight: Let’s postpone chapter 13 until Friday’s lesson. I understand that many students were surprised that it is such a long chapter and didn’t afford enough time to prepare for tonight’s lesson.

So we will begin with a short time together to see if anyone has questions or comments and you’ll then be turned loose to work on your various stuff that needs to be worked on.

Also it seems that some students haven’t made much progress with Storify yet. Let me know if you need a quick demonstration.


Image: Ear Horn by Paul Garland through CC Licensing
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Time Running Out

At long last I have finally posted the details for activity and project 3. I feel that I’ve mentioned all the points covered in class. Please have a look at the details and let me know if there any questions.

Tonight’s class: We will begin the lesson by briefly going over chapter 12. You will then have time to work on your various tasks. Please make a point to see me if you have questions about any of your work.

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3/14 Class Plan

No Pie Chart today. Here’s how we will deal with Chapter 11 tonight.

I’ve set up a storify page looking at several online news organizations’ packages for a big story in the American politics. With your group, compare two of the packages in terms of ideas presented in the chapter. You should also consider how the information in the packages would be presented differently in print form. After 15 minutes, each group will give a short presentation to the class.

For next time: Find online polls from three different websites and analyze the purpose of the polls. Are they designed to tell editors something important about the audience like and dislikes, or they just designed to entertain? We will discuss these at our next lesson. Also, read chapter 12.

One more thing: Irene told me that Voice of America is looking for stories and reflections about the 3/11 earthquake and tsunami, and the one year commemoration. Students are encouraged to make submissions to their Tsunami Stories Tumblr.

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Data Smog via Storify

I just discovered how to get a Storify collection into a wordpress.com site. The trick is to use the export feature instead of the embed feature. You will have to enter the URL and login details for your blog to do this.

Below is a quick collection of links related to a topic mentioned in chapter 10 of our text: Data Smog. David Shenk’s 1997 book seems to have been one of the earliest mentions of  this idea that we are overloaded with information. 15 years later, I wonder how true his warning rings. Any thoughts?

  1. Share
    David Shenk on Data Smog
    Mon, Dec 15 2008 11:17:54
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Issuu Pages – Review Activity

I’m so happy to see how cool everyone’s pages look. For now, I’ve uploaded each of your PDF files to Issuu.com so they can be see online.

I’ve also assigned each of you two articles to review on your blog. You should do each review as a separate blog post. I’d like these to be complete before 3/7. Details about how to prepare your review will be given in an upcoming post.

Article Reviewer 1 Reviewer 2
Rei Kona Lynn
Shinichiro Rei Kona
Kris Shinichiro Rei
Kai Kris Shinichiro
Tiffany Kai Kris
Runa Tiffany Kai
Monica Runa Tiffany
Jean Monica Runa
Adora Jean Monica
Lynn Adora Jean
Kona (forthcoming) Lynn Adora
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Audio Resources

As we dig into our audio feature assignment, I’d like to direct your attention to some great examples of radio journalism.

First up will be a couple of different pieces featuring Kelly McEvers, a correspondant for National Public Radio (NPR). She’s become renowned for her reporting from the Middle East in recent years.

First up is a documentary/interview piece on her work from HowSound.

In the other story from Transom.org, The War Will Be Streamed, Kelly writes about how she has used social networking tools to make connections that helped her to cover some of the recent Arab uprisings.

Please try to listen to her story The Pirate from HowSound piece before our class on Wednesday so we can discuss it.

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Best Designed Papers

A recent twitter tweet mentioned a blog post that names the 5 of the best designed papers in the world. It might be useful to look at the design and layout of some of the the award winning papers as you begin to build your own pages in InDesign. One paper I particularly found attractive was The Grid from Toronto, Canada.

In addition to seeing some good examples, the blog post also offers a clear statement on what makes for a good paper. There is certainly talk about layout and typography. But they also talk about how the paper tries to find and serve an audience. This quote is worth considering:

The formula for excellence will always be less about format and typography than about the unreserved commitment to the community of readers that newspapers serve and clarity about the nature and interests of those readers.

Though we clearly have online news in mind for this class, it can still  be useful to apply ideas and techniques from more traditional forms of journalism.

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February 8 – Pie Chart

Your quizzes have been marked and will be returned at the start of class. We will briefly go over the answers. Please check my math on the scoring, it’s possible I made a mistake and will make adjustments as necessary.

After discussing the quiz, we will go over Chapter 7. Hopefully everyone has brought one or two questions to keep our conversation moving along.

Finally, I want to give everyone time to continue working on the InDesign layout for Project 1.

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1896: Newspaper Wars

ImageThe other evening in class I tried to find an article I’d recently read that featured the Yellow Kid graphic. Now I’ve found it and would like to direct your attention to 1896: Newspaper Wars.

In addition to providing detail and context to the feud between Pulitzer and Hearst, the piece does a nice job of portraying the journalistic climate in New York at the end of the 19th century.

You’ll recall from our text, that the author made the claim that journalism as a profession was just a little more than a century old at the time of the World Trade Center terror attacks. 9-11 in our text was used to demonstrate how media coverage has changed since the time of the McKinley assassination in 1901. If that is so, then the time period depicted in 1896: Newspapers Wars would be be sometime near professional journalism’s infancy or early childhood.

I was surprised to see in the this article another mention of McKinley in relation to Pulitzer’s support of McKinley’s opponent in a presidential election of 1896. The entire site seems to be devoted to the year 1896. It is worth exploring to get a sense of the time.

It also refers to yellow journalism which is connected to our discussion the other day. And there’s even a mention of the Yellow Scare which is related to Rei’s awesome report on the coverage of Japanese emigration to the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries.

I’ve found the 1896 Newspaper Wars article to be an informative and enjoyable read. Please check it out let me know if it sparks any thoughts or ideas.

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February 6 – Pie Chart


I’m almost caught up. I’ve been able to provide annotated feedback to seven of you so far. My apologies to the final four. I hope to have this squared away before our next meeting.

Tonight’s primary order of business will be the second slice of the pie: the quiz over chapters 1 – 5.

This will come after we spend a bit of time discussing were we are to date with our first assignment and project. I’m also still working on plans for the second assignment / project. As mentioned last week, it will involve an audio project in which you interview someone and prepare a short radio documentary type feature piece.

After the quiz, I’d like to hear from everyone one about what you’d like to cover for the rest of the semester: your beat. Please make a point of checking in with me on this before you leave.

Homework Note

We will cover chapter 7 on Wednesday and chapter 8 on Friday. Please read ahead and come to class prepared to discuss. As always, writing down a question or two is a good idea.

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