Week 4

In-Class:
-Discuss BuzzFeed – Here’s some background on the site. They set out to be the “first true social news organization – that is, an outfit built on the understanding that readers increasingly get and share their news on Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms.” Find one post you think is a good example of “combining traditional reporting and experimental methods of social distribution.” Come to class on Tuesday, ready to talk about it.
-Checking in on student blog list
-Highlighting a few aspects of WordPress.com’s CMS
-Grading rubric or What I’m looking for in a blog post
-Common types of blog posts
-Tips for writing for the web
-Writing web headlines
-Leads

Assignments:
-Read NPR’s CodeSwitch (news blog of the week)
-Read JournalismNext Chapter 3 – “Crowd-powered collaboration”
-Read JournalismNext Chap 10 – “Managing news as a conversation”
-Post 2: Aggregation and Post 3: Free Choice due by Sept. 28 at 10 p.m

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Post 2: Aggregation and Post 3: Free Choice due Sunday, Sept. 28

Both posts are due Sunday, Sept. 28 at 10 p.m. 

Post 2: Aggregation – Worth 25 points
News aggregation is a term used to describe human or computer generated collection and republishing of online information. It is an active way for reporters to do research on a subject. Learn what others are writing about and saying then share it. The reporter provides a service for the audience by finding and organizing the best information on a topic. The hyperlinks help generate authority and traffic.

Assignment:
Write a post that pulls together and organizes online information that is useful for your reader. Your post must include at least 5 hyperlinks. Upload a photo to add some artwork to the post. Take your own photo, follow fair use guidelines, or use Creative Commons image. Give photo credit in the caption.

Grading Criteria:

  • Does the post organize useful information for readers?
  • Post contains at least 5 links that are properly formatted
  • Artwork and caption for post that follows fair use guidelines
  • See grading rubric for specifics

Examples:
-Weekend Picks (uwishunu)
-Comcast Roundup (Technically Philly)
-New York Today (NYTimes.com)

Post 3 (Free Choice) – Worth 25 points
Free posts allow students to create a blog post of their choosing. Pick the topic, the format, and the length of the post.

Grading Criteria:
Each free post should be newsworthy, informative and useful for your specific audience. For specifics, see grading rubric.

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Week 3

In Class:
-WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org
-Blog set up

Assignments:
-News blog of the week: BuzzFeed – Here’s some background on the site. They set out to be the “first true social news organization – that is, an outfit built on the understanding that readers increasingly get and share their news on Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms.” Find one post you think is a good example of “combining traditional reporting and experimental methods of social distribution.” Come to class on Thursday, ready to talk about it.
-Catch up on book reading (Forward, Intro, Chapters 1 and 2)
-Blog Set Up and Post 1 (Introduction) due by Sunday, Sept. 21 at 10 p.m. (Worth 40 points)

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Blog Set Up and Post 1 due Sept. 21

Blog Set Up and Post 1 (40 points) due Sunday, Sept. 21 at 10 p.m.

Follow the step-by-step instructions for setting up your blog.

Each student blog must have the following elements:

  • Specific, focused and accessible beat pitched on time (10 points)
  • Compelling, informative title (2 points)
  • Appropriate theme and complete design (2 points)
  • About Page or text on your sidebar that explains your publication (2 points)
  • Author’s full name – first and last – must be in a permanent location on the blog like an About page or on sidebar (1 point)
  • Blogroll with at least five other online publications or blogs related to beat or topic (5 points)
  • Twitter widget. You can use an existing Twitter account or set up a new one specifically for this blog topic. Follow 20 accounts related to topic. (5 points)
  • Archives widget (1 point)
  • Blog Stats widget (1 point)
  • Time zone set correctly. (Select “New York” in WordPress) (1 point)

-1 for each typo, spelling or grammar error, AP style mistake or incomplete element.

Post 1: Your first post should introduce yourself and your blog topic to your audience. Outline what you hope to accomplish in the coming weeks: What kinds of stories you plan to do? Who do you hope to interview? What kinds of places do you hope to photograph? What events can you attend in the next month? Be as concrete and specific as possible. Check spelling, grammar, and AP style. (10 points)

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Setting up your OJ1 blog with WordPress.com

If you are using the free version of Word Press…

Continue reading

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WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org

Here are some basic differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org

WordPress.COM

  • Free
  • Must have .wordpress.com in URL (unless you pay)
  • @ 70 Themes
  • Dozens of plug-ins/widgets
  • Can’t modify CSS
  • Can’t upload audio or video directly
  • Used by average people
  • You must stick with basic template
  • They put ads on your blog

WordPress.ORG – Or a self-hosted WordPress blog

  • Free, but you have to your own Web host (pay $5-10 a month)
  • Claim your own URL
  • Thousands of themes
  • Thousands of plug-ins/widgets
  • Can modify HTML/CSS
  • Can upload audio and video directly
  • Used by average people and news orgs
  • You can make it your own

WordPress.org which has a lot of tutorials.

I also recommend educhalk.org a great resource for learning how to build a Web site using WordPress.org.

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Week 2

In Class:
-News blog of the week: HuffingtonPost.com. Read and dissect the website over the next few days. Try to answer the following question: Huffington Post is the most popular blog in the U.S. Why? What is the appeal of this blog? What is about the site’s content and presentation that attracts readers?
-Ethics talk: Permission, waivers, plagiarism, copyright, fair use and Creative Commons
-Blogging basics
-Pitch your beat in class on Thursday

Assignments:
-Read HuffingtonPost.com (news blog of the week)
-Read JournalismNext Chapter 1 – “We are all digital workers now,” but skip section on Web design
-Read JournalismNext Chapter 2 – “Blogging for better journalism”
-Read the Cyberjournalist.net’s Blogger Code of Ethics
-Pick a beat to cover for the semester and get it approved by instructor

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