Welcome to Online Journalism 1 – Spring 2012

This course examines the online news landscape. Students learn which principles of traditional journalism can and should be applied to the web, and what makes online journalism unique. Students gain this knowledge through reading assignments, class discussion and activities, and a series of reporting, writing and multimedia production assignments.

COURSE OBJECTIVES:
• Explore the unique challenges and opportunities of digital journalism.
• Examine ethical and legal issues of online journalism.
• Maintain a website using a Content Management System.
• Author a news-oriented blog on a well-defined beat or coverage area.
• Write blog posts and news articles for the web with effective headlines, structure, links
and key words.
• Use social media as a tool for reporting and audience engagement.
• Gain practical knowledge of basic XHTML/CSS.
• Become proficient in basic multimedia reporting and production including how to tell
a story using text, links, photos, audio, video, information graphics and data
visualizations.
• Produce an online publication with original reporting and multimedia content. If done
well, this publication will be suitable for internship, freelance and job applications.

TEACHING METHODS:
Students will practice online journalism in this course. Practice, in this case, means acting as a journalist and covering a topic for a real audience, not just pretending to do journalism to fulfill a school assignment. Students will select a topic or beat to cover for the semester. Each student will create a blog and then report, write and create multimedia content to cover the topic. All assignments will be posted online for anyone to read. Students will build an online audience. I will serve as an editorial advisor and give the same responses, instruction and suggestions that I would give to professional journalists. This course stresses journalistic ethics, reporting and writing, and multimedia storytelling.

All lecture notes, assignments, articles and tutorials will be posted on this blog. It is also a portal to student work. Students should bookmark the class blog or subscribe to its RSS feed and read it regularly.

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