Welcome to Online Journalism I – Fall 2014

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
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, opportunities, ethical and legal issues of digital journalism.
  • Author a news-oriented blog on a well-defined beat or coverage area.
  • Write blog posts with effective headlines, writing, structure, links and key words.
  • Use social media as a tool for reporting and audience engagement.
  • Gain practical knowledge of basic HTML/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 that is suitable for internship, freelance and job applications.

TEACHING METHODS:
Students will practice online journalism in this course. Practice, in this case, means developing journalistic skills to cover a topic for a real audience, not just fulfilling 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 that 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 a professional journalist. This course stresses journalistic ethics, writing for online media, and basic multimedia reporting and production.

Download a pdf version of the syllabus.

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