Digital Journalism

COM466 – University of Washington

Week 4 – Wednesday

Guest Lecture: Mark Briggs

  • Recap: effective audio
  • Rethink: structure of the rest of the quarter
  • Course points (copied from Assignments summary) – Catalyst Gradebook
  • New resources

(1) Mark Briggs (Journalism 2.0)

  • Are we using a thousand words when a picture would work better?
  • Clay: filter failure not info overload
  • Filters: GoogleReader & Twitter
  • Top 5 people to follow: Clay Shirky, Jeff Jarvis (BuzzMachine), MediaShift, Jay Rosen
  • Where’s my paycheck? WestSeattleBlog, Pegasus (Texas), Grist, MyBallard, MedCityNews (Cleveland), xConomy,, GigaOm, TechCrunch, TechFlash (Seattle), FireDogLake (Kathy -> $150K goal), ProPublica (Kathy)
  • You won’t see as many “long form” sources of journalism as we move forward (biz model)
  • Three things students should know/do before graduating: (1) have a blog with a topic you are passionate about and write authoritatively about (the power and responsibility of being you own publisher and it will teach you some technology), (2) think entrepreneurally (not just news business), (3) figuring out social networking for professional gain (getting jobs, finding sources, getting the better stories). Be comfortable with technology (base literacy – blogs, social networking, audio/video/photo).
  • Why do they keep changing Facebook? That’s so annoying!

Your take-aways from Mark’s book

  1. Adam
    What I took away from both of these chapters are the way the technology has truly leveled the playing field for journalists.  This cheap technology that has become widely distributed can be used by amateurs to produce good-quality work, something that was not necessarily possible in the past.
  2. Andrew
  3. Gwen
    With everything, if one is considering a career in journalism that individual must seriously consider becoming proficient in both audio and photo. Without them, the journalist’s story and overall work will be lame.
  4. Jeff
    The main point I took away from Briggs’ chapter on photo-taking was that I should have my camera with me at all times, and especially that I take as many photos as I can.
  5. Michelle
    I sensed an urgency to fully realize our skills with digital pictures and audio in order to put our foot through the digital journalism door.
  6. Paul
    One thing I take away from Chapter 8: Gimp is a free online program supposed to work like PhotoShop.
  7. Reisha
    The two chapters demonstrate the importance of becoming comfortable with both digital audio and digital photos in today’s media world.
  8. Ryan
    One concern: the section about “crop out the bad stuff” came up in another class discussion about journalism ethics.  Editing an audio interview to remove the “bad stuff” is like editing a written quote for the same reasons.  Be careful.
  9. Sarah
  10. Scott
    “Blogs without art are lame.”
  11. Tara

(2) Recap: effective audio (ppt) and photos

(3) Rethink: structure of the rest of the quarter

  • Audio – discussion/assignments extended
  • Infographics – assignment deleted
  • Slideshow/video – topic recommendation (group project – brainstorming document)
  • Individual project – modified (soundslides or video)
  • Group project – recommendation

For Monday

  • First hour of class : lab/edit time
  • Second hour, guest speaker + pizza!

For Wednesday
2-3 minute audio story – new story or continue refining story number 1

  • By 8 am: blog post with (a) one to two paragraphs with a succinct summary of the story and explanation your goals; note any reporting challenges and (b) one to two paragraphs explaining how well you met your goals, what you learned doing this project, and what you would do differently if you had a chance to redo this assignment.
  • BRING the MP3 TO CLASS and we will upload them to the web and link them in the blog post.
  • Assessment:
    • Content – Does the audio tell a story? Are sound bites logical (progression, relevance)? Are you giving the listener the information she needs to understand the story? Is each person clearly identified? Can this story stand alone or does it need text or images for context?
    • Sound – Is the audio listenable? Is there some natural sound and is effective or gimmicky? [Remember: Do not use music unless it was recorded in the background of your interview, and it’s critical to your story. All natural (ambient) sound must be “true” to the story (if you’re interviewing the chef of a restaurant and want clanging dishes, record it at that restaurant – not another).
    • Bonus points for news value (your framing is critical here); creativity

For Monday 4 May

  • Everyone brings 75 photos of an agreed upon “subject” to class. We will “cull” your photos and share. Subject: “Red Square”

(4) New Resources

  • Google Profile (kegill)
  • Mac Tutorials ($)
  • Tweetie (Mac)

Filed under: Class Notes

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