Digital Journalism

COM466 – University of Washington

Week 5 – Monday


  • First hour: lab with Kristina Courtnage Bowman
  • Lunch: pizza
  • Second hour: guest speaker: Barbara Serrano, managing editor at Yakima Herald-Republic

Recap of Wednesday’s assignment:

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 is 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 one).
    • Bonus points for news value (your framing is critical here); creativity

Filed under: Class Notes

3 Responses

  1. Gwen Davis says:

    I’m digging the pizza thing!! That sounds yum-yum! :-)

  2. pc britz says:

    Pizza is awesome! Thanks Kathy.
    Too bad you missed the session. Was a great example of how traditional papers are strugglig trying to catch up with new developments and how they are shaped by their traditional monetary ideas.

    Thought I’d share my notes from the session:

    Guest Lecture Barbara Serrano

    – What drives Journalism industry right now is the combination of the recession and the structural change towards the web.

    – Generational change: People around 30 don’t become newspaper readers anymore like they used to

    News Aggregation:
    News agencies (esp. AP) are trying to get together in order to put up a wall around all their content and protect it from google etc.

    (Paul): If they manage to remonopolize – won’t there be somebody else offering it for free again and cause these agencies to crash again?

    (Collin): at the same time, aggrevators collect news and the technological development goes into new directions of news gathering and aggrevation (cf. newsmap

    Biz models: Ads online don’t pay enough to keep things going
    – micro-subscription/micro-payment experiments – will people buy that?
    – people still come to newspapers for their content (pro example: Wall Street Journal; con ex.: NYT columnists)
    – non-profit funded journalism (Bill Gates foundation)

    Barbara: Local Bloggers cannot substitute local newspapers, because they don’t usually have the credibility or investigative skills needed for good journalism
    Could be a way to add on to a newspaper (cf. Yakima Herald)

    Would people be willing to pay for sites such as the MyBallard Blog?

    “Every time a major company goes out of business, think of the newspaper that loses an insert”
    “from fast change comes creativity and ideas”
    “journalism will survive, it will just be in a different form”

    Advice for Students:
    “Don’t get too distracted by technology. Work on your ability to tell a story, in any industry and not just journalism. It is not the ‘wizbang’ stuff that is capturing, but the story, the emotion and the drama. That is journalism to me and that’s what is going to survive.”

  3. sew28 says:

    Barbara left us with this question that just echoes in an industry like journalism: What’s the business model now?

    Would you pay for content?

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