Digital Journalism

COM466 – University of Washington

Week 02 – One-Way Journalism Meets MultiMedia

Subtitle: Picking The Medium That Best Tells The Story

How do we “tell a story” in hyperspace? And what, exactly, is a news story? (Writing for Mass Media 101)

Today’s Agenda

  • Housekeeping (review assignments)
  • Skills/Lecture: news judgment
  • Discussion: changing media environment
  • Demo/Lab: WP and Twitter


Skills/Lecture: News Judgment

  • Lecture (PPT, slideshare)
  • Exercise: Working in small groups, develop a checklist for evaluating the “news” that crosses your computer screen. Have someone in the small group act as recorder and summarize your findings in a comment on this blog post; list the names of the people in the group.


Reading Discussion

In small groups, discuss last week’s readings about the economics of the news business. Find three points of agreement. Brainstorm possible revenue streams. Have someone in the small group act as recorder and summarize your findings in a comment on this blog post; list the names of the people in the group. We’ll regroup and have a short class discussion.

Lab Demo/Reminders: WordPress

  • Recap: Comment moderation – off!
    Dashboard -> Settings -> Discussion -> moderation setting (screen grab)
  • Comments:
    Moderate the placeholder (delete) and any pending comment from us
    Dashboard -> Comments
  • Comments: make sure they are enabled
    Dashboard -> Settings -> Discussion (screen grab)
  • Categories:
    Remember to categorize each post so that “uncategorized” doesn’t reappear
    Dashboard -> Posts -> Categories
    – edit “Uncategorized” and rename as “Miscellaneous”
    – add “Assignments” and “Reading” and “Projects”

Lab Demo/Assignment: Twitter (ppt)

Recap: @, D, RT, #

Demo: how to follow; URL shortening (,

To start, follow one another as well as me – @kegill_uw (optional: @kegill)

  1. @digidave (national)
  2. @hrheingold (national)
  3. @jayrosen_nyu (national)
  4. @markbriggs (local)
  5. @marshallk (national, tech)
  6. @moniguzman (local)
  7. @timoreilly (national, tech)
  8. @toddbishop (local, etch)
  9. @waltmossberg (national, tech)
  10. @westseattleblog (local)


Before Class : Wednesday at noon

  • Twitter:
    Find and follow an additional six (6) people related to digital journalism : this means that everyone should be following a minimum of 40 (new) accounts  (24 + 10 + 6)
  • Blog post:
    List (hyperlink the name) the six accounts you are following with a short explanation of who they are / why (feel free to copy/paste their bio if it contains all relevant info). Category: assignment; tag: Twitter, journalism. Example post. The blog post serves as a permanent record of your resource.
  • Twitter and Blog Post:
    Find one article about Twitter & journalism and one about writing news stories. Write a short blog post about each article (snappy headline, summary, link to the article) and then tweet each blog post (two blog posts, two tweets).  Category: assignment; tag: both – journalism, resource; one – Twitter. On the tweets, remember to include our hashtag and use a URL shortener: #com466 | This exercise mirrors the write/promote workflow that is today’s newsroom.

Before Class : Monday at noon

  • Read: CH 1,  Journalism 2.0 (pdf)
  • Complete this NewsU tutorial on ethics
    Blog post: 

    • Module 1 (Why … Accuracy and Fairness) — which of the six case studies resonated the most with you and why? which has the most relevance to this course and why?
    • Module 2 (Doing… ) — what can you do to incorporate the 10 questions into your work this quarter? where might your “gut” steer your wrong?
    • Module 3 (Guiding…) — how might digital transparency impact these principals? what are some examples (other than these three) of online ethical issues?

Filed under: Class Notes

5 Responses

  1. marci466 says:

    4.4.11 Com466: Small group discussion group: Marci Maciaszyk, Ashley Gangadean, Amber Favre Shroyer, Stephanie Long, Jeremy Johnsen.
    Elements of importance to us when watching/reading news on tv,online,print:
    -Hyperlinks to credible sources, accurate quote attribution, no link bait!
    -Determine POV, agenda, political, persuasive, emotional appeals
    -Level of personal interest and self-relevance
    -Educate or entertainment important to different people
    -Short, condensed summary preferred for easy skimming and read-on if time/attention allows
    -Headlines that hook, have meaning/importance

  2. preetkaila says:

    4.5.11 Names of people in group: Preet Kaur, Josh Foster, John Han, John Moon
    What elements are important to us:
    Sources- where did the story originate from, who told it, who was there to witness
    Time- how recent is the story, when will it affect the people, is it happening now, did it already happen?
    Significance- what’s in the story for us, what exactly does it mean, why should we care?
    Bias- is the story objective or is it subjective, what views is it leaning towards
    What is the writer’s background- where do they come from, what’s their credibility, what education do they have on a certain matter
    Headline- is the main point attention catching

  3. snfsnf says:

    Small Group Exercise:

    Group Members:

    Karamo Kanny
    Graham Amsden
    Bryden McGrath
    Sommer Fuhs

    Things To Pay Attention To When Reading News

    headlines that end in a question or “trick” or propaganda-oriented headlines

    pre-packaged news or news that reads too much like advertising

    experts who seem to not be relevant

    experts from far away places on local stations

    video news releases or obvious news releases

    sources- the more the better

    anonymous sources

    whether the news is relevant to your life including timeliness, proximity

    the different degrees of relevance: others you’re close with and how the news interacts with them

    look out for unattributed facts

    look for writers who are established as writers or established on the particular subject versus those who aren’t

    grammar & spelling is important- goes to credibility

    pay attention to bias- any obvious bias leads to uncertainty of entire story

    bias can also be found by looking at the station (fox news) or the website (boeing reporting on boeing) or news releases

  4. […] Only three of the five groups (13 of 22 students present) posted a comment about “tips for news consumption” on Monday’s blog post. :-/ […]

  5. reedastley says:

    Yesterday a small focus group was assembled to identify what was most important in evaluating a news article. Mainly in light of the topics that we have been discussing in class, what now are the things that we look for in determining what makes a news article one that we want to read or cite.

    The general consensus was that our priorities, for the most part, have not changed very much, and the first and most important issues were the same for all of us.

    Source- what the source is was identified as the most important and the first thing considered when evaluating an article. Below are five sub categories relevant in evaluating the source as a good one.
    Credibility- is the source known as a credible one (and this may depend on the reader’s opinion to some extent)
    Biased- is that source a biased source. Even if you like the source you may choose something less biased depending on what you are looking for, or what you are using it for.
    Source’s sources- checking further to see what sources the article is using.
    Source type- Different levels of credibility will be inherent depending on the type of source, whether it is an article from a newspaper, a TV story, a blog, etc.
    Balance in the article- it is important that the article present both sides, or at least report on what the two sides are.
    Human interest- how that article’s topic relates to our lives.
    Civic Relevance
    Personal Relevance
    Accessibility- how directly we are connected to the article by clicking on the link. (and no headline bating)

    People in the focus group: Mia, Sara Espanol, David Liberty, Rowdy, Reed

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