Digital Journalism

COM466 – University of Washington

SoundSlides Assignment

Proof of Concept SoundSlides Project – 50 points
Approximately 2 minutes audio (minimum 90 seconds) with approximately one photo for each 6 seconds of audio (minimum 20 photos; more if you have one or more fast sequences)

For Wed 11 Mon 16 May Lab, Due Fri 13 20 May by noon

In Monday Lab:

  • Shoot and edit the photos and gather and edit the audio for your slideshow before class. These are new photos and a new story!
    (a) Bring at least 30 high-resolution digital photos (that you have already edited) related to this story on USB thumb drive (or upload them to your Dropbox).
    (b) Bring your edited audio story (mp3, approximately 90-120 seconds) or upload it to your Dropbox.
  • You will learn how to use SoundSlides and how to upload your files to a web server. You will learn how to export a SoundSlides file in a format that you can upload to YouTube and then embed in WordPress.
    (1) You will resize your photos to an exact width of 1000 pixels (thus they should be larger than this to begin with)
    (2) You will save the images at a resolution of 72 and a JPG quality of high.
    (3) Each photo will have a caption that clearly identifies significant individuals by first and last name and some other significant piece of information (such as title)

By noon Wed:

  • A blog post containing
    (a) a one-two paragraph summary of the visual/audio story and an explanation your goals; note any reporting/photography/audio 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.

Deliverable Details:

(1) Blog Post: You will create a blog post on your blog as well as the COM466 site that promotes your SoundSlides story; you can use the story summary from your earlier blog post if you think it is “punchy” enough. Remember that this is a promotional post; it should not contain any reference to your project goals. The post will contain a link to your SoundSlides project (we cannot embed SS into posts) as well as an embedded YouTube clip of the project.

The blog post headline should be illustrative of the story (not “soundslides assignment”) and you should tweet a promotional link.

You will zip  your SoundSlides project folder and then upload it to your Dropbox public folder. Be sure to name the folder something like “mike-soundslides”. The file name MUST BEGIN with your first name (lower case) and there can be no spaces in the file name. Alternatively, consider bringing a blank CD to class and burning a disk of your work for yourself and for me.

(2) Email to me:

Put “COM466 SoundSlides” in the email subject line; assignments that use any other subject line will not be read and the assignment will be considered “not turned in” (no points).

In the email, include the Dropbox public folder link (unless you gave me a CD in class) and the links to your blog post (both on your site and on the course site).


  • Content – Do the photos tell a story? Is the story logical (progression, relevance)? Are you giving the reader the information she needs to understand the story? How well does the audio story complement the visual story?
  • Technique — Do the photos demonstrate good composition and light exposure? Is the audio clear? Are individuals properly identified?
  • Bonus points for news value

NOTE: These are the same criteria that will be used to assess the audio on your final project.

Grading (SoundSlides Story – 50)

  • 10 points – content is coherent and interesting (and there is a real story)
  • 5 points – the audio story complements the visual story and is technically competent
  • 5 points – the photo story demonstrates rule of thirds, proper exposure, focus, varied angles
  • 5 points – Soundslides: audio and photos match up reasonably well
  • 5 points – Soundslides: proper photo size and resolution
  • 4 points – Soundslides: photo captions and meta data
  • 2 points – there are at least two voices (yours and an interviewee)
  • 2 points – content includes a clear, complete self-ID to begin or end the story (for example, “My name is Jack Jones, and I’m a senior at UW”)


  • 5 points – blog post due noon on Wednesday
  • 4 points – promotion/announce blog post (both sites) has compelling headline, overview and photos
  • 3 points – tweet promoting blog post is compelling, timely and contains course hashtag
  • 5 points – news value (bonus points)

If you do not use the proper subject line for your email to me, you will have missed your deadline (no points).


2 Responses

  1. […] Proof of Concept SoundSlides Project, due Friday at noon (20 May) […]

  2. […] SoundSlides assignment due Wednesday […]

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