Tuesday, August 23, 2016



This week, we will:
  • Be introduced to the semester-long project and general course structure
  • Break into editorial production teams that are assigned to a specific reporting "beat" or niche
  • Begin to set up our reporting blog with co-authoring permissions
    • Identify the preferred blogging platform (e.g. Wordpress, Tumblr, Medium, Blogger, etc.)
    • Identify the name of your semester-long blog
    • Prepare a branded logo and theme/design for your blog
  • Collaborate with your team to set up your reporting blog
  • Feel free to stylize your blog with a unique logo/theme
  • Make sure to set up co-authoring permissions for all team members
  • Begin work on your first reporting assignment (to be discussed on Aug. 30)
  • Read the following chapters:
    • 2: Selecting and Reporting the News
    • 10: Quotations and Attributions

Team Media Workshop Project


This semester is all about "doing." This class uses an "incubator" model that aims to conceptualize and launch original web news and information properties over the duration of the semester.

For the duration of the semester, each student is going to play an important role in the conceptualization and creation of an original website. You will curate and create original storytelling using written words, audio, video and photos to bring your site to life.

The class will soon break into website editorial "teams" for the creation of these separate, collaborative web properties. You will (as a team) determine the site name and even help design the logo.

Each blog/site will contain multiple posts and stories from each contributing team member, to include:
  • Traditional written stories/reporting
  • Original photojournalism slideshows
  • An experimental storytelling project
  • Original video reporting
  • Related social media streams
  • and more!
In class we will be demonstrating how to set your site up using a content management system (CMS). There are numerous free services that you can use, including BloggerWordpress, Medium and Tumblr. Each team is free to select the platform of their choice -- but please note that your instructor may not have technical familiarity with all CMS options. Please make sure that the platform you select allows for multiple contributors/authors.

For example, here is how multiple editors/authors can contribute to Blogger:


Each student on your editorial team will be able to post to the blog at any time. To enable this feature, one student on each team should create the initial blog and then invite each student collaborator into the blog as a co-admin.

To begin, the designated student that begins the blog should select "Settings" from the Blogger dashboard.  Then, look for the "Permissions" section and select "Add Authors" under the "Blog Authors" area to "invite" a registered Blogger user to contribute to your blog. At this point, that person will have limited "Author"-level access rights to the team blog. (Note: You may want to change the level of permission from "Author" to "Admin" after your teammates accept the invite to join the blog).

Please note that you should think of this blog as a publication. Don't be afraid to highlight other interesting stories or sites that you encounter online. A large part of "blogging" is referencing (and referring to) other sites.

NOTE: Since this is a PUBLIC blog, be aware that all libel, legal and copyright issues do apply to what you create and publish online. Use caution and common sense in your creations.

Examples of Previous Team Projects

Here are some examples of team sites from recent semesters:

Blogging Vs. Reporting - The Distinction and the Debate

Since we are using blogs for some of our projects, I want to make certain that students understand the following:

Please do not confuse the casual nature and language of many blogs with the "traditional" standards of journalism. Blogging is often personal in nature and told from a definite point of view. We will have many multimedia and/or reporting assignments that may be more personal and/or feature-oriented. This, of course, is different from traditional "hard news" reporting, where the focus on "objectivity" and storytelling will be more structured. For all assignments in this class, I expect you to uphold the high standards of "traditional" journalism -- even if it is published on your blog or site. This means that you should not ignore grammar, spelling, punctuation or clarity.

Here is a great article about the differences and debates brewing over "blogging versus journalism":

"Why Bloggers Can't Replace the Work of Professional Journalists"

Monday, August 22, 2016

Computer Lab Hours

Gray Wolf Hall 162 (a.k.a. "the computer lab") will be open during select hours this semester for use by enrolled students. Typically, this class is available whenever there are not scheduled classes in this room. For this semester, the expected daily "open lab" hours are as follows:
  • Mondays: 12-7 pm
  • Tuesdays: 1-7 pm
  • Wednesdays: 12-2 pm; 5-7 pm
  • Thursdays: 10:30 am-1 pm
  • Fridays: 8 am-12 pm
Please note that the GWH 162 computers do not have the Adobe Creative Suite (e.g. PhotoShop, Premiere, Illustrator, etc.). installed. If you need to use the Adobe Creative Suite, you will need to reserve use of one of four computers with this licensed software in Gray Wolf Hall 109. To reserve use of one of these computers, please see the front reception/welcome desk in the University Center wing of Gray Wolf Hall.