Digital Job Summit!

At Thursday’s Digital Journalism Job Summit, we’ll visit with three recent SMU and Digital Journalism alums who all are thriving as Web-empowered media professionals:

    • Shannon Lynch, an account executive for Edelman, will join us in person for both classes. You may remember Shannon’s ePortfolio and audio slideshow, which have been featured in class as examples.

Two additional recent alums will participate in each class via Google Hangout:

    • Meredith Carey is assistant digital editor for Condé Nast Traveler magazine in New York City.
    • Marissa O’Connor, formerly a programming coordinator for new media at E! Online in Los Angeles, is social media manager for the Arizona Coyotes in Phoenix.

Follow these star alums on Twitter, and come to class with questions! BONUS: Marissa wrote a blog post for an earlier Digital class with all kinds of helpful job-hunting tips:

Hi Jake!

I’d like to think I learned a thing or two over my job search process so here goes! I apologize in advance for any typos..

1) ENJOY YOURSELF: Enjoy your last few weeks at SMU, they really are some of the best weeks of your entire college career. Graduation, especially the Meadows graduation is such an amazing time spent with your family AND friends!

2) Don’t think you need a job by May 15. You don’t. You’ve worked really hard the past four years and the right job is out there. I remember thinking I should apply to PR jobs just to have “a job” by May 15 like my older siblings had. That couldn’t be more false! In reality, this could be your last summer without a 9-5 job, so enjoy yourself!

3) …that being said, DON’T CREATE A GAP IN YOUR RESUME. The beauty of journalism is you can build your resume anytime any where. Could an accountant build their resume while laying on the beach all summer? No. Journalists can! I spent my summer after college writing for WhatsUpTucket, a social media hub for the island of Nantucket off of Cape Cod. (www.whatsuptucket.com) I wrote every week, if not every day. I had so much fun interviewing people and writing stories covering what was happening on the island. No matter what you’re doing this summer, blog about it! Tweet about it. Talk about it! Even if it’s “20 things I learned in summer 2012”- use your digital journalism skills and turn it into a piece you can bring in to interviews! When I interviewed at E! for my current job in New Media, they wanted to hear more about my summer writing for WhatUpTucket than my summer spent interning at The View in NYC. I specifically talked about how the site truly branded itself and wrote for a unique audience. This is something all of you have probably already done on your website!

4) NETWORK! It really is the name of the game. While on Nantucket for the summer I met so many different people who knew so many different people who worked in the entertainment field. SO many people you don’t even know yet want to help you find a job! (Myself included!) Tell people upfront that you just graduated from SMU with a degree in journalism, tell them about the daily update, your personal website etc! People will listen and they will help you – so don’t be shy and definitely don’t be embarrassed to say you don’t have a job yet! Trust me, you’re in good company!

5) The Job Search: Be patient, but be persistent! Make a list of job sites that you’re interested in and check them a few times a week. http://www.nbcunicareers.com where I found my job, updates their website EVERY day! I would research jobs every Monday and Wednesday of the week last summer and I typically waited to apply to jobs on a Monday or Tuesday. I’m not sure if there’s any truth behind this, but I didn’t think people would be interested in my emails on a Thursday or Friday when they were thinking about the weekend! Also, create a list of companies you’d like to work for and follow them on twitter! Starting today. If you’re intereted in ESPN, follow @RecruiterStacy – she tweets jobs all the time! So does @DisneyABC, foxcareers, etc. I was given the advice to apply for jobs that had “coordinator or assistant” in the title. Don’t be dismayed at careers that require 2-3 years of experience- majority will! Mine did! You have been immersing yourself in many different news platforms the past four years of college — and your hard work should be credited! Talk about your digital journalism work; your knowledge of vimeo, wordpress, garageband etc! Recruiters LOVE to hear from young people who have a good grasp on the futue of the industry, and all of you do!

6) You found the perfect job – but how do you let them know you’d be perfect for it? Many times when I was applying for jobs online I was convinced my resume and cover letters were getting lost in cyberspace. There really is know way to be sure that a job you submit online gets read by the proper person. Try to find someone in HR at the company- many times even just googling the company and HR you can locate a recruiter. Also, don’t be shy about asking around! If your cousins friend brother works at Good Morning America and that’s your dream – send him a facebook message simply asking if he knows the contact information for HR. You’re not asking for a job, you’re simply asking for an email address and everyone who has a job today was in your position at one point. If you can, drop in to the place you’re applying and submit your resume in person. This sounds so old fashioned, but I know many people who landed job this way! It show that your eager and enthusiastic.

7) Interviewing: I truly believe that landing an interview is harder than nailing an interview. Once you have an interview lined up prepare yourself – update your website, tweak your resume, and show up to the interview with writing samples. Be enthusiastic! If nothing else, leave the interview knowing that you were the most enthusiastic person they met that day. Many recruiters are just looking for personalities that are teachable — you can learn any skill set with the right personality and eagerness to learn. Show up prepared with questions – one question I asked was “What is the most common mistake new hires make?” – and people always love that question! People also love to talk about themselves- ask them how they got their start in the industry, where they went to college etc. Highlight your work at SMU and in internships. Be prepared to talk about things you learned along the way. I always say that my summer at The View one of the main things I learned was managing personalities. On and off the screen, ‘The View’ is made up of a cast of characters- there were so many unique personalities and learning how to work with each one of them was the hardest part of the job! It’s “real world” experience like that which shows people that at 21/22 you’re prepared for the industry.

If you need any help brainstorming or talking about ways to highlight your skill set have a mock interview with Jake or Lucy! I am also more than willing to help you. If any of you have any questions, feel free to email me!

Good luck y’all — and congrats on graduating!

Remember: there’s no better time to be a journalist! Really!

All the best,

Marissa

Take-home audio gathering exercise

*** SEE FULL ASSIGNMENT ON CANVAS (under Files) – YOUR SOUNDCLOUD LINKS ARE DUE BY 11:59 P.M. WEDNESDAY, 10/18 ***

The ultimate goal of our two-part audio gathering/editing lab exercise is to produce a short audio clip of 30 to 45 seconds that tells a coherent story. Here’s an example from Digital Journalism alum Laura Rowe, who visited an SMU isotope lab:

And just to show y’all that even old fogies can do this, here are two more example audio labs completed by two of your favorite professors:

Batsell — The Fountain on a Late Winter Day


Suhler — E-mailing: The Scourge of the 21st Century

From these examples, you can see that you will need 1) NAT SOUND; 2) VO and 3) a short INTERVIEW describing the sound (preferably with someone you don’t know).

Upload your three (SHORT) raw audio files from your phone to your computer or an external drive and post them individually to SoundCloud. Email the SoundCloud links (NOT the raw files!) to me by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18. On Thursday, bring your raw files to class, along with your laptop and some earbuds or headphones. You’ll use GarageBand to edit your three clips into an NPR-worthy masterpiece!

P.S. Looking for some tips on voiceovers? Here’s a great tutorial from the Knight Digital Media Center.

The Power of Multimedia Storytelling

For class on Thursday, Oct. 12, read the “Drilling Down” boxes in the Briggs book on pages 164-5 and 178. Then watch this three-minute audio slideshow by Caitlin Faw of The Baltimore Sun, which won a quarterly multimedia contest run by the National Press Photographers Association.

In a previous edition of Journalism Next, NBC News Vice President Stokes Young says the promise of multimedia storytelling is to provide what he calls an “immersive experience: bringing the story to viewers through multiple senses and, hopefully, bringing viewers into stories — the experiences of other folks — in ways that increase understanding.”

By 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11, leave a comment on this post, worth 5 class participation points, answering one of the following questions (double-check to make sure your comment posted and if it didn’t, email it to me):

  • Did this video deliver an “immersive experience” in comparison to legacy media formats and, if so, how?
  • What specific techniques did you notice that elevated the storytelling quality?
  • Would this story have been more or less powerful if it used voiceover from the journalist, rather than relying entirely on sources for narration?

Elevating Engagement

 

How can journalists infuse an audience-centered mindset into their work? In May, I had the chance to explore engagement strategies with fellow journalists and researchers at the Elevate Engagement unconference hosted by the University of Oregon’s Agora Journalism Center in Portland.

Speaking of engagement, for the past year I’ve served on the steering committee for a new platform called Gather that will be launching soon. We’re looking for volunteers who can write case studies of effective audience engagement in journalism (like WFAA-TV’s “Verify” experiment). If you’re interested in pursuing one of these case studies for your second blog post or for extra credit, let me know. It could be a great way to learn about real-world experiments in audience engagement while also making professional connections. Plus, it’s a clip!

Live blogging: A staple of 21st-century journalism

Live blogging is an important journalistic tool that can deliver context to readers as they are processing the news in real time. Live blogging often is absorbed a “second-screen” experience during which people simultaneously view live events such as political debates, sports events and even entertainment awards shows.

During today’s live blog exercise, you will bring context to Sunday’s Texas Tribune Festival closing panel by carefully searching for — and evaluating the credibility of — news reports and other resources that provide your readers with critical background and perspective. We will use CoverItLive, which is used by many journalism organizations to provide running coverage of live events. In the past, SMU J-students have even used CoverItLive to live blog about the SMU Student Senate, college lacrosse and SMU’s Celebration of Lights.

We will live blog the panel for about 25 minutes. For your live-blog entries, you can paraphrase the panelists’ comments, use direct quotes, provide links or share your own journalistic observations. (Whether you personally agree with the panelists doesn’t matter … you are simply trying to bring context to your readers who are following the panel.)

When the speech goes live, it’s going to seem a little chaotic. That’s OK. There are no points at stake here. It’s a practice exercise. 11 a.m. class | 2 p.m. class

Personal Branding and the Job Hunt

On Tuesday, we’ll start talking about jobs, personal branding and how to land that first gig. Skim/read this “Superpowers” report about the expectations of modern media employers. Peruse the Journo Salary Sharer to see how much reporters make around the country. Check out this Dallas Morning News graphic about the social résumé and Poynter’s 10 Ways to Make Your Journalism Job Application Better Than Anyone Else’s. And if this class has intrigued you about job opportunities related to audience engagement, read this Digiday piece about the evolving job duties of social media editors and/or this recent Columbia Journalism Review piece — you may recognize one of the sources. 🙂

Your homework (5 points) is to email me, answering/reacting to one of the following questions by 11:59 p.m. Monday:

  • What was the most memorable advice you took away from any of these readings?
  • Browse through some of Batsell’s favorite journalism job listings below. What trends/patterns do you see in what employers are looking for?

JOB/INTERNSHIP LISTINGS:
JournalismJobs.com
Poynter.org’s searchable job database
Mashable jobs
MediaBistro jobs
DFW Communicators Job Bank
Negotiating tips

News as Conversation

My book, Engaged Journalism: Connecting With Digitally Empowered News Audiences (Columbia University Press, 2015) examines the changing relationship between journalists and the audiences they serve. I’m eager to hear your reactions. For Tuesday’s class, please read Chapter 2: News As Conversation (the PDF is on Canvas under “Files”). By 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 11, post a reaction of 100 to 200 words as a comment on this post addressing the following question: How (if at all) did the chapter change the way you think about the role the audience plays in the journalistic process? For full credit, cite specific examples from your own reading of the chapter, as well as your own observations and experience. It’s not acceptable to piggy-back on your classmates’ answers without reading the chapter yourself. This assignment is worth 10 class participation points.

Twitter’s power as a journalistic tool

For class on Tuesday, Aug. 29: After reading the assigned portions of Briggs in Ch. 2, post a 100-to-150-word comment on this post answering this question: How did the reading change the way you think about how you use (or don’t use) Twitter as a tool for journalism and/or your career goals? Be honest and specific. This is worth 5 class participation points and is due no later than 11:59 p.m. Monday, Aug. 28.

Meet Your Professor

Welcome back to SMU, and welcome to Digital Journalism! I look forward to navigating the digital jungle with you this semester.

Here’s a short self-profile I produced for the Video Journalism Movement soon after I started teaching at SMU. Since then, I’ve spent a lot of time visiting newsrooms to conduct research on how audience engagement is changing journalism as well as best practices in the business of digital news.

I also invite you to follow me on Twitter and Instagram, as well as our still-developing class Twitter list.

Digital Journalism Job Summit!

At Tuesday’s Digital Journalism Job Summit, we’ll visit with three recent SMU and Digital Journalism alums who all are thriving as Web-empowered media professionals:

    • Shelby Foster, public relations manager for NorthPark Center, will join us in person for both classes. During her time at SMU, Shelby blogged as “The Southernista.”

Two additional recent alums will participate in each class via Google Hangout:

  • 11 a.m. class
    • Aida Ahmed, formerly a crime and government reporter for the Las Vegas Sun, is a senior marketing specialist for Deloitte in New York City.
    • Cameron Luttrell is a national reporter for Patch.com, a network of 1,000 hyperlocal news sites all over the United States. She also is based in New York City.

Follow these star alums on Twitter, and come to class with questions! BONUS: Marissa wrote a blog post for an earlier Digital class with all kinds of helpful job-hunting tips:

Hi Jake!

I’d like to think I learned a thing or two over my job search process so here goes! I apologize in advance for any typos..

1) ENJOY YOURSELF: Enjoy your last few weeks at SMU, they really are some of the best weeks of your entire college career. Graduation, especially the Meadows graduation is such an amazing time spent with your family AND friends!

2) Don’t think you need a job by May 15. You don’t. You’ve worked really hard the past four years and the right job is out there. I remember thinking I should apply to PR jobs just to have “a job” by May 15 like my older siblings had. That couldn’t be more false! In reality, this could be your last summer without a 9-5 job, so enjoy yourself!

3) …that being said, DON’T CREATE A GAP IN YOUR RESUME. The beauty of journalism is you can build your resume anytime any where. Could an accountant build their resume while laying on the beach all summer? No. Journalists can! I spent my summer after college writing for WhatsUpTucket, a social media hub for the island of Nantucket off of Cape Cod. (www.whatsuptucket.com) I wrote every week, if not every day. I had so much fun interviewing people and writing stories covering what was happening on the island. No matter what you’re doing this summer, blog about it! Tweet about it. Talk about it! Even if it’s “20 things I learned in summer 2012”- use your digital journalism skills and turn it into a piece you can bring in to interviews! When I interviewed at E! for my current job in New Media, they wanted to hear more about my summer writing for WhatUpTucket than my summer spent interning at The View in NYC. I specifically talked about how the site truly branded itself and wrote for a unique audience. This is something all of you have probably already done on your website!

4) NETWORK! It really is the name of the game. While on Nantucket for the summer I met so many different people who knew so many different people who worked in the entertainment field. SO many people you don’t even know yet want to help you find a job! (Myself included!) Tell people upfront that you just graduated from SMU with a degree in journalism, tell them about the daily update, your personal website etc! People will listen and they will help you – so don’t be shy and definitely don’t be embarrassed to say you don’t have a job yet! Trust me, you’re in good company!

5) The Job Search: Be patient, but be persistent! Make a list of job sites that you’re interested in and check them a few times a week. http://www.nbcunicareers.com where I found my job, updates their website EVERY day! I would research jobs every Monday and Wednesday of the week last summer and I typically waited to apply to jobs on a Monday or Tuesday. I’m not sure if there’s any truth behind this, but I didn’t think people would be interested in my emails on a Thursday or Friday when they were thinking about the weekend! Also, create a list of companies you’d like to work for and follow them on twitter! Starting today. If you’re intereted in ESPN, follow @RecruiterStacy – she tweets jobs all the time! So does @DisneyABC, foxcareers, etc. I was given the advice to apply for jobs that had “coordinator or assistant” in the title. Don’t be dismayed at careers that require 2-3 years of experience- majority will! Mine did! You have been immersing yourself in many different news platforms the past four years of college — and your hard work should be credited! Talk about your digital journalism work; your knowledge of vimeo, wordpress, garageband etc! Recruiters LOVE to hear from young people who have a good grasp on the futue of the industry, and all of you do!

6) You found the perfect job – but how do you let them know you’d be perfect for it? Many times when I was applying for jobs online I was convinced my resume and cover letters were getting lost in cyberspace. There really is know way to be sure that a job you submit online gets read by the proper person. Try to find someone in HR at the company- many times even just googling the company and HR you can locate a recruiter. Also, don’t be shy about asking around! If your cousins friend brother works at Good Morning America and that’s your dream – send him a facebook message simply asking if he knows the contact information for HR. You’re not asking for a job, you’re simply asking for an email address and everyone who has a job today was in your position at one point. If you can, drop in to the place you’re applying and submit your resume in person. This sounds so old fashioned, but I know many people who landed job this way! It show that your eager and enthusiastic.

7) Interviewing: I truly believe that landing an interview is harder than nailing an interview. Once you have an interview lined up prepare yourself – update your website, tweak your resume, and show up to the interview with writing samples. Be enthusiastic! If nothing else, leave the interview knowing that you were the most enthusiastic person they met that day. Many recruiters are just looking for personalities that are teachable — you can learn any skill set with the right personality and eagerness to learn. Show up prepared with questions – one question I asked was “What is the most common mistake new hires make?” – and people always love that question! People also love to talk about themselves- ask them how they got their start in the industry, where they went to college etc. Highlight your work at SMU and in internships. Be prepared to talk about things you learned along the way. I always say that my summer at The View one of the main things I learned was managing personalities. On and off the screen, ‘The View’ is made up of a cast of characters- there were so many unique personalities and learning how to work with each one of them was the hardest part of the job! It’s “real world” experience like that which shows people that at 21/22 you’re prepared for the industry.

If you need any help brainstorming or talking about ways to highlight your skill set have a mock interview with Jake or Lucy! I am also more than willing to help you. If any of you have any questions, feel free to email me!

Good luck y’all — and congrats on graduating!

Remember: there’s no better time to be a journalist! Really!

All the best,

Marissa

Take-home audio gathering exercise

*** SEE FULL ASSIGNMENT ON CANVAS (under Files) – YOUR SOUNDCLOUD LINKS ARE DUE BY 11:59 P.M. WEDNESDAY, 10/19 ***

The ultimate goal of our two-part audio gathering/editing lab exercise is to produce a short audio clip of 30 to 45 seconds that tells a coherent story. Here’s an example from Digital Journalism alum Laura Rowe, who visited an SMU isotope lab:

And just to show y’all that even old fogies can do this, here are two more example audio labs completed by two of your favorite professors:

Batsell — The Fountain on a Late Winter Day


Suhler — E-mailing: The Scourge of the 21st Century

 

From these examples, you can see that you will need 1) NAT SOUND; 2) VO and 3) a short INTERVIEW describing the sound (preferably with someone you don’t know).

Save your three (SHORT) raw audio files on your computer or an external drive and post them individually to SoundCloud. Email them to me by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19. On Thursday, bring your raw files to class, along with your laptop and some earbuds or headphones. You’ll use GarageBand to edit your three clips into an NPR-worthy masterpiece!

P.S. Looking for some tips on voiceovers? Here’s a great tutorial from the Knight Digital Media Center.

The Power of Multimedia Storytelling

Image

For class on Thursday, Oct. 13, read the “Drilling Down” boxes in the Briggs book on pages 164-5 and 178. Then watch this four-minute audio slideshow by The Washington Post, “No Greater Love.”

In a previous edition of Journalism Next, NBC News Vice President Stokes Young says the promise of multimedia storytelling is to provide what he calls an “immersive experience: bringing the story to viewers through multiple senses and, hopefully, bringing viewers into stories — the experiences of other folks — in ways that increase understanding.”

By 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12, leave a comment on this post (worth 5 class participation points) answering one of these questions:

  • Did “No Greater Love” deliver an “immersive experience” and, if so, how?
  • Would this story have been more or less powerful if told through video rather than through sound and still images?
  • Would this story have been more or less powerful if it used voiceover from the journalist, rather than relying entirely on sources for narration?

Talking Data Journalism on #NewsEngagementDay

As we’ll hear today from SMU alum and Fox 4 weekend sports anchor Edward Egros, more news organizations (and even major sports leagues!) are using data to engage their audiences and to help people explore things for themselves.

During class today, we’ll dive into data ourselves, splitting into small groups for a short exercise:

Which playoff matchup favors the Texas Rangers? The Toronto Blue Jays host the Baltimore Orioles in tonight’s American League Wild Card game. The Wild Card winner travels to Texas to face the Rangers on Thursday and Friday. For the next 10-15 minutes, your group’s mission is to research statistical trends for the Rangers, Blue Jays and Orioles and then agree as a group on your best educated answer: Which team should the Rangers want to play on Thursday, and why? Is one team more prone to strikeouts than the other? How did each team fare on the road during the regular season? Which team plays better during the day compared to at night, on grass versus turf, etc.? A few resources you may want to consult:

Once you’ve settled on your answer, discuss how you could visualize the data in a way that other sports fans can understand. Pick a spokesperson to share your group’s pick, rationale and ideas for visual presentation.

Live blogging: A staple of 21st-century journalism

Live blogging is an important journalistic tool that can deliver context to readers as they are processing the news in real time. Live blogging often is absorbed a “second-screen” experience during which people simultaneously view live events such as political debates, sports events and even entertainment awards shows.

During today’s live blog exercise, you will bring context to Monday night’s presidential debate by carefully searching for — and evaluating the credibility of — news reports and other resources that provide your readers with critical background and perspective. We will use CoverItLive, which is used by many journalism organizations to provide running coverage of live events. In the past, SMU J-students have even used CoverItLive to live blog about the SMU Student Senate, college lacrosse and SMU’s Celebration of Lights.

We will live blog the speech for about 25 minutes. For your live-blog entries, you can paraphrase the candidates’ comments, use direct quotes, provide links or share your own journalistic observations. (Whether you personally agree with the candidates doesn’t matter … you are simply trying to bring context to your readers who are following the speech.)

When the speech goes live, it’s going to seem a little chaotic. That’s OK. There are no points at stake here. It’s a practice exercise.

Personal Branding and the Job Hunt

On Thursday, we’ll start talking about jobs, personal branding and how to land that first gig. Skim/read this “Superpowers” report about the expectations of modern media employers. Peruse the Journo Salary Sharer to see how much reporters make around the country. Check out this Dallas Morning News graphic about the social résumé and Poynter’s 10 Ways to Make Your Journalism Job Application Better Than Anyone Else’s. And if this class has intrigued you about job opportunities related to audience engagement, read this Digiday piece about the evolving job duties of social media editors and/or this recent Columbia Journalism Review piece — you may recognize one of the sources. 🙂

Your homework (5 points) is to comment (not tweet — this time, at least) on this post, answering/reacting to one of the following questions by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday:

  • What was the most memorable advice you took away from any of these readings? (DO NOT DUPLICATE anything your classmates already have written.)
  • Browse through some of Batsell’s favorite journalism job listings below. What trends/patterns do you see in what employers are looking for?

JOB/INTERNSHIP LISTINGS:
JournalismJobs.com
Poynter.org’s searchable job database
Mashable jobs
MediaBistro jobs
DFW Communicators Job Bank
Negotiating tips

The Facebook Conundrum: The New Haven Independent and the Annie Le Murder

During class on Tuesday, Sept. 20, we will debate a case study: The Facebook Conundrum: The New Haven Independent and the Annie Le Murder. The case, which is free, is part of the Knight Case Studies Initiative at Columbia University‘s Graduate School of Journalism.

The case study assignment is worth 10 points. The first part, worth 5 points, is to post a brief response (250 words or less) as a comment to this blog entry addressing one of these two questions:

1. What are Bailey’s responsibilities to Del Rocco when reporting on her Facebook page?

2. What factors should Bass weigh to determine whether to run Del Rocco’s posts?

Your response must be posted by 11:59 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19, for full credit. In your response, cite specific facts from your own reading of the case. It’s not acceptable to piggy-back on your classmates’ answers without reading the case yourself.

The second 5 points will be awarded on the basis of your contributions to the case study discussion in class.

Enjoy the case! (And bring your ‘A’ game on Tuesday.)

News as conversation

My book, Engaged Journalism: Connecting With Digitally Empowered News Audiences (Columbia University Press, 2015) examines the changing relationship between journalists and the audiences they serve. I’m eager to hear your reactions. For Tuesday’s class, please read Chapter 2: News As Conversation (the PDF is on Canvas under “Files”). By 5 p.m. (note earlier deadline than usual) on Monday, Sept. 12, post a reaction of 100 to 200 words as a comment on this post addressing the following question: How (if at all) did the chapter change the way you think about the role the audience plays in the journalistic process? For full credit, cite specific examples from your own reading of the chapter, as well as your own observations and experience. It’s not acceptable to piggy-back on your classmates’ answers without reading the chapter yourself. This assignment is worth 10 class participation points.

Twitter as a (mandatory) journalistic tool

Twitter as a Journalistic Tool For class on Tuesday, Aug. 30: After reading the assigned portions of Briggs in Ch. 2, post a 100-to-150-word comment on this post answering this question: How did the reading change the way you think about how you use (or don’t use) Twitter as a professional journalistic tool? Be honest and specific. This is worth 5 class participation points and is due no later than 11:59 p.m. Monday, Aug. 29.

Digital Journalism Job Summit!

At Thursday’s Digital Journalism Job Summit, we’ll visit with three recent SMU and Digital Journalism alums who all are thriving as Web-empowered media professionals:

Come with questions! BONUS: Marissa wrote a blog post for an earlier Digital class with all kinds of helpful job-hunting tips:

Hi Jake!

I’d like to think I learned a thing or two over my job search process so here goes! I apologize in advance for any typos..

1) ENJOY YOURSELF: Enjoy your last few weeks at SMU, they really are some of the best weeks of your entire college career. Graduation, especially the Meadows graduation is such an amazing time spent with your family AND friends!

2) Don’t think you need a job by May 15. You don’t. You’ve worked really hard the past four years and the right job is out there. I remember thinking I should apply to PR jobs just to have “a job” by May 15 like my older siblings had. That couldn’t be more false! In reality, this could be your last summer without a 9-5 job, so enjoy yourself!

3) …that being said, DON’T CREATE A GAP IN YOUR RESUME. The beauty of journalism is you can build your resume anytime any where. Could an accountant build their resume while laying on the beach all summer? No. Journalists can! I spent my summer after college writing for WhatsUpTucket, a social media hub for the island of Nantucket off of Cape Cod. (www.whatsuptucket.com) I wrote every week, if not every day. I had so much fun interviewing people and writing stories covering what was happening on the island. No matter what you’re doing this summer, blog about it! Tweet about it. Talk about it! Even if it’s “20 things I learned in summer 2012”- use your digital journalism skills and turn it into a piece you can bring in to interviews! When I interviewed at E! for my current job in New Media, they wanted to hear more about my summer writing for WhatUpTucket than my summer spent interning at The View in NYC. I specifically talked about how the site truly branded itself and wrote for a unique audience. This is something all of you have probably already done on your website!

4) NETWORK! It really is the name of the game. While on Nantucket for the summer I met so many different people who knew so many different people who worked in the entertainment field. SO many people you don’t even know yet want to help you find a job! (Myself included!) Tell people upfront that you just graduated from SMU with a degree in journalism, tell them about the daily update, your personal website etc! People will listen and they will help you – so don’t be shy and definitely don’t be embarrassed to say you don’t have a job yet! Trust me, you’re in good company!

5) The Job Search: Be patient, but be persistent! Make a list of job sites that you’re interested in and check them a few times a week. http://www.nbcunicareers.com where I found my job, updates their website EVERY day! I would research jobs every Monday and Wednesday of the week last summer and I typically waited to apply to jobs on a Monday or Tuesday. I’m not sure if there’s any truth behind this, but I didn’t think people would be interested in my emails on a Thursday or Friday when they were thinking about the weekend! Also, create a list of companies you’d like to work for and follow them on twitter! Starting today. If you’re intereted in ESPN, follow @RecruiterStacy – she tweets jobs all the time! So does @DisneyABC, foxcareers, etc. I was given the advice to apply for jobs that had “coordinator or assistant” in the title. Don’t be dismayed at careers that require 2-3 years of experience- majority will! Mine did! You have been immersing yourself in many different news platforms the past four years of college — and your hard work should be credited! Talk about your digital journalism work; your knowledge of vimeo, wordpress, garageband etc! Recruiters LOVE to hear from young people who have a good grasp on the futue of the industry, and all of you do!

6) You found the perfect job – but how do you let them know you’d be perfect for it? Many times when I was applying for jobs online I was convinced my resume and cover letters were getting lost in cyberspace. There really is know way to be sure that a job you submit online gets read by the proper person. Try to find someone in HR at the company- many times even just googling the company and HR you can locate a recruiter. Also, don’t be shy about asking around! If your cousins friend brother works at Good Morning America and that’s your dream – send him a facebook message simply asking if he knows the contact information for HR. You’re not asking for a job, you’re simply asking for an email address and everyone who has a job today was in your position at one point. If you can, drop in to the place you’re applying and submit your resume in person. This sounds so old fashion, but I know many people who landed job this way! It show that your eager and enthusiastic.

7) Interviewing: I truly believe that landing an interview is harder than nailing an interview. Once you have an interview lined up prepare yourself – update your website, tweak your resume, and show up to the interview with writing samples. Be enthusiastic! If nothing else, leave the interview knowing that you were the most enthusiastic person they met that day. Many recruiters are just looking for personalities that are teachable — you can learn any skill set with the right personality and eagerness to learn. Show up prepared with questions – one question I asked was “What is the most common mistake new hires make?” – and people always love that question! People also love to talk about themselves- ask them how they got their start in the industry, where they went to college etc. Highlight your work at SMU and in internships. Be prepared to talk about things you learned along the way. I always say that my summer at The View one of the main things I learned was managing personalities. On and off the screen, ‘The View’ is made up of a cast of characters- there were so many unique personalities and learning how to work with each one of them was the hardest part of the job! It’s “real world” experience like that which shows people that at 21/22 you’re prepared for the industry.

If you need any help brainstorming or talking about ways to highlight your skill set have a mock interview with Jake or Lucy! I am also more than willing to help you. If any of you have any questions, feel free to email me!

Good luck y’all — and congrats on graduating!

Remember: there’s no better time to be a journalist! Really!

All the best,

Marissa

Take-home audio gathering exercise

*** SEE FULL ASSIGNMENT ON BLACKBOARD (under Assignments) – YOUR SOUNDCLOUD LINKS ARE DUE BY 11:59 P.M. WEDNESDAY, 3/16 ***

The ultimate goal of our two-part audio gathering/editing lab exercise is to produce a short audio clip of 30 to 45 seconds that tells a coherent story. Here’s an example from Digital Journalism alum Laura Rowe, who visited an SMU isotope lab:

And just to show y’all that even old fogies can do this, here are two more example audio labs completed by two of your favorite professors:

Batsell — The Fountain on a Late Winter Day


Suhler — E-mailing: The Scourge of the 21st Century

Two more examples (to be explained further in class):

From these examples, you can see that you will need 1) NAT SOUND; 2) VO and 3) a short INTERVIEW describing the sound (preferably with someone you don’t know).

Save your three (SHORT) raw audio files on your computer or an external drive and post them individually to SoundCloud. Email them to me by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, March 16. On Thursday, bring your raw files to class. You’ll use GarageBand to edit your three clips into an NPR-worthy masterpiece!

P.S. Looking for some tips on voiceovers? Here’s a great tutorial from the Knight Digital Media Center.

The Power of Multimedia Storytelling

Image

For class on Tuesday, March 1, read the “Drilling Down” boxes in the Briggs book on pages 164-5 and 178. Then watch this four-minute audio slideshow by The Washington Post, “No Greater Love.”

In a previous edition of Journalism Next, NBC News Vice President Stokes Young says the promise of multimedia storytelling is to provide what he calls an “immersive experience: bringing the story to viewers through multiple senses and, hopefully, bringing viewers into stories — the experiences of other folks — in ways that increase understanding.”

By 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 29, leave a comment on this post (worth 5 class participation points) answering one of these questions:

  • Did “No Greater Love” deliver an “immersive experience” and, if so, how?
  • Would this story have been more or less powerful if told through video rather than through sound and still images?
  • Would this story have been more or less powerful if it used voiceover from the journalist, rather than relying entirely on sources for narration?

Personal Branding and the Job Hunt

On Tuesday, we’ll start talking about jobs, personal branding and how to land that first gig. Read this revealing Poynter post, “We just read 160 résumés. Here are 10 things you should not do,” as well as the Global Press Journal’s “Open letter to journalism students who want jobs.” Check out this Dallas Morning News graphic about the social résumé. And if this class has intrigued you about job opportunities related to audience engagement, read this Digiday piece about the evolving job duties of social media editors and/or this recent Columbia Journalism Review piece — you may recognize one of the sources. 🙂

Your homework (5 points) is to comment (not tweet — this time, at least) on this post, answering/reacting to one of the following questions by 11:59 p.m. Monday:

  • What was the most memorable advice you took away from any of these readings?
  • Browse through some of Batsell’s favorite journalism job listings below. What trends/patterns do you see in what employers are looking for?

JOB/INTERNSHIP LISTINGS:
JournalismJobs.com
Poynter.org’s searchable job database
Mashable jobs
MediaBistro jobs
DFW Communicators Job Bank
Negotiating tips

Live blogging: A staple of 21st-century journalism

As the readings make clear, live blogging is an important journalistic tool that can deliver context to readers as they are processing the news in real time. Live blogging often is absorbed a “second-screen” experience during which people simultaneously view live events such as political debates, sports events and even entertainment awards shows.

During today’s live blog exercise, you will bring context to Saturday’s GOP presidential debate in South Carolina by carefully searching for — and evaluating the credibility of — news reports and other resources that provide your readers with critical background and perspective. We will use CoverItLive, which is used by many journalism organizations to provide running coverage of live events. In the past, SMU J-students have even used CoverItLive to live blog about the SMU Student Senate, college lacrosse and SMU’s Celebration of Lights.

We will live blog the speech for about 25 minutes. For your live-blog entries, you can paraphrase the candidates’ comments, use direct quotes, provide links or share your own journalistic observations. (Whether you personally agree with the candidates doesn’t matter … you are simply trying to bring context to your readers who are following the speech.)

When the speech goes live, it’s going to seem a little chaotic. That’s OK. There are no points at stake here. It’s a practice exercise.

News as conversation

My book, Engaged Journalism: Connecting With Digitally Empowered News Audiences (Columbia University Press, February 2015) examines the changing relationship between journalists and the audiences they serve. I’m eager to hear your reactions. For Tuesday’s class, please read Chapter 2: News As Conversation (the PDF is on Blackboard under “assignments”). By noon on Monday, Feb. 8, post a reaction of 100 to 200 words as a comment on this post addressing the following question: How (if at all) did the chapter change the way you think about the role the audience plays in the journalistic process? In your response, cite specific examples from your own reading of the chapter, as well as your own observations and experience. It’s not acceptable to piggy-back on your classmates’ answers without reading the chapter yourself. This assignment is worth 10 class participation points.

Digital Journalism Job Summit!

At Tuesday’s Digital Journalism Job Summit, we’ll visit with three recent SMU and Digital Journalism alums who all are thriving as Web-empowered media professionals:

    • Aida Ahmed, formerly a crime and government reporter for the Las Vegas Sun, is a social media specialist for Deloitte in Dallas.
    • Kelsey Charles works for the Dallas Cowboys. She is the managing editor for 5PointsBlue.com and formerly co-hosted Talkin’ Cowboys, a radio show.
    • Marissa O’Connor, formerly a programming coordinator for new media at E! Online in Los Angeles, is social media manager for the Arizona Coyotes in Phoenix.

Come with questions! BONUS: Marissa wrote a blog post for an earlier Digital class with all kinds of helpful job-hunting tips:

Hi Jake!

I’d like to think I learned a thing or two over my job search process so here goes! I apologize in advance for any typos..

1) ENJOY YOURSELF: Enjoy your last few weeks at SMU, they really are some of the best weeks of your entire college career. Graduation, especially the Meadows graduation is such an amazing time spent with your family AND friends!

2) Don’t think you need a job by May 15. You don’t. You’ve worked really hard the past four years and the right job is out there. I remember thinking I should apply to PR jobs just to have “a job” by May 15 like my older siblings had. That couldn’t be more false! In reality, this could be your last summer without a 9-5 job, so enjoy yourself!

3) …that being said, DON’T CREATE A GAP IN YOUR RESUME. The beauty of journalism is you can build your resume anytime any where. Could an accountant build their resume while laying on the beach all summer? No. Journalists can! I spent my summer after college writing for WhatsUpTucket, a social media hub for the island of Nantucket off of Cape Cod. (www.whatsuptucket.com) I wrote every week, if not every day. I had so much fun interviewing people and writing stories covering what was happening on the island. No matter what you’re doing this summer, blog about it! Tweet about it. Talk about it! Even if it’s “20 things I learned in summer 2012”- use your digital journalism skills and turn it into a piece you can bring in to interviews! When I interviewed at E! for my current job in New Media, they wanted to hear more about my summer writing for WhatUpTucket than my summer spent interning at The View in NYC. I specifically talked about how the site truly branded itself and wrote for a unique audience. This is something all of you have probably already done on your website!

4) NETWORK! It really is the name of the game. While on Nantucket for the summer I met so many different people who knew so many different people who worked in the entertainment field. SO many people you don’t even know yet want to help you find a job! (Myself included!) Tell people upfront that you just graduated from SMU with a degree in journalism, tell them about the daily update, your personal website etc! People will listen and they will help you – so don’t be shy and definitely don’t be embarrassed to say you don’t have a job yet! Trust me, you’re in good company!

5) The Job Search: Be patient, but be persistent! Make a list of job sites that you’re interested in and check them a few times a week. http://www.nbcunicareers.com where I found my job, updates their website EVERY day! I would research jobs every Monday and Wednesday of the week last summer and I typically waited to apply to jobs on a Monday or Tuesday. I’m not sure if there’s any truth behind this, but I didn’t think people would be interested in my emails on a Thursday or Friday when they were thinking about the weekend! Also, create a list of companies you’d like to work for and follow them on twitter! Starting today. If you’re intereted in ESPN, follow @RecruiterStacy – she tweets jobs all the time! So does @DisneyABC, foxcareers, etc. I was given the advice to apply for jobs that had “coordinator or assistant” in the title. Don’t be dismayed at careers that require 2-3 years of experience- majority will! Mine did! You have been immersing yourself in many different news platforms the past four years of college — and your hard work should be credited! Talk about your digital journalism work; your knowledge of vimeo, wordpress, garageband etc! Recruiters LOVE to hear from young people who have a good grasp on the futue of the industry, and all of you do!

6) You found the perfect job – but how do you let them know you’d be perfect for it? Many times when I was applying for jobs online I was convinced my resume and cover letters were getting lost in cyberspace. There really is know way to be sure that a job you submit online gets read by the proper person. Try to find someone in HR at the company- many times even just googling the company and HR you can locate a recruiter. Also, don’t be shy about asking around! If your cousins friend brother works at Good Morning America and that’s your dream – send him a facebook message simply asking if he knows the contact information for HR. You’re not asking for a job, you’re simply asking for an email address and everyone who has a job today was in your position at one point. If you can, drop in to the place you’re applying and submit your resume in person. This sounds so old fashion, but I know many people who landed job this way! It show that your eager and enthusiastic.

7) Interviewing: I truly believe that landing an interview is harder than nailing an interview. Once you have an interview lined up prepare yourself – update your website, tweak your resume, and show up to the interview with writing samples. Be enthusiastic! If nothing else, leave the interview knowing that you were the most enthusiastic person they met that day. Many recruiters are just looking for personalities that are teachable — you can learn any skill set with the right personality and eagerness to learn. Show up prepared with questions – one question I asked was “What is the most common mistake new hires make?” – and people always love that question! People also love to talk about themselves- ask them how they got their start in the industry, where they went to college etc. Highlight your work at SMU and in internships. Be prepared to talk about things you learned along the way. I always say that my summer at The View one of the main things I learned was managing personalities. On and off the screen, ‘The View’ is made up of a cast of characters- there were so many unique personalities and learning how to work with each one of them was the hardest part of the job! It’s “real world” experience like that which shows people that at 21/22 you’re prepared for the industry.

If you need any help brainstorming or talking about ways to highlight your skill set have a mock interview with Jake or Lucy! I am also more than willing to help you. If any of you have any questions, feel free to email me!

Good luck y’all — and congrats on graduating!

Remember: there’s no better time to be a journalist! Really!

All the best,

Marissa

Take-home audio gathering exercise

***SEE FULL ASSIGNMENT ON BLACKBOARD (under Assignments) – YOUR SOUNDCLOUD LINKS ARE DUE BY NOON MONDAY, 10/26***

The ultimate goal of our two-part audio gathering/editing lab exercise is to produce a short audio clip of 30 to 45 seconds that tells a coherent story. Here’s an example from Digital Journalism alum Laura Rowe, who visited an SMU isotope lab:

And just to show y’all that even old fogies can do this, here are two more example audio labs completed by two of your favorite professors:

Batsell — The Fountain on a Late Winter Day


Suhler — E-mailing: The Scourge of the 21st Century

Two more examples (to be explained further in class):

From these examples, you can see that you will need 1) NAT SOUND; 2) VO and 3) a short INTERVIEW describing the sound (preferably with someone you don’t know).

Save your three (SHORT) raw audio files on your computer or an external drive and post them individually to SoundCloud. Email them to me by noon Monday, Oct. 26. On Tuesday, bring your raw files to class. You’ll use GarageBand to edit your three clips into an NPR-worthy masterpiece!

P.S. Looking for some tips on voiceovers? Here’s a great tutorial from the Knight Digital Media Center.

The Power of Multimedia Storytelling

Image

For class on Thursday, Oct. 15, read the “Drilling Down” boxes in the Briggs book on pages 164-5 and 178. Then watch this four-minute audio slideshow by The Washington Post, “No Greater Love.”

In a previous edition of Journalism Next, NBC News Vice President Stokes Young says the promise of multimedia storytelling is to provide what he calls an “immersive experience: bringing the story to viewers through multiple senses and, hopefully, bringing viewers into stories — the experiences of other folks — in ways that increase understanding.”

By 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14, leave a comment on this post (worth 5 class participation points) answering one of these questions:

  • Did “No Greater Love” deliver an “immersive experience” and, if so, how?
  • Would this story have been more or less powerful if told through video rather than through sound and still images?
  • Would this story have been more or less powerful if it used voiceover from the journalist, rather than relying entirely on sources for narration?

Playlist Team: The Beats

By Christen Limbaugh (@x10limbaugh) , Lauren Castle (@lauren_castle) and Matt Sanders (@mattasanders).

1. The Texas Rangers went from worst to first in 2015, and now they are headed to the playoffs as division champions.

2. A deadly crash killed two adults, two children and an unborn child yesterday.

3. Customers asked, and McDonald’s listened. Starting today, all day breakfast will be available to people nationwide.

4. Up next on the playlist is the Beatles’ hit, “Tax Man” which many Texans can relate to right now. Texans will pass an amendment that will lower their property taxes. Property Tax Relief Comes With Big Cost to State.

5. Laura Glading, the President of the American Airlines’ flight attendant union announced that she will resign on December 2. After controversy that included collusion and nepotism, Glading said she will not run for a third term.

6. The anxiously anticipated storm cell  Hurricane Joaquin continues to devastate cities on the East Coast. Like Gnarles Barkley’s song, “Storm Coming” the damage from Joaquin keeps crashing on.

7. Adam Levine chose this lucky Tyler teen, Chance Peña, as his protege. The other judges didn’t believe in him at first, but he probably remembered  Journey’s song “Don’t Stop Believin'” while he climbed to the top.

8. The State Fair of Texas is up and running. It’s time to eat all the fried food possible.

9. Drivers in the DFW area probably think of Rihanna’s angst-filled ballad, “Shut Up and Drive” as they drive on the 10 Most Road-Rage Inducing Highways in DFW.

10. Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas was shut down this morning for the filming of “11/22/63,” starring James Franco. The Hulu mini-series highlights the assassination of John F Kennedy.

Playlist Team: DJ BATSELL

 

1. Ted Cruz says accepting Muslim Syrian refugees is “crazy.” Among those refugees could be a number of ISIS terrorists. It is not confirmed that there are in fact ISIS members among the refugees but it is possible that they will try to infiltrate it.

2. From 2013-2015, 97 earthquakes have hit North Texas. Scientists expect to have a network of seismographs up and running sometime next year to help determine what’s happening under the surface in the North Texas area, according to an article in the Star-Telegram.

3. Amtrak tweets on October 5th that no life-threatening injuries have been reported following the derailment of Train 55 in Vermont. A Times Argus photographer said the train’s locomotive had tumbled over an embankment along with two passenger cars and was damaged and resting against some trees. A third passenger car was sitting diagonally across the track, according to WFAA article.

4. A project called CityMAP has gathered planners for a vision of a future for downtown Dallas. The aging highways need a makeover to continue to connect public urban spaces and spur new neighborhood developments, developments and job center.

5. The NCAA has hit Southern Methodist University men’s basketball team with severe sanctions for misconduct. Head Coach Larry Brown has been suspended for 30 percent of this season’s games and the team has been disqualified for post-season play. Sanctions have also been placed on SMU men’s golf team. Read more at SMU’s Daily Campus.

6. Forget about that summer bod – The State Fair of Texas will have you “All About That Bass.”

7. With energy demand only predicted to rise each year, the search is ongoing for more places to power up. North Texas generates nearly 80 units across the state and nearly 40 more will be a part of the system next year.

8. More than a dozen dams have burst across the state of South Carolina. Some of the breaches forced officials to evacuate neighborhoods. A solid week of rainfall has sent nearly 1,000 people to shelters, and left about 40,000 without drinkable water. Listen to “Hero” by Enrique Iglesias.

9. “Baby theres a Shark in the Water”… but luckily a 13-year-old West Texas boy was saved from a shark attack by his brother at Galveston Beach. This tragic incident only resulted in an injured foot requiring stitches.

10. An update on Texas High school football scores across North Texas. Listen to “Boys of Fall” by Kenny Chesney to grasp the emotions that these players feel when playing under the lights.

11. Texas wine month has begun. Wine connoisseurs get to enjoy Texas-grown grapes and wines made specifically in Texas. Did you know at least 75 percent of Texas wine is produced from grapes grown in Texas and less than 25 percent of American wine is made with Texas grapes?

12. The flu vaccine is now available in Texas. Medical authorities say everyone from the age of 6 months old should be vaccinated this year. The strain of last year’s flu virus will be included in this year’s strain which will make this season’s shot much more effective.

Playlist Team: The Editors

By Christina Cox (@_ChristinaCox_), CarleeAnn Allen (@CarleeAnnAllen) and Emily Ward (@emilytward).

  1. A shark bit a 13-year-old West Texas boy in the back of the foot when he was wading in the water at Galveston Beach. His foot was bandaged before he was transported to University of Texas Medical Branch.
  2. General Mills announced a recall of 1.8 million boxes of regular Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios that could put people with celiac disease and wheat allergies at risk.
  3. The Supreme Court’s new term began Monday. Media outlets predict the Supreme Court will focus on cases about abortion, immigration and higher education.
  4. The University of Texas System Board of Regents approved an increase in tuition and fees for the 2017 and 2018 fiscal years. This is the first significant jump in tuition since Fall 2012.
  5. Takaaki Kajita and Arthur McDonald won the 2015 Nobel Prize in physics “for the discovery of neutrino oscillations which shows the neutrinos have mass.”
  6. The Dallas Cowboys’ committee is questioning the role of running back Joseph Randle after Sunday’s loss to the New Orleans Saints.
  7. The Texas Rangers won the American League West title with a 9-2 victor over the Los Angeles Angles.
  8. Texas Rangers fans can chow down on Texas-sized concessions like 24-inch fried brownies, 1-poud bags of Cheetos and cotton candy hot dogs in the postseason.
  9. Hurricane Joaquin has intensified to a Category 4 storm and continues to hammer the central Bahamas, but a U.S. landfall now appears less likely.
  10. A major scandal erupted in the fantasy sports industry after employees at DraftKings and FanDuel admitted to insider trading.
  11. Scientists hope to learn how Pompeians lived before Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D. with a computerized tomography scanner, or CT scanner.

Crafting newsy Spotify playlists on #NewsEngagementDay

Happy National News Engagement Day!

Today in class, we will be breaking up into groups of three to curate 10 recent news stories and pair them with relevant, appropriate songs available on Spotify. Check out the Twitter hashtag #NewsEngagementDay and you’ll see what some of your fellow journalism students around the country are doing to participate. Last year, we made the national Top 10 list!

Here is your group’s mission for the next 70 minutes:

  • Come up with a fun, newsy name for your group! (Examples: The Deadlines; Off The Record)
  • THIS IS IMPORTANT: Take a look at #j4398 playlists (List #1 | List #2) from last year’s #NewsEngagementDay to get a sense of how your predecessors have combined news and music. Watch out for pairings that could be offensive. Also peruse our master playlist that ran on The Texas Tribune last semester. Previously used songs are off limits!
  • Plug in your headphones and earbuds and start browsing local and state news sources including The Dallas Morning NewsThe Texas TribuneKERA.org, the Fort Worth Star-TelegramWFAANBC 5CBS 11, and, of course, The Daily Campus.  Search on Spotify for songs that somehow relate to these stories.
  • Be creative! Have fun! Feel free to include songs that your parents and professors have never heard of! But it’s also OK (encouraged, even!) to include music from different decades and genres.
  • Get together as a group. Settle on 10 songs for your playlist.
  • Divvy up the duties to write a couple of sentences explaining the news connection to each song.
  • Appoint a Spotify-savvy curator to compile your playlist and a WordPress-savvy scribe to embed the playlist and write/publish your post.
  • By the end of class, each group must publish to the course blog a post containing: 1) The name of your group in the headline; 2) An embedded Spotify playlist of at least 10 songs, like the examples above; 3) A brief explanation of why you picked each song, along with a link to the story it was inspired by; 4) The name of each person in your group, with links to your Twitter handles.
  • Last step! Each group member should tweet the link to your published blog post/playlist, along with the hashtags #NewsEngagementDay and #j4398. Explain it to your followers with some context — this can be your act of engagement for this week’s Power Tweets.
  • Oh, yeah: Bring your A-game! Your peers from Saint Louis University’s CMM 4100: Multiplatform Journalism course will rank your playlists and crown the winning #j4398 group. PRIZES are at stake!!

Remember these helpful tips on compiling a newsy playlist, created just for you by the Texas Tribune’s Reeve Hamilton:

  • The connection to the story should be clear from the title of the song.
  • If you can’t follow the first rule, you can explain why the lyrics work. But as they say in politics, when you are explaining, you are losing.
  • With exceptions, the lyrics of the song should seem applicable to the news situation if you use your imagination and squint a little. If this is just impossible, that’s ok. But before you settle, see what other options are out there.
  • The playlist should be listenable (obviously this is subjective). But if you are going to take the time to make something like this, make something people can actually get enjoyment out of.
  • Don’t take it too seriously (but do put some effort into it).

National News Engagement Day

ned2015-nolines

During class on Tuesday, Oct. 6, we will participate in National News Engagement Day, sponsored by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Check out the Twitter hashtag #NewsEngagementDay and you’ll see what some of your fellow journalism students around the country are doing to participate. Last year, we made the national Top 10 list!

Full details will be shared in class — there will be PRIZES!! — but here is how you can prepare:

  • Read this AP article about how Americans of all ages still crave meaty news, not just kitten videos.
  • Our mission for Tuesday: You’ll work in three-person teams to create Spotify playlists inspired by timely local news stories from the DFW region. Last year, #j4398 students collaborated with The Texas Tribune to match political news stories with songs inspired by the news. (See, news can be fun!)
  • Peruse our master playlist from last semester to get a sense of how to combine news and music. Watch out for pairings that could be offensive.
  • Between Saturday and Tuesday, browse local news sources including The Dallas Morning News, KERA.org, the Fort Worth Star-TelegramWFAA, NBC 5, CBS 11, and, of course, The Daily Campus. Come to class with at least three songs in mind that somehow relate to recent local news, sports, politics, business, arts stories that have been published within the last week. Be creative! And make sure the songs are available on Spotify.
  • Bring headphones and download Spotify on your laptop if you don’t have it already installed.
  • Oh, yeah: Bring your A-game! Your peers from Saint Louis University’s CMM 4100: Multiplatform Journalism course will be ranking your playlists and crowning the winning #j4398 group. PRIZES are at stake!!

Remember these helpful tips on compiling a newsy playlist, created just for you by former Texas Tribune reporter Reeve Hamilton:

  • The connection to the story should be clear from the title of the song.
  • If you can’t follow the first rule, you can explain why the lyrics work. But as they say in politics, when you are explaining, you are losing.
  • With exceptions, the lyrics of the song should seem applicable to the news situation if you use your imagination and squint a little. If this is just impossible, that’s ok. But before you settle, see what other options are out there.
  • The playlist should be listenable (obviously this is subjective). But if you are going to take the time to make something like this, make something people can actually get enjoyment out of.
  • Don’t take it too seriously (but do put effort into it).

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Personal Branding and the Job Hunt

On Tuesday, we’ll start talking about jobs, personal branding and how to land that first gig. Read this Poynter CoverItLive chat, “What skills are digital-first newsrooms looking for?“, as well as this Dallas Morning News graphic about the social résumé and this Digiday piece about the evolving job duties of social media editors. Also, read the executive summary of the 2013 Annual Survey of Journalism & Mass Communication Graduates, and browse through some of the findings about salaries, desired qualities, etc. And — this one is optional — if you’re further intrigued about job opportunities related to audience engagement, read this Columbia Journalism Review piece from earlier this month. You may recognize one of the sources. 🙂

Your homework (5 points) is to comment (not tweet — this time, at least) on this post, answering/reacting to one of the following questions by 11:59 p.m. Monday:

  • What was the most memorable advice you took away from either: 1) John Hiner’s comments in the Poynter chat; 2) the DMN graphic about “The Social Media Résumé; or 3) the Digiday piece about social media editors?
  • What surprised you most about the 2013 survey findings — and how did the survey change/confirm your personal outlook toward the journalism job market?
  • Browse through some of Batsell’s favorite journalism job listings below. What trends/patterns do you see in what employers are looking for?

JOB/INTERNSHIP LISTINGS:
JournalismJobs.com
Poynter.org’s searchable job database
Mashable jobs
Lost Remote (TV-related digital journalism jobs)
DFW Communicators Job Bank
Negotiating tips

Live blogging: A Staple of 21st-Century Journalism

As the readings make clear, live blogging is an important journalistic tool that can deliver context to readers as they are processing the news in real time. Live blogging often is absorbed a “second-screen” experience during which people simultaneously view live events such as political debates, sports events and even entertainment awards shows.

During today’s live blog exercise, you will bring context to last week’s debate GOP presidential debate by carefully searching for — and evaluating the credibility of — news reports and other resources that provide your readers with critical background and perspective. We will use CoverItLive, which is used by many journalism organizations to provide running coverage of live events. In the past, SMU J-students have even used CoverItLive to live blog about the SMU Student Senate, college lacrosse and SMU’s Celebration of Lights.

We will live blog the speech for about 25 minutes. For your live-blog entries, you can paraphrase the candidates’ comments, use direct quotes, provide links or share your own journalistic observations. (Whether you personally agree with the candidates doesn’t matter … you are simply trying to bring context to your readers who are following the speech.)

When the speech goes live, it’s going to seem a little chaotic. That’s OK. There are no points at stake here. It’s a practice exercise.

News as conversation

My book, Engaged Journalism: Connecting With Digitally Empowered News Audiences (Columbia University Press, February 2015) examines the changing relationship between journalists and the audiences they serve. I’m eager to hear your reactions. For Tuesday’s class, please read Chapter 2: News As Conversation (the PDF is on Blackboard under “assignments”). By noon on Monday, Sept. 14, post a reaction of 100 to 200 words as a comment on this post addressing the following question: How (if at all) did the chapter change the way you think about the role the audience plays in the journalistic process? In your response, cite specific examples from your own reading of the chapter, as well as your own observations and experience. It’s not acceptable to piggy-back on your classmates’ answers without reading the chapter yourself. This assignment is worth 10 class participation points.

Visualize your Twitter presence

Screen Shot 2015-08-30 at 10.46.48 PM

In an increasingly digital (and competitive) job market, does your Twitter presence accurately reflect your professional and personal interests? Here’s a quick first step to find out:*

* If you have tweeted fewer than 10 times, this exercise won’t be of much help right now. Instead, use the time to follow more smart people on Twitter and create Twitter lists that reflect your studies and interests.

  • Using Safari or Firefox on a laptop or desktop, log on to your Twitter account.
  • Go to your Twitter profile SETTINGS.
  • Scroll to the bottom. Click the button to request your Twitter archive.
  • Check your email and download the archive. In your Downloads folder, you’ll see something like the screen shot below. Click the tweets.csv file, and an Excel spreadsheet will pop up.Screen Shot 2015-08-30 at 10.37.50 PM
  • Select all of the content in the TEXT field of the tweets.csv spreadsheet. Copy it. (Cmd-C)
  • Go to Wordle.net (again, MUST be in Safari or Firefox).
  • Click “create your own” and paste all text in the box. Click “Go.”
  • You may need to download/run a Java program for the program to work. That’s OK:Screen Shot 2015-08-30 at 10.44.12 PM
  • Once your word cloud has loaded, feel free to click the “randomize” button for a prettier design.
  • When you’ve found the design you like, click the “Save as .png” button and save the file as “yournamewordle.png”
  • Log on to WordPress. Pull up your Power Tweets page. Upload your Wordle image by putting the cursor beneath the “Twitter word cloud, 9/1/2015” headline, then click the “add media” button.
  • Save your Power Tweets page. Yay, you’re done! 🙂

Twitter as a (mandatory) journalistic tool

Twitter as a Journalistic Tool For class on Tuesday, Sept. 1: After reading the assigned portions of Briggs Ch. 2, post a 100-to-150-word comment on this post answering this question: How did the chapter change the way you think about how you use (or don’t use) Twitter as a professional journalistic tool? Be honest and specific. This is worth 5 class participation points and is due no later than 11:59 p.m. Monday, Aug. 31.

Digital Journalism Job Summit!

At Tuesday’s Digital Journalism Job Summit, we’ll visit with three recent SMU and Digital Journalism alums who all are thriving as Web-empowered media professionals:

    • Aida Ahmed, formerly a crime and government reporter for the Las Vegas Sun, is a social media specialist for Deloitte in Dallas.
    • Kelsey Charles works for the Dallas Cowboys. She is the managing editor for 5PointsBlue.com and hosts Talkin’ Cowboys, a radio show.
    • Marissa O’Connor, formerly a programming coordinator for new media at E! Online in Los Angeles, is social media manager for the Arizona Coyotes in Phoenix.

Come with questions! BONUS: Marissa wrote a blog post for an earlier Digital class with all kinds of helpful job-hunting tips:

Hi Jake!

I’d like to think I learned a thing or two over my job search process so here goes! I apologize in advance for any typos..

1) ENJOY YOURSELF: Enjoy your last few weeks at SMU, they really are some of the best weeks of your entire college career. Graduation, especially the Meadows graduation is such an amazing time spent with your family AND friends!

2) Don’t think you need a job by May 15. You don’t. You’ve worked really hard the past four years and the right job is out there. I remember thinking I should apply to PR jobs just to have “a job” by May 15 like my older siblings had. That couldn’t be more false! In reality, this could be your last summer without a 9-5 job, so enjoy yourself!

3) …that being said, DON’T CREATE A GAP IN YOUR RESUME. The beauty of journalism is you can build your resume anytime any where. Could an accountant build their resume while laying on the beach all summer? No. Journalists can! I spent my summer after college writing for WhatsUpTucket, a social media hub for the island of Nantucket off of Cape Cod. (www.whatsuptucket.com) I wrote every week, if not every day. I had so much fun interviewing people and writing stories covering what was happening on the island. No matter what you’re doing this summer, blog about it! Tweet about it. Talk about it! Even if it’s “20 things I learned in summer 2012”- use your digital journalism skills and turn it into a piece you can bring in to interviews! When I interviewed at E! for my current job in New Media, they wanted to hear more about my summer writing for WhatUpTucket than my summer spent interning at The View in NYC. I specifically talked about how the site truly branded itself and wrote for a unique audience. This is something all of you have probably already done on your website!

4) NETWORK! It really is the name of the game. While on Nantucket for the summer I met so many different people who knew so many different people who worked in the entertainment field. SO many people you don’t even know yet want to help you find a job! (Myself included!) Tell people upfront that you just graduated from SMU with a degree in journalism, tell them about the daily update, your personal website etc! People will listen and they will help you – so don’t be shy and definitely don’t be embarrassed to say you don’t have a job yet! Trust me, you’re in good company!

5) The Job Search: Be patient, but be persistent! Make a list of job sites that you’re interested in and check them a few times a week. http://www.nbcunicareers.com where I found my job, updates their website EVERY day! I would research jobs every Monday and Wednesday of the week last summer and I typically waited to apply to jobs on a Monday or Tuesday. I’m not sure if there’s any truth behind this, but I didn’t think people would be interested in my emails on a Thursday or Friday when they were thinking about the weekend! Also, create a list of companies you’d like to work for and follow them on twitter! Starting today. If you’re intereted in ESPN, follow @RecruiterStacy – she tweets jobs all the time! So does @DisneyABC, foxcareers, etc. I was given the advice to apply for jobs that had “coordinator or assistant” in the title. Don’t be dismayed at careers that require 2-3 years of experience- majority will! Mine did! You have been immersing yourself in many different news platforms the past four years of college — and your hard work should be credited! Talk about your digital journalism work; your knowledge of vimeo, wordpress, garageband etc! Recruiters LOVE to hear from young people who have a good grasp on the futue of the industry, and all of you do!

6) You found the perfect job – but how do you let them know you’d be perfect for it? Many times when I was applying for jobs online I was convinced my resume and cover letters were getting lost in cyberspace. There really is know way to be sure that a job you submit online gets read by the proper person. Try to find someone in HR at the company- many times even just googling the company and HR you can locate a recruiter. Also, don’t be shy about asking around! If your cousins friend brother works at Good Morning America and that’s your dream – send him a facebook message simply asking if he knows the contact information for HR. You’re not asking for a job, you’re simply asking for an email address and everyone who has a job today was in your position at one point. If you can, drop in to the place you’re applying and submit your resume in person. This sounds so old fashion, but I know many people who landed job this way! It show that your eager and enthusiastic.

7) Interviewing: I truly believe that landing an interview is harder than nailing an interview. Once you have an interview lined up prepare yourself – update your website, tweak your resume, and show up to the interview with writing samples. Be enthusiastic! If nothing else, leave the interview knowing that you were the most enthusiastic person they met that day. Many recruiters are just looking for personalities that are teachable — you can learn any skill set with the right personality and eagerness to learn. Show up prepared with questions – one question I asked was “What is the most common mistake new hires make?” – and people always love that question! People also love to talk about themselves- ask them how they got their start in the industry, where they went to college etc. Highlight your work at SMU and in internships. Be prepared to talk about things you learned along the way. I always say that my summer at The View one of the main things I learned was managing personalities. On and off the screen, ‘The View’ is made up of a cast of characters- there were so many unique personalities and learning how to work with each one of them was the hardest part of the job! It’s “real world” experience like that which shows people that at 21/22 you’re prepared for the industry.

If you need any help brainstorming or talking about ways to highlight your skill set have a mock interview with Jake or Lucy! I am also more than willing to help you. If any of you have any questions, feel free to email me!

Good luck y’all — and congrats on graduating!

Remember: there’s no better time to be a journalist! Really!

All the best,

Marissa

Take-Home Audio Gathering Exercise

***SEE FULL ASSIGNMENT ON BLACKBOARD (under Assignments) – YOUR SOUNDCLOUD LINKS ARE DUE BY NOON MONDAY, 3/23***

The ultimate goal of our two-part audio gathering/editing lab exercise is to produce a short audio clip of 30 to 45 seconds that tells a coherent story. Here’s an example from Digital Journalism alum Laura Rowe, who visited an SMU isotope lab:

And just to show y’all that even old fogies can do this, here are two more example audio labs completed by two of your favorite professors:

Batsell — The Fountain on a Late Winter Day


Suhler — E-mailing: The Scourge of the 21st Century

Two more examples (to be explained further in class):

From these examples, you can see that you will need 1) NAT SOUND; 2) VO and 3) a short INTERVIEW describing the sound (preferably with someone you don’t know).

Save your three (SHORT) raw audio files on your computer or an external drive and post them individually to SoundCloud. Email them to me by noon Monday, March 23. On Tuesday, bring your raw files to class. You’ll use GarageBand to edit your three clips into an NPR-worthy masterpiece!

P.S. Looking for some tips on voiceovers? Here’s a great tutorial from the Knight Digital Media Center.

The Power of Multimedia Storytelling

Image

For class on Tuesday, March 17, read the “Drilling Down” boxes in the Briggs book on pages 148 and 164, as well as the “Newsroom Innovator” profile of MSNBC.com’s Stokes Young on pages 168-169. Then watch this four-minute audio slideshow by The Washington Post, “No Greater Love.” (From the main project page, click the first of the three slideshows — it’s the one on the left. You may need to update your computer’s Flash plugin.)

Also, if you are intrigued to learn more about this story after watching the slideshow, read photographer Carol Guzy’s accompanying epilogue about her experience reporting this story over several years.

Stokes Young says the promise of multimedia storytelling is to provide what he calls an “immersive experience: bringing the story to viewers through multiple senses and, hopefully, bringing viewers into stories — the experiences of other folks — in ways that increase understanding.”

By noon Monday, March 16, leave a comment on this post (worth 5 class participation points) answering one of these questions:

  • Did “No Greater Love” deliver an “immersive experience” and, if so, how?
  • Would this story have been more or less powerful if told through video rather than through sound and still images?
  • Would this story have been more or less powerful if it used voiceover from the journalist, rather than relying entirely on sources for narration?

UPDATED: Personal Branding and the Job Hunt

UPDATED: SMU has announced that campus will be closed until noon Tuesday, Feb. 24. We will pick things where we left off during our scheduled class period beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 26. The homework deadline has been extended until 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 25. See you Thursday! — Batsell

On ThursdayTuesday, we’ll start talking about jobs, personal branding and how to land that first gig. Read this Poynter CoverItLive chat, “What skills are digital-first newsrooms looking for?“, as well as this Dallas Morning News graphic about the social résumé and this Digiday piece about the evolving job duties of social media editors. Also, read the executive summary of the 2013 Annual Survey of Journalism & Mass Communication Graduates, and browse through some of the findings about salaries, desired qualities, etc. Your homework (5 points) is to comment (not tweet — this time, at least) on this post, answering/reacting to one of the following questions by 11:59 p.m. WednesdayMonday:

  • What was the most memorable advice you took away from either: 1) John Hiner’s comments in the Poynter chat; 2) the DMN graphic about “The Social Media Résumé; or 3) the Digiday piece about social media editors?
  • What surprised you most about the 2013 survey findings — and how did the survey change/confirm your personal outlook toward the journalism job market?
  • Browse through some of Batsell’s favorite journalism job listings below. What trends/patterns do you see in what employers are looking for?

JOB/INTERNSHIP LISTINGS:
JournalismJobs.com
Poynter.org’s searchable job database
Mashable jobs
Lost Remote (TV-related digital journalism jobs)
DFW Communicators Job Bank

Live blogging: A staple of 21st-century journalism

As the readings make clear, live blogging is an important journalistic tool that can deliver context to readers as they are processing the news in real time. Live blogging often is absorbed a “second-screen” experience during which people simultaneously view live events such as political debates, sports events and even entertainment awards shows.

During today’s live blog exercise, you will bring context to President Obama’s recent State of the Union address by carefully searching for — and evaluating the credibility of — news reports and other resources that provide your readers with critical background and perspective. We will use CoverItLive, which is used by many journalism organizations to provide running coverage of live events. In the past, SMU J-students have even used CoverItLive to live blog about the SMU Student Senate.

We will live blog the speech for about 25 minutes. For your live-blog entries, you can paraphrase the president’s comments, use direct quotes, provide links or share your own journalistic observations. (Whether you personally agree with Obama doesn’t matter … you are simply trying to bring context to your readers who are following the speech.)

When the speech goes live, it’s going to seem a little chaotic. That’s OK. There are no points at stake here. It’s a practice exercise.

News as Conversation

My new book, Engaged Journalism: Connecting With Digitally Empowered News Audiences (Columbia University Press, February 2015) examines the changing relationship between journalists and the audiences they serve. I’m eager to hear your reactions to the book. For Tuesday’s class, please read Chapter 2: News As Conversation (the PDF is on Blackboard under “assignments”). By noon on Monday, Feb. 9, post a reaction of 100 to 200 words as a comment on this post addressing the following question: How (if at all) did the chapter change the way you think about the role the audience plays in the journalistic process? In your response, cite specific examples from your own reading of the chapter, as well as your own observations and experience. It’s not acceptable to piggy-back on your classmates’ answers without reading the chapter yourself. This assignment is worth 10 class participation points.

Digital Journalism Job Summit

At Thursday’s Digital Journalism Job Summit, we’ll visit with three recent SMU and Digital Journalism alums who all are thriving as Web-empowered journalists:

    • Taylor Danser is the Park Cities editor for The Dallas Morning News’ hyperlocal venture, NeighborsGo.
    • Lauren Michaels is a community marketing coordinator for Pinterest in San Francisco.
    • Marissa O’Connor is a programming coordinator for new media at E! Online in Los Angeles.

Come with questions! And fill out a speaker feedback form by noon Friday for 10 points of class participation.

BONUS: Marissa wrote a blog post for an earlier Digital class with all kinds of helpful job-hunting tips:

Hi Jake!

I’d like to think I learned a thing or two over my job search process so here goes! I apologize in advance for any typos..

1) ENJOY YOURSELF: Enjoy your last few weeks at SMU, they really are some of the best weeks of your entire college career. Graduation, especially the Meadows graduation is such an amazing time spent with your family AND friends!

2) Don’t think you need a job by May 15. You don’t. You’ve worked really hard the past four years and the right job is out there. I remember thinking I should apply to PR jobs just to have “a job” by May 15 like my older siblings had. That couldn’t be more false! In reality, this could be your last summer without a 9-5 job, so enjoy yourself!

3) …that being said, DON’T CREATE A GAP IN YOUR RESUME. The beauty of journalism is you can build your resume anytime any where. Could an accountant build their resume while laying on the beach all summer? No. Journalists can! I spent my summer after college writing for WhatsUpTucket, a social media hub for the island of Nantucket off of Cape Cod. (www.whatsuptucket.com) I wrote every week, if not every day. I had so much fun interviewing people and writing stories covering what was happening on the island. No matter what you’re doing this summer, blog about it! Tweet about it. Talk about it! Even if it’s “20 things I learned in summer 2012”- use your digital journalism skills and turn it into a piece you can bring in to interviews! When I interviewed at E! for my current job in New Media, they wanted to hear more about my summer writing for WhatUpTucket than my summer spent interning at The View in NYC. I specifically talked about how the site truly branded itself and wrote for a unique audience. This is something all of you have probably already done on your website!

4) NETWORK! It really is the name of the game. While on Nantucket for the summer I met so many different people who knew so many different people who worked in the entertainment field. SO many people you don’t even know yet want to help you find a job! (Myself included!) Tell people upfront that you just graduated from SMU with a degree in journalism, tell them about the daily update, your personal website etc! People will listen and they will help you – so don’t be shy and definitely don’t be embarrassed to say you don’t have a job yet! Trust me, you’re in good company!

5) The Job Search: Be patient, but be persistent! Make a list of job sites that you’re interested in and check them a few times a week. http://www.nbcunicareers.com where I found my job, updates their website EVERY day! I would research jobs every Monday and Wednesday of the week last summer and I typically waited to apply to jobs on a Monday or Tuesday. I’m not sure if there’s any truth behind this, but I didn’t think people would be interested in my emails on a Thursday or Friday when they were thinking about the weekend! Also, create a list of companies you’d like to work for and follow them on twitter! Starting today. If you’re intereted in ESPN, follow @RecruiterStacy – she tweets jobs all the time! So does @DisneyABC, foxcareers, etc. I was given the advice to apply for jobs that had “coordinator or assistant” in the title. Don’t be dismayed at careers that require 2-3 years of experience- majority will! Mine did! You have been immersing yourself in many different news platforms the past four years of college — and your hard work should be credited! Talk about your digital journalism work; your knowledge of vimeo, wordpress, garageband etc! Recruiters LOVE to hear from young people who have a good grasp on the futue of the industry, and all of you do!

6) You found the perfect job – but how do you let them know you’d be perfect for it? Many times when I was applying for jobs online I was convinced my resume and cover letters were getting lost in cyberspace. There really is know way to be sure that a job you submit online gets read by the proper person. Try to find someone in HR at the company- many times even just googling the company and HR you can locate a recruiter. Also, don’t be shy about asking around! If your cousins friend brother works at Good Morning America and that’s your dream – send him a facebook message simply asking if he knows the contact information for HR. You’re not asking for a job, you’re simply asking for an email address and everyone who has a job today was in your position at one point. If you can, drop in to the place you’re applying and submit your resume in person. This sounds so old fashion, but I know many people who landed job this way! It show that your eager and enthusiastic.

7) Interviewing: I truly believe that landing an interview is harder than nailing an interview. Once you have an interview lined up prepare yourself – update your website, tweak your resume, and show up to the interview with writing samples. Be enthusiastic! If nothing else, leave the interview knowing that you were the most enthusiastic person they met that day. Many recruiters are just looking for personalities that are teachable — you can learn any skill set with the right personality and eagerness to learn. Show up prepared with questions – one question I asked was “What is the most common mistake new hires make?” – and people always love that question! People also love to talk about themselves- ask them how they got their start in the industry, where they went to college etc. Highlight your work at SMU and in internships. Be prepared to talk about things you learned along the way. I always say that my summer at The View one of the main things I learned was managing personalities. On and off the screen, ‘The View’ is made up of a cast of characters- there were so many unique personalities and learning how to work with each one of them was the hardest part of the job! It’s “real world” experience like that which shows people that at 21/22 you’re prepared for the industry.

If you need any help brainstorming or talking about ways to highlight your skill set have a mock interview with Jake or Lucy! I am also more than willing to help you. If any of you have any questions, feel free to email me!

Good luck y’all — and congrats on graduating!

Remember: there’s no better time to be a journalist! Really!

All the best,

Marissa

Take-Home Audio Gathering Exercise

***SEE FULL ASSIGNMENT ON BLACKBOARD (under Course Docs) – YOUR SOUNDCLOUD LINKS ARE DUE BY NOON THURSDAY, 10/23***

The ultimate goal of our two-part audio gathering/editing lab exercise is to produce a short audio clip of 30 to 45 seconds that tells a coherent story. Here’s an example from Digital Journalism alum Laura Rowe, who visited an SMU isotope lab:

And just to show y’all that even old fogies can do this, here are two more example audio labs completed by two of your favorite professors:

Batsell — The Fountain on a Late Winter Day

Suhler — E-mailing: The Scourge of the 21st Century

Two more examples (to be explained further in class):

From these examples, you can see that you will need 1) NAT SOUND; 2) VO and 3) a short INTERVIEW describing the sound (preferably with someone you don’t know).

Save your three (SHORT) raw audio files on your computer or an external drive and post them individually to SoundCloud. On Thursday, bring your raw files to class. You’ll use GarageBand to edit your three clips into an NPR-worthy masterpiece!

P.S. Looking for some tips on voiceovers? Here’s a great tutorial from the Knight Digital Media Center.

The Power of Multimedia Storytelling

Image

For class on Thursday, Oct. 16, read the “Drilling Down” boxes in the Briggs book on pages 148 and 164, as well as the “Newsroom Innovator” profile of MSNBC.com’s Stokes Young on pages 168-169. Then watch this four-minute audio slideshow by The Washington Post, “No Greater Love.” (From the main project page, click the first of the three slideshows — it’s the one on the left. You may need to update your computer’s Flash plugin.)

Also, if you are intrigued to learn more about this story after watching the slideshow, read photographer Carol Guzy’s accompanying epilogue about her experience reporting this story over several years.

Stokes Young says the promise of multimedia storytelling is to provide what he calls an “immersive experience: bringing the story to viewers through multiple senses and, hopefully, bringing viewers into stories — the experiences of other folks — in ways that increase understanding.”

By 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 15 leave a comment on this post (worth 5 class participation points) answering one of these questions:

  • Did “No Greater Love” deliver an “immersive experience” and, if so, how?
  • Would this story have been more or less powerful if told through video rather than through sound and still images?
  • Would this story have been more or less powerful if it used voiceover from the journalist, rather than relying entirely on sources for narration?

Crafting newsy Spotify playlists on #NewsEngagementDay


Happy National News Engagement Day!

(Speaking of which, want a free week of the NYT Now app, in honor of #NewsEngagementDay? Help yourself!)

Today in class, we will be breaking up into groups to create news-inspired music playlists based on stories that have appeared in The Texas Tribune since Saturday.

Here is your group’s mission for the next 75 minutes:

  • Come up with a fun, newsy name for your group! (Examples: The Deadlines; Off The Record)
  • THIS IS IMPORTANT: Take a look at Tribune reporter Reeve Hamilton’s most recent playlist to get a sense of how he combines news and music every week, and to see which songs he’s already selected for recent news stories. (Previously used songs are off limits!)
  • Plug in your headphones and earbuds and start browsing The Texas Tribune. Search on Spotify for songs that somehow relate to stories/videos that the Trib has published since Saturday. (You also can draw from the TribWire widget on the TT’s homepage, or from its daily newsletter The Brief.)
  • Be creative! Have fun! Feel free to include songs that your parents and professors have never heard of! But it’s also OK (encouraged, even!) to include music from different decades and genres. (Reeve, who’s the pro at this, offers his tips below.)
  • Get together as a group. Settle on 10 songs for your playlist.
  • Divvy up the duties to write at least one sentence explaining the news connection to each song.
  • Appoint a Spotify-savvy curator to compile your playlist and a WordPress-savvy scribe to embed the playlist and write/publish your post.
  • By the end of class, each group must publish to the course blog a post containing: 1) The name of your group in the headline; 2) An embedded Spotify playlist of at least 10 songs, like the one above; 3) A brief explanation of why you picked each song, along with a link to the story it was inspired by; 4) The name of each person in your group, with links to your Twitter handles.
  • Last step! Each group member should tweet the link to your published blog post/playlist, along with the hashtags #NewsEngagementDay and #j4398. Explain it to your followers with some context — this can be your act of engagement for this week’s Power Tweets.
  • PRIZES!! Judges will confer in the coming days to award prizes for the best song(s) and playlist(s).

Remember these helpful tips on compiling a newsy playlist, created just for you by the Texas Tribune’s Reeve Hamilton:

  • The connection to the story should be clear from the title of the song.
  • If you can’t follow the first rule, you can explain why the lyrics work. But as they say in politics, when you are explaining, you are losing.
  • With exceptions, the lyrics of the song should seem applicable to the news situation if you use your imagination and squint a little. If this is just impossible, that’s ok. But before you settle, see what other options are out there.
  • The playlist should be listenable (obviously this is subjective). But if you are going to take the time to make something like this, make something people can actually get enjoyment out of.
  • Don’t take it too seriously (but do put some effort into it).

National News Engagement Day

During class on Tuesday, Oct. 7, we will participate in National News Engagement Day, sponsored by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Full details will be shared on Tuesday — there will be PRIZES!! — but here is how you can prepare:

  • Read this AP article about how the public still craves meaty news, not just kitten videos.
  • Read the Texas Tribune’s weekly Spotify playlist to see how reporter Reeve Hamilton makes a habit of engaging his readers by combining politics with music. (See, the news can be fun!)
  • Between Saturday and Tuesday, browse The Texas Tribune. Come to class with at least one song in mind that somehow relates to recent news about Texas politics and public policy. Be creative!
  • Bring headphones and download Spotify on your laptop if you don’t have it already installed.

 

Personal Branding and the Job Hunt

On Tuesday, we’ll start talking about jobs, personal branding and how to land that first gig. Read this Poynter CoverItLive chat, “What skills are digital-first newsrooms looking for?“, as well as this Dallas Morning News graphic about the social résumé and this Digiday piece about the evolving job duties of social media editors. Also, read the executive summary of the 2013 Annual Survey of Journalism & Mass Communication Graduates, and browse through some of the findings about salaries, desired qualities, etc. Your homework (5 points) is to comment (not tweet — this time, at least) on this post, answering/reacting to one of the following questions by 11:59 p.m. Monday:

  • What was the most memorable advice you took away from either: 1) John Hiner’s comments in the Poynter chat; 2) the DMN graphic about “The Social Media Résumé; or 3) the Digiday piece about social media editors?
  • What surprised you most about the 2013 survey findings — and how did the survey change/confirm your personal outlook toward the journalism job market?
  • Browse through some of Batsell’s favorite journalism job listings below. What trends/patterns do you see in what employers are looking for?

JOB/INTERNSHIP LISTINGS:
JournalismJobs.com
Poynter.org’s searchable job database
Mashable jobs
Lost Remote (TV-related digital journalism jobs)
DFW Communicators Job Bank

JOURNALISM CAREER ADVICE/STRATEGY:
Joe Grimm’s “Ask The Recruiter” column for Poynter Online

Live blogging: A staple of 21st-century journalism

As the readings make clear, live blogging is an important journalistic tool that can deliver context to readers as they are processing the news in real time. Live blogging often is absorbed a “second-screen” experience during which people simultaneously view live events such as political debates, sports events and even entertainment awards shows.

President Obama addressed the United Nations yesterday about a range of global topics including recent events in the Ukraine, the threat of an Ebola outbreak and, especially, the security challenges posed by the terrorist group known variously as ISIS, ISIL and/or the Islamic State.

During today’s live blog exercise, you will bring context to the president’s remarks by carefully searching for — and evaluating the credibility of — news reports and other resources that provide your readers with critical background and perspective. We will use CoverItLive, which is used by many journalism organizations to provide running coverage of live events. In the past, SMU J-students have even used CoverItLive to live blog about the SMU Student Senate.

We will live blog the speech for about 25 minutes. For your live-blog entries, you can paraphrase the president’s comments, use direct quotes, provide links or share your own journalistic observations. (Whether you personally agree with Obama doesn’t matter … you are simply trying to bring context to your readers who are following the speech.)

When the speech goes live, it’s going to seem a little chaotic. That’s OK. There are no points at stake here. It’s a practice exercise.

LIVE BLOG: 2 p.m. class
LIVE BLOG: 3:30 p.m. class

Connecting With Digitally Empowered News Audiences

My forthcoming book, Engaged Journalism: Connecting With Digitally Empowered News Audiences (Columbia University Press, February 2015) examines the changing relationship between journalists and the audiences they serve.

I’m eager to hear your reactions to the book. For Tuesday’s class, please read Chapter 2: News As Conversation (the PDF is on Blackboard under “assignments”). By 11:59 p.m. Monday, Sept. 15, post a reaction of 100 to 200 words as a comment on this post addressing the following question: How (if at all) did the chapter change the way you think about the role the audience plays in the journalistic process? In your response, cite specific examples from your own reading of the chapter, as well as your own observations and experience. It’s not acceptable to piggy-back on your classmates’ answers without reading the chapter yourself.

This assignment is worth 10 class participation points.

Twitter as a Journalistic Tool

Twitter as a Journalistic Tool

For class on Tuesday, Sept. 2:

After reading Briggs Ch. 4, post a 100-to-150-word comment on this post answering this question: How did the chapter change the way you think about how you use (or don’t use) Twitter as a professional journalistic tool? Be honest and specific. This is worth 5 class participation points and is due no later than 11:59 p.m. Monday, Sept. 1.

Digital Journalism Job Summit

At Tuesday’s Digital Journalism Job Summit, we’ll have a Google Plus Hangout with three recent SMU alums who all are thriving as Web-empowered media professionals:

    • Sarah Acosta is an entertainment reporter, blogger and videographer for her hometown newspaper, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.
    • Elisabeth Brubaker is a production assistant for Piers Morgan Tonight at CNN in New York City. (She made a virtual class appearance earlier this semester.)
    • Mackenzie O’Hara is a communication consultant at PartnerComm, Inc., an internal public relations firm based in Arlington.

Come with questions! And please read these helpful tips from Marissa O’Connor, a programming coordinator for new media at E! Online in Los Angeles:

Hi Jake!

I’d like to think I learned a thing or two over my job search proccess so here goes! I apologize in advance for any typos..

1) ENJOY YOURSELF: Enjoy your last few weeks at SMU, they really are some of the best weeks of your entire college career. Graduation, especially the Meadows graduation is such an amazing time spent with your family AND friends!

2) Don’t think you need a job by May 15. You don’t. You’ve worked really hard the past four years and the right job is out there. I remember thinking I should apply to jobs I didn’t really want, just to have “a job” by May 15 like my older siblings had. That couldn’t be more false! In reality, this could be your last summer without a 9-5 job, so enjoy yourself!

3) …that being said, DON’T CREATE A GAP IN YOUR RESUME. The beauty of journalism is you can build your resume anytime any where. Could an accountant build their resume while laying on the beach all summer? No. Journalists can! I spent my summer after college writing for WhatsUpTucket, a social media hub for the island of Nantucket off of Cape Cod. (www.whatsuptucket.com) I wrote every week, if not every day. I had so much fun interviewing people and writing stories covering what was happening on the island. No matter what you’re doing this summer, blog about it! Tweet about it. Talk about it! Even if it’s “20 things I learned in summer 2012”- use your digital journalism skills and turn it into a piece you can bring in to interviews! When I interviewed at E! for my current job in New Media, they wanted to hear more about my summer writing for WhatUpTucket than my summer spent interning at The View in NYC. I specifically talked about how the site truly branded itself and wrote for a unique audience. This is something all of you have probably already done on your website!

4) NETWORK! It really is the name of the game. While on Nantucket for the summer I met so many different people who knew so many different people who worked in the entertainment field. SO many people you don’t even know yet want to help you find a job! (Myself included!) Tell people upfront that you just graduated from SMU with a degree in journalism, tell them about the Daily Update, your personal website etc! People will listen and they will help you – so don’t be shy and definitely don’t be embarrassed to say you don’t have a job yet! Trust me, you’re in good company!

5) The Job Search: Be patient, but be persistent! Make a list of job sites that you’re interested in and check them a few times a week. http://www.nbcunicareers.com where I found my job, updates their website EVERY day! I would research jobs every Monday and Wednesday of the week last summer and I typically waited to apply to jobs on a Monday or Tuesday. I’m not sure if there’s any truth behind this, but I didn’t think people would be interested in my emails on a Thursday or Friday when they were thinking about the weekend! Also, create a list of companies you’d like to work for and follow them on twitter! Starting today. If you’re interested in ESPN, follow @RecruiterStacy – she tweets jobs all the time! So does @DisneyABC, foxcareers, etc. I was given the advice to apply for jobs that had “coordinator or assistant” in the title. Don’t be dismayed at careers that require 2-3 years of experience- majority will! Mine did! You have been immersing yourself in many different news platforms the past four years of college — and your hard work should be credited! Talk about your digital journalism work; your knowledge of vimeo, wordpress, garageband etc! Recruiters LOVE to hear from young people who have a good grasp on the futue of the industry, and all of you do!

6) You found the perfect job – but how do you let them know you’d be perfect for it? Many times when I was applying for jobs online I was convinced my resume and cover letters were getting lost in cyberspace. There really is no way to be sure that a job you submit online gets read by the proper person. Try to find someone in HR at the company- many times even just googling the company and HR you can locate a recruiter. Also, don’t be shy about asking around! If your cousin’s friend’s brother works at Good Morning America and that’s your dream – send him a facebook message simply asking if he knows the contact information for HR. You’re not asking for a job, you’re simply asking for an email address and everyone who has a job today was in your position at one point. If you can, drop in to the place you’re applying and submit your resume in person. This sounds so old fashioned, but I know many people who landed job this way! It show that you’re eager and enthusiastic.

7) Interviewing: I truly believe that landing an interview is harder than nailing an interview. Once you have an interview lined up prepare yourself – update your website, tweak your resume, and show up to the interview with writing samples. Be enthusiastic! If nothing else, leave the interview knowing that you were the most enthusiastic person they met that day. Many recruiters are just looking for personalities that are teachable — you can learn any skill set with the right personality and eagerness to learn. Show up prepared with questions – one question I asked was “What is the most common mistake new hires make?” – and people always love that question! People also love to talk about themselves- ask them how they got their start in the industry, where they went to college etc. Highlight your work at SMU and in internships. Be prepared to talk about things you learned along the way. I always say that during my summer at The View, one of the main things I learned was managing personalities. On and off the screen, ‘The View’ is made up of a cast of characters- there were so many unique personalities and learning how to work with each one of them was the hardest part of the job! It’s “real world” experience like that which shows people that at 21/22 you’re prepared for the industry.

If you need any help brainstorming or talking about ways to highlight your skill set have a mock interview with Jake or Lucy!

Good luck y’all — and congrats on graduating!

Remember: there’s no better time to be a journalist! Really!

All the best,

Marissa

Presenting my research at #ISOJ

On Saturday, April 20, from 4:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. Texas time, I’ll be presenting these slides  at the International Symposium on Online Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. The conference, which is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year in the world of digital journalism, will be livestreamed all day Friday and Saturday (broadcast in both English and Spanish). If you’d like to tune in, the lineup includes Jill Abramson, executive editor of The New York Times; Andy Carvin, the now-legendary NPR tweeter and author of the book Distant Witness; and Emily Bell, director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University. You also can follow the #isoj hashtag on Twitter.

Take-Home Audio Gathering Exercise

(ZOOM RECORDER USERS — here’s your tutorial!)

***SEE FULL ASSIGNMENT ON BLACKBOARD (under Course Docs) – YOUR SOUNDCLOUD LINKS ARE DUE BY 11:59 P.M. MONDAY, 3/25***

The ultimate goal of our two-part audio gathering/editing lab exercise is to produce a short audio clip of 30 to 45 seconds that tells a coherent story. Here’s an example from Digital Journalism alum Laura Rowe, who visited an SMU isotope lab:

And just to show y’all that even old fogies can do this, here are two more example audio labs completed by two of your favorite professors:

Batsell — The Fountain on a Late Winter Day

Suhler — E-mailing: The Scourge of the 21st Century

Two more examples (to be explained further in class):

From these examples, you can see that you will need 1) NAT SOUND; 2) VO and 3) a short INTERVIEW describing the sound (preferably with someone you don’t know).

Save your three (SHORT) raw audio files on an external drive in addition to posting them to SoundCloud. On Tuesday, bring your external drive to class. You’ll use GarageBand to edit your three clips into an NPR-worthy masterpiece!

If you’re using a Zoom, when you’re ready to upload your nat sound, VO and interview clips from your Zoom recorder to your computer, here’s a YouTube tutorial that shows you exactly how to do it.

P.S. Looking for some tips on voiceovers? Here’s a great tutorial from the Knight Digital Media Center.

The Power of Multimedia Storytelling

Image

For Tuesday’s class, read the “Drilling Down” boxes in the Briggs book on pages 148 and 164, as well as the “Newsroom Innovator” profile of MSNBC.com’s Stokes Young on pages 168-169. Then watch this four-minute audio slideshow by The Washington Post, “No Greater Love.” (You may need to update your computer’s Flash plugin.) Also, if you are intrigued to learn more about this story after watching the slideshow, read photographer Carol Guzy’s accompanying epilogue about her experience reporting this story over several years.

Stokes Young says the promise of multimedia storytelling is to provide what he calls an “immersive experience: bringing the story to viewers through multiple senses and, hopefully, bringing viewers into stories — the experiences of other folks — in ways that increase understanding.”

By 11:59 p.m. Monday, leave a comment on this post (worth 5 class participation points) answering one of these questions:

  • Did “No Greater Love” deliver an “immersive experience” and, if so, how?
  • Would this story have been more or less powerful if told through video rather than through sound and still images?
  • Would this story have been more or less powerful if it used voiceover from the journalist, rather than relying entirely on sources for narration?

Why Branding is Important in the 21st Century

On Tuesday, we’ll start talking about jobs, personal branding and how to land that first gig. Read this Poynter CoverItLive chat, “What skills are digital-first newsrooms looking for?“, as well as this Dallas Morning News graphic about the social résumé and this “Branding When You’re a Brand New Journalist” recap from a recent conference session. Also, read the executive summary of the 2011 Annual Survey of Journalism & Mass Communication Graduates, and browse through some of the findings about salaries, desired qualities, etc. Your homework (5 points) is to comment (not tweet — this time, at least) on this post, answering/reacting to one of the following questions:

  • What was the most memorable advice you took away from one of these three pieces: 1) John Hiner’s comments in the Poynter chat; 2) the DMN graphic about “The Social Media Résumé; 3) Branding When You’re a Brand New Journalist?
  • What surprised you most about the 2011 survey findings — and how did the survey change/confirm your personal outlook toward the journalism job market?

For Thursday’s class, you must create your own LinkedIn profile. More details on Tuesday.

While we’re talking jobs, here are Batsell’s favorite journalism job links …

JOB/INTERNSHIP LISTINGS:
JournalismJobs.com
Poynter.org’s searchable job database
Mashable jobs
Lost Remote (TV-related digital journalism jobs)
DFW Communicators Job Bank

JOURNALISM CAREER ADVICE/STRATEGY:
Joe Grimm’s Career Strategies for Journalists
Joe Grimm’s “Ask The Recruiter” column for Poynter Online

I routinely add job-related links to my delicious page under the tags “jobmarket” and “jobs

Live Blogging: A staple of 21st-century journalism

At The New Haven Register, reporters and editors have their morning news meetings on a live blog (powered by Scribble Live) and the community is invited to participate. Here’s a peek (and another, and another) at how the daily news meeting evolved on Monday, Nov. 5, one day before the general election and about a week after Superstorm Sandy hit.

Here’s our live blog for class on Thursday.

Live Blogging: A staple of 21st-century journalism

Digital Journalism Job Summit

At Friday’s Digital Journalism Job Summit, we’ll have a Google Plus Hangout with three recent SMU alums who all are thriving as Web-empowered journalists:

    • Sarah Acosta is an entertainment reporter, blogger and videographer for her hometown newspaper, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.
    • Elisabeth Brubaker is a production assistant for Piers Morgan Tonight at CNN in New York City.
    • Marissa O’Connor is a programming coordinator for new media at E! Online in Los Angeles.

Come with questions! Oh, and if you’ve missed a class assignment this semester, fill out a speaker feedback form for partial amnesty.

UPDATE: Marissa couldn’t make it today, but she wrote a great post with all kinds of helpful tips:

Hi Jake!

I am SO bummed to tell you that I can’t make the Digital Journalism Job Summit this afternoon. I completely messed up the time difference and last week had written it down on my planner for 9:55, forgetting that I was going to be in Buffalo this weekend for a wedding shower. I was planning on logging in today at 9:55, then remembered it would be 12:55 here and I have a Doctors appointment. 😦 I tried changing the time and they couldn’t .. so long story short I wanted to wrap up as much information in this email since I can’t “be” there. And I apologize again because I enjoyed it so much last time! I’d like to think I learned a thing or two over my job search proccess so here goes! I apologize in advance for any typos..

1) ENJOY YOURSELF: Enjoy your last few weeks at SMU, they really are some of the best weeks of your entire college career. Graduation, especially the Meadows graduation is such an amazing time spent with your family AND friends!
2) Don’t think you need a job by May 15. You don’t. You’ve worked really hard the past four years and the right job is out there. I remember thinking I should apply to PR jobs just to have “a job” by May 15 like my older siblings had. That couldn’t be more false! In reality, this could be your last summer without a 9-5 job, so enjoy yourself!
3) …that being said, DON’T CREATE A GAP IN YOUR RESUME. The beauty of journalism is you can build your resume anytime any where. Could an accountant build their resume while laying on the beach all summer? No. Journalists can! I spent my summer after college writing for WhatsUpTucket, a social media hub for the island of Nantucket off of Cape Cod. (www.whatsuptucket.com) I wrote every week, if not every day. I had so much fun interviewing people and writing stories covering what was happening on the island. No matter what you’re doing this summer, blog about it! Tweet about it. Talk about it! Even if it’s “20 things I learned in summer 2012”- use your digital journalism skills and turn it into a piece you can bring in to interviews! When I interviewed at E! for my current job in New Media, they wanted to hear more about my summer writing for WhatUpTucket than my summer spent interning at The View in NYC. I specifically talked about how the site truly branded itself and wrote for a unique audience. This is something all of you have probably already done on your website!
4) NETWORK! It really is the name of the game. While on Nantucket for the summer I met so many different people who knew so many different people who worked in the entertainment field. SO many people you don’t even know yet want to help you find a job! (Myself included!) Tell people upfront that you just graduated from SMU with a degree in journalism, tell them about the daily update, your personal website etc! People will listen and they will help you – so don’t be shy and definitely don’t be embarrassed to say you don’t have a job yet! Trust me, you’re in good company!
5) The Job Search: Be patient, but be persistent! Make a list of job sites that you’re interested in and check them a few times a week. http://www.nbcunicareers.com where I found my job, updates their website EVERY day! I would research jobs every Monday and Wednesday of the week last summer and I typically waited to apply to jobs on a Monday or Tuesday. I’m not sure if there’s any truth behind this, but I didn’t think people would be interested in my emails on a Thursday or Friday when they were thinking about the weekend! Also, create a list of companies you’d like to work for and follow them on twitter! Starting today. If you’re intereted in ESPN, follow @RecruiterStacy – she tweets jobs all the time! So does @DisneyABC, foxcareers, etc. I was given the advice to apply for jobs that had “coordinator or assistant” in the title. Don’t be dismayed at careers that require 2-3 years of experience- majority will! Mine did! You have been immersing yourself in many different news platforms the past four years of college — and your hard work should be credited! Talk about your digital journalism work; your knowledge of vimeo, wordpress, garageband etc! Recruiters LOVE to hear from young people who have a good grasp on the futue of the industry, and all of you do!

6) You found the perfect job – but how do you let them know you’d be perfect for it? Many times when I was applying for jobs online I was convinced my resume and cover letters were getting lost in cyberspace. There really is know way to be sure that a job you submit online gets read by the proper person. Try to find someone in HR at the company- many times even just googling the company and HR you can locate a recruiter. Also, don’t be shy about asking around! If your cousins friend brother works at Good Morning America and that’s your dream – send him a facebook message simply asking if he knows the contact information for HR. You’re not asking for a job, you’re simply asking for an email address and everyone who has a job today was in your position at one point. If you can, drop in to the place you’re applying and submit your resume in person. This sounds so old fashion, but I know many people who landed job this way! It show that your eager and enthusiastic.

7) Interviewing: I truly believe that landing an interview is harder than nailing an interview. Once you have an interview lined up prepare yourself – update your website, tweak your resume, and show up to the interview with writing samples. Be enthusiastic! If nothing else, leave the interview knowing that you were the most enthusiastic person they met that day. Many recruiters are just looking for personalities that are teachable — you can learn any skill set with the right personality and eagerness to learn. Show up prepared with questions – one question I asked was “What is the most common mistake new hires make?” – and people always love that question! People also love to talk about themselves- ask them how they got their start in the industry, where they went to college etc. Highlight your work at SMU and in internships. Be prepared to talk about things you learned along the way. I always say that my summer at The View one of the main things I learned was managing personalities. On and off the screen, ‘The View’ is made up of a cast of characters- there were so many unique personalities and learning how to work with each one of them was the hardest part of the job! It’s “real world” experience like that which shows people that at 21/22 you’re prepared for the industry.

If you need any help brainstorming or talking about ways to highlight your skill set have a mock interview with Jake or Lucy! I am also more than willing to help you. If any of you have any questions, feel free to email me!

Jake once again, I’m so sorry I can’t skype today. I will be in Dallas next Thursday/Friday so if you’re going to be on campus hopefully we can meet up! If anyone has any questions I’d be happy to meet up with them too!

Good luck y’all — and congrats on graduating!

Remember: there’s no better time to be a journalist! Really!

All the best,

Marissa

APME Panel: How to Land Your First Job

*ALL* college journalism students are welcome to attend an Associated Press Managing Editors panel and networking event at SMU this Friday, March 30, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Room 283 of the Umphrey Lee Center, 3300 Dyer Street. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to interact with some of Texas’ most powerful news bosses!

The first hour will be a panel Q&A discussion focusing on how to get that first job. Speakers will talk about what qualities they look for in new hires, skill sets needed, courses to take, etc. The second hour will be one-on-one sessions with each of the panelists — students can show résumés, clips, reels, etc. and gain feedback. Participants include:

  • Leona Allen, deputy managing editor/local news, The Dallas Morning News
  • Brian Pearson, managing editor, Tyler Morning Telegraph
  • Kelly Brown, managing editor, The Eagle, Bryan-College Station
  • Dino Chiecchi, Spanish publications editor, San Antonio Express-News
  • Debbie Hiott, editor, Austin American-Statesman
  • Mauro Diaz, recruiter, espn.com/Dallas
  • Brandi Grissom, managing editor of the Texas Tribune

Please RSVP to Lisa Goodson at lisag(at)smu.edu.

Coming Up With Your Audio Slideshow Game Plan

We’re getting to the point where it’s time to come up with a specific, cohesive plan for your audio slideshow. Over the next week or two, we’ll be refining your storytelling structure through storyboarding.

Here are some tips on organizing audio slideshows from Jen Friedberg, a multimedia journalist who previously spoke to SMU Digital Journalism classes:

AUDIO SLIDESHOW GAME PLAN
(Jen Friedberg, star-telegram.com)

1. Decide what the angle of your story is. You should be able to state this in 3 words and one of those words should be a verb.
e.g. Camels carry people

At most, it should take a short sentence to explain your angle.

2. Keeping your topic in mind, do a pre interview and get an idea of what the person is going to say. This might be informal, just a conversation.

3. Pick 3 or 4 questions to record. This keeps the amount of audio you have to wade through down. Re-ask those questions on tape in a quiet place. If there is an event going on, you may have to move your subject elsewhere.

4. With an idea on what your audio will say, start shooting.

5. If there is a live event associated with your piece, collect natural or ambient sound (background noise) at the event – at least a minute or two that you can use later sort of as a soundtrack. Try to get sounds that go along with the pictures you are taking. You can layer this in under your primary interview.

This is not un-ethical. It’s like using a flash.

6. Shoot a lot, especially detail (close-up) photos. Plan to have your photos stay up for 5-7 seconds max. So, if you’re doing a 1:30 piece, that’s 18 photos.

Also, get shots of your subject – people want to see who is speaking.

Plan to ID your main subject with a lower-third – this can save valuable time because the subject doesn’t have to take audio time to introduce himself.

If it is impossible to show a picture of your subject when he/she starts speaking, your lower-third can say “Voice of XXX”

7. Edit your audio together in a way that it tells the story. If you get really stuck, use text slides – especially if you want to present complicated facts or figures.

8. Select your photos and arrange them so they make sense with the audio. Try timing the pictures to the words. Don’t have each one play for the same amount of time.

Audio Gathering Take-Home Lab Exercise

(ZOOM RECORDER USERS — here’s your tutorial!)

***SEE FULL ASSIGNMENT ON BLACKBOARD***
The ultimate goal of our two-part audio gathering/editing lab exercise is to produce a short audio clip of 30 to 45 seconds that tells a coherent story. Here’s an example from Digital Journalism alum Laura Rowe, who visited an SMU isotope lab:

When you’re ready to upload your nat sound, VO and interview clips from your Zoom recorder to your computer, here’s a YouTube tutorial that shows you exactly how to do it. Save your three (SHORT) raw audio files on an external drive in addition to posting them to SoundCloud. Next week, you’ll use GarageBand to edit your three clips into an NPR-worthy masterpiece!

P.S. Looking for some tips on voiceovers? Here’s a great tutorial from the Knight Digital Media Center.

Newsrooms in Transition, Part II

 On Thursday we’ll have the privilege to visit with John Yemma, editor of the Christian Science Monitor, a century-old news organization based in Boston that specializes in international news. Under the leadership of Mr. Yemma, who rejoined the Monitor in 2008 after 20 years at The Boston Globe, the Monitor has transformed itself from a daily print newspaper to a “Web-first” digital newsroom with a weekly print edition. To prepare for his visit, we’re going to read about Mr. Yemma’s “Web-first” experiment and discuss it in class on Tuesday. For Tuesday’s class, read this Nieman Journalism Lab summary, “Chasing pageviews with values: How the Christian Science Monitor has adjusted to a web-first, SEO’d world” and also the full paper by journalism scholars Jonathan Groves and Carrie Brown-Smith. By 11:59 p.m. Monday, post a reaction (5 points) of 150 to 200 words as a comment to this post, answering one of the two following questions: 1) Do you consider the Christian Science Monitor’s recent transformation to be a success or tragedy for journalism? or 2) How does the Monitor’s transformation compare to the revolutions under way at the New York Times and Washington Post?

Live-Blogging Lab: It’s Showtime!

For today’s live-blogging lab, we’ll be following the first 20 minutes of the most recent GOP presidential debate in Jacksonville, Fla., on Jan. 26. To get you in the right frame of mind, here’s a USA Today recap of the previous debate in Tampa three days earlier. Also, to give you an idea of the style and content, here’s a Yahoo! News live blog of another GOP debate. (Live blogs are very popular in coverage of sports and entertainment, too.) Take a minute to read/watch these stories, get set up on CoverItLive, then it’s SHOWTIME. Archived Class Live Blog

Newsrooms In Transition

This week, we’ll watch the 2011 documentary movie “Page One: Inside The New York Times” in class. It’s a fairly short movie, which will leave time for us to discuss our theme of the week: Newsrooms in Transition. The movie mainly follows Media Desk reporters David Carr and Brian Stelter during a pivotal moment in the Times’ history, as the once-dominant newspaper strives to remain relevant in the digital age.

This past weekend, the Times published an insightful piece about how its competitor, The Washington Post, is going through its own transitional moment. Before Thursday’s class, comment on this post with an answer of at least 200 words (worth 5 points) to the following question: What similarities and differences do you see between the Times and the Post as they navigate the transition to the digital age? Use specific examples from the movie and the article in your response.

Pick Your Blog Beat / Practice Post

Our mission for Tuesday’s class is to select your blog beat, find Twitter/RSS feeds to help you generate ideas, and start writing your practice blog post. Once you’ve settled on a beat, find a recent story or blog post that seems worth blogging about and start writing a practice blog item that is relevant to the SMU reader. Send me your blog item as an MS Word doc by 11:59 p.m. Thursday. Follow all guidelines listed in the gradesheet I will use to grade your post.

Here are the updated blog beats for this semester as of midnight Feb. 20, 2012:

Blog Beats

  • Personal Finance — Mark Agnew (Mondays)
  • Graduation Guru — Meghan Sikkel (Tuesdays)
  • Mustang Sports Weekly — Brooke Williamson (Tuesdays)
  • Technology and Culture — Charlie Scott (Wednesdays)
  • Curtains Up — Ben Ateku (Wednesdays)
  • Dallas Arts District — Yolonda Battle (Thursdays)
  • Out Wide — Brad Namdar (Thursdays)
  • Furry Fridays — Bridget Bennett (Fridays)

Guest Speaker: Theodore Kim

Ted and his infant daughter, Trinity, who was born on Halloween 2011.

 
 
On Thursday, Ted Kim of the Dallas Morning News (@theotypes) will visit our class to talk about beat blogging and using social media as a journalistic tool. Ted is a staff writer and social media advocate at the leading newspaper in Texas. He’s also national secretary of the Asian American Journalists Association. He has 10 years of daily news media experience and has become the newsroom’s chief social media advocate. For the past three years, Ted has been the driving force behind the newspaper’s Plano Blog, which has been nationally recognized by BeatBlogging.org as a model for the industry to follow. Ted and his colleague Matthew Haag built the Plano Blog into a “mini-newspaper” that includes not only the most up-to-date news, but reader engagement features like the Mystery Photo of the Week.

Lab: Converting a TV Script to a Web Story

From Briggs, Journalism 2.0:

Writing for the Web should be a cross between broadcast and print — tighter and punchier than print but more literate and detailed than broadcast writing. Write actively, not passively.

Good broadcast writing uses primarily tight, simple declarative sentences and sticks to one idea per sentence. It avoids the long clauses and passive writing of print. Every expressed idea flows logically into the next. Using these concepts in online writing makes the writing easier to understand and better holds readers’ attention.

Strong verbs are extremely important – no passive verbs!

Your assignment, worth 10 points, is to convert a broadcast script into an AP style news story for the Web. Apply the concepts listed in this conversion guide by Cory Bergman of LostRemote.com.

First, we’ll watch the story twice (it starts at the 7:45 mark), reading along with the script the second time:

The Daily Update: Monday, April 25 from SMU-TV on Vimeo.

Before you start writing, read through the script again to determine what holes (if any) you’ll need to fill for the written story. After that, you may need to follow up to ask about who said what, and what role/title these people have. Feel free also to insert details that you observed while watching the broadcast package that are not apparent in the broadcast script.

In your story, you do not have to follow the same order that the script does — although you can if you want. You also will need a new lead that quickly gets to the point of the story and skips the anchor intro.

Remember, accuracy is just as important for the Web as it is for the print product. The same standards of fairness, attribution, accuracy, relevance and newness still apply. And follow AP style! Here is a list of Top 10 AP Style Tips from cubreporters.org.

Happy writing!!

Twitter Scavenger Hunt!


These days, anyone with a mobile phone and a Twitter account can commit an “act of journalism.” As digital journalism students, I expect you to commit acts of journalism whenever you stumble upon news. In that spirit, we are embarking on a Twitter Scavenger Hunt with students at a dozen other universities in the U.S., Canada, and Egypt. I’ll hand out the assignment in class.

Postscript: Here are some Storified highlights of our scavenger hunt.

Why have a Twitter scavenger hunt? To reinforce the idea that if you have a cell phone in your pocket, you can commit an act of journalism anywhere, anytime.

Just ask:

  • @jkrums, a.k.a. “Miracle on the Hudson Guy” Janis Krums.
  • SMU Journalism ’09 grad Holly Roberts, whose cell phone shot of President Bush’s first campus visit after leaving office made the rounds in the national blogosphere and drew praise from a Dallas Morning News editor.
  • Or SMU Journalism ’11 grad Meredith Shamburger, who constantly snapped Twitpics during her coverage of Hurricane Irene in upstate New York last fall.
  • You are hereby expected to pounce on breaking news! If news breaks on or near campus this semester, I expect #j2380 students to be all over it — post Twitter pics and alert your classmates at The Daily Campus!

    Tackling Today’s Job Market

    One professor quoted in this New York Times story says the journalists of the future will have to “invent their own jobs.” At Thursday afternoon’s Digital Journalism Job Summit, we’ll have a Google Hangout with three recent SMU alums who all are thriving as Web-empowered journalists:

    Assignment: Portfolio Site and LinkedIn Page

    Today, we’re focusing on how to build your personal brand on the Web. Here’s why it’s so important. I collect links related to branding on my Delicious page.

    You have two assignments relating to personal branding:

    • Create your own journalism portfolio site on a professional-looking template such as WordPress or Weebly. Your site needs to have a polished feel and must list your resume, contact information (e-mail only is fine), an “about me” section, and links to at least five examples of your multi-platform work. A professional-looking picture is optional. You’ll also want to replace the standard “Hello World” post with a “Welcome” post explaining that this is your journalism portfolio site. (At first, you’ll probably want to explain that it’s under construction and to come back soon.) For links to some basic HTML pointers, visit my Delicious page.Here are some example sites from previous students:
      Kassi Schmitt
      Mackenzie Warren
      Morgan Parmet
    • Create a LinkedIn profile (at least 75% complete) and add me as a connection.

    Your portfolio site (worth 75 points) is due at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 5. Simply send me the link when you’re finished and the site is ready to go. Your LinkedIn page (worth 25 points) is due at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 6.

    Guest Speaker: Rebecca Aguilar


    During class on Tuesday, Nov. 29, we will visit with Rebecca Aguilar, an Emmy-winning reporter, news consultant and video producer. Rebecca has been a reporter for 30 years, with dozens of awards and nominations for her work, including 7 Emmys. She now works in different areas of mass communications and multimedia. She recently won a national LATISM Award as “Best Latin@ Social Network Leader” for her blog Wise Latinas Linked, which aims to empower Latinas.

    Digital Deadline: Case Study for Tuesday, Nov. 22

    For our class on Tuesday, Nov. 22, we will delve into another multimedia case study: Digital Deadline: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Kirkwood Shooting.

    The case is part of the Knight Case Studies Initiative at Columbia University‘s Graduate School of Journalism. 90-day access to the case and all its multimedia features costs $5.95.

    You can print out a PDF if you’d like, but take advantage of the multimedia elements, such as video and audio interviews with the main characters and links to their bios.

    The case study assignment is worth 20 points. The first part, worth 10 points, is to post a brief response (250 words or less) as a comment to this blog entry addressing these two questions:

    1. Does STLtoday.com owe its readers as much accurate information as it can provide in real time, even if it means stepping ahead of the police in confirming the names of the shooter and his victims? Why or why not?

    2. What information should go in the next day’s Post-Dispatch newspaper?

    Your response must be posted by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 21.

    The second 10 points will be awarded on the basis of your contributions to the case study discussion in class.

    Enjoy the case!

    Guest speaker: Nathan Hunsinger

    On Thursday during lab, we’ll visit with Dallas Morning News staff photographer and videographer Nathan Hunsinger, who will share his tips on the art of telling multimedia stories without voiceover. I encourage you to read this profile of Nathan that Sydney Giesey wrote last semester for my Technology Reporting class. We’ll also watch a couple of Nathan’s recent pieces, including a singing high school football team and a flag retirement ceremony.

    Here’s Nathan’s bio:

    Nathan Hunsinger went to school at UNT to study art, advertising, marketing and eventually journalism, which landed him a job at The Lewisville News. He spent his first six years at The Dallas Morning News as an all assignments photographer. For the last four years, he has been one of the two full-time videographers on staff. He covers everything from press conferences to zombie walks, never knowing what is in store for tomorrow. His main goal is to tell a story from the eyes of the participants, allowing the audience to be part of a shared reality. He has won two Lone Star Emmys for his efforts.

    Storyboarding and Audio Slideshows

    We’re getting to the point where it’s time to come up with a specific, cohesive plan for your audio slideshow. Over the next week or two, we’ll be refining your storytelling structure through storyboarding.

    We’ll spend most of today’s class in group critique sessions of five audio slideshows. But first, I wanted to pass along these organizational tips from Jen Friedberg, a multimedia journalist who previously spoke to SMU Digital Journalism classes:

    AUDIO SLIDESHOW GAME PLAN
    (Jen Friedberg, star-telegram.com)

    1. Decide what the angle of your story is. You should be able to state this in 3 words and one of those words should be a verb.
    e.g. Camels carry people

    At most, it should take a short sentence to explain your angle.

    2. Keeping your topic in mind, do a pre interview and get an idea of what the person is going to say. This might be informal, just a conversation.

    3. Pick 3 or 4 questions to record. This keeps the amount of audio you have to wade through down. Re-ask those questions on tape in a quiet place. If there is an event going on, you may have to move your subject elsewhere.

    4. With an idea on what your audio will say, start shooting.

    5. If there is a live event associated with your piece, collect natural or ambient sound (background noise) at the event – at least a minute or two that you can use later sort of as a soundtrack. Try to get sounds that go along with the pictures you are taking. You can layer this in under your primary interview.

    This is not un-ethical. It’s like using a flash.

    6. Shoot a lot, especially detail (close-up) photos. Plan to have your photos stay up for 5-7 seconds max. So, if you’re doing a 1:30 piece, that’s 18 photos.

    Also, get shots of your subject – people want to see who is speaking.

    Plan to ID your main subject with a lower-third – this can save valuable time because the subject doesn’t have to take audio time to introduce himself.

    If it is impossible to show a picture of your subject when he/she starts speaking, your lower-third can say “Voice of XXX”

    7. Edit your audio together in a way that it tells the story. If you get really stuck, use text slides – especially if you want to present complicated facts or figures.

    8. Select your photos and arrange them so they make sense with the audio. Try timing the pictures to the words. Don’t have each one play for the same amount of time.

    Audio Gathering Lab: Fall ’11

    The goal of our two-part audio gathering/editing lab exercise is to produce a short audio clip of 30 to 45 seconds that tells a coherent story. Here’s an example from recent grad Laura Rowe, who visited an SMU isotope lab:

    And just to show y’all that even old fogies can do this, here are two more example audio labs completed by two of your favorite professors:
    Batsell — The Fountain on a Late Winter Day

    Suhler — E-mailing: The Scourge of the 21st Century

    When you’re ready to upload your nat sound, VO and interview clips from your Zoom recorder to your computer, here’s a YouTube tutorial that shows you exactly how to do it. Next week, you’ll use GarageBand to edit your three clips into an NPR-worthy masterpiece!

    P.S. Looking for some tips on voiceovers? Here’s a great tutorial from the Knight Digital Media Center.

    #SMUvTCU Twitter Scavenger Hunt

    Epilogue: Here is the Storified recap of our wildly successful scavenger hunt. Storify even featured it on its home page as one of the four best stories of that day — worldwide. NBD.

    From Thursday through Sunday, in the spirit of the SMU-TCU football rivalry, we’ll be locking horns with TCU Journalism Prof. Chip Stewart’s (@MediaLawProf) students for a Twitter Scavenger Hunt. Many thanks to Dr. Carrie Brown-Smith (@brizzyc) of the University of Memphis for inspiring this assignment. Some tips:

  • Think like a reporter. Have an eagle eye for the interesting, the important, the relevant, the unique and the immediate. Double check your facts.
  • Think like a public relations professional. Show other people what’s cool about SMU.
  • Think like a storyteller. You may only have 140 characters in each tweet, but you can say a lot in a few words or using an image.
  • You may use more than one tweet for each of the items below. Don’t overdo it, though. Less is more. **DO NOT FORGET THE HASHTAG #SMUvTCU**
  • You will want to offer an introductory tweet or two explaining what you are doing and introducing your partner. You may use either of your accounts or both. It doesn’t matter, as we are using the hashtag #SMUvTCU to organize the tweets.
  • Why are we doing this? A good tweeter is a careful observer who ALWAYS has an eye open for novel and important information that might be relevant to your audience. He or she does bring personal perspective and voice, but is always thinking about the audience and what its needs are. This is good practice.
  • 1. School spirit! Photo and quote from someone (not you or your partner) revealing school spirit (what exactly that means is up to you).
    2. Photo and quote of someone (not you or partner) at your favorite eating spot on/near campus.
    3. Professor on the street. Photo and quote from a professor on campus. What’s their prediction for the game? Be sure you include the professor’s title and department.
    4. Student on the street. Photo and quote from a student. Ask them how they plan to follow the game on Saturday (In person? On TV? Social media?) Can’t be a friend. Be sure you include their year in school and major.
    5. Academic excellence. Photo and comment/tweet that reveals (you are going to have to be creative) how SMU contributes to cutting edge research and/or learning.
    6. Scenic spot. Photo of your favorite scenic spot on campus.
    7. Little-known fact. Photo and comment/tweet of something you think many people might not know about SMU or our campus, even some of those of us that go to school here.
    8. Game Day. Shot capturing some aspect of the SMU-TCU game day experience (or lack thereof) posted between noon and 6 p.m. on Saturday.
    9. Photo of you and a photo of your partner in your favorite spot on campus.
    10. Extracurricular extravaganza: Photo and comment/tweet that exemplifies some of the huge variety of clubs, organizations, etc., available to students at our university.

    Winners in each category (and prizes!!) will be announced next week.

    Class Links, Sept. 15 (Extra Credit, Anyone?)

    EXTRA CREDIT OPPORTUNITY: Charles Fishman, author of “The Big Thirst,” will be delivering the O’Neil Lecture in Business Journalism on Tuesday, Sept. 20, at 4 p.m. in the Crum Auditorium at the Collins Exec Ed Center. Prof. Vamos calls “Fish,” his former reporter at Fast Company magazine, “a tremendously entertaining and thought-provoking guy, and I think our students will really enjoy him.”  You can get 5 points extra credit if you 1) attend the lecture and 2) send out three live tweets with the hashtag #oneilsmu

     
    In Chapter 2, Briggs talks about how new media tools “bring journalists closer to readers and readers closer to journalism by removing barriers to conversation.” One example: SMU Journalism students live-blogged the Bush Library groundbreaking in collaboration with The Dallas Morning News.

    The guy in the video player below is not Charles Fishman. He’s Clay Shirky, and we’re going to listen to him talk about how cellphones, Twitter and Facebook can make history:

    http://ted.com/talks/view/id/575

    Twitter as a Distribution Channel

    Web 2.0 is all about interactivity – and that means sharing through social media. In a journalistic context, this means that news organizations and individual journalists need to do everything we can to “push” unique news content out into the Web ecosystem, to attract more attention to our work.

    In-class reading: Why Twitter matters for media organizations. Which of Rusbridger’s 15 points resonates most with you?

    Assignment: Make your first push post

    Beat Blogging, Curation and Link Journalism


    Some thoughts on link journalism from Jay Rosen, a highly influential future-of-news thinker and New York University professor. I try to follow Jay’s advice whenever I blog — this 500-word post about a recent Texas gubernatorial debate had 15 links.

    Today’s lab assignment:

    Twitter/RSS feeds & Practice Blog Post

    • First, we’ll assign beats.
    • Next, you need to find a few blogs or news organizations that regularly cover your beat topic. Create a Twitter list for your beat that you regularly follow. You may also want to bookmark those sites, and sign up for RSS feeds and Google alerts.
    • Find a recent story or blog post that seems worth blogging about and write a practice blog item that is relevant to the SMU reader. Send me your blog item as an MS Word doc by 11:59 p.m. Sunday. Follow all guidelines listed in the gradesheet I will use to grade your post.

    And the winners are …

    Why have a Twitpic contest? To reinforce the idea that if you have a cell phone in your pocket, you can commit an act of journalism anywhere, anytime.

    Just ask:

  • @jkrums, a.k.a. “Miracle on the Hudson Guy” Janis Krums.
  • SMU Journalism ’09 grad Holly Roberts, whose cell phone shot of President Bush’s first campus visit after leaving office made the rounds in the national blogosphere and drew praise from a Dallas Morning News editor.
  • Or SMU Journalism ’11 grad Meredith Shamburger, who constantly snapped Twitpics during her coverage of Hurricane Irene in upstate New York over the weekend.
  • You are hereby expected to pounce on breaking news! If news breaks on or near campus this semester, I expect #j2380 students to be all over it — post Twitpics and alert your classmates at The Daily Campus!

    Drumroll please …

    Here are the finalists for Newsiest Twitpic and Most Creative Twitpic.

    And here are the judge’s comments explaining the rationale for selecting the Newsiest and Most Creative winners.

    Twitpic Contest!

    To show how Twitter and mobile phones help journalists participate in the “live Web” and connect to the broader media ecosystem, I hereby declare a Twitpic contest:

    • Snap a cell phone photo that somehow relates to this theme: Coping with the summer Texas heat. The shot needs to be newsy: you can’t take a photo of your friend. If the photo is of a person or animal, it needs to be someone you don’t know.
    • Write a Twitter-friendly caption that IDs any major subjects and describes what’s going on. Post it to your Twitter feed by the end of lab at 2 p.m.
    • Be sure to include the hashtag #j2380 in your caption.
    • Check your Twitter feed to make sure your photo posted. If it did, you’re done.
    • PRIZES!!! The newsiest photo will receive an out-of-print Soledad O’Brien bookmark.
    • The most creative photo will receive an out-of-print Dr. Sanjay Gupta bookmark.

    Links/Homework/Readings, Aug. 25 (Class 1.2)

    Today we’re talking Web 2.0 — what it means, and how certain examples show what Web 2.0 is all about. We’ll discuss the four pillars of Web news, starting with non-linear news presentation.  We’ll also look at a couple of college journalism programs that are doing it right and some niche sites that are flourishing because they bring together communities.

    HOMEWORK FOR TUESDAY (5 points):  Find a site that is covering the political upheaval in Libya or Syria and rate its coverage based on 1) immediacy and urgency; 2) non-linear news presentation; 3) reader interactivity; and 4) “platform-agnostic” multimedia content. Rate the coverage however you like; you can break it up into sections with subheads and bullet points and numerical rankings on a 1-to-5 scale, or you can write in a more fluid essay style. One page, 250 words or less. Bring to class Tuesday.

    READINGS FOR TUESDAY: Briggs Ch. 1 – Web basics (9-13), FTP (21-22); Briggs Ch. 11 – Analytics (310-21), SEO and profile of Tech Innovator Dale Steinke (321-30).

    Tackling Today’s Job Market

    One professor quoted in this New York Times story says the journalists of the future will have to “invent their own jobs.” At Thursday’s Digital Journalism Job Summit, we will hear from three inspiring examples of Web-empowered journalists:

  • Rebecca Aguilar has 28 years of experience in broadcast journalism, most recently at Fox4 in Dallas. Her most recent venture has been founding and running Wise Latinas Linked, an online community with nearly 3,000 fans on Facebook.
  • Recent UNT Journalism grad Matt Goodman is now digital media producer for CBS-11, where he runs the station’s website on weekends and helps manage its social media accounts.
  • Web editor Travis Hudson has worked for two years at The Dallas Morning News, where he is responsible for engaging online readers through the use of blogs, live chats and social media.

    Tweet a question for our guest speakers using the #j2380 hashtag by noon Thursday.

    Meanwhile, here are Batsell’s favorite journalism jobs links:

    JOB/INTERNSHIP LISTINGS:
    JournalismJobs.com
    Poynter.org’s searchable job database
    Lost Remote (TV-related digital journalism jobs)
    Wired Jobs (via Publish2.com)
    DFW Communicators Job Bank

    JOURNALISM CAREER ADVICE/STRATEGY:
    Joe Grimm’s Career Strategies for Journalists (previous version)
    Joe Grimm’s “Ask The Recruiter” column for Poynter Online

    I routinely add job-related links to my delicious page under the tags “jobmarket” and “jobs

  • Into The Breach: Digital Case Study for Tuesday, Nov. 23 — TTH class

    For our class on Tuesday, Nov. 23, we will have a multimedia case study — Into the Breach: Should Student Journalists Save Local Political Reporting?

    The case is free — check your email for the password. It’s part of the Knight Case Studies Initiative at Columbia University‘s Graduate School of Journalism.

    You can print out a PDF if you’d like, but take advantage of the multimedia elements, such as audio interviews with the main characters and links to their bios.

    The case study assignment is worth 20 points. The first part, worth 10 points, is to post a brief response (250 words or less) as a comment to this blog entry addressing one of these two questions:

    1. Would this proposed university news service benefit Kentucky’s existing news organizations, or pose unfair competition?

    2. Would this news service benefit student journalists, or would it take advantage of them?

    Your response must be posted by noon on Tuesday for full credit. In your response, cite specific facts from your own reading of the case. It’s not acceptable to piggy-back on your classmates’ answers without reading the case yourself.

    The second 10 points will be awarded on the basis of your contributions to the case study discussion in class.

    Enjoy the case!

    Into The Breach: Digital Case Study for Monday, Nov. 22 — MW class

    For our class on Monday, Nov. 22, we will have a multimedia case study — Into the Breach: Should Student Journalists Save Local Political Reporting?

    The case is free — check your email for the password. It’s part of the Knight Case Studies Initiative at Columbia University‘s Graduate School of Journalism.

    You can print out a PDF if you’d like, but take advantage of the multimedia elements, such as audio interviews with the main characters and links to their bios.

    The case study assignment is worth 20 points. The first part, worth 10 points, is to post a brief response (250 words or less) as a comment to this blog entry addressing one of these two questions:

    1. Would this proposed university news service benefit Kentucky’s existing news organizations, or pose unfair competition?

    2. Would this news service benefit student journalists, or would it take advantage of them?

    Your response must be posted by noon on Monday for full credit. In your response, cite specific facts from your own reading of the case. It’s not acceptable to piggy-back on your classmates’ answers without reading the case yourself.

    The second 10 points will be awarded on the basis of your contributions to the case study discussion in class.

    Enjoy the case!

    Live Blogging Options

    As you know, one of your eight blog weekly blog posts this semester must be a live blog, which I define as real-time reporting and writing on immediate deadline for the Web.

    Here are some upcoming options for fulfilling your live blog requirement:

    • Cover some aspect of the Bush library groundbreaking. Submit updates, cell phone photos, video clips and any other Bush-related tidbits you might come across to mustangeditors@gmail.com. Also file a Twitter update or picture using the hashtag #bushsmu. We’re looking for sightings of Bush supporters and protesters, student reactions, cell phone pictures of the crowds and media circus, colorful anecdotes … anything that helps take readers to the scene.
    • Using your laptop and CoverItLive, live-blog the Fall O’Neil Lecture in Business Journalism, which will be delivered by David Leonhardt, economics columnist for The New York Times, on Tuesday, Nov. 16 at 5 p.m. Note that this year’s lecture will take place in the Smith Auditorium in the Meadows Museum.
    • Using your laptop and CoverItLive, live-blog TV coverage of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

    If you choose one of the live-blog options, I expect you to blog for at least 45 minutes, with at least 12 updates. Post your link on your Push Post page on the course blog and send me a heads up when it’s finished.

    Thursday’s Guest Speaker: Sonya Hebert

    On Thursday afternoon we’ll visit with Sonya Hebert, staff photographer and multimedia journalist for the Dallas Morning News. Please tweet a question for Sonya with the #j2380 hashtag by 10 a.m. on Thursday after reading/viewing these items in advance of her visit:

  • DMN editor Bob Mong wrote this column praising Sonya for twice winning the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism.
  • This four-minute multimedia piece about end-of-life medical care, which sensitively combines video with still images, follows the non-voiceover storytelling approach we are using for our audio slideshows. Feel free to also browse other installments from the award-winning project “At the Edge of Life.”
  • (Optional) Feel free to read this Q&A with the Poynter Institute regarding the “Edge of Life” series.
  • Here is Sonya’s bio from last summer’s Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference in Grapevine:

    Sonya N. Hebert, a staff photographer for The Dallas Morning News, was a 2009 Pulitzer Prize finalist for feature photography for the project “At the Edge of Life,” an empathetic look at dying patients navigating the end of life. Among other awards, Sonya also received the 2009 ASNE Community Service Photojournalism Award and the 2009 Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. Sonya’s photography and multimedia storytelling has been recognized in national contests such as Pictures of the Year International, the National Press Photographers Association: Best of Photojournalism. Sonya worked as an assistant director at the US Senate Press Photographers’Gallery, served as a special assistant to the director of communications in the Clinton White House and worked as a program officer at the President’s Interagency Council on Women in Washington D.C.

    Storyboarding and Audio Slideshows

    We’re getting to the point where it’s time to come up with a specific, cohesive plan for your audio slideshow. Over the next week or two, we’ll be refining your storytelling structure through storyboarding.

    We’ll spend most of today’s class in group critique sessions of five audio slideshows. But first, I wanted to pass along these organizational tips from Jen Friedberg, a multimedia journalist who previously spoke to SMU Digital Journalism classes:

      AUDIO SLIDESHOW GAME PLAN
      (Jen Friedberg, star-telegram.com)

    1. Decide what the angle of your story is. You should be able to state this in 3 words and one of those words should be a verb.
    e.g. Camels carry people

    At most, it should take a short sentence to explain your angle.

    2. Keeping your topic in mind, do a pre interview and get an idea of what the person is going to say. This might be informal, just a conversation.

    3. Pick 3 or 4 questions to record. This keeps the amount of audio you have to wade through down. Re-ask those questions on tape in a quiet place. If there is an event going on, you may have to move your subject elsewhere.

    4. With an idea on what your audio will say, start shooting.

    5. If there is a live event associated with your piece, collect natural or ambient sound (background noise) at the event – at least a minute or two that you can use later sort of as a soundtrack. Try to get sounds that go along with the pictures you are taking. You can layer this in under your primary interview.

    This is not un-ethical. It’s like using a flash.

    6. Shoot a lot, especially detail (close-up) photos. Plan to have your photos stay up for 5-7 seconds max. So, if you’re doing a 1:30 piece, that’s 18 photos.

    Also, get shots of your subject – people want to see who is speaking.

    Plan to ID your main subject with a lower-third – this can save valuable time because the subject doesn’t have to take audio time to introduce himself.

    If it is impossible to show a picture of your subject when he/she starts speaking, your lower-third can say “Voice of XXX”

    7. Edit your audio together in a way that it tells the story. If you get really stuck, use text slides – especially if you want to present complicated facts or figures.

    8. Select your photos and arrange them so they make sense with the audio. Try timing the pictures to the words. Don’t have each one play for the same amount of time.

    Audio Editing Lab: Oct. 13 and 14

    Your 10-point assignment is to take your three audio files from last week and weave them into a mini-story using GarageBand. YOU MUST WEAR HEADPHONES. Use this story structure as a guide:

    NAT SOUND (FADE IN) >> VOICEOVER INTRO >> MORE NAT SOUND >> SOUNDBITE FROM INTERVIEW >> NAT SOUND (FADE OUT)

    The full assignment is on Blackboard under Assignments. Here’s a GarageBand video tutorial to get you started. Be sure to watch this video before you start editing your story — it will answer a lot of questions you may have and will make more sense of the step-by-step checklist on the official assignment.

    Here are three examples of an acceptable audio editing lab (look, even a professor can do it!):

    Digital Journalism alumnus Laura Rowe — SMU Isotope Lab:

    Prof. Batsell — The Fountain on a Late Winter Day

    Prof. Suhler — E-mailing: The Scourge of the 21st Century

    As the semester goes on, please know you can always return to the GarageBand tutorial on the course blog. It’s in the right-hand rail on the home page, underneath your push post pages.

    Audio Gathering Lab

    The goal of our two-part audio gathering/editing lab exercise is to produce a short audio clip of 30 to 45 seconds that tells a coherent story. Here’s an example from recent grad Laura Rowe, who visited an SMU isotope lab:

    When you’re ready to upload your nat sound, VO and interview clips from your Zoom recorder to your computer, here’s a YouTube tutorial that shows you exactly how to do it. Next week, you’ll use GarageBand to edit your three clips into an NPR-worthy masterpiece!

    P.S. Looking for some tips on voiceovers? Here’s a great tutorial from the Knight Digital Media Center.

    Live Blogging Lab

    For today’s lab exercise, you will live-blog President Obama’s recent prime-time speech regarding the end of U.S. combat operations in Iraq.

    You will use a free service called CoverItLive, which is used by many journalism organizations to provide running coverage of live events. Remember the Dallas Morning News’ live winter weather chat that we talked about in class? Your classmate Meredith Shamburger also uses CoverItLive to live blog about the SMU Student Senate. Take a few minutes to look over these examples.

    First, register for CoverItLive. Enter your first and last name as your screen name, and feel free to upload an avatar if you want. Sign up for the basic CoverItLive service. Schedule an event for about 15 minutes from now, give it the title “Live Blog Lab: Obama Speech” and copy the embed code.

    Log on to your push post page on the course blog. On the bottom of your push page (underneath week 10), copy the embed code and save the changes. Check the new page to make sure that the link takes you to your scheduled blog/chat.

    The speech lasts about 20 minutes. For your live-blog entries, you can paraphrase the president’s comments, use direct quotes, provide links or share your own journalistic observations. (Whether you personally agree with Obama doesn’t matter … you are simply trying to bring context to your readers who are following the speech.)

    OK, now it’s time to activate your chat. In the control panel, go to “Upcoming Events” and click “Launch Event Now.” Write an introductory post introducing yourself to readers, letting them know that you’ll start blogging as soon as Obama hits the air. As you wait, read this ABC News preview of the speech (hey, you might even want to share the link with your readers!). Some other links you may find relevant to share with your readers as the speech goes on: an Al Jazeera story on Vice President Joe Biden’s surprise visit to Iraq hours before Obama’s speech; a Christian Science Monitor story about Bob Woodward’s new book on debates within the Obama administration regarding the Afghanistan war; and a Washington Post fashion critique of Obama’s wardrobe and choice of neckties as a presidential candidate.

    When the speech goes live, it’s going to seem a little chaotic. That’s OK. There are no points at stake here. It’s a practice lab. However, this exercise is good practice for your actual live-blog requirement. Remember (it’s in the syllabus) that you must live-blog one event on your beat this semester — it counts for 20 points of your 100-point blog portfolio. When evaluating your portfolio at the end of the semester, I expect to see at least one live-blogged event on your beat with 15 time-stamped entries and three links.

    Assignment: Analyze an iPad News App

    As part of the Meadows School of the Arts’ iPad Pilot Program, every Fall 2010 Digital Journalism student will evaluate an iPad news app this semester over a span of at least four days.

    The Meadows iPad Pilot Program provides SMU Digital Journalism students with a cutting-edge opportunity to critically and comparatively assess how news apps on the iPad are faring with what we call “four pillars” of online news — immediacy/urgency, non-linear presentation, interactivity and multimedia content.

    Here’s your assignment:

  • Choose a legacy media outlet with an iPad app — there are more than 600 news apps to choose from, including Sports Illustrated, Wired, Fortune, People, ESPN, ABC News, USA Today, NPR and the New York Times.
  • Buy a copy of the legacy media product covering the four-day period during which you have the iPad. If it’s a newspaper, get a copy of each day’s paper. If it’s a magazine, get a copy of that week’s magazine. If it’s a news program, be sure to watch the program when you have the iPad.
  • Over a four-day span, you will constantly compare the legacy news product — newspaper, magazine, TV program, radio show or regular ol’ website — with that same news organization’s iPad app. Is the iPad delivering on its promise to create a more compelling news experience for users? Does it provide extra value that is worth the user’s time, money and attention? Or is it merely “shovelware” for the legacy product?
  • You will write a review of 250 to 300 words, due within 24 hours of returning your iPad to me. First, provide a brief introductory summary describing your overall assessment of the iPad app. Then, rate the app on a scale of one to five stars, assessing how well the app fulfills the four pillars of Web news: immediacy/urgency, non-linear presentation, interactivity, and multimedia content. Give a rating of 1 to 5 in each of these four areas.
  • Post your review as a blog item on the Tech Blog on smudailymustang.com. This will count as your beat blog entry for the week. Be frank and honest in your review. This is not an Apple-sponsored pilot, so feel absolutely free to speak your mind!
  • To get an idea of the format and tone for these reviews, visit the Daily Mustang Tech Blog to peruse some of your classmates’ reviews.

    By the end of the semester, this assignment will provide a rare collection of candid student reviews of the iPad’s performance as a news source. Have fun playing around with the iPad!

  • Uploading your #fivepm Twitpics to Flickr

    Hope y’all had fun shooting your #fivepm pics this weekend. Now it’s time to upload to Flickr. YOU CAN SUBMIT UP TO TWO PHOTOS FOR THE CONTEST.

    The first thing you need is the original .jpg or .png file of your photo. (You may need to e-mail it to yourself from your phone so you can download it onto a computer.) Upload your photo to our #fivepm Twitpic group and add a journalistic caption following this style:

    Fish scurry for pellets of food shortly after 5 p.m. on Aug. 29, 2010, in Dallas resident Jake Batsell’s backyard koi pond.

    (Photo by Jake Batsell / SMU)

    Original Twitpic link:
    http://twitter.com/jbatsell/status/22471318270

    #FivePM Twitpic Contest!

    It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere …
    The #FivePM SMU/ASU Twitpic contest

    This weekend, we are collaborating/competing on a Twitpic contest with Dr. Leslie-Jean Thornton’s Multimedia Journalism bootcamp class for graduate students at Arizona State University’s Cronkite School of Journalism.

    The premise is simple: Sometime this Saturday or Sunday, wherever you are, take a journalistic picture with your cell phone during the 5 o’clock hour. (Might want to set an alarm or reminder right now.)

    What do we mean by journalistic? The photo needs to be worthy of Web publication because it expresses some or all of the following: time, sense of place, importance, emotion, humanity, beauty, news value. Technical perfection isn’t as important as capturing a scene that the reader/viewer will find interesting.

    To share your photo on Twitter, you’ll need to do a few things:

  • Get a Twitter app for your cell phone. Popular iPhone apps include Twitter for iPhone, Twitterrific, Tweetdeck, Echofon, the list goes on. Some of these apps allow you to post photos on Twitter directly from the app …
  • … but others don’t. If that’s the case for you, you’ll want to sign up for a Twitpic account at http://www.twitpic.com or another photo-posting service like yfrog or twitgoo.
  • Take a sample photo and try posting it to Twitpic/Twitter, along with a brief description.
  • When you take your assignment photo this weekend, be sure to include the hashtag #fivepm in your description. Muy importante that you do this.
  • Check your Twitter feed to make sure your photo posted. If it did, you’re done for now.
  • THE CONTEST

    By 5 p.m. Tuesday (local time), students from both classes must upload their #FivePM photo to a special Flickr page. We’ll spend some class time on this.

    This means you will need to email your photo from your cell phone to a computer. It also means you’ll need to sign up for a Flickr account – but you will need one later this semester anyway!

    All photos added to the FivePM collaboration must have a cutline and a credit. Like this:

    ASU Cronkite School Dean Christopher Callahan and Walter Cronkite pause for pictures at the official groundbreaking ceremony for the Cronkite School in downtown Phoenix. The photo was included in a tribute to Callahan at AEJMC’s national conference, August 2010, in Denver.
    Photo by Leslie-Jean Thornton/ASU.
    (Be sure to add a FivePM tag in the Flickr tag field.)

    THE JUDGING

    ASU students will pick the top 5 SMU photos, and vice versa. SMU winners get extra credit: 10 points for first place, 8 for second, 6 for third, 4 for fourth and 2 for fifth.

    Batsell’s Favorite Job Links

    Tackling Today’s Job Market

    JOB/INTERNSHIP LISTINGS:
    JournalismJobs.com
    Poynter.org’s searchable job database
    Lost Remote (TV-related digital journalism jobs)
    Wired Jobs (via Publish2.com)
    DFW Communicators Job Bank

    JOURNALISM CAREER ADVICE/STRATEGY:
    Joe Grimm’s Career Strategies for Journalists (previous version)
    Joe Grimm’s “Ask The Recruiter” column for Poynter Online

    I routinely add job-related links to my delicious page under the tags “jobmarket” and “jobs

    Tackling Today’s Job Market

    One professor quoted in this New York Times story says the journalists of the future will have to “invent their own jobs.” Do you agree?

    For Thursday’s class, please read this column from Quill Magazine about managing your personal brand. And check out this Dallas Morning News story about a hot new job now hitting the fields of journalism, PR, advertising and marketing: social media manager.

    On Friday, we will hear from two inspiring examples of Web-empowered journalists:

  • Shawn Williams is a former pharmaceutical sales rep who recently started his own hyperlocal news site called Dallas South News. He also runs an after-school Junior Reporters program.
  • Recent SMU Journalism grad Christina Geyer, an assistant editor for PaperCity Magazine, used some of the skills she learned in Digital Journalism to help launch the magazine’s website.
  • Digital Deadline: Case Study for Thursday, April 22

    For our class on Thursday, April 22, we will delve into another multimedia case study: Digital Deadline: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Kirkwood Shooting.

    The case is part of the Knight Case Studies Initiative at Columbia University‘s Graduate School of Journalism. 90-day access to the case and all its multimedia features costs $5.95.

    You can print out a PDF if you’d like, but take advantage of the multimedia elements, such as video and audio interviews with the main characters and links to their bios.

    The case study assignment is worth 20 points. The first part, worth 10 points, is to post a brief response (250 words or less) as a comment to this blog entry addressing these two questions:

    1. Does STLtoday.com owe its readers as much accurate information as it can provide in real time, even if it means stepping ahead of the police in confirming the names of the shooter and his victims? Why or why not?

    2. What information should go in the next day’s Post-Dispatch newspaper?

    Your response must be posted by noon on Wednesday, April 21.

    The second 10 points will be awarded on the basis of your contributions to the case study discussion in class.

    Enjoy the case!

    Texas Tribune Founder John Thornton Says Journalism is “A Public Good”


    Venture capitalist John Thornton, chairman and founder of the Texas Tribune, gave the keynote address Friday at the Fort Worth SPJ‘s First Amendment Awards and Scholarship Dinner in Arlington. He told the audience that he founded the nonprofit news startup because he considers Journalism (yes, capital-J journalism) to be a public good, much like national defense or clean air and water.

    Jen Friedberg’s Audio Slideshow Game Plan

    Audio slide show game plan (Jen Friedberg, star-telegram.com)

    1. Decide what the angle of your story is. You should be able to state this in 3 words and one of those words should be a verb.
    e.g. Camels carry people

    At most, it should take a short sentence to explain your angle.

    2. Keeping your topic in mind, do a pre interview and get an idea of what the person is going to say. This might be informal, just a conversation.

    3. Pick 3 or 4 questions to record. This keeps the amount of audio you have to wade through down. Re-ask those questions on tape in a quiet place. If there is an event going on, you may have to move your subject elsewhere.

    4. With an idea on what your audio will say, start shooting.

    5. If there is a live event associated with your piece, collect natural or ambient sound (background noise) at the event – at least a minute or two that you can use later sort of as a soundtrack. Try to get sounds that go along with the pictures you are taking. You can layer this in under your primary interview.

    This is not un-ethical. It’s like using a flash.

    6. Shoot a lot, especially detail (close-up) photos. Plan to have your photos stay up for 5-7 seconds max. So, if you’re doing a 1:30 piece, that’s 18 photos.

    Also, get shots of your subject – people want to see who is speaking.

    Plan to ID your main subject with a lower-third – this can save valuable time because the subject doesn’t have to take audio time to introduce himself.

    If it is impossible to show a picture of your subject when he/she starts speaking, your lower-third can say “Voice of XXX”

    7. Edit your audio together in a way that it tells the story. If you get really stuck, use text slides – especially if you want to present complicated facts or figures.

    8. Select your photos and arrange them so they make sense with the audio. Try timing the pictures to the words. Don’t have each one play for the same amount of time.

    More Extra Credit

    Hear ye! Hear ye! I hereby announce two more extra credit opportunities, worth up to 10 points each. Attend either of these two events and write a one-page speaker summary (up to 250 words) with your reactions and reflections:

    OPPORTUNITY #1:

    Evan Smith, CEO of the Austin-based Texas Tribune, will be interviewed by KERA’s Krys Boyd (host of the popular Think program) on the evening of Tuesday, March 23. The taping begins at 6 p.m. at the KERA studios, 3000 Harry Hines (at Wolf) in Dallas. A reception precedes the taping from 5 p.m to 6 p.m. Admission is FREE for students, but you must RSVP with Niki McCuistion as soon as possible by emailing her at nikin@nikimccuistion.com.

    OPPORTUNITY #2:

    Texas Tech University is hosting a social media conference on Thursday, March 25, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Frontiers of Flight Museum, 6911 Lemmon Avenue in Dallas. The conference is billed as “an educational opportunity to learn about social media from the trendsetters and the experts.” Panelists include representatives from Southwest Airlines, JCPenney, WebmasterWorld.com, the Texas Tech Journalism faculty, and WrightIMC, a brand reputation management firm. Students also are encouraged to bring resumes to distribute to social media professionals for internships and jobs.

    This event also is FREE but you must RSVP by noon on Tuesday, March 23, to Dawn Moreno at dawn.moreno@ttu.edu. If you’d like to attend the breakfast preceding the conference, the cost is $25.

    Sample Audio Lab

    The goal of our audio gathering/editing lab exercise is to produce a short audio clip of 30 to 45 seconds that tells a coherent story. Here’s an example from recent grad Laura Rowe, who visited an SMU isotope lab:

    Below, I’ve outlined the structure Laura used when she edited her story. It veers slightly from the structure I’ve asked you to follow in this lab, but it deftly weaves together 1) nat sound 2) voiceover and 3) interview.

    LAURA’S STRUCTURE: Nat Sound >> Voiceover >> Interview >> More Voiceover >> Closing Nat Sound

    When you’re ready to upload your nat sound, VO and interview clips from your Zoom recorder to your computer, here’s a YouTube tutorial that shows you exactly how to do it. Next week, you’ll use GarageBand to edit your three clips into an NPR-worthy masterpiece!

    P.S. Looking for some tips on voiceovers? Here’s a great tutorial from the Knight Digital Media Center.

    Thursday’s Class / Extra Credit Due

    For Thursday’s class on audio gathering, please read Foust Ch. 10 (the parts about gathering sound) and Briggs Ch. 7.

    If you live-tweeted Michael Ramirez’ lecture yesterday for extra credit, send me your 5-point abbreviated summary (100-125 words) by 5 p.m. today.

    And if you want to take advantage of extra credit opportunity #1 (explained in an earlier blog post), send me your 250-word summary by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, March 14.

    Case Study for Tuesday, Feb. 23

    For our first class this week, we will delve into a compelling multimedia case study: The Bakersfield Californian and Blogging the Courtroom.

    The case is part of the Knight Case Studies Initiative at Columbia University‘s Graduate School of Journalism. 90-day access to the case and all its multimedia features costs $5.95.

    You can print out a PDF if you’d like, but take advantage of the multimedia elements, such as audio interviews with the main characters, links to their bios, and PDFs of internal newsroom e-mails.

    The case study assignment is worth 20 points. The first part, worth 10 points, is to post a brief response (250 words or less) as a comment to this blog entry answering one of these two questions:

    1. Who is right — Logan or Jenner? And why do you think so?
    2. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the Californian’s trial blog coverage? (Revisit the trial blog entries mentioned in the case study, and browse the blog itself, especially the first three months of coverage in February, March and April 2007.

    Your response must be posted by 11:59 p.m. on Monday.

    The second 10 points will be awarded on the basis of your contributions to the case study discussion in class.

    Enjoy the case!

    Extra Credit Opportunities

    If you want to sock away some extra points while learning about the future of journalism, I hereby announce two extra credit opportunities, worth up to 10 points each.

    OPPORTUNITY #1:

    Write a one-page speaker summary (up to 250 words) with your reactions and reflections to one of these two presentations:

    Evan Smith, CEO of the Texas Tribune, has been invited by the Northwestern University Club of D/FW to speak on “The Future of American Journalism” on Thursday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m. The event is just a few minutes away from campus at The Richards Group, 8750 N. Central Expressway. The registration fee for non-members is $20. Register here.

    Free alternative to the Evan Smith event: Listen to the audio of the Online/Convergence Panel at the Feb. 6 SPJ Career Conference at UT-Arlington. I moderated the panel, which featured Kent Chapline, executive producer of CBS11tv.com, along with Matt Stiles and Elise Hu of the Texas Tribune. Special thanks to student Brooks Powell for recording the session.

    OPPORTUNITY #2:

    The spring O’Neil Lecture in Business Journalism will be delivered by Michael Ramirez, Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist for Investor’s Business Daily. It will take place on Tuesday, March 2 from 3:30-5 p.m. in the Crum Auditorium, Collins Executive Education Center.

    This extra credit opportunity has two parts. The first part (up to 5 points) is to contribute three live tweets from the lecture itself, using the hashtag #oneil at the end of each tweet. The second part (up to 5 points) is to write a 125-word reaction to the lecture.

    Weekend Reading and Practice Blog Item

    As I mentioned in lab today, send me your practice beat blog item via e-mail by noon Monday. MS Word works fine for the practice blog. Before you write your blog item, be sure to look over the blog item gradesheet on Blackboard to familiarize yourself with the criteria I’ll be looking for.

    Next week we will focus on how news organizations are using social media for journalistic purposes. For Tuesday’s class, please read Briggs Ch. 2, Foust Ch. 9 (pp. 180-85) and the American Journalism Review article “Networking News” on Blackboard. See you Tuesday.

    More on Beat Blogging

    Be sure to check out the DMN Plano Blog to prepare for our guest speakers on Thursday. And between now and Friday’s practice blog lab, keep your eye out for the blogs and Twitterers you’ll want to routinely follow to stay on top of your beat.

    Speaking of which, if you weren’t in class Tuesday, check out last semester’s beat list on Blackboard (under Course Documents) and shoot me an e-mail letting me know your top three beat choices.

    Twitter Lab Assignment

    Today’s Twitter Lab assignment is posted on Blackboard under “assignments.” Please read it carefully before starting. Here are the goals of today’s lab:

    1. Join Twitter if you haven’t already.
    2. Follow at least 50 people or organizations. (If you’re already on Twitter, follow 50 more people/organizations than you already do.)
    3. Post your first tweet. (If you’re a Twitter veteran, retweet an intriguing item from one of the new folks you follow.)

    See the assignment for suggestions on whom to follow.

    Overnight Homework: Haiti Coverage Analysis

    Here’s your five-point, one-page homework assignment, due at the beginning of Friday’s lab at 1 p.m. Aim for about 250 words.

    Find a news site that is covering the Haiti crisis and assess its coverage based on the Four Pillars of Web News:

  • Immediacy/Urgency.
  • Is the site on top of the latest news? How frequently are updates posted? How are updates indicated on the site?

  • Non-linear News Presentation.
  • Is the reader empowered with options to experience the story in whatever form he/she wants, in whatever order he/she wants?

  • Reader Interactivity.
  • Does the site give its readers/viewers a voice? How can readers contribute to the story and its surrounding conversation?

  • Multi-platform content.
  • How compelling and effective is the site’s multimedia content? How would you assess its quality?