Archive for October, 2009

Fall 2009 class blogs

The Austin Night Owl tracks the city’s happenings at all hours. austin eats sandwiches helps you find the best eats in town, and delivers profiles of the people and places that make Austin’s sandwich scene … well, a sandwich scene. Austin Fitness and Outdoors has the lowdown on how to burn off those sandwich calories in Central Texas. And the crew at Austin Brew helps you map out (literally!) the peer-to-beer connections in town. Check ’em out!

Digital media strategies and ethics

In today’s class, we covered two big topics: strategies for writing and producing online, and the ethical issues related to using others’ work on your blogs and beyond. For the first part, see the previous post on Paul Bradshaw’s “basics”; for the second, see the following PowerPoints (and follow the links, for clarification in some places):

So, if you missed class today, I recommend brushing up on these for review.

The basics of online journalism

Paul Bradshaw, an instructor in the U.K. and creator of the must-read Online Journalism Blog, has put together a handy guide to principles of multimedia journalism—with especially good tips for building blogs.

We just covered the presentation above in today’s class. I would recommend that you check out the rest of his how-to PowerPoints—which, by the way, are excellent examples of the way to do a PowerPoint, much like Guy Kawasaki’s 10-20-30 rule.

For Thursday, I’d like you to build on what we learned today by skimming through the whole series of BASIC principles of online journalism:

Please respond in the comments section with your impressions on the series. What did you most find interesting, enlightening, novel … and why?

What Would Google Do? (part 3)

Now that the Knight News Challenge project is done (whew!), with a couple months for polishing those applications ahead of the new Dec. 15 deadline, it’s time to finish Jeff Jarvis’ book before we get into the big blogging project.

Please finish the reading (p. 119-144), and in the comments section give us your final impressions on the book. Put particular emphasis on the chapter on media; which of the Google rules there feel most applicable (or least), and why? Try to pull this three-part reading together and give us a synthesis of the key takeaway for young journalists today. What do you need to do now?

Get this done by 8 p.m. Monday. Thanks.

What Would Google Do? (part 2)

For your reading of pages 70-118, finishing off the “Google Rules” section, think about how you would pull together this first half of the book—how would you explain it to a friend? Which of the Google Rules seems most radical, surprising, or otherwise, in your opinion? And how are these rules related to journalism and media? (Our part 3 of this reading will take up the chapter on media, but I’d like to hear your speculations now…)

Please respond in the comments section by class Thursday.

The Innovation Project

… in case you’d like the file in electronic form, here it is—the guidelines for our “midterm” project of crafting an innovation proposal for the Knight News Challenge (due Oct. 15!).

The schedule (including last week):

—Tuesday, Sept. 29: Reading due: WWGD?, pp. 1-69 (response on blog)

—Thursday, Oct. 1: Innovation Review due via e-mail by 8 a.m.

—Tuesday, Oct.  6: Innovation Presentations begin; continue Thursday 10/8

—Thursday, Oct. 8: Reading due: WWGD?, pp. 70-118 (response on blog)

—Tuesday, Oct. 13: Rough draft of News Challenge proposal for workshop

—Thursday, Oct. 15: Innovation Proposal due: After finalizing your submission, send me via e-mail (1) a copy of your proposal and (2) confirmation that the Knight Foundation received it by the deadline. You will receive zero credit on the proposal unless I have both of these items in hand. (This Thursday will be an in-class workshop.)

—Tuesday, Oct. 20: Reading due: WWGD?, pp. 119-144 (response on blog)

David Cohn on innovation for young journalists

Our 8 a.m. class is just a wee bit too early for me to ask a guest speaker on the West Coast to join us live via Skype. Nevertheless, young journalist/innovator extraordinaire David Cohn, founder of the crowdfunding venture Spot.Us that has become one of the most noteworthy winners of the Knight News Challenge, has been kind enough to help us out via this Viddler chat. He has recorded this response to five questions we’ve posed:

1. In your experience and from your perspective, what is innovation in journalism? What does it mean to be a news innovator?

2. How can young journalists develop their ability to be entrepreneurs in media? What kind of mind-set and skill set do they need? What kind of training? etc.

3. Looking at the Knight News Challenge specifically, can you tell us about your own experience in prepping your grant pitch? How did you develop your idea?

4. For students trying to come up with a cool idea for the News Challenge, what do you suggest for inspiration?

5. When you think of key principles for success for the News Challenge or another innovation venture, what comes to mind?

Thanks, David! (p.s. Some recent news about Spot.Us’ expansion to L.A. here.)

… Bonus material for News Challenge prep work — some marketing tips from David, as well as this clip:


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