I mentioned in the last post that one of the things you need to do on your module blog is write some posts evaluating the work done on the module. You need to do four posts in total
- An evaluation of the group blog you did – what was the idea behind it, did it work, what might have made it better…
- An evaluation of your video work – what was the thinking behind the work you did – why did you choose the subjects you did, how did you cover them etc
- An evaluation of your audio work – what was the thinking behind the work you did – why did you choose the subjects you did, how did you cover them etc
- A reflective analysis of what you've learned on the module about the way the net and online multimedia are changing journalism
For these evaluation posts, you should write something around 300 words each. You can write a bit more if you want. But if you do 300 for each, you'll end up writing around 1200 words in total.
Remember – we're looking for reflective, critical analysis of the work you've done. It's helpful to detail what you did – but just doing that isn't enough. What you need to do is talk about the ideas behind your work and then critically evaluate the results.
This means asking yourself a few questions: did your work (the group blog, the video/audio work) succeed? If not, why not? What could have made it better? How does what you did relate to audio/video work online or commercial blogs covering the same area as your site?
With the group blog evaluation you should also talk about the challenges of working in a group to a tight deadline. If your group didn't go that well and you don't want to write about it in a public space (i.e. your blog) you can email me the group blog evaluation. But let me know you're going to do that.
With the reflective analysis of what you've learned about online journalism, you have a chance to go back over what we've done on the online side of the module and talk about what you've learned. You don't have to cover everything – if you want to pick out just one thing that you enjoyed/found useful (or not) and write critically about why that is, that's fine…The important thing is to try take a more high level perspective on things – to approach this like a professional journalist, not like a regular news consumer…
OK – remember – the deadline for finishing your module blogs has now been extended – you have to finish them off by Monday April 11th. I'l talk some more about all this in the session on Monday April 4th.
NB This is an updated version of the earlier brief I posted – use this one rather than the earlier one
NB The deadline for the module blog has been pushed back – it is now Monday April 11th
There are two assessments for the online half of the Multimedia Journalism module – the group blog and the module blog. I've written a detailed brief about the group blog, which I circulated to everyone during the first round of editorial meetings last week. The basics are pretty straightforward. You have to work in a group to create a blog that will run live for two weeks, culminating in the final news day on Monday April 4th. That's the deadline for that assessment.
As for the module blog – the idea here is to get you to write and reflect, on a regular basis, on the different aspects of online journalism we've been looking at in the early stages of the module. Each week, I've been asking you to do specific things and write blog posts about them… Here's a list of what I've asked you to do so far, with links to the relevant bit on the blog:
- Write a review of an interesting piece of multimedia journalism
- Analyse and review a blog from the list of links I posted
- Follow some interesting people on Twitter and then write something about journalists could use Twitter effectively
- Set up Google Reader and use it for a week and then write about how useful you found it
- Do the same for Google News – you need to personalise it
- Analyse and review the design of two of the big news media websites I linked to, using the concepts and ideas we talked about in class. Say which one you think is the best and which is the worst
- Analyse the use of video on one of the big news media websites we talked about during the session on video
- Do some research and competitor analysis to help with the editorial development of your group blog… Write up a brief summary of your findings, detailing the editorial approach for your group blog and how it's based on the research and analysis you've done
Word counts on these posts is kind of up to you. I'm not longing for long essays for each one, more interesting ideas and signs that you've used the the things I've shown you and thought a bit about how useful they are to journalists.
You also have to write four critical evaluations on your module blog towards the end of the module. I'll talk in more detail about how to write a critical evaluation later on. But basically, you will have to write short critical analyses of:
- Your video work
- Your audio work
- The group blog
- What you've learned about online journalism and its potential
Deadline for finishing the module blog is still a way off – Thursday April 7th (NB this has now changed to Monday April 11th) – the day before the end of term…
Now we're a few weeks in, I thought it was probably about time to set a few deadlines and finalise the timetable for the module.
Here's the current plan – we'll spend the next three weeks both looking at new ways to tell journalistic stories online and building your skills in these areas. We've already done audio slideshows and using maps. This week we're looking at more creative ways to use video. Next week, we'll do live blogging and the week after data journalism.
The plan is to devote the first five weeks to this. Then the next four sessions will be more open, workshop affairs. I will cover different things each time, but the sessions will be mainly devoted to you working on your individual projects and your group websites.
Deadlines for delivering these:
- Group websites should be finished – Monday March 21st
- Individual projects should be finished – Monday March 28th.
The session on Friday March 25th will be devoted to preparation for the multimedia news days. So we'll set up a site and work out what we're going to do and how we're going to work with the TV and radio journalists.
The last two Fridays (April 1st and April 8th) will be multimedia news days. I'll give you some more detail on what you have to do then in a couple of weeks.
The module blog should be completed after the Easter holidays. Deadline will be Tuesday May 3rd. The module blog should include critical evaluations of your individual project, your group website and your work on the news day.
You have to do a module blog as one of the assessments for AWJ. I'd like you to put two different things on your blogs. First, I'd like you to track new stories about the way the net is changing journalism, stories about the potential of online journalism and multimedia reporting and storytelling.
The idea is for you to identify some key sources for that kind of news, read them regularly and each week write something about what'd you'd found out that week.
You could write about all sorts of things:
- Key trends and big ongoing stories (e.g. Google and its influence/plans)
- New products and ideas (e.g. the iPad and the various magazines being planned for it)
- Useful bits of research or analysis on the net and journalism
- Interesting sites you find that show the possibilities of online journalism
This is not really about writing a lot – unless you want to. The posts you write can be short – perhaps just a link, a quote and a sentence or two from you. The real aim of the assessment is to get you to develop the habits that will help you when you start working in the real world. Journalism is changing and the journalists who are successful in the future will be those who are on top of the way things are changing, who can spot new ideas and opportunities.
Here are some of the sources I use for tracking this kind of news. So here are some links you might find useful:
- The New York Times, its Technology section and its Bits blog
- The Guardian, its Technology section, its Media section
- The Nieman Journalism Lab
- The Media Shift Idea Lab
- Online Journalism Blog
- Adam Westbrook
- Jay Rosen
- 10,000 Words
- Nicholas Carr
There are lots of other ways to track this kind of news – we'll look at some of them in class. We'll probably look at how to use Twitter to keep tabs on tech trends and new links. We may also look at tools like Netvibes and Delicious.
So, to recap, one thing you have to do on the module blog is short updates on new developments in online journalism and new media…
Along with that, it would be good if you could do something similar with a field of your own choosing – music, fashion, politics – whatever. Pick an area you want to write about or work in in future and start tracking new stories, trends and ideas and log what you find on your blog… Again, this isn't about writing a lot – it's about using your blog to track and quickly comment on new ideas…
Towards the end of the module I will also get you to write some evaluations of your individual and group assessment work… We can talk about that closer to the time. The deadline for finishing all this will be Wednesday May 4th.
We're going to do a shorter session today – around an hour and a half… The main thing we need to do is decide on some ideas for our group blogs and then sort out the teams behind them… I think we can then get on with a bit of editorial development and planning.
Today will be more of a workshop session. You all need to get on with your group websites and do some development work for your individual assessments. I'll start with a quick presentation for those of you who are thinking of doing a blog for your individual project… After that, we can get on with the group sites. I'll talk to each of you during the day about your individual ideas too, with the aim of finalising what you're going to do by the end of the day.