Advanced Web Journalism – Module Blog – The Critical Evaluations

I've written before about what you need to do for your module blogs. If you need a reminder, click the link.

You also need to add some short posts to your module blog that reflect and evaluate the work you’ve done over the last twelve weeks. The posts you need to do are:  

  • An explanation of the ideas behind your individual project and an evaluation of whether you think it works, what might make it better etc. Talk about how you came up with the idea, whether you learned from similar projects online, what might make the project work better.
  • An explanation of the idea behind the group site you worked on, the stories you did and the role you played on your site. Again, try to reflect critically on whether the site works and what might make it better. Talk about the sites you looked at when you were developing your site idea. Talk about the target audience for your site. Talk about how you used social media. Talk about what might make the site better.
  • An account of the work you did on the news day – you should talk about what you worked on – WNOL, the Inside WNOL blog, the Twitter feed or Facebook page for the site etc, the stories/posts you did. Talk about whether you were able to link what you were doing with what the broadcast teams were up to. Try to come to some conclusions about what you learned from the experience of trying to work in a cross media way with the other students on the course 

You don’t need to write a lot for each of these posts – say around 400 – 500 words for each post. That would make 1,200 – 1,500 in total. Try to be critical and reflective, to show what you’ve learned about working as a journalist online. Don't just document what you did. Try to take a more high level professional perspective.

If your group project didn't go that well and you want to talk about why and don't want to publish that part of the log in a public place (i.e. on your blog), you can email that part of the evaluation to me. 

Remember – the deadline for completing the module blog is midnight Wednesday May 4th.



Multimedia Journalism – News Day with Ben Gilbert

Today is the last session of the module. We're going to finish with a news day exercise. Ben Gilbert, a music journalist who's worked for newspapers, magazines and online, recently mostly for Yahoo!'s music blogs, is coming in to give a talk. Ben's planning to talk a bit about how the net has changed music journalism. Each blog group needs to generate some stories from what Ben says. 

Here's the plan: 

  • Each blog group needs to write up a quick news story based on Ben's first talk – you will get chances to ask questions after this, similar to a standard press conference. You need to pull out what you think is the best top line from what Ben says and lead with that. You need to include some quotes from Ben. If you can add some general context and link to some useful sources in the story, that would be good too. You need to include a picture of Ben too.
  • Each blog group needs to create a more features-style post too, using an interview with Ben. After Ben's first talk, we will sort out some quick interviews with Ben for each blog group. The idea here is for you to come up with something that works more for your blog. This may be a bit of a stretch for some of the blogs, given their subject matter – but it's a chance to be a bit more creative. 

Now – for the smaller groups, those two posts should be fine… However, some of the blog groups are very large. If there are more than six members in the group, then you need to do one extra post:

  • This should be a kind of news round up post, focusing on the theme of your blog… You need to put together a quick digest of the five big stories of the day, for your blog, with links and summaries to the sources where readers can find out more.

The other thing you need to do is finish off your group blog – make sure you've written all your posts, that everything is subbed and sorted out, that you're happy with the layout/design etc, that you've got rid of all default content, that all links work…