Multimedia Production

A Communication & Journalism Course at the University of Wyoming

Quiz 1 and Brainstorming Session

Go to WyoCourses to take Quiz 1.

After the quiz, we will have a brainstorming session.

Photojournalism Basics

Purpose and Power of Visuals

Photojournalism is our window to the world around us. A picture is worth a 1,000 words.

The purpose of photojournalism is to capture the people and events that make the news. Photojournalism can supplement a text story or can serve as a stand-alone story.

We remember news stories in images because they are powerful and emotional.

Photographers have the power to frame the narrative surrounding complex issues, people, current events, and more. The media has a lot of control and influence over what issues the public discusses and how the public visualizes these issues.

For example, research shows that if we can more easily visualize a particular risk, then we are more likely to over-estimate the chance of that risk materializing in our own lives. Is it easier to visualize a terrorist attack or cardiovascular disease? Because it’s easier to visualize a terrorist attack, we tend to over-estimate this risk compared to the cardiovascular disease risk. And this impacts what our nation, politicians, and society focuses on in terms of money, resources, and attention.

Bottom line: Visuals are powerful.

Categories of Photojournalism

The following categories are defined by the National Press Photographer’s Association (NPPA) and included in the Best of Photography competitions. The College Photographer of the Year (CPOY) Awards also use these categories.

Feature (Enterprise): A photograph of a ‘found situation’ that features strong human interest elements, or a fresh view of an everyday scene. A picture that uses humor or focuses on the lighter side of life is well suited for this category. Examples

Portrait: A single photograph that captures a unique aspect of a local figure’s character and personality. Examples

Sports Action: A peak action picture that captures the spirit of a sports competition—either on the part of an individual or an athletic team. Examples

Sports Feature: A sports-related feature picture that depicts the jubilation of victory or the agony of defeat. The event covered should be separate from the game action or outside of the field of play. Examples

General News: Recognizing that much of the daily news coverage is planned in advance, we seek to reward outstanding achievement based on creativity and timing at organized events such as general meetings, promotional events and staged coverage opportunities. Examples

Spot News: An event that is not planned, so the photographer must react on instinct and news judgment. This picture may be of a breaking news event, or a part of issue coverage. Examples

Domestic Picture Story: This is a series of photographs surrounding the same event, person, or idea. The photographs tell a story with detailed paragraph-length captions and powerful photos. These photo stories have even more power to influence the frame, perspective, and tone applied to the event, person, or idea. As we look at these examples, think about an alternative frame, perspective, or tone that could be applied to these examples and become equally as powerful. Example 1 and Example 2

Photojournalism Tips

The creative devices tips still apply to photojournalism. Other helpful hints are found below.

  1. Have a working camera with you at all times. Even a smartphone is acceptable.
  2. Have one clear subject in your photo. The subject should be in focus and stand out from everything else in the photo. A street is not a subject. Seven people walking down the sidewalk is not a subject. One person walking down the street is a subject. Note: This rule is sometimes meant to be broken. You can take great photos of a mass crowd or a group of people, however, more skill is required. It’s easier to stick with the rules as you’re learning. Then, break them later when you know what you’re doing more.
  3. Take a lot of photos. For every subject, take 10 photos. **I can’t emphasize this enough. Move around and take a lot of photos!**
  4. Act natural. Make yourself comfortable and invisible.
  5. Move around without violating Tip 4.
  6. Place subjects so that they are moving or looking into the photo, rather than out of it. For example, if a person is pointing to the right, be sure he is at the left of your photo.
  7. Keep the light behind you so the subject’s face is lit (unless deliberately creating a shadow out of the subject).
  8. Avoid using the flash as much as possible. Use natural light.
  9. If you’re shooting sports action, then avoid evening or low-light conditions (the photos will be blurry)!
  10. Be aware of the background. Make sure there are no trees or objects protruding from your subject’s head or limbs. And, make sure there are no photobombs.

Ethics

According to the President Emeritus of the NPPA Alicia Wagner Calzada, photojournalists must live up to a high standard because ethics are “what sets us apart from art and advertising.”

She notes that when journalists are reporting, they should not cave-in to pressure from people who ask, “what do you want me to do?” Journalists should instruct people to continue their behavior as if they were not present.

Photojournalism is capturing history the way that the stories actually unfolded. You are telling the story with images. You are not supposed to manipulate the story. These are reasons why there is a code of ethics.

Copied from the NPPA Code of Ethics

  1. Be accurate and comprehensive in the representation of subjects.
  2. Resist being manipulated by staged photo opportunities.
  3. Be complete and provide context when photographing or recording subjects. Avoid stereotyping individuals and groups. Recognize and work to avoid presenting one’s own biases in the work.
  4. Treat all subjects with respect and dignity. Give special consideration to vulnerable subjects and compassion to victims of crime or tragedy. Intrude on private moments of grief only when the public has an overriding and justifiable need to see.
  5. While photographing subjects do not intentionally contribute to, alter, or seek to alter or influence events.
  6. Editing should maintain the integrity of the photographic images’ content and context. Do not manipulate images or add or alter sound in any way that can mislead viewers or misrepresent subjects.
  7. Do not pay sources or subjects or reward them materially for information or participation.
  8. Do not accept gifts, favors, or compensation from those who might seek to influence coverage.
  9. Do not intentionally sabotage the efforts of other journalists.

Breaking Ethics Codes

Following ethics codes is about establishing and maintaining the trust of our audience. The cases below illustrate when that trust was broken.

  1. Brian Walski from the LA Times combined two photos to create a more aggressive and confrontational presentation of the situation.
  2. Time magazine made OJ Simpson look more sinister by manipulating the color, burning the corners and shrinking the prisoner ID number on his mugshot. Newsweek did not alter the photo.
  3. Klavs Bo Christensen, a Danish photojournalist, was disqualified from a photo competition because of using too much color saturation.
    denmark_contest_images
  4. Read thoughts from photographers about manipulation, staging, and excessive digital editing of photographs.

Basics of Photography

dslr-camera

While it is great to use a DSLR camera because they produce high-quality photos, you can still capture great photos using your smartphone or point-and-shoot camera.

For the next two weeks, we’ll be working on photography and photojournalism. While it is great to have an expensive digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera, it is not necessary for this class. We can still take great photos with our smartphones and point-and-shoot cameras.

First things first, we’ll learn about the basics of photography and forever-useful creative devices.

Creative Devices for Composition

Good photojournalism begins with understanding basic composition and design principles. Here’s some easy ways to improve your shots.

Steady Does It: Hold the camera steady by digging your elbows into your chest, placing your elbows on something, using two hands, or leaning against a wall.

Move Around and Get Closer: You need to constantly be moving around to get a variety of good shots. Go on your stomach, your knees, a ladder, or chair. Change your position and your angle. Don’t be afraid to get very close to your subjects.

photographer_laying

Move around to get different angles and perspectives.

Use Vertical Shots: Don’t always shoot horizontals, be sure you use vertical shots as well.

Pick A Focal Point: The automatic focus on point-and-shoot does a good job at focusing on what you desire, but it is sometimes limiting to work with. So, when you want to focus on something very close and want to blur the background, you can use the “macro” function on your camera (if it has one).

Light: Natural light provided by the sun is the best light to shoot in. If there is bright sunlight and you’re shooting people who are facing the sun, they may squint and shadows may be cast on their faces. Be sure to avoid those shadows by moving around to find the best angle. If there is bright sunlight and people have the sun behind them, their faces will be dark. You can compensate by using a flash. Noon and mid-day sunlight is typically bad sunlight for photography. Sunrise and sunset light is better. But, partly sunny days provide the best light because it is much softer on skin.

shooting_into_the_sun

Shooting into the sun will create shadows on your subjects. This creates interesting contrast. Alternatively, you could use a flash in order to provide some lighting on your subjects.

Now for the Top Composition Tips as outlined by Photography Mad, as well as a few more suggestions of my own. Some of these are also mentioned in Ch. 7 in the book as well.

  1. Rule of Thirds: Example
  2. Balancing Elements: Example
  3. Leading Lines: Example
  4. Symmetry and Patterns: Example
  5. Viewpoint: Example
  6. Background: Example
  7. Create Depth: Example
  8. Framing: Example
  9. Cropping (Note: This does not refer to cropping in Photoshop; this refers to compositional cropping when you take the photo): Example
  10. Color: Example
  11. Texture: Example
  12. Establishing Size: Example
  13. Contrast: Example
  14. Focus: Example

Active Learning Activity

Get into a group of 2-3 students.

Review the The New York Times Lens photography blog.

Talk about each photo that you examine in terms of the creative devices used in the photo.

Discuss how the photographer may have captured this photo. What were the potential challenges in capturing the photo?

Discuss the messages that the photograph is communicating. If a “picture is worth a thousands words”, then what words are being communicated? –> We will talk more about this in Wednesday’s class.

A note about your rights and duties as a photographer.

  1. In public, you can photograph anyone or anything. If they approach you and request you don’t take their picture, you may respect their request; but, keep in mind that they are in public and they cannot expect any privacy in public (i.e., you can keep taking their picture).
  2. In private residences, businesses, and property, you should get permission. They may not allow photography. **You can always ask for forgiveness rather than permission, though.**
  3. If people ask why you’re taking photos, explain it is for your class blog and schoolwork.

Writing Captions

If you shoot people, then get names and put them in captions. [Many students neglect this. You NEED names. Unless the person is too far away or completely unrecognizable in the photo.]

A well-written caption adds value and context to the image instead of merely describing the contents of the photo. Consider including information that goes beyond the obvious.

If you capture an event, then who are the key players in the photo and event? When was the event held? What was the purpose of the event? Where was the event held? Why should the viewer care?

If you capture a portrait or photo of a person, tell the viewer more about the person or context of the photo.

(Example of a caption with a person in the photo) Kristen Landreville teaches the Multimedia Production class at the University of Wyoming on Monday morning. She is a professor of communication and journalism and is in her eighth year at UW.

(Example of a caption without a person in the photo) New fallen snow shimmers on the frozen ground of Prexy’s Pasture on Monday. This February has been one of the warmest on recent record, according to the National Weather Service.

Blog Post #3: Digital Photography Assignment

Blog Post 3 – Digital Photography

Frontiers Magazine Opportunities

Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Courtney Kudera and I am the new Editor-in-Chief of Frontiers magazine published by student media. This year’s theme is ‘Bridging the Gap’. I hope to encompass all lovers of the outdoors in this semesters magazine, from hunters to hikers, and landowners to naturalists. I want this year’s magazine to be a home for all, including some creative pieces.

Currently, Frontiers Magazine is searching for creators and outdoor enthusiasts to be editors, writers, photographers, and artists for the magazine.

If you are interested, there will be an informational meeting next Tuesday, the 13th, at 6:30 in the Beta House. There will be free pizza and all the details about the magazine. Please feel free to contact me with any questions at ckudera@uwyo.edu.

Hope to see you Tuesday!

Photography Opportunity: Larsh Bristol Fellowship

The Department of Communication & Journalism seeks proposals from students for a $5,000 stipend for a photojournalism project called the Larsh Bristol Photojournalism Fellowship.

The stipend will be awarded through a competitive process that is open to all students at UW. The guidelines for the proposals are quite broad because the benefactors who endowed the fund wish to be able to attract proposals that will include a diversity of interests.

The stipend is funded in the memory of Larsh Bristol. Bristol was a UW graduate in journalism who worked at a number of Wyoming newspapers after graduation before finally settling in his home area of Northeast Iowa. He earned a strong reputation for chronicling life along the upper Mississippi and for his photographic portrayals of human emotion.

For his project, the first recipient of the award, Joe Riis, documented the migration of pronghorn in Wyoming. He is now a contributing photographer for National Geographic and photography fellow at the Wyoming Migration Initiative.

Following Bristol’s interest in Photojournalism, the basic guidelines for the project are:

  1. The project must focus on some aspect of photojournalism, whether it be a documentary, a research study, a compilation, etc. The project must culminate in a gallery show at its conclusion.
  2. The project should take place between Summer 2018 and Spring 2019. Ideally the project will be a one-semester endeavor, but it can span more than one semester. (Also, see bold statement at the end of the call).
  3. All UW students—both undergraduate and graduate—are eligible.
  4. The stipend can be used for a wide variety of purposes including tuition, travel, equipment, living expenses, etc
  5. All proposals will be judged in a competitive process, and the recipient of the award will be notified in April. The recipient will be recognized at an awards banquet in May.

The deadline for proposals is March 21, 2018. Proposals should be submitted to Cindy Price Schultz, Dept. of Communication & Journalism, University of Wyoming. All photos and text that are submitted must be hard copies. Electronic submissions will not be accepted. Proposals should include the following:

  1. A one- to two-page description of the project.

 

  1. A budget that provides some indication of how the funds will be used.

 

  1. A description of the type of work that will be displayed at the gallery show upon culmination of the project.

 

  1. Samples of the applicant’s photographic work are not required, but they are useful for the judges in the selection process.

 

For more information, contact Price Schultz at cprice@uwyo.edu.

 

BECAUSE THIS IS THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE AWARD, A MEMORIAL BANQUET IS BEING PLANNED TO RECOGNIZE ALL FORMER AND CURRENT WINNERS IN FALL 2018. THEREFORE, PROPOSALS THAT WILL BE COMPLETED IN SUMMER 2018 WILL BE GIVEN PRIORITY FOR SELECTION.

Journalism for the Web

What did you learn from Kristine Galloway, Reporter at the Wyoming Tribune Eagle?

Back to learning how to write for the web…

What Should I Do When I Interview Someone?

  1. First, realize that your interviews are essential to the story. Without strong interviews, you got nothing!
  2. Be prepared. Inform yourself about the topic, source, and/or interviewee. Do some background research on the story and educate yourself. Informed questions are the best questions.
  3. Write your questions by hand: You remember things more when you hand-write vs. type. The questions will stick more if you hand-write them.
  4. Practice your interview questions beforehand if you’re nervous or want to feel better-prepared going into the interview. It never hurts to practice. And practice being curious-sounding, professional, and clam rather than accusatory, aggressive, or a know-it-all.
  5. Make small talk before the interview. It relaxes you and the interviewee. Talk about the weather, their office, the location of the interview, etc.
  6. Voice recording. Ask permission to record the interview, if you want to.
  7. But ALWAYS TAKE NOTES! Even if you’re recording the interviewee, you must take notes. You will remember the conversation better and also know where particular points were made in the conversation.
  8. Begin with a softball. Begin the interview with a softball question that you may not care too much about. This will relax the interviewee and yourself.
  9. Keep it conversational. Don’t ask one question after another with no casual feedback and discussion. You want to have a give-and-take, turn-taking conversation, rather than a firing-squad style conversation.
  10. Listen. Really listen to your interviewee talking as you take notes. Think about if you have any follow-up questions about their statements. If you don’t, then move on to the next prepared question.
  11. Prepare a basic outline of questions, but avoid reading them word-for-word. Again, you want to know your questions enough to ask them in a casual way to your interviewee. And you want to ask them when it’s appropriate to in the conversation.
  12. Don’t be afraid to ask follow-up questions. You want to understand the interviewee and the story well. You want to clarify things so you can clearly explain things to your audience.
  13. Ask the “do you have anything else to add before we finish” question. You never know what helpful information will come out!
  14. Allow silence. Silence is awkward. People fill silence with additional banter. It may be helpful banter for your story.
  15. Make eye contact, smile, and nod to show your interest. Try not to make the “uh huh” and “go on” noises. This is a bad habit and will ruin audio interviews if you engage in those behaviors.
  16. Also during the interview…Watch, look, and listen to the environment around you –> Reporters and storytellers are excellent observers and listeners. They are socially aware.
  17. Any other suggestions from you and your classmates?

What Tips Do You Have For Writing A Story?

  1. Write for the specific story angle, not the general story topic.
  2. Make it clear why the audience should care early in the story.
  3. Write a strong lead to pull readers in. Then expand on the lead in the rest of the story.
  4. Set the scene early in the story. Use anecdotes (short stories from your sources).
  5. In the middle, thoroughly explain the issues. Keep emphasizing the importance, so what, and impact of the story.
  6. Stick to facts as much as possible. If opinion is in your story, it should be your sources’ opinions, not your’s.
  7. Write with active, descriptive verbs whenever possible. Good example: Dr. Landreville teaches tomorrow. Bad example: Dr. Landreville is going to teach tomorrow.
  8. Save the most interesting and descriptive quotes for direct quotes in your story. Direct quotes that merely state simple facts, that are poorly worded, or that are boring are not helpful. Paraphrase that information.
  9. Let the subjects speak. We want to hear what the sources, not the reporter, have to say about this story. Facilitate this connection between the subjects and the audience by using a lot of quotes and descriptions (or if a visual presentation, showing the subjects).
  10. Transition well. Avoid jumping around. Avoid incomplete thoughts and unclear associations of story elements.
  11. Proofread! Be your own editor. Cut unnecessary words. Use the active voice. Clean up comma errors. Correct misspellings. Keep an eye out for grammar errors (e.g., its/it’s).
  12. Close the story with a resolution by saying what’s next or summarizing the outcome or providing an interesting or strong quote.

OK, OK, you now have those tips drilled into your head. What’s next to know about writing for multiple platforms? Well, it’s important to understand reading trends.

What kind of readers are out there?

There are three types of readers. You need to write for all three in a story.

  1. Comprehensive readers (read the whole story)
  2. Samplers (read the lead and parts of a story before quickly moving on)
  3. Scanners (read headlines, labels, captions, fact boxes, graphics, and other quick reads)

How should I write for all three types of online readers?

  • Online reading is 25% slower than print reading.
  • We scan more online.
  • We construct our own nonlinear reading experience online.
  • Thus, you need to use concise, informative headlines, summaries, and hyperlinks to more resources about the story.
  • Each paragraph should have no more than 2 or 3 short, simple sentences.
  • A direct quote should stand out in its own paragraph. Do not bury direct quotes in the middle of a paragraph!
  • Attribution side note. Good Example: “Attribute correctly,” said Dr. Landreville. Bad example: Dr. Landreville said, “Attribute correctly.”
  • Use subheadings in your story –> Otherwise known as “chunk” titles.
  • Bold the chunk titles.

Checklist for Blog Post 2: Review the Assignment Guidelines!

Keep your mind on these requirements and best practices while reporting and writing:

  1. Number of Interviews (3 minimum, face-to-face, unless otherwise given permission)
  2.  Minimum of two relevant photos (if not your photography, then attribute to the photographer)
  3. Two relevant links (at minimum)
  4. Story Structure
    1. Appropriate headline
    2. Sentence length.
    3. Paragraph length.
    4. Reporter presence and voice.
    5. Use of bolded chunk titles.
    6. Transitions between ideas.
    7. Minimum of 750 words. Maximum of 850 words.
  5. Attribution and Quotes
    1. Paraphrased information vs. directly quoted information.
    2. Location of direct quotes (should be at the beginning of paragraphs)
    3. Frequency of direct quotes (every few paragraphs)

The Next Two Classes…

We will be writing our stories and peer editing our stories. Ideally, you would use class time on Wed. Feb. 7 and Fri. Feb. 9 for finishing writing your story, with having questions prepared for me. You shouldn’t be just starting to write your story on Mon. Feb. 5. Make the most of your time with these in-class workdays and be prepared.

Have a draft ready for Wed. Feb. 7 at 9 a.m. We will be peer editing each other’s work.

As always, ask questions if you have anything that you’re confused about or not sure what to do. Best of luck!

Brainstorming Session

I will spend a few minutes speaking with you about your story angles and sources.

If you have a concrete angle and sources that you want to pitch, please write your name on the board.

If you don’t have a concrete angle that you want to pitch yet, then please use this time to really focus and brainstorm on a good angle and sources.

Remembering the Groundwork of Journalistic Writing

Web Writing Assignment

First, let’s review the Blog Post 2 – Journalistic Web Story

Today will we remember the groundwork — the basics — of journalism.

All of you have some experience with these basics from COJO 2100 (Media Writing). It never hurts to refresh our memories about some key concepts of journalism, writing, and reporting.

Brainstorming for news ideas and finding your story focus can be difficult. But, it is necessary before you jump into a story.

First Things First. Don’t Suggest a Topic. Suggest an Angle.

What would you rather read about? (1) Student stress during finals week or (2) How a student organization offers massage, pet therapy, comedian performances, and healthy food during finals week to ease stress?

I bet story #2.

Story #2 has a strong angle, where story #1 is a general, vague topic.

I want you to write a story with a strong, specific angle.

How Can I Think of Story Ideas? –> Here Are Some Strategies

  1. Feature story about interesting people (who aren’t your friends or acquaintances), professors (read faculty bios on various department web pages), or businesses/organizations that the community might want to know more about.
  2. Events calendars:
    WyoCal
    Albany County Public Library Events
    Albany County, Wyoming Government
    City of Laramie Events (LaramieLive)
  3. What are people talking about on social media websites? Is there a story idea there?
  4. Bulletin boards. Always read them for interesting events, speakers, and meetings.
  5. Problems, controversies, or major issues going on in students’ lives or the community. For example, what do students and faculty think about the idea of renovating the UW dorms?
  6. Calendar Stories and Anniversaries — Use the current moment to brainstorm a story idea. For example, it’s almost Valentine’s Day, which is also the same day this year as Lent and International Condom Day (huh, interesting). February is also Black History Month (what does Wyoming, or the K-12 schools, or UW do to celebrate Black History Month?).
  7. Trends — You can take an international or national issue and make it local (e.g., relate the #MeToo movement to a story on the SAFE Project or Sexual Harassment Training that UW requires of faculty and staff).

Brainstorming Session by Strategy

We will get into groups of 2-3 students. I will give you a manner in which to brainstorm (from the list above). You need to think of a story angle using that manner. Then, we will share ideas!

Your Role as a Media Content Creator

Understand the importance, significance, and gravity of your role in media content creation: You are responsible for the manner in which real people and real issues are portrayed to a public audience. Take that role VERY SERIOUSLY.

All content that you create needs to be fact-checked, accurate, fair, thoughtful and critically/purposefully executed.

We do not want to perpetuate stereotypes about groups of people, especially if the issue addresses sensitive, controversial, value-laden, or political topics. We want to be very mindful about how we report upon various people and issues.

Think critically about who you interview and why you are interviewing that particular person. We should work to include voices of multiple perspectives and people in our story.

Get comfortable interviewing people different than you and reporting on their perspectives and experiences with fairness, objectivity, respect, and open-mindedness (e.g., you will need to interview people who are different than you in terms of gender, race, age, ability, economic status, background, geographic origin, religiosity, or values).

Where Can I Find Sources?

  1. Expert sources: UW has a vast sea of experts in areas. Check out faculty members’ web pages in various departments.
  2. Journalistic sources: Consulting other media outlets’ past articles and issues can be helpful to locate sources and get ideas.
  3. Institutional sources: Social, cultural, professional, bureaucratic, or political organizations with particular special interests. Examples include political parties, government data, community volunteer groups, student groups, and sports clubs. You can find human sources as well as data from these sources.
  4. Scholarly sources: These are oftentimes highly credible and respected sources, and they are oftentimes undervalued and underused sources as well. Universities, scholarly research from the library, and medical and scientific research centers are examples.
  5. Informal sources: Observations about your surroundings. Take notes about what you and your subjects see, hear, smell, feel, experience.
  6. Sources to beware of: Wikipedia and other wikis, lesser-known blogs, and convenient sources like friends, neighbors, and family.

Brainstorming Session by Beats and Sources

Below are six beats. Story topics are below beats. Now, we will get into groups and you will be given a beat. Your goal is  to think of at least one story angle associated with that beat and find three concrete sources for the angle that you pick. We will share ideas after the short brainstorming session.

Arts & Entertainment

  • Art shows
  • Music performances
  • Ballet and dance studio work or performances
  • Plays and theater
  • Movie openings or screenings

Recreation & Sports

  • Hunting
  • Adult sports leagues
  • Youth sports
  • Snowy Range Ski Area
  • Vedauwoo cross-country skiing
  • Ice rink
  • Other winter recreation

Health, Wellness, & Safety

  • Healthy eating and nutrition
  • Stress management options and activities (e.g., yoga)
  • Wintertime activities to stay healthy
  • Counseling and mental-health related issues
  • Schools, childhood obesity, exercise, school lunches
  • Local organizations that support health, wellness, and safety

Local Businesses

  • Profile of a particular business
  • Downtown Laramie shopping
  • Competing with Wal-Mart and chain stores
  • Using social media and new media for local businesses

University-Related

  • Budget and fiscal crisis
  • Profile on a professor
  • Profile on an interesting student
  • Synergy program
  • Outreach program
  • Study abroad programs
  • Alcohol awareness programs
  • Student organizations (e.g., religious student orgs, non-traditional student orgs)

Volunteering

  • School and tutoring-related
  • Soup kitchens and poverty-related
  • Elderly and nursing/retirement home related
  • Volunteering overseas
  • Religious-motivated volunteering

For Next Time…Come To Class With At Least One Story Angle and Source List

WordPress Setup and Workshop

Industry Blogs

First, it’s important to know that there are different types of blogs. Let’s visit these examples to see how people in our field are using blogs.

Most major news organizations have journalist-authored blogs. For example, The New York Times has a large directory of journalist-authored blogs. My personal favorite is the LENS blog of photojournalism.

There are also many public relations oriented blogs as well: Cision, Bulldog Reporter, and and Holmes Report are a few top PR blogs.

And, many (if not most) of major corporations have an online presence that includes the blog-like format as a public relations strategy (e.g., Nike does a good job at updating content and Olive Garden hasn’t updated some content in more than a year).

Think Of Yourself As A Brand

For your blog, you’ll be posting your class assignments here to showcase your journalistic work, but I strongly encourage you to also post your thoughts, comments, goals, brainstorming ideas, etc. on your blog to practice your online writing skills and showcase your media work.

To be more successful with your media career, you need to create a brand for yourself by working hard at creating solid media stories. Let’s read to some branding principles.

Part of creating a brand, or a good reputation, is to know how to showcase your stellar ideas and high-quality professional work. So, feel free to post other professional material or thoughts to your blog, in addition to your required assignments for class.

In the end, you’re competing with hundreds of other students for those media jobs. Let’s take a look at recent journalism job and PR job postings.

So think of your blog as like a continually updated “live” resume and portfolio. Google yourself right now. What website pops up first? If you post to your blog frequently, then your blog may pop up first (which is what you want). You want employers to find your blog when they Google you. So keep updating it!

And you may want to connect your blog to your greater online presence. Post the blog link to your profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and any other online presence you have.

Blogging Workshop: Download The Blog-Post-1-and-About-Page-Setup Assignment

  • Create a WordPress account
  • Make a title for your blog
  • Update the tagline
  • Changing the time zone on your blog

About Page

  • Create an “about” page
    • Your name.
    • Some demographic information, such as where you are from and what your family is like.
    • What the purpose of this blog is (e.g., it’s to showcase your storytelling work).
    • Some interests and what you like to do in your spare time.
    • Your career goals.
  • Linking to other web pages
  • Posting photos and inserting other media or files

Write Your First Blog Post

  • Create a new post
  • Using categories
  • Using tags
  • Saving drafts
  • Publishing the post

Guidelines To Follow For Blog Writing

  • Update frequently
  • Write in the first-person (i.e., “I think) and use conversation-style that shows your personality
  • Provide specific headlines
  • Provide links elsewhere to helpful information
  • Allow readers to comment and comment back to readers
  • Are ongoing conversations among members of a community
  • Can be your professional portfolio, journal, or brainstorming session
  • Embed photos, video, audio, and other multimedia features
  • Are relatively short, usually less than 800 words

Logging In To Your WordPress Account

IMPORTANT: To log in to your WordPress blog, you can visit your blog url plus a “/wp-admin” at the end of the url. For example, to edit my blog, I go to “http://uwyojournalism.com/wp-admin”.  Alternatively, you can sign in through WordPress.com.

Last points: If you need any help setting up your blog and I’m not available for question, then try an online tutorial.

Here We Go! Multimedia Production!

Welcome!

About Me

Related image

About You

Take this note card. Fill it out with:

1. Your name.

2. What you like to be called.

3. Your major.

4. The type of media content that you’re most excited to learn about and why. Options:

  • audio
  • video
  • photography
  • graphics and visualization
  • social media
  • writing for the web
  • learning about the WordPress content management system

5. The thing that you’re most anxious or not excited about with this class.

Why This WordPress Blog?

We’ll use this class blog to post course materials and students’ work. Course materials include assignment guidelines, rubrics, and the syllabus. See our page, COJO 3530: Spring 2018 on the top bar.

We will also use WyoCourses for grades and quizzes, in addition to the assignment instructions and rubrics.

Plus, I require YOU to keep a blog, so I should keep one as well for our class.

What Will We Do?

Let’s find out! Here’s a little taste of the early storytelling process.

Active Learning Activity:

  1. Count off to 10 around the room.
  2. Get into your numbered group.
  3. Introduce yourself with the stuff you wrote on your note card.
  4. Here’s the scenario: You’re assigned to cover UW’s upcoming Days of Dialogue. Download the schedule of events and click on the links in the menu to learn more. Brainstorm with your group for 5 minutes about what you will report on. Be prepared to give a 1-minute pitch about one story idea to your editor. Here are the media platform assignments.
    1. Audio story: Groups 1 and 6
    2. Video story: Groups 2 and 7
    3. Photo slideshow: Groups 3 and 8
    4. Visualization story (including interactive graphics, charts, maps, etc.): Groups 4 and 9
    5. Live social media reporting (e.g., Facebook Live, Twitter, etc.): Groups 5 and 10
  5. After 5 minutes, I will call on a few groups to share their ideas. I also want to know about your thoughts about this brainstorming process.

What Do You Know?

Let’s get started. First, a news quiz. Let’s see how much you know about local, state, national, and international current events. And no peeking for answers on the Internet. Go to WyoCourses and look for the News Quiz (not graded for points).

What Should You Know and When Will We Learn It?

In this class, you’ll begin to learn the basic skills that are needed to succeed in multimedia communication. I say “communication” in addition to “journalism” because I strongly believe that even if you aren’t a journalism major, you will learn from this class. If your career interests lie in public relations, marketing, advertising, or public affairs, you will learn key skills in multimedia that will help you get a job.

Now, let’s take time to review the syllabus and ask me any questions.

Multimedia Production on Your Blog

In order to promote your media career, I require students to maintain a professional blog throughout the semester. You can show potential employers your multimedia work through this platform. Please visit former COJO 3530 student blogs (see left-hand column) for ideas about your own blog. You’ll also see what kind of storytelling that you’ll be engaging in during the semester.

This class is a big step in the right direction for your journalism or media career. I hope you’re excited!

So let’s set up your WordPress blog now. You need to submit your Blog Post 1 and About Page Setup by next Mon. Jan. 29.

***A Word of Advice: Proofread your writing. Like, seriously proofread. Writing that has spelling, grammar, typographical (e.g., typing a word twice or writing “if” instead of “it”), or capitalization errors (e.g., writing “i like news”) is not “A” work (see the grading rubric–a “B” is the highest grade you can get if any of these errors is made). Your multimedia story may be fantastic, but if your blog post writing has any of these errors, you lose credibility with your audience. Thus, I read your writing VERY carefully, and I’m always looking for these errors. Don’t make them, please. ***

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