Multimedia Production

A Communication & Journalism Course at the University of Wyoming

Schedule for Next Two Weeks

We only have two weeks left of class. Here’s our schedule:

Mon. Apr. 23: Review and Discuss More Examples of Video Storytelling

Wed. Apr. 25: Guest Speaker on Videography Nid Collins

Fri. Apr. 27: No Class; I have a mandatory meeting that I need to attend.

Mon. Apr. 30: Quiz 5 on Video Storytelling; Review of Blog Post 8 (Reflection Post); Basics of Conceptual and Technical Editing

Wed. May 2 and Fri. May 4: In-Class Workdays. I’ll be in our classroom ready to assist you. But there is no formal lecture.

Remember that the video is due on Wed. May 9 by 10 a.m.

Please realize that this assignment may take a lot of trial and error, just like your previous assignments. I cannot possibly lecture you on EVERYTHING about video and video editing in just 3 weeks. However, this trial and error process is where you learn and grow. I am here to help you and guide you. Please reach out to me in class or schedule an appointment with me if you have questions and concerns. Also, Google is your friend. You are encouraged to Google your questions about very specific issues you’re having. If you can’t figure it out. I’m more than happy to help! Thanks!

Fall Internship Opportunity with UW Institutional Communications

UW Institutional Communications Fall Internship Job Description

About: The Division of Public Relations is the umbrella administrative unit that includes Institutional Communications and Institutional Marketing. Our expert staff provide central marketing, media and community relations, graphic design, photography, videography, website and social media services to the UW community.

About the Communications Internship: The UW Communications intern is assigned a variety of public relations tasks and programs. These include specific beat assignments with the UW Departments of Music, and Theatre and Dance; UW Presents (formerly UW Cultural Programs); the Campus Activities Center and 7200 Entertainment; hometown releases; and feature releases.

The intern will handle personnel announcements approved during meetings of the UW Board of Trustees, and also is responsible for tracking and updating the weekly campus calendar that is sent to media outlets and included in the Monday campuswide newsletter. All written releases are distributed to proper media channels.

The intern will learn the basic skills of public relations, working with UW professionals; the student also will be required to have good working relationships with his/her on-campus contacts, which includes program directors, administrators, staff and students.

Learning good communication skills also will be part of the intern’s training; we expect the intern to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times in this position. At times, the intern may be privy to sensitive information, and we expect the student to conduct herself/himself in that manner as would any of the UW Institutional Communications and Marketing specialists currently on staff.

Additionally, the intern will assist with special events such as building dedications, media interviews and other events that may occur during his/her assigned hours; that includes media conferences and special public relations projects. Some may be after hours, such as the Laramie Chamber Business Alliance’s Business After Hours social events or major UW events. And if her time allows, the student will participate in weekly Institutional Communications staff meetings.

The position is non-paid — but can be taken for credit. We require that the student be in the office at least two hours each day for a total of 10 hours per week, but this is negotiable upon the student’s class schedule.

Deadline to Apply: Wednesday, April 25.

For more information, contact: Milton D. Ontiveroz, UW Institutional Communications Specialist, (307) 766-6709 or miltono@uwyo.edu

Summer Internship Opportunity

See below for a summer internship opportunity. You can earn COJO upper division credit for this internship. Please talk with Dr. Cindy Price Schultz about summer internships, if you are interested.

——————————————-

Laramie Beautification Committee (LBC)

Marketing/Outreach Coordinator

Summer 2018 Internship

Job Description: The Laramie Beautification Committee Marketing and Outreach Coordinator will create a new website and advise on the use of social media as well as develop promotional materials including a letterhead, brochure, poster template and brand visuals to tell the story of the Laramie Beautification Committee.

Working with the committee, the coordinator will develop traditional and social media marketing material to introduce the community to the mission, projects, goals, fundraising strategies and members of the LBC.

The coordinator will work along side the Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and board members to accomplish the above tasks.

Qualifications: The Marketing/Outreach Coordinator for the LBC should be visually creative, thoughtful, value relationship building, posses strong verbal and written communication skills, work well with others (especially volunteers), be patient, self-motivated, willing to try new things and bring fresh ideas to the organization, visually creative, dependable yet flexible.

This internship, although unpaid, can be applied for class credit. The hours are anticipated at 10 to 15 hours per week, Monday through Friday.

The mission of the Laramie Beautification Committee is to identify and facilitate beautification projects that will benefit economic development and enhance the quality of life in the City of Laramie and Albany County. The LBC works closely with the City, the County, the Laramie Public Art Coalition, Laramie Main Street and is housed in the Laramie Chamber Business Alliance.

To apply, send a cover letter and a resume to Bailie Scott at bscott@laramie.org by May 18, 2018. Questions? Call 307-745-7339.

Video Storytelling

The ability to tell a good story with video is a difficult yet important skill for journalists and communicators to learn. You’ll work in teams of two for this project. Let’s partner up and review the instructions for Blog Post 7 – Video Storytelling.

Quiz 5 on Video Storytelling (the last quiz, woohoo!) will be on Mon. Apr. 30 during class. 

As you read this post, answer the following questions on a piece of paper:

  1. How do you successfully PLAN a video story?
  2. What should you remember to do DURING the video shooting when you’re on-location?
  3. What should you do if you get stuck during the POST-PRODUCTION period when you’re editing?

1. Pre-Production (Before You Shoot)

Choose a story (or event!) that is well suited for video. 

This includes stories that have strong visual components and that have any sort of action.

Identify your sources.

Seek out multiple and diverse perspectives for your story.

Write preliminary interview questions after researching the story.

Plan out your questions, story focus, and narrative (i.e., beginning, middle, and end) in advance, as much as you can. However, also remember to be adaptable during the interview and ask appropriate follow-up questions.

“Show me, don’t tell me” is the mantra in video storytelling.

Find a way to show a story unfolding with video. Minimize the on-camera interviews with people (i.e., “talking head interviews”). It’s more interesting to watch an event occur rather than here about it from an interviewee.

Plan to shoot a variety of angles and types of shots.

For suggestions, see Production, below. But, the point here is that you are PLANNING and BRAINSTORMING and ANTICIPATING the types of shots BEFORE you’re on location.

Consider how you (the reporter) will fit into the story.

Will you appear on-camera to set the scene or conduct an interview? If you’d like to try that, go ahead! Or, will you be completely invisible to the audience, just like you were during the Soundslides project and the audio profile project? Or, will you narrate the story without appearing on-camera?

2. Production (When You’re On-Location)

Shooting Video With Your Smartphone

Beginner video tips when shooting with a smartphone.

Basic video tips when shooting with an iPhone.

Basic video tips when shooting with an Android.

The ONE Tip that will help you create professional video with an iPhone.

More Production Tips

Plan on shooting before and after the event (if shooting an event).

This ensures you have a variety of material to create your edited story from. Also, it helps develop a narrative of before, during, and after the event.

Shoot B-roll.

B-roll is supplemental footage that relates to your story. Be sure that the B-roll matches to what the speaker is talking about when you cut to B-roll!

For example, a video story about the the UW track team’s meet should include video of athletes warming up, tying their shoelaces, talking with coaches, etc. These are the shots that you can use to fill time while an interviewee is talking or while ambient noise (e.g., background noise from the event or music) is playing. For a 2-minute story, shoot at least 30 seconds of B-roll footage.

In the image below, here’s an example of a video without B-roll in example 1. The interviewee just keeps talking in every shot.

A better strategy is to integrate B-roll like example 2. Notice how there are 3 different B-roll shots between Shot 2 and Shot 6. This is an effective strategy and advocated by videographers.

Shoot on-camera interviews with your sources.

When shooting interviews, remember to look around at your surroundings. Is it relevant to the story? Can you move somewhere else to get the interview that is not as chaotic or loud?

Just as with the audio interviews, encourage your sources to relax, act natural, and provide context to the answer they are giving to your question. Don’t be afraid to re-shoot a question and ask a question again. Oftentimes, the source gives a better and more eloquent answer to your question the second time you ask it.

Optional: Shoot on-camera reporters.

If you’d like to appear on-camera as a broadcaster at some point, then this project is a good opportunity to practice. You can introduce the story and provide context to the significance of the story. You can transition with your voice and appearance between story segments. And you can conclude the story and provide a summary or “what happens next” statement.

Shoot a variety of camera shots.

Whether you plan to be a visual journalist or not, you need to understand and learn how to execute the types of shots. See this website for visual examples and descriptions as we go over the definitions below.

  • Extreme wide shots. Shows the whole entire scene of an event, location, or story. These shots give viewers information about where the story takes place. They set the scene and give context early on in a story.
  • Very wide shots. Shows less background and shows the subject in the large scene. The subject is barely visible.
  • Wide shots. Shows the whole subject so the visual emphasis is on the subject rather than the background.
  • Mid shots. Shows the subject even closer, but a bit of the scene is still visible in the frame.
  • Medium close-up shots. Shows the subject even closer and the subject’s features and expressions are more of the focus.
  • Close-up shots. Shows the subject’s head to shoulder area.
  • Extreme close-up shots. Shows only the subject in the frame, such as the subject’s eyes and nose.
  • Cut-in shots. Shows some other part of the main subject, not the face and shoulders.
  • Cutaway shots. B-roll that is used as transitions between shots or to add information not offered by shots of the main subject or scene.
  • Point-of-view shots. Shows a scene from the subject’s perspective such that you feel like you are in their shoes.

Optional: Camera movement techniques.

Camera movements are more advanced production techniques. They may not work out well if you do not have a high-quality video camera. Thus, I would avoid these techniques unless you have prior experience with video or unless you have a high-quality video camera. If you decide to use camera movements, see the techniques below:

  • Zooming: Going from wide-angle to close-up or vice versa. DO NOT ZOOM WITH SMARTPHONES. MOVE YOUR FEET TOWARD THE SUBJECT TO “ZOOM”.
  • Panning: Moving the camera horizontally.
  • Tilts: Moving the camera vertically.
  • Tracking: Moving the camera around accordingly to track the subject.

Composition concerns.

Give headroom so the interviewee has space above their head during the shot. Avoid distractions in the background of shots. Remember the rule of thirds still!

Be Flexible. 

No matter home much planning you do in pre-production, from deciding who you want to interview to what types of b-roll shots you want, something is bound to not go your way, or the event you’re at will be different than you envisioned. Be willing to change you plan during production based on what is happening at the event in real time.

Image result for read the news meme

3. Post-Production (The Editing Process)

Editing programs.

USE WHATEVER IS EASIEST AND MOST EFFICIENT FOR YOU!

You have access to Adobe Premiere Pro in this lab, AG 229, as well as Ross Hall 423. Or, look here and search for PremiereProCC in the list; you’ll see a list of labs with Premiere as well.

You are free to use another editing program, such as iMovie, FinalCutPro, or Windows Movie Maker. Adobe Premiere and FinalCutPro are the industry standards for video editing. iMovie is pretty good for being a standard software on a MacBook. Windows Movie Maker is pretty awful and I don’t recommend it unless you have no other options.

Also, consider downloading  a trial version of Adobe Premiere. The IT building has a beautiful Mac computer in the scantron room that has FinalCutPro on it.

Technical Editing:

If you get stuck during the technical editing process on whatever platform you’re using, then Google is your best friend. Of course, I’m happy to help as well. But I can’t be there for you at all hours of the day. Google can!

Conceptual Editing. DO THIS FIRST!

You want to brainstorm and plan out your story before you begin with technical editing. You want to have the story flow ironed out first.

Conceptual Editing:

If you’re stuck, think about how you’d tell a friend your story.

What did you start with? What else did you tell your friend? How does the story end? Also, search for sound bites that address the who, what, where, when, why, how, and so what.

The video editing process is similar to the audio editing process.

Remember the tips associated with audio editing.

Keep your story focused — it’s supposed to be about 2-4 minutes.


Project Requirements

Below are the main points you need to consider while working on your project. I will use these elements to evaluate your work. Download the full requirements here: Blog Post 7 – Video Storytelling

  • At least 2 on-camera interviews
  • At least 5 seconds of ambient noise, natural sound, or music
  • Video is between 2 and 4 minutes
  • Video shots are diverse (see camera shots and camera movements above)
  • Speakers are introduced with titles and/or the speaker self-identifies themselves and/or the reporter identifies the speaker
  • Story has a beginning, middle, and end (narrative arc)

Video Storytelling Reminders for Journalism, PR, and Promotions

Video can be used for a variety of different reasons including journalism, PR, marketing, and advertising, and the way that you edit and shoot a video is a little bit different for each one. In each case you want to be able to tell a complete story.

Journalism: Tell the whole story from all sides. Find opposing arguments for interviews so that viewers can get facts from both sides or multiple sources with different things to say. Add b-roll that is relevant to the story even if it is not the most artsy shot it might be the most informative. See examples below.

Public Relations: In this case you will probably only be telling the story from one side, the side that the company, department, etc. is on, and you video will likely be positive, factual information about the company, etc. the b-roll shots in this type of video should highlight those positive things that the interviewee is talking about. See examples below.

Promotions: These videos are a lot like advertisements. To make an exciting promotional video, you want eye catching shots, that include whatever it is that you’re promoting. A lot of the time these are artistic shots, or fast pace shots that keep the viewer engaged, and interested.


Video Storytelling Examples From Past Classes

Example of Public Relations Story on a Local Company – Louisa Wilkinson and Taylor Dilts


Example of Journalistic Story on a Non-Event – Hannah Robinson and Esther Seville


Example of a Promotional Story on a Local Band – Kaisha McCutchen and Bianca Coca


Example of Journalistic Approach with No Reporter Narration – Edward Timmons and Miranda Anderson


Example of Journalistic Approach  With Reporter Narrative – Jordan Blazovich and Nick Robinson


Example of Journalistic Approach to an Event Story without Reporter Narration – Kaitlyn Camargo and Lauren Garrelts


Example of Journalistic Approach to a Non-event Story without Reporter Narration – Brittany Hamilton and Scottie Melton


Example of Promotional Approach – Courtney Gifford, Travis Hoff, Sam Weinstein
Border War: The ROTC Story

A Focus on Twitter for Reporting and Promoting

Know the basics. @username, #topic, and RTs (retweets).

Establish a voice. There is a lot of noise out there. To get engaged and get noticed, you’ll need to decide what “face” you want to reveal to the Twittersphere.

  • For me, @klandreville, my twitter voice is related to political communication and news research, teaching, and education.
  • For @Anna_Rader, one of our guest speakers, her voice is “NPR junkie, music lover, cinephile, Wyomingite, nerd. Digital Media Coordinator @WYPublicRadio and Digital Producer of @HumaNatureShow. Opinions are my own.”
  • Brainstorm about your Twitter voice.

Once you have a voice and identity in mind, find similar people to follow. To engage with a like-minded community, search for people to follow at “Who To Follow.” Twitter will suggest some people after you write your identity summary and begin posting.

Share and gather information. For professional use, you can use it to quickly share and gather information real-time (e.g., promote events) with people interested in your writing, journalism, company, etc. Retweet relevant information to your field as well. Retweeting build followers.

Brand management. You can use it to hear and address praise and complaints about your writing or company. Search for your favorite (or least favorite) companies to see how they’re using Twitter and Facebook.

  • For example, Southwest is known for their fantastic customer service. Twitter and Facebook only help that image.

Contribute to the community. Actively search and share information related to your field. Followers will be happy and more informed. And they may retweet, which brings you more followers.

  • For example, AEJMC (a nonprofit mass media association) shares valuable information about journalism, multimedia, public relations, and advertising to followers.

Start a story and use visual writing. Live events can be tweeted and facebooked while on the scene. Stories you’re working on can be previewed with tidbits and snippets of writing. Direct people to the full story. Use strong verbs, adjectives, and visuals.

  • For example, Joanna Smith, a Toronto Star reporter covering the Haitian earthquake, wrote a series of earthquake-related tweets. She created an unraveling narrative through each snapshot.
  • “Was in b-room getting dressed when heard my name. Tremor. Ran outside through sliding door. All still now. Safe. Roosters crowing.”
  • “Fugitives from prison caught looting, taken from police, beaten, dragged thru street, died slowly and set on fire in pile of garbage.”

Engage with the community. There are live chats via Twitter. It can be a learning environment. Retweet all relevant information to your field.

  • For example, there are live chats on Twitter about journalism. Search for #journchat.
  • For example, ask questions relevant to your field. Laurel Papworth (@SilkCharm) asked, “Dear #PRChat PR people how is #BigData affecting your industry relationships with journalists? #Journchat #RunningScaredYet? :P”

State your opinions, but be professional. Everything you say on Twitter can be retweeted (unless you have your settings on private). Facebook profiles can be viewed (and I assume that they can be hacked too). Everything lives forever online. All of your tweets can be searched (see SnapBird). Be paranoid about that.

  • For example, one student was tweeting about dislike of a professor’s course and the professor engaged the student to suggest what the professor should improve. You be the judge about the conversation tone.
  • Student Tweets: (1) UUUGGGGHHHHHH She is working my nerves!! I hate new professors!! (2) I swear [professor’s name] is too much for me! (3) Soooo I can’t talk too bad about my professor on twitter anymore…because now we have to follow her ass!!
  • Professor: @StudentName After reading your multiple tweets about your disappointment in my teaching style, what would you recommend I do differently?
  • Her follower responded: Double yikes! I hope your student realizes you are also followed by PR execs who make hiring decisions…”

Represent. One tip from Intel Corporation’s social media guidelines:

  • “Perception is reality. In online social networks, the lines between public and private, personal and professional are blurred. Just by identifying yourself as an Intel employee, you are creating perceptions about your expertise and about Intel by our shareholders, customers, and the general public-and perceptions about you by your colleagues and managers. Do us all proud. Be sure that all content associated with you is consistent with your work and with Intel’s values and professional standards.”

Crowdsource. Use followers for information. Make a call or solicit them for information.

  • Find anecdotes and exemplars for stories. Denver Post did this to find the human face to their story on parents stealing their childrens’ identities and then raiding their credit.
  • Collect data using Google Docs to create a Google Form. Then, share link on social media for quick, informal surveys. Denver Post used this technique to find people live-blog their responses to the first 2012 presidential debate in Denver.

 

Picture1

The Denver Post crowdsourced for their article on parents stealing their children’s identity.

 

Social Media Management. Monitor social media across Twitter and other platforms with the following tools:

More Advice from Twitter Experts at the BBC Journalism Academy: Below is a summary of the best tips.

  • Keep tweets simple.
  • Promote your content and work. Ask a simple question and link to the content. The idea is to intrigue, not give away all the content.
  • Avoid “clickbait” which is perceived as a marketing ploy and game to people.
  • Do not tweet too much of one side of an argument. It appears as if you are promoting them. Be balanced, even with Twitter content and attention.
  • Do not use too many hashtags (limit to two). It drowns the message.
  • Use images and videos if they add to the content. No stock photos or mundane photos.
  • Be helpful, open, honest and authentic. Be funny (in a professional and clever way) and social.
  • Think dialogue, not monologue.
  • Don’t retweet without reading and checking the retweeted content first.
  • Check the grammar and spelling!
  • “The don’ts? Don’t tweet angry, vengeful or drunk. Always be yourself.”  — @tomfordyce, chief sports writer @BBCSport

Live-Tweeting Practice

We will practice live-tweeting another speech: Emma Watson’s speech about gender equality to the UN.

Report from a journalistic point of view. Type out your tweets and try to keep them less than 140 characters.

Extra Credit – Live Tweeting Project

Extra Credit Opportunity

Extra Credit Opportunity – Multimedia Story on Undergraduate Research Day

What is this event?

Undergraduate Research Day is Saturday, April 28, 2018.  Wyoming’s celebration of undergraduate research is open to all students who have completed an independent research or creative project in any discipline at Wyoming community colleges, UW/Casper College, and the University of Wyoming.  Last year approximately 400 students presented their research, and this year we anticipate an even richer display of undergraduate curiosity and creativity. Abstracts of all presentations will be published.

For more information about the event, visit: http://www.uwyo.edu/epscor/events/undergraduate-research-day/index.html

What can I produce?

You can produce any type of multimedia story, using either promotional or journalistic storytelling. Ideas include, but are not limited to:

  • 2-minute audio profile on an undergraduate student who is participating in the event
  • Journalistic video of the actual event; of course, you’d have to attend the event and get interviews and footage
  • Video, audio, and/or text-based press release for the event that highlights some of the key events of the day
  • Photo story about the event; you’d attend the event, take photos at the event, and of course, get the students’ names and projects for the photo captions

Please chat with me about your ideas. I’m more than happy to assist in the brainstorming!

How do I get sources to interview?

Contact Emily Vercoe for student suggestions, student contact information, and for information about the event. Emily Vercoe is the coordinator of the event.

Emily Vercoe email: evercoe@uwyo.edu

How much is this extra credit worth?

Depending on the quality of the multimedia story, you will earn at minimum 10 percentage points added to your lowest assignment grade, and you could earn at maximum 20 percentage points added to your lowest assignment grade.

For example, if your lowest assignment grade is an 80%, and you created a multimedia story about Undergraduate Research Day, then your assignment grade would be changed anywhere from a 90% to a 100%.

When is the multimedia story due? And how do I submit the story?

Due Date: Sunday, May 13, 2018 by 11:59 p.m.

Submission: Upload or embed the multimedia story to your blog in a new post. Write a brief post about the experience. Copy and paste the blog post URL in the Extra Credit Assignment in our WyoCourse page.

Social Media Management for Journalism, PR, and Advertising

Quiz #3 on Information Graphics


Reminder: Information Graphics (Blog Post #5) Due Tonight, April 2, by 11:59 p.m.


How Social Media is Used by the Big Three Media Fields

Social media is for you. The aspiring journalist, sports commentator, marketing executive, advertising director, or public relations manager, all of these fields rely on social media now.

You can use social media:

  • To help you create a presence and voice
  • To promote your stories or your products
  • To search for story ideas and sources
  • To network with others in your field
  • To engage with your audience, start a conversation

No doubt, social media is changing our media world. Let’s review some resources.

Just a reminder to everyone: Be responsible with social media use. Journalists, PR professionals, and advertisers should remember to Be Civil, Be Fair, Be Accurate, Be Transparent, and Be Honest. While working in the field, think critically before you post to social media. Talk to an editor, mentor, or colleague. Ensure this content will make your organization proud.

Please choose to review either the journalists, PR, or advertising sections below.

Review each link in your chosen section.

Write down 3 things that you’d like to share with the class about what you learned from reading these articles in your section.

Then, meet with a small group of 3 people who examined the same field as you. Decide as a group what the top 3 things are that you’d like to share with the class.

There are also some helpful hints that could apply to journalism, public relations, and advertising. Keep up to date on these hints for social media at Social Media Examiner. Here are some of the most helpful posts and lessons that I’ve discovered on this website:

Critical Analysis and Comparison of Two Organizations’ Social Media Management

Blog Post 6 – Social Media Management Critique

Blog Post #6 Due on Mon. 4/16 by 11:59 p.m. | Presentations of Results on Wed. 4/18 and Fri. 4/20

For Blog Post #6, you will write a critical analysis and comparison of two organizations’ social media management styles. Download Blog Post #6 for details. Here’s the short version of the assignment:

  • As you sit down to do your analysis, be sure to review these links above that we’ve reviewed.
  • Use the specific advice offered in these articles as you conduct your analysis.
  • Examine the 6 major social media platforms noted in the assignment: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and LinkedIn.
  • Take notes of your experience. Your notes should be grounded in the advice from the articles. Your notes will be the basis and foundation for your blog post.
  • Answer all required questions in the assignment (broadly speaking, you must compare the organizations’ social media presence, suggest three reasons why each organization is using social media effectively, and three pieces of advice for each organization).

Next Time: Live Reporting/Promoting on Twitter


On Friday: Anna Rader, Online Manager for Wyoming Public Media

Internships and Jobs at Wyoming Newspapers

Internships

The Jackson Hole Daily, a print/digital newspaper publishing six days a week from the scenic mountain town of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is looking for part-time copyediting help this summer. Enhance your skill set a few afternoons a week while exploring the Tetons on your days off. Excellent English skills required. Knowledge of InDesign, AP style and interest in current events a plus. This is a paid internship (cool coworkers included). Please email resume and cover letter to Pamela Periconi, Daily editor, at daily@jhnewsandguide.com by May 1.

The Douglas Budget in Douglas, WY, a weekly newspaper with a circulation of 4,150 serving a community with a population of 5,600 is seeking a least one intern position for the summer. Douglas is located off I25, and is only an hour south of Casper. It is also home to the Wyoming State Fair, Ayres Natural Bridge, top notch golf course, and much more. The internship will be paid, full-time from mid-May to the third week in August for the position of reporter covering general assignment with weekend duties. Must have photo experience and reliable transportation. To apply submit clips and letter/resume to Matt Adelman, publisher@douglas-budget.com.

The Lovell Chronicle is a weekly publication with a circulation of 2,083, and serves the Lovell community with a population of 2,360. The paper is seeking one summer intern. Persons interested in the internship will need both photography and writing skills. This internship could turn into a hire. Spend your summer by the Big Horn Canyon National Recreation area and mountains, and work with a really fun crew. For more information, and to apply contact David Peck, Publisher, at dapeck00@tctwest.net. David Peck told me this, “Students should know that a community weekly is a fantastic incubator where a young person would get to do and learn it all.”

Jobs

General assignment reporter – Torrington Telegram

Community newspaper group in southeast Wyoming is looking to hire a general assignment reporter who will have the opportunity to cover a wide variety of topics as well as having some regularly assigned beats. Torrington is located in Wyoming’s “banana belt” and is known for its mild winters and abundant sunshine year-round. The small town is the county seat for Wyoming’s top agricultural area, but is close to many outdoor activities that most think of when picturing Wyoming.

Duties include government reporting, feature writing, spot news, etc. in and around Goshen County. Must be a good writer with a passion for accuracy. Photography skills a plus, but we are willing to train the right candidate. Full benefits, including paid vacations, health insurance and 401(k) plan also are included. Send resume and clips to Publisher Rob Mortimore at rmort@torringtontelegram.com or Torrington Telegram, 2025 Main St., Torrington, WY, 82240. 307-532-2184.

Information Visualization: Mapping

First, Why Visualize Information?

We tend to start with information and then try to visualize the information.

For example, you may be given a story to tell that deals with data, numbers, statistics, etc. Many storytellers would start by looking at the data and searching for a way to visualize the data.

But, even more important than that, media content creators should be starting with:

What does the user want to know?

What problem does the user want solved or illustrated?

How can a visualization illustrate an issue for the user that will help them?

Visuals must be worthwhile, add value to the story, and be worth the user’s time to view.

Visuals must work well. Others, users get annoyed and leave (and may never come back). And, visuals must work in mobile devices, too.

Just “telling a good story” is insufficient to merit a user’s investment of time and cash.

And, more and more, users–not advertising–are the primary source of revenue for media outlets.

 


In sum, growing your audience is key for media survival. The user should be primary when considering visuals.

A pretty visual without utility is insufficient.

The graph below is from “What 100m calls to 311 reveal about New York” by Wired on Nov. 1, 2010.

Let’s all take a minute to look at this visualization.

  1. What does this visualization tell you?
  2. What problem or concern may this solve for a user?
  3. What are some concerns about this visualization?
  4. Is it intuitive to understand?
  5. Is there anything missing from this visualization?

When You Create Visuals, Ask Yourself

  1. What is the user-problem your visual will solve?
  2. What would the user be willing to pay for, in time or money, to view your visual?

You will need to brainstorm and think through these questions for our next assignment.

Types of Information Visualizations

Rather than list all of the types of visualizations available for information, let’s visit Datawrapper and play around with them.

Blog Post 5: Storytelling with Mapping – Google My Maps

About one month ago, we learned how to create our own maps using Google My Maps. Now, we will practice these skills.

In our next assignment and during class time, we will:

    1. Brainstorm and research an issue that you would like to write about that somehow includes a map that you created using Google My Maps.
      • Focus on what problem that your map solves for the user. Or, focus on what important information that your map provides the user.
      • The blog post tone can be journalistic (objective) or conversational (opinionated) in nature.
      • See examples below for what you can cover. Of course, your blog post needs to have a Google My Maps that you created!
      • Other examples: You can use public opinion data about the best restaurants in Denver and then map those 5 restaurants. Or, you can find and map where the next 5 biggest rodeos will be held in Wyoming.
    2. Consult with me about your proposed blog post and map.
    3. Review how to create our own maps using Google My Maps
    4. Create our map
    5. Write the blog post
    6. Embed the map in the blog post

Download the full assignment instructions and grading rubric: Blog Post 5 – Information Visualization

Here is an example of a basic map that I created. I didn’t write-up a blog post with this, but you will be expected to.

Critical Suggestions For Your Success

Read Grading Comments Several Times

First, read them to get a sense of what I’m saying. Let yourself get annoyed, uncomfortable, or defensive. Some of you may already be accustomed to this and not bothered at all by grading comments.

Second, read them for substance and content. What can you learn moving forward?

Be sure that you re-read your actual blog post as well, or have the blog post open as you read my comments.


Media Writing Suggestions (Blog Post 2)

Think Critically About Direct Quotes

I assume that many of you are recording your interviews. That’s fine. It can be helpful.  But, I’ve noticed that as students record their interviews more, they rely more on the recorded interviews without doing much critical thought about the direct quotes.

Only use the direct quote if the speaker said it better than you can write it. If the quote is better summarized by one short, succinct sentence written by you, then please paraphrase the information and attribute to the speaker.

Avoid Long, Rambling Direct Quotes

Please avoid using long, rambling direct quotes that are difficult to read. If your direct quote is 3 or more lines of text with no punctuation marks, then it’s likely a long, rambling quote.

If you have a long, rambling direct quote, then what should you do?

  1. Paraphrase it (re-write the speaker’s sentence using your own words) and attribute to speaker
  2. Split it up into smaller quotes that are complete sentences. Yes, you can add punctuation to a person’s long, rambling quote. Attribute to the speaker
  3. Provide a partial quote that is not a complete sentence and attribute to the speaker.

Think Creatively About The Story Flow

A strong writer will narrative the story by relevant information and reader engagement. When a writer organizes the story by speaker only, without thinking about the story flow, then, the story may not be narrated in the most efficient way, the most interesting way, or the most sensible way for the reader.

Again, usually (although, not always) strong storytellers will weave and mix speakers as it is most appropriate for the story. Think critically about how to best present the information. Many times, it is not by the speaker order.

The AP Stylebook Is Your Best Friend In Media Writing

If you want to be a journalist, public relations professional, advertising copy writer, or anything else in media, then you need to have an AP Stylebook with you whenever you write. You should know to always double-check dates, names, titles, places, states, cities, numerals, abbreviations, and capitalization with the AP Stylebook. While writing for media, you should also think to yourself, “what does the AP Stylebook say about this?”

Proofread, Over and Over

Many times, writing can be greatly improved by simply proofreading the story. Nearly every student had proofreading errors such as misusing “its” vs. “it’s”, not capitalizing certain words, not following AP Style correctly for titles, dates, and locations, or inserting commas into sentences that use “because” in the middle.

Incorrect:

Dr. Landreville says proofreading is important, because students who major in communication and journalism should be strong writers.

Correct:

Dr. Landreville says proofreading is important because students who major in communication and journalism should be strong writers.

Incorrect:

Because students who major in communication and journalism should be strong writers Dr. Landreville says proofreading is important.

Correct:

Because students who major in communication and journalism should be strong writers, Dr. Landreville says proofreading is important.

If you want to improve your grammar and style, then I suggest When Words Collide.

Want To Improve? Read Local News! Pay Attention to the Journalistic Writing

Many students used promotional writing that made the story feel like a press release for public relations purposes. When there is an opinion in the story, it needs to be attributed. Your opinion should not appear in the story. You ARE allowed to describe the scene in objective terms, but you are NOT allowed to say how you feel or what you think about the scene in subjective terms.

The best way to learn strong journalistic writing is to READ, READ, READ local newspapers. When you buy and read local newspapers, you are:

  • learning about the events and decisions that directly impact your life
  • learning the foundations of AP Style,  strategies for storytelling, how to use direct quotes and attribution, and more
  • learning what is appropriate tone and presentation for news –> Many of you used promotional writing rather than newswriting. Some of you used styles that mimicked Huffington Post opinion blogs rather than Laramie Boomerang journalistic writing.
  • supporting local businesses by reading their advertisements and press releases
  • supporting local news so that the local news doesn’t go out of business
  • supporting democracy because we need to know about local decisions and events

Think about it:

  • larger newspapers like the Denver Post will not be covering issues in small Wyoming towns if a Wyoming newspaper goes out of business.
  • news is not free. While in an ideal world, local news would be free, it’s not. Just like health care, a college education, your internet, your Netflix and Hulu subscriptions, and your smartphone, news is not free. News is a product that we need to invest in.

Photography and Photojournalism Suggestions (Blog Post 3)

Again, The AP Stylebook Is Your BEST Friend

Review AP Style as you write captions. There were many errors in captions, such as dates and locations.

Avoid Shoot And Runs

In reviewing the class’s photos, I could tell when students were snapping one or two photos and then running. The photos were not very strong, and I got a lot of backs and butts in photos. In other words, there was some shyness and hesitancy going on because I didn’t see a lot of people’s faces and I didn’t get names in captions.

Make Small Talk

When taking photos of strangers, take a few photos without them noticing. Then, go up and introduce yourself and explain your photography. Chat with them a little bit. Make small talk. Then, ask the person to keep going about their business as you take more photos. Your photos will be much stronger.

Fake It ‘Til You Make It

Many students reported feeling uncomfortable or intimidated by this assignment. I get it. I hated the first photojournalism class that I was forced to take. I was so nervous and uncomfortable with taking photos. However, being forced to do a new photojournalism assignment every single week helped me get more comfortable. So, even though this is your only photojournalism assignment, I encourage you to keep pushing yourself.

You have the ability to be great, but we need more effort and a “fake it ’til you make it” mentality. If you pretend that you’re confident and just force yourself to give it a 100% “all in” attitude, then you’ll be amazed at what you will accomplish in time with practice and persistence.

Visuals Are Essential For Media Careers

No matter what type of media career that you enter, visuals are essential. Audiences want visuals. Visuals tell powerful stories. So, keep practicing!

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