More information about your final projects

On the syllabus you will see this: “You must write a blog post outlining what your final project will be by Tuesday, March 20.” Unfortunately, when I started looking for those posts this morning, I didn’t find any. I think you all got too busy with the Google Maps project. You did a good job with it, and so we move on.

Please have a post up explaining what your final project will be by the beginning of class on Thursday, March 22. Most of you seem to have chosen a good topic already. I want to see evidence that you’ve thought this through and that the main person you need will be available to you for interviews. (Which means you must make contact with her. Or him.)

Remember: Your project must be about a digital media initiative of some sort. I’m willing to be pretty flexible with regard to what that means. It is not a requirement that it be related to your beat, though it would be preferable. And I’d like it to be local if at all possible.

As I have told you, your project will comprise various components, the deadlines for which I am spacing out out so that you don’t feel overwhelmed.

1. Your text story. You will write an 800- to 1,000-word feature story, in the form of an extended blog post, about a person, persons or organization involved in digital media of some sort. I am looking for interviews with at least three people as well as at least five links. Deadline: Sent to me by email as a Word file on Friday, April 13, at 5 p.m.

2. Your slideshow. You will put together a slideshow comprising six to 10 photos that is either directly related to your story or that functions as a sidebar. You will post your photos to Flickr and create a slideshow as you did on our Flickr assignment earlier this semester. You will write a title and a caption for the set as a whole and for each photo individually. Unlike your earlier assignment, you do not have to interview people for this. But aim for variety and visual interest. Please do not create a slideshow consisting of the outsides of buildings, for instance. Deadline: Friday, April 13, at 5 p.m. Send me an email with the link.

3. Your video. I have built into the schedule a full week for you to work on nothing but the video. So take a deep breath and relax. Your video can be directly related to your story, or it can function as a sidebar. The video should be two to five minutes long, with interviews with at least three named people. (No interviews with any unnamed people, please.) There should be B-roll in the form of video clips and still photos. There should be an introductory slide, and though I am not making it an absolute requirement, I think it will be better if you do a stand-up at the beginning. Other than having a friend shoot your stand-up, all shooting and editing must be done by you. The deadline is Friday, April 20, at midnight. If there is demand — and by “demand,” I mean even one person — I will keep 171 Holmes open until midnight. Post it to YouTube and send me an email with the link.

4. Putting it all together. Our last class meeting is on Tuesday, April 17. That will be my deadline for sending you memos about recommended revisions to your blog posts and slideshows. Your final deadline is Tuesday, April 24, at 10 a.m. Post your revised story to your blog. Embed the lead image from your slideshow and link it to Flickr, just as you did with your earlier assigment. Embed your YouTube video.

Also: Send me a brief (a paragraph or two) memo explaining how you used social media as part of your reporting — whether it was finding sources or some other aspect. And after your post is live, use a Google map to link to it, just as we did with the historic-sites project.


About Dan Kennedy

I am an associate professor of journalism at Northeastern University, and I'm using for my blog, Media Nation, as well as class websites.
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