Online Journalism

Spring 2009 Northeastern University

Audio slideshow example February 17, 2009

Filed under: assignments — ematson @ 1:32 pm

I’m going to start posting links to various audio slideshows to help you get ideas for your slideshows and also to think about how you are going to approach the project.

Here is a recent one from the New York Times about everyday people in economically depressed Pontiac, Michigan. Notice how you don’t hear the voice of the reporter – it is all voices of the people the story is about. Notice all the background sounds – of the restaurant, etc. Notice how the people introduce themselves – it’s great to get this on tape to use in your piece.


Next blog assignment February 6, 2009

Filed under: assignments — ematson @ 1:04 pm

So by next week, I want you to write a post on your blog that will be off-topic for your regular blog posts. I want you to comment on the recent Michael Phelps incident where someone snapped a pic of him at a party smoking pot from a bong and then loaded it up online. Today the USA Swimming suspended him for three months and one of his major sponsors, Kellogg, has dropped him. I’m not interested in your view on smoking pot and whether or not it’s a big deal, he’s being fairly/unfairly treated. What I want you to write about is living a life in a world where we are surrounded by technology that can record our every moment – whether voluntary or involuntary. Do you sometimes worry about finding pics/video/comments about yourself online that might offend/embarrass/horrify you. Do you pay attention to your surroundings during social outings to who is taking pics, etc. Do you worry about who you can trust? Do you find you have to untag photos in Facebook, etc.  Do you just live your life or do you sometimes censor it because of what may be online the next day? Are you comfortable or uncomfortable having your life documented online? Do you ever hear from parents in good or bad ways about what they see?

Here’s my recent story. I took my much younger sister to lunch the other day for her birthday. She first met me at a salon where I was having my hair done, then we went to lunch and then shopping. She was texting when I was at the salon, but otherwise I wasn’t really paying attention. The next day, I called my Mom and said we had a good time and my Mom was like “It looked like you had a great time. I saw the pics of your salon, the margaritas, your sister’s clothing purchases, etc.) I had no idea she was taking all these photos during the day – it was no big deal, but it was so funny to realize I was so clueless that she was updating Twitter, loading up photos of our outing, basically documenting our day as we went along, etc.


Blog readings January 26, 2009

Filed under: assignments — ematson @ 6:45 pm

These are from the syllabus (second week).

Weblogs: a history and perspective – by Rebecca Blood

Tips for young journalists on blogging

“How To Blog” – by Tony Pierce –some of his advice goes against our class policies for class blogs (e.g., “cuss like a sailor”), but it’s still a great off-the-cuff how-to list. Here is a more serious Q&A with him about his job at the LATimes (in charge of blogs) and how blogs are working at the LATimes Website.


Links for photography exercise January 25, 2009

Filed under: assignments — ematson @ 7:44 pm

Due Tuesday 1/27

Come to class prepared to talk about the slideshows you looked at in the sites listed below. Type up some notes to turn in – which photos moved you, which one is your favorite and why, which photo conveys a story with just one shot? Which photos did you dislike and why? Did the captions work well. What about the mechanics of the slideshow – what features do you like, dislike?

You’ll be taking turns up front with computer on front screen to show class your slideshow. You may want to e-mail yourself a specific url link so that you can click on it to bring it up faster.  On all of these, only look at the slideshows, not audio slideshows or video.

New York Times – this link will take you to multi-media page

Reuters Slideshows

BBC (they call them Galleries)

Washington Post (just called Photo)

For something a little different
National Geographic

These are just suggestions – you can find them many news sites.


Your readings January 22, 2009

Filed under: assignments — ematson @ 8:39 pm

I’m going to post the links to your readings here on the blog because I’ve given up on Blackboard and its lack of dealing with embedded links. Please peruse these sites and/or articles. These are from the first week.


Online Storytelling Forms – by Jonathan Dube, Cybernet

J-Lab examples of online media

The elements of Digital Storytelling – University of Minnesota

Look in depth at multimedia packages on New York