MCOM 407 Multimedia Reporting Capstone, Fall 2016
Dr. Stacy Spaulding | Office hoursContact Info | Syllabus | Blackboard
MCOM 407.001 | T/R 3:30-4:45 p.m. | VB 209

Week 1 | Aug. 30/Sept. 1 | Introductions

  • In-class homework journal: On Blackboard, go to Journals –> Week 1 –> 1) What’s the best piece of journalism (story/audio/video/photo) you’ve ever seen? What made you say, “Wow, I wish I’d made that” ? Why did it make such a powerful impression on you? Be sure to provide a link. 2) What’s the best piece of journalism you’ve ever produced? What’s the most important thing this project taught you? Tell me about it, and provide a link.
  • Read Steal Like An Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative.
  • Homework journal This is a book written by an artist on the creative habits that young artists need to develop to do good work. Take what you think are the three most important rules from Kleon’s top 10, and adapt them here for journalists, and for your creative life. What habits do you need to develop as you begin your professional career?
  • Class discussion: The journalism that inspires you | Syllabus | Past capstone ‘Best of Semester’ winners | Capstone brainstorming | Developing killer story ideas | Reporting timeline

Week 2 | Sept. 6/8 | Story Structure

  • Reading: Metal Men and Story Craft Ch. 12
  • Story Structure case study
  • Homework journal: (Due before you come to class) 1) Define these terms: explanatory narrative, action line, digression, 3+2 2) Which parts of Metal Men were action? Which parts were digression? How did you know? 3) Optional for “exemplary” credit: Have you seen the 3+2 structure in stories before? If so, provide a link and explain the story’s structure.

Week 4 | Sept. 20/22 | Mini story & conferences

  • Reading & homework journal part 1:
  • Part 2: Write a “mini” news story on your subject. I’m looking for a 300-400 word story with three sources–one of these can be a narrative source. The other two should be official sources. The purpose of this assignment: 1) to get you started on your project, 2) to see if your story is solid, and 3) to demonstrate your writing skills. Upload it to Blackboard and bring a print copy to your conference. Be prepared to talk about how to expand it into a 3+2 explanatory story.
  • One-on-one professor conferences: Schedule and attend a conference with me to discuss your story idea. Print and bring your mini-story.

Week 5 | Sept. 27/29 | Interviewing

  • Reading (all are available on Blackboard): Story Craft ch 10 | Out of the Blocks | Sheilah Kast’s interview of Fire Chief James Clack
  • Homework journal: 1. Story Craft: What is immersion reporting and how is it different from regular reporting? 2. Story Craft: What is the difference between observational narrative and reconstructive narrative? 3. Sheilah Kast: At 4:25 in the MP3, conducts a hard news interview on the closing of fire stations that could have been confrontational and combative, but isn’t. What interviewing techniques did she use? Quote and explain one interview technique for In the Zone credit, or two for Exemplary credit. 4. Out of the Blocks: This is an example of interviewing for narrative. Quote and explain one interview technique for In the Zone credit, or two for Exemplary credit.
  • Due: Check out an Edirol and bring it to class.
  • Class discussion: InterviewingAudio basics | MediaStorm training setup: MediaStorm 101: Post-Production Track & MediaStorm 101: Reporting Track (View the videos and take the Blackboard quizzes by March 29)

Week 3 | Sept. 12/14 | Shooting basics

Week 7 | Oct. 11 | Rough Draft & peer review

  • Reading & homework journal. Choose one: The Art of the Interview | Choose this one if you’d like practical tips on conducting interviews | How can you be a better listener and how can you ask better questions? List and discuss at least three of the “do’s” and “don’ts” from this chapter that are meaningful to you. How to Listen | Choose this one if you’d like to read about a pro writer’s perspective | This reading provides a good example of interviewing for narrative vs. interviewing for facts. What are the takeaway lessons from this example? List and discuss at least three. Optional: Do both for “exceptional” journal credit.
  • Due: Rough draft of story, printed and stapled.
  • Class discussion & lab: Peer Review

Week 6 | Oct. 4/6 | Case Study: Plus Ones

Week 8 | Oct. 18/20 | Case Study: Multimedia

Week 9 | Oct. 25/27 | Final draft conferences

Week 10 | Nov. 1/3 | Final draft & peer review

  • Final draft due: 1) Upload to Week 10 journal on Blackboard, 2) Print, staple and bring to class. Be sure to attach your rough draft peer review.
  • Class discussion & Lab: Peer Review

Week 11 | Nov. 8/10 | Case Study: Ethics

Week 12 | Nov. 15/17 | TBA

Week 13 | Nov. 22 | Multimedia rough draft

  • Due: Multimedia rough draft pages
  • Class discussion: Final exam survey | Peer review & troubleshooting

Week 14 | Nov. 29/Dec. 1 | Multimedia final draft & peer review

  • Reading & homework journal: List and explain two techniques from the MediaStorm training that you implemented. Did they work? Why or why not? What will you do differently next time? For exceptional credit, list and explain up to four techniques.
  • Due: Site finished & published
  • Class discussion & lab: Class survey | Formal peer review of multimedia and plus ones

Week 15 | Dec. 6/8 | Final site review

  • Class discussion: Final site review (class swap) | Best in class award nominations

Week 16 | TBA | Final Exam

  • Best of Semester Awards | TBA | Greene Turtle roof deck | Judges: TBA