MCOM 407 Multimedia Reporting Capstone, Spring 2016
Dr. Stacy Spaulding | Office hours | Contact Info| Syllabus | Blackboard
MCOM 407.101 | Mondays, 5 – 7:40 p.m. | VB 207
MCOM 407.003 | Tuesdays, 3:30 – 6:10 p.m. | VB 209

Week 1 | Jan. 25/26 | Introductions

  • Homework Journal/Introductions: 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. 3) What would you like to write about for your capstone project? What legwork/preliminary interviews can you do on this idea to see if its viable?
  • Class discussion: The journalism that inspires you | Syllabus
  • Lab: Past capstone ‘Best of Semester’ winners | Capstone brainstorming | Developing killer story ideas | A million story ideas for student journalists

Week 2 | Due Feb. 1/2 | Story Structure

  • Reading: Metal Men and Story Craft Ch. 12
  • 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 3 | Due Feb. 8/9 | Shooting basics

  • Reading & homework journal: Story Structure case study
  • Assignment due: Check out a DSLR and bring it to class
  • In-class discussion: Story Structure case study | Shooting & editing photos

Week 4 | Due  Feb. 15/16 | Mini story & conferences

Week 5 | Due  Feb. 22/23 | Interviewing

  • Reading: Story Craft ch 10 | Out of the Blocks | Sheilah Kast’s interview of Fire Chief James Clack
  • Homework journal: 1) What is immersion reporting and how is it different from regular reporting? 2) 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. 3) Out of the Blocks 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: Interviewing | Story rubric discussion
  • Lab: Audio 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 6 | Due  Feb. 29/March 1 | 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 7 | Due March 7/8 | Case Study: Plus Ones

Spring Break | March 14/15 | No Class

Week 8Due March 21/22 | Case Study: Multimedia

Week 9 | Due March 28/29 | Final draft conferences

Week 10 | Due April 4/5 | Final draft & peer review

  • Due: Final draft, printed & stapled
  • Class discussion & Lab: Peer Review

Week 11Due April 11/12 | Case Study: Ethics

  • Reading & homework journal: Case Study Ethics
  • Class discussion: Case Study Ethics
  • Lab: Multimedia pages troubleshooting / Cutline/headline refresher

Week 12 | Due April 18/19 | #TUjday / conferences

  • Homework journal: Attend one #TUjday event and answer the following question: TBA
  • One-on-one professor conferences: Schedule and attend a conference with me. Bring your laptop or your link to the rough draft of your story page with multimedia.

Week 13 | Due April 25/26 | Creativity / Multimedia rough draft

  • Read Steal Like An Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative.
  • Homework journal (Due before you come to conference). On Blackboard, go to Journals –> Week 2 –> and answer the following questions: 1) 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 should you be developing now to be successful in this class? In your professional career?
  • Due: Multimedia rough draft pages
  • Class discussion: Creative practices
  • Lab: Peer review & troubleshooting

Week 14 | Due April May 2/3 | 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: Formal peer review of multimedia and plus ones

Week 15 | Due May 9/10 | Final site review

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

Week 16 | Due May 16/17 | Final Exam

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