Breaking News


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Legal and Ethical Issues for Online Journalists

Here are some articles I want you to read before the next class.  These articles deal with legal and ethical issues related to online journalism and how the 24 news cycle impacts the practice of journalism in general. We have obliquely discussed these issues before but this time I want you to do some thinking and form some opinions so we can have a more informed discussion Monday night. 

Digital Media Ethics
Legal Challenges Facing Online Journalists
How the Entertainment cycle brings out the best and worst in journalism

Sunday, October 26, 2014


Since we seem to be struggling with the concept of newsworthiness, I thought I would share what makes a story "newsworthy" again. This explanation of newsworthiness is from the website MediaCollege.

What Makes a Story Newsworthy?

The News
News can be defined as "Newsworthy information about recent events or happenings, especially as reported by news media". But what makes news newsworthy?
There is a list of five factors, detailed below, which are considered when deciding if a story is newsworthy. When an editor needs to decide whether to run with a particular story, s/he will ask how well the story meets each of these criteria. Normally, a story should perform well in at least two areas.
Naturally, competition plays a part. If there are a lot of newsworthy stories on a particular day then some stories will be dropped. Although some stories can be delayed until a new slot becomes available, time-sensitive news will often be dropped permanently.

1. Timing

The word news means exactly that - things which are new. Topics which are current are good news. Consumers are used to receiving the latest updates, and there is so much news about that old news is quickly discarded.
A story with only average interest needs to be told quickly if it is to be told at all. If it happened today, it's news. If the same thing happened last week, it's no longer interesting.

2. Significance

The number of people affected by the story is important. A plane crash in which hundreds of people died is more significant than a crash killing a dozen.

3. Proximity

Stories which happen near to us have more significance. The closer the story to home, the more newsworthy it is. For someone living in France, a major plane crash in the USA has a similar news value to a small plane crash near Paris.
Note that proximity doesn't have to mean geographical distance. Stories from countries with which we have a particular bond or similarity have the same effect. For example, Australians would be expected to relate more to a story from a distant Western nation than a story from a much closer Asian country.

4. Prominence

Famous people get more coverage just because they are famous. If you break your arm it won't make the news, but if the Queen of England breaks her arm it's big news.

5. Human Interest

Human interest stories are a bit of a special case. They often disregard the main rules of newsworthiness; for example, they don't date as quickly, they need not affect a large number of people, and it may not matter where in the world the story takes place.
Human interest stories appeal to emotion. They aim to evoke responses such as amusement or sadness. Television news programs often place a humorous or quirky story at the end of the show to finish on a feel-good note. Newspapers often have a dedicated area for offbeat or interesting items.

Monday, October 20, 2014

KettleCorn Maker Video Remix assignment

For this assignment you must report on a  breaking or ongoing news event using Mozilla's KettleCorn online video remixing platform. For the first step in the project you must shoot video of your selected breaking or ongoing news event (from now on the "news value" of your story will be an increasingly important part of your grade). You will assemble a video clip that is two to three minutes in length.. This video may be one continuous shot or it may be several clips edited together. After you have your video assembled upload it to YouTube.
Create an account with KettleCorn and sign in. Get the URL for your video off of YouTube and load that into the Media button on the upper right side of the frame and hit the plus button on the video to add it into the timeline. For this assignment you must add at least one of each of these events: a lower third, text, popup, Google map,  image with a cutline and a Wikipedia link. You may add more than one of each these events if it helps you report your story. Use the timeline to place events where your want them on the video. Once you have completed your video remix, save your project and then hit the share button. Grab the embed code and place it on your blog along with an appropriate head line and a brief introductory paragraph.  These are the MINIMUM requirements for this assignment. There are so many things you can do with this platform I expect some projects that dazzle me. Have a rough draft of the project online by Monday, October 27th at 5 pm. This project's final deadline is 5 pm on Wednesday, October 29th at 5 pm.

Here is a brief example I made of a KettleCorn video about New Orleans.

Here is a brief video remix I did using Popcorn Maker of a concert honoring Fats Domino.  

Below is a video remix done by Alex Mowrey for last spring's class. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

KettleCorn Video Remix Proposal

Things are going to start getting interesting beginning with our next project. For this project we are going to be using Mozilla's KettleCorn online video remixing too. KettleCorn is an improvement on Mozilla's Popcorn Maker that was produced specifically for journalists. Here is a link to an article explaining the improvements in this new media tool: Introducing KettleCorn: Forking Popcorn Maker for journalists. Here is a link to the KettleCorn site. I suggest you take a look at it and get a feel for how it works before I demonstrate it to you in the next class. By the way, KettleCorn does not work well with Internet Explorer so use Chrome or Firefox.

Your assignment for Monday, October 20th by 5pm  is to post a proposed subject for this project with an entry on your blog. The subject must be a breaking or ongoing news event from which you will shoot video and then use KettleCorn to add additional contextual information. This project's deadline will be at 5 pm on Wednesday, October 29th so take that into account when you come up with a proposal.

Here is an example of a KettleCorn video.
If you want to see more examples click on this link.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Updated Requirements for Audio/Video Slideshow

Since we had the software update snafu I have adjusted the requirements for the audio/video slideshow assignment. You can use either a voice-over or music bed for your slideshow or you may combine the two. Any of these will be acceptable. If you want to use a our handheld cameras to record video to use as audio you will have to convert the video file to an audio file, preferable an mp3. You can do this using the free Any Video Converter program. You just load the video file and then convert it into an mp3. Then you should be able to load it into Window Movie Maker using the music button. As always, your creativity in telling your story is the most important part of any assignment so I am looking forward to seeing some great projects for next week.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Timeline Assignment

A typical Dipity timeline.
   Your next assignment is to create a timeline using the online resource Dipity.   Dipity allows you to create a timeline incorporating photos, videos, text, mapping and various other informational resources. Timelines are an excellent storytelling tool when you are reporting on an event or placing into perspective the evolution of a social or political issue. They are also an excellent tool to document someone’s life history.
   For this assignment you need to find an event that you can cover that takes place over a period of time or find a bigger social issue or political issue relevant to college students that you can document on a timeline (For example: the evolution of women’s rights on college campuses).  You could also document the history of an organization on campus or provide the timeline of someone’s life, perhaps a significant faculty member. Remember they must have relevance to other students on campus--not your boyfriend or mom and dad.
Remember that all videos and photos used in your timeline must be taken by you or your need to get permission to use the material and then give credit to the source.
    The minimum requirement for this assignment is the creation a timeline with at least 10 events. Of course the more photos, videos, mapping and supporting material you have the better your timeline will be. After you have created your timeline you will embed it on your blog with an appropriate headline and an explanatory paragraph.

    Next Monday I will demonstrate Dipity to you. I want you to come to class with a proposed subject for this assignment. 
The timeline is due by 5 pm on Monday, Oct 20th.

FYI-mapping is an essential part of this assignment but Dipity likes longitude and latitude more than an actual address.  I will show you how to get the longitude and latitude for any location using Google maps.

Here are links to some examples of Dipity timelines: Obama's inauguration, How the debt talks spiraled into crisis and a history of flooding in Greater Lewis County (scroll down past the video). Below is a timeline from last semester's class.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Audio Slideshows

Before you settle on a subject for your audio/photo slideshow take a look at these examples. These slideshows feature natural sound and voice-overs provided by the subjects of the slideshow (not from you). Here are some examples you can look at  from a class similar to ours at George Washington University.

One Local Grocery
Libya White House Protest
DC Brau
From the Dugout to the Desk

Here are some examples of slideshows that are national finalists in this year's Associated College Press category for audio slideshows.
Playground Pauley-UCLA Daily Bruin
Dance Works-George Washington University Hatchet
Dedication to the Goal-Michigan State News

Remember to have an event or topic in mind for your slideshow on Monday.