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PENN STATE / Communications / COMM 271 / who bring context and credibility to the information?

who bring context and credibility to the information?

who bring context and credibility to the information?


School: Pennsylvania State University
Department: Communications
Course: Principles of Multimedia Journalism
Professor: Curt chandler
Term: Spring 2016
Cost: 50
Name: Final Exam Study Guide (comm 271)
Description: These notes cover everything for the cumulative exam.
Uploaded: 12/07/2017
27 Pages 10 Views 10 Unlocks

Comm 271 Final Study Guide 8/22-12/6

who bring context and credibility to the information?

Yellow = important media moments

Blue = important vocabulary

Green = important concepts/ideas

Pink = important people

** = emphasizing an important point

Takeaways: important points from the overall summary of lectures

Week 1  

NYT coverage of Justin Bieber’s ‘Where R U Now’ 

• Video with graphics

• Image is vertical because largest audience would view this on an iPhone Interactives: an ‘explosion’ in tools used to tell a story, can use on multiple platforms (better  than print newspaper), engaging

Coverage of the Eclipse: UGC (user generated content)

Who is the famous radio recorder who brought wwii into living rooms across america?

• Crowdsourced images of the moon  

• Users shared experiences

• NYT sorts through and chooses best – don’t have to pay reporters this way Mustafa Hussein of KARG Argus Radio 

• Not a journalist

• Wanted to be able to live stream concerts because he didn’t like the stations available to  him.

• Livestreamed Ferguson, MO. Only other person live streaming it was a Fox News affiliate • Police threatened him because they thought he was inciting a riot. Got hit by tear gas  which damaged his camera and tripod.

• Started GoFundMe online and YouTube called him up and gave him two cameras and two  tripods because he had gotten 1M views that night.

What are the two types of intellectual property?

• If this were done today all that would have been needed was an iPhone, not a  professional camera and tripod If you want to learn more check out dundiks

9/11 : on day of 9/11, journalists filtered what was seen on the media. Now with iPhones and  citizen reporting, you can’t prevent information or footage from being exposed because of easy  access to it all through the internet.  We also discuss several other topics like accounting chapter 7 study guide

• Not everyone had cellphones, not many pictures and videos. Some left voicemails on  loved ones machines during

• No breaking news

• Washington Post and NYT pages stalling or shut down because of high volume traffic • Breaking point of internet, everyone went to the internet for information instead of the  news

Snowfall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek – the game changer  Don't forget about the age old question of stat 3090 clemson

• Skiers wanted to ski over 20 inches of unbroken snow which caused an avalanche

• Video is of Elyse Saugstad (only professional skier to go down backside of mountain and  get caught) talking about the moment before she deployed the balloon that saved her • More of an impact to hear her speak than to see her words in writing • Graphic included to show amount of snow and the breakdown of it

• Very effective, new story telling technique. Most use it when they get the chance **  Convergence: It Is the emergence of common platforms and common tools, so that every news  org has SAME toolkit for telling stories

• It is not collaboration between different news organizations to produce portal for info Platform: vehicle for disseminating information  

Ex: radio, tv, print, online (desktop and laptop), mobile

Multimedia: toolkit used to produce content for a platform

Ex: text, hyperlinks, still photos, videos, audio, interactive graphics, databasing Philip Meyer: UNC professor – “As the years go by, each generation keeps roughly the same  reading habit it had established by the time it reached voting age.” Don't forget about the age old question of What off­peak pricing refers to?

He makes 3 key points

1. Niche audiences are a fact (since 1950s)

2. The media is getting better at reaching those niche audiences – local newspaper for  specific town, etc.  

3. Reader trust pays off – makes argument that you need to produce good journalism  because that results in loyal readers

Challenge for publishers now

Cross platform publishing: reaching multiple audiences across multiple platforms News velocity: point to which a consumer absorbs and is interested in the information News vs. information: there is a difference!

• Journalists bring context and credibility to information

• It is important for journalists to explain the difference with their work: need to explain  why people need to believe them and why they are credible.  

2 types of readers

Time-starved reader: time restraint, wanting to read something quicker

Information-starved reader: want audience to be an information-starved reader, meaning  they’re intrigued with story so they keep reading

2 types of news stories We also discuss several other topics like psci 2306 unt

Event coverage: reactive, most common, breaking news, scheduled events Enterprise: drives the conversation, news hook, contextual  

• Has the longest tail ???? long tail = a news story that has a lot of readership over time • Although enterprise is more expensive in the short-term, the long tails on these stories  often makes it worth the investment

Advantages of print:  

• Power of page design, especially hierarchy of news

• “Serendipitous read” – reader was not initially interested in reading the story, but while  reading, gets interested and decides to keep reading, this happens less in digital

Advantages of online/mobile: 

• Bigger toolkit

o Text, hyperlinks, still photos, video, audio, interactive graphics, databasing  o Unlimited space and audience

Goals for online:

• Stickiness: reading story and then finding it super interesting to then cause them to click  on another story on website If you want to learn more check out ∙ What do they teach?

• Loyalty  

• Providing multiple entry points – headlines for search optimization, social media  optimization (word of mouth, mobile, tv, etc.)

• Creating serendipitous reading experience online  

• Site data to track clicking (activity on page)

Week 2  

• People are being paid to do freelance work for news  

o BUT… need to verify that content is real  

“Storify”: way to take content and add it to your story  

Ex. if you like a tweet, you can copy and paste it into your story  


• Fb live videos

• Drones being used to get aerial shots of damage

• How much rain is this?

o NYT shows interactive videos and gifs of the rain

o Washington Post showed what 9 trillion gallons of water looks like

o Ex. Downpour enough to cover whole US, the 48 states, across whole country 3  pennies high

• Red cross investigation by NPR about their donations and what they do with them, given  the attraction to red cross after natural disasters  

• A lot of coverage from bystanders

• Journalists struggled because if you weren’t in the city when it happened, it was hard to  access the city

Important concepts 

• Modern reporting is mix of aggregation, curation and reporting in the field • Newsrooms and networks matter in large-scale disasters  

• Social media has changed the equation  

o Sourcing  

o Engagement

• Coverage can’t be sustained through social media alone

• Need to be able to collaborate

• Audience engagement has changed

• Groups have been researching how to engage influencers

Week 3  

Historical advantages to working with print 

• Serendipitous read

• Low cost of news print – why is it necessary to have revenue from subscriptions and ads  through digital?

• High cost of entry – harder to enter game as competition, expensive to join  • Evolution of style** - more efficient way of communicating with audience X Design is important

o Designed to skim through: short paragraphs, brief sentences, easy works, inverted  pyramid (important info at beginning of story)

o Consolidated info

o Clear hierarchy: which headlines are most popular/important on first page, etc. X Standardization of spelling – must conform to only one handbook for form and  vocab so there is never confusion or misinterpretations of words, names, places, etc. X Use of word “said” for attribution – there is objectivity and lack of tone when  quoting someone, cannot mistake for bias, can use repeatedly  

• Complete control over every word and phrase – with print, every word carefully chosen  for purpose

• Newspapers are daily record of history: people would also save newspapers to recall  memories and have physical copies of history

• Distribution – people go to newsstands and look at headlines and then decide what they  wanted to purchase

The rhythm of print production 


• Design shortcuts like inverted pyramid

• Audience engagement through habit – before anything else, people would go outside  and get paper and read it with their morning coffee, get it at lunch break, etc. It was part  of a routine.


• One column heds – limited, many headlines at too long of words and have to edit/tailor • No speed, little demand – limited time to work on articles, slow in getting the news out,  delivering of papers was based on how convenient it was for news delivery service, not  when there was demand for it (ex. delivering before sun rose to beat traffic, but that’s  not when the most important news hits)

Objectivity: relatively new concept

• Economic decision driven by market forces (reel more people in and grow a mass  audience bc appealing to more people = more revenue), also ethical

• Goal: create mass audience

o Accuracy is part of equation: rising value of objective reporting was not  happening in vacuum – film, photography = value in showing, not telling

Watergate & objective reporting  

• DNC was bugged by republicans, Woodward (writer) and Bernstein (police reporter)

• Nixon said he wouldn’t resign but he eventually did

• Reporters used simple objective reporting the facts = showed power of objective  reporting (able to take down the president)

• They inspired whole generation to want to go to school and become journalists  Dependency of editorial content from ad sales – “separation of church and state” • Journalists are insulated from any potential conflicts in reporting with advertisers  Challenges for newspapers to overcome 

• Persistent failure to invest in the future will research and development, and in effective  training (papers used to be willing to send reporters overseas, now they aren’t)  • Newspapers are funneling scarce resources into print rather than online where they need  to grow their audience

• Generational divide – lack of willingness to adopt new ways, diff strategies for  approaching problems

Shirky’s Advice to Newspapers 

• Need to be good with numbers – use, understand and present data

• Learn to use social media as a tool to find stories, present them, reach bigger audiences,  promote stories, keep in touch with audience

• Learn to be a team player – it’s not a solo effort, must be able to collaborate and  aggregate information  

Week 4  

Objectivity and Photography – photos need to be objective and real


Timothy O’Sullivan – American Civil War photographer

• Pictures of specific events were important because there was no TV, so artists drew  pictures that were made into wood carvings to represent events even though they  weren’t realistic looking

• Willing to rearrange items within image to make it more interesting  

Matthew Brady – most famous print photographer of the time

• Photographed many famous people, including Abraham Lincoln

• First to request a press pass from U.S. president to take photos at war scene o Took civil war photos at Gettysburg

o Took 3 days to get there, war was over when he got there so he had to  photograph dead soldiers to stage it like the war was still going on

▪ To do this, he used lighting to make soldiers look either confederate or  union and manipulated for dramatic effect

Jacob Riis 

• Covered the NY police which brought him to the city tenements, where he discovered  their living conditions

• Stories had little impact so he turned to photography

• His photos were the first time rich Manhattan saw poor Manhattan

Lewis Hine

• School teacher who moved to NYC

• Discovered photography as hobby and realized its power to be used as tool for  persuasion  

• Photographed immigrants coming to the country at Ellis Island

• Documented child labor in NYC and coal mining children in PA

• After child labor ended, he began photographing the glory of modern man in the  machine age  

o Construction of empire state building

• Switched from glass plates to film so camera would be light and portable Dorothea Lange 

• Recruited by Farm Security Admin.  

• Job was to document plight of American workers during great depression – wanted to  show people who had hard times during GD that they were the same as everyone else  and weren’t alone

• Propaganda

• Intimate style of photography - experimental as opposed to observational photography  o Marion Post Wolcott also practiced this style of photography  

Robert Capa 

• Brought life to magazines

• Warfare photography of WWII

• Blurry, “dreamy” pictures because he used mini camera for action shots (to be mobile) • Credibility depended on not having reputation for setting up photos – candid Joe Rosenthal 

• Almost didn’t get American flag photo because he was using press camera that uses 4x5  inch sheet film and have to change it in between, takes longer

Carol Guzy 

• Only person to win Pulitzer prize 4 times for own work  

• Works for Washington Post  

• Shoots little emotional moments  


• Technology: successfully made transition from black and white to color photos, then  made even greater leap into working with fully digital environment. Each transition  allowed Carol Guzy to work more quickly and spend more time in the field.  

• Power of still photography lies in ability of documentary images to become icons  representing key moments in history. It’s critical to acceptance of these images that they  are perceived as icons. (ex. Kent State shooting photo, American flag war photo).

Radio - telling stories with sound: what we learned from the news

Passive vs. active engagement: radio is passive = listening to news/story while doing something  else

• Clear voice is important, but radio news is about effective writing

o Need to convince people to keep reading for print but for radio, you need to  convince people not to turn off radio – much harder, most important info in the  beginning  

• Constrained by amount of time, so every single work has to count

• NPR ex: using natural sound in addition to recorder’s narrative to make story more  sophisticated  

Radio History – 1st radio commercial was on air 90 years ago

Personality was important  

• Ronald Raegan – started job as radio broadcaster at WOC and WHO, known as Great  Communicator  

• Edward R. Murrow – famous radio recorder who brought WWII into living rooms across  America  

o Reported from London during air raid – gave play-by-play of what happened,  heard everything  

Is there still radio audience?

• Depends what you call radio now because people migrating toward online/mobile  streaming  

• Challenge is getting content to where audience is

• SERIAL by Sarah Koenig – each season is new investigative piece, does not sound scripted  even though it is = super effective  

o A lot better numbers than snowfall

o Missing: interview of witness, no contact with family of victim

o Social media backlash  

o White privilege created skewed context – everyone involved in story came from  diff cultures and background than the reporters. How could they report on other  cultures?

How digital media is evaluated

• Audience size: old standard was page views, now it’s unique visitors – person visiting  from specific device (phone, laptop, etc.)

• Bounce: not valuable, people who immediately leave page have bounced from the site • Stickiness: people who arrive on site, stay on site and then click again to stay on same  site. The longer they’re active on page or site, the more valuable

• Big data: audience accepts tracking cookies and/or registers, shows browser activity for  the last hour

Week 5  

Dan Rather 

• “My first big break”

• Made news station more competitive  

• 1961 – Gulf of Mexico hurricane

• Radar picture of Texas on hair to show hurricane

• CBS saw coverage and then hired Rather  


• Audience using Facebook for news because they didn’t have cable

• Reporter stand-ups are controversial  

Still vs. Video – which one is more memorable?

• Our brain processes still and video differently  

• Photo

o Can make things look like they happened differently based on the timing in which  it was taken

o Can stir up many conclusions

o Cannot show transition

o Has no sound – no sense of what it was like to be there  

• Video  

o Shows the truth and proof within seconds

TV News

• Hybrid version of old platforms: it marries audio and image into combination that  captures the audience that once belonged to newspapers, news magazines, and radio • News coverage required by law – need broadcasting license  

TV stories that mesmerized the country

JFK assassination 

• TV proved it can do serious news

• First president to be majorly covered on television

First gulf war 

• Sadaam Huessein

• Operation Desert Storm

• CNN producer Ingrid Formanek recalls resisting the pressure from both Iraq and the US • Producer creates way to use telephone to report in another way  

• Play-by-play out of a hotel window

Story arc: describes what the audiences knows about the story  

• At beginning: audience seeks basic information

• At peak: audience knows most of the facts

• At the end: the audience understands the sequence of events

Options at beginning of story arc 

• Use social media to let your audience know you are covering the story. Promote coverage  on the mobile and online sites.  

• From your main site, link to the best version of the story. (story that you’re creating is a  news blog)

• Create a news blog and time stamp updates (ex. guardian index) – taking most interesting  stuff from social media and showing that to your audience on news page

• Post revised story as soon as it can be updated, add multimedia when it becomes  available

Options at peak of story arc 

• Audience expectation is changing. Viewers know the basic facts, now production quality  becomes more important. – content, clarity, just the important stuff and not the extra  stuff that is minor

• Trim the least interesting or incorrect detail and reorganize the information. The most  important and most interesting content should be at the top of the story  Options at the end of the story arc 

• The facts of the story are well known. Production quality and context become paramount  Telling stories online 

• Make it easy for people to find the story by maximizing search engine optimization (SEO)  using the headline and URL and social media optimization (SMO) by writing effective  social media posts

• Social media is a promotional tool and a tool to locate content

• Covering breaking news isn’t as easy as it appears: don’t be paralyzed  • Verify, verify, verify

• There is no one story. There are different versions of ta story developing at different  speeds (news velocity) on different platforms

• The arc of a story is different depending on which platform the viewer is seeing it. • One news story doesn’t change over time

o Transparency – be clear about what you know, what you don’t know, and where  you got the information.

News story characteristics that change overtime 

• Speed  

• Accuracy  

• Clarity

• Context

• Craftsmanship  

Distributed content 

• Go where audience is  

• Take advantage of push alerts

• Stories, or versions of stories may exist only on certain platforms

FB Live 

How is Facebook live different from covering Ferguson in 2014?

• Anyone with a smartphone can go live (ex. #blacklivesmatter)

• Live (moderated) interactive conversations with viewers

• It can potentially be monetized (the rules are changing on social media

Experimenting with FB live  

• Facebook Live works best when audiences have a clear incentive to be engaged, rather  than simply watching passively  

• It’s still not perfect

o Archiving and indexing (brand vs. location)

o Fb live or periscope need to be organic to the story. What can the audience  contribute?

o Hard to engage younger audiences  

Monetizing social media 

• Underwriting by social media platforms

• Live streams can be sponsored

• Twitter allows pre-roll ads on video

• Fb and snapchat will allow native advertising in feeds

• Breaking news faces the greatest challenge for monetization because advertisers may not  want to be associated with potentially distasteful content

Native advertising vs. branded content 

o Native advertising: content produced by the advertiser advertising that is made to  look like the news coverage a viewer would find elsewhere on a news site or in  publication  

o Branded content: actual reporting done for a client (not for the audience) that  appears with a client’s logo on it  

o Branded content example: Sully (movie trailer) – real event that had movie  created after it, made FOR advertiser  

o Native advertising example: Marriott story of the plane landing on the Hudson o NY times does native advertising but does not do branded content

o content and CNN do branded content. CNN does not use news teams to do  branded content, they have a different division called Courageous to differentiate  Polarization of story styles

• Start-ups like Mashable and NowThis are creating short video stories for time-starved  audiences. Legacy media like the Washington Post, CNN and NBC are following their lead • Other start-ups like Vice media are creating long form content for information-starved  viewers. Their main competition is streaming entertainment video like Netflix and Hulu • ***It’s been difficult for medium length pieces to get traction because of inconsistent  pacing and production value

Week 6  

The innovation report 

• To be a digital success, the legacy product can’t be the priority, even if it makes more  money.

• Disruption: economic pressure - digital native companies are taking customers and  revenue from legacy news orgs by producing more accessible product, even though it  may be of lower quality. Making product more convenient for end user, if its not as good • Occasional success isn’t enough, even if it wins tons of awards

• Audiences aren’t seeking out the news, publications need to engage viewers

• Don’t get Buzzfeeded (Don’t let an aggregator get more traffic than you do with your  own material) – Buzzfeed takes content taken by NY Times, repackage with better social  media optimization and get 10X viewers with content from NY Times

• Product innovation requires journalists and technologists to work side-by-side • Building audience requires marketers and journalists to work side-by-side The innovation challenge

• Planet Money Makes a T-Shirt started out with a very successful Kickstarter campaign  o Based on a book, the idea was to do online video and radio-style audio o Kickstarter campaign with goal of $50,000 raised $590,000

o They used Lean Startup methodology, looking for feedback

o They spent a month asking their audience what they wanted to know

o Constant feedback drove the reporting a development of the story

Week 7  

• Part of being journalist is being part of what is causing haywire and still being able to do  your job – thing is, you get better at it the more you do it

2 types of intellectual property: refers to creations of the mind like inventions, literary and  artistic works, symbols, names, images and designs in commerce

Industrial property: which includes inventions (patents), trademarks, industrial designs, and  geographic indications of source.  

Copyright: which includes/protects literary and artistic works such as novels, poems and plays,  films, musical works, artistic works such as drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures, and  architectural designs

• Does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect  the way these things are expressed

DMCA: Digital Media Standards: can go to them and sue for the internet providing access to your  content without permission

Myth or Fact 

• If it’s on the internet, anyone can use it – myth: copyright laws

• 30-second rule/300-word rule – can use 30 seconds of song and that’s legal same with  300 words of text: myth

• Acknowledgment of the source makes using something okay – difference between  acknowledging source and getting permission, myth

Fair use: using someone information or content but acknowledging the source Andy Warhol: transformative – Marylyn Monroe in different effects/colors in 4 tiles • Used this because he was expressing how she was becoming a celebrity, he has purpose  behind the work

Shepard Fairey: derivative – Obama effect picture that he drew with red and yellow and blue • Lied said he didn’t remember where he found the picture, it was just there and was  convenient to use but it was in a publication, so he did “steal” it

Creative commons – a system to let people decide when and how to share their intellectual  property online

• Creative commons license: when people started sharing things on the internet, people  thought everyone should be able to use everything/take it from anywhere and use it.  Some people believed otherwise. Creative Commons was created so people could  personalize their content (ex. if you’re non-profit, you can use my music, but you can’t if  you’re for profit.)

• Defined: when people would share content online, people agree that it should be  available to everyone

• Unlimited: anyone can do whatever they want with it

• Non-commercial: you can use it only if you’re not making money off it • Commercial: must pay for rights

Times are changing

Experts on social media are driving coverage of story 

• You have to find way to make your content stand out

• Reporters used to just gather news and write about it and produce and pick the right  videos and pictures to present

• Journalists have to reach out to other people for their photos and get some of their  important information from social media

Aggregation - Process of gathering, curating and linking content produced by others  • What sustains the model of journalism today, you don’t have to report every little detail  yourself  

Examples of aggregated work 

1. The Huffington Post

a. Ariana Huffington - expert in human networking – recruited a network of celebrity  bloggers, creating a central location for the bloggers to reach an audience.  Journalism was not the original goal. Most bloggers unpaid

b. Comments are an important component of Huffington Post because it provides  significant amount of site traffic

c. Weeding out spam and offensive comments with “trolls” is done with technology  software and with use of volunteer “traffic wardens”

2. Buzzfeed

a. Curates material from across Web and often packaging it better than the original  = maximizing SEO

b. Rapidly expanding newsroom to create original reporting

c. Content is designed to be shared = maximizing SMO

d. Strong video presence. Planning to separate news and entertainment sites.  e. Walks on the line of copyright – because they take news from other sources, but  how directly were they taking the information, spent a lot of time getting sued 3. Yahoo News

a. Primarily curates content from wire services like Associated Press and Reuters.  Producing an increasing amount of the original content.

b. Try to find 5 top headlines that are so interesting that you will click on and keep  reading (verticals)

4. TheWeek.com

a. Curates content from across the Web and publishes in print and online, including  with an iPad app.  

b. Emphasis on quality of curation

c. Includes entertainment and celebrity news

d. Primary revenue is from print.  

5. Example #5 – The Daily Beast (if you want an aggregated story, you want the daily beast  to do it***)

a. Stories and videos are curated from a wide variety of sources by knowledgeable  editors

b. Hard news in mixed with celebrity news

c. Killed their app to concentrate on web distribution

d. A venture into print failed with they bought Newsweek magazine and failed to  revive it. Editor Tina Brown resigned.  

Trends with aggregated content producers 

1. Being multi-platform  

a. Huffington Post started online TV channel

b. TheWeek makes most of its revenue from print product but has excellent iPad  app  

c. The Daily Beast experimented with extending its brand to a print product  (Newsweek) and hosting events  

2. Aggregation + standout original reporting - Credibility is created by producing original  content  

a. Yahoo!, the Daily east and HuffPO have large growing newsrooms

b. HuffPO – first Pulitzer win by digital native news org  

UGC: User Generated Content 

• Not just digital  

• Using audience to help you report the story

• Using source to help you get accurate information & reporting

The Pitch – crowdsourcing – WNYC and the price of beer

• Combines ugc with interactive graph (map)

• WYNC/The Brian Lehrer Show: Are You Being Gouged? (price gouged) • Results: lettuce/beer/milk

• Reporters asked people to compare these three items: address of place, price RSS Feed: Really Simple Syndication Feed

• Way to use audience’s experiences and use them in a story

• Helps users get access to content online

TVD – Dan Victor reporting Discovery Channel shooting 

• Asked people what they saw and where they were through twitter DM of those tweeting  about the shooting

• Used their experiences to build story while Washington Post sent reporters to the scene  – takes way too long, won’t get the first story

• TVD helicopter was there

• Reported off social media

• Dan victor learned:

o Sending reporters to a scene is invaluable  

o Crowdsourcing enabled BYT to find stories that walking through the flood  wouldn’t have produced, especially stories about those being displaced by the  flood damage

o Also, enabled NYT to find stories they didn’t know to look for (Book Teacher  woman)

Story of Rich and Jeff’s excellent Steelers Adventure 

o In Indianapolis, Columbus and Detroit

o Fan writes Newsletters after games – play-by-play of game in point of view of fan o Newsletter of watching game at home – family pictures, play-by-play form home  POV

o Goes to Detroit for another game – paid Jedd for recognition of his story, cost of  employee interacting with audience that provides info

• Curation makes crowdsourcing work

• Not showing everything, choosing the best and most important parts

Everyblock vs. Muni Diaries 

• Everyblock – info about community you live in (not as vital and it is irrelevant) • Muni Diaries – people share personal transportation experiences  

o Writers send in their offerings and writers curate it and publish it

o Niche audiences – why does Muni Diaries thrive?: interesting  

• Pressure on journalists to compete with “amateurs” (the everyday person) because of  their extensive access to cheap, remote access to information

• Evolution: Photographers can sign up to be called when they’re near the scene of a story  a reporter or news organization wants to cover through this website


• UGC is not free – content must be edited, verified, and citizen journalists need to be  recognized for creating or inspiring content

• Comments are vital because they drive traffic and may also product more important  information  

• Citizen journ is most successful when part of organic interaction of motivated community • Part of job of journalist today is moving between being an editor and content creator • Users contribute very high quality content, but they do it for their own reasons on their  own schedule  

• To consistently produce quality, objective content on regular schedule is necessary to pay Week 8

• Community Standards: Who is harmed by the story? Who benefits form the story? If the  community benefits, then by how much? Making the tough choice between being a  responsible journalist or a companionate human being.  

• Deception: Intentional (Train wreck reenactment example) (Sharks in floods example) &  Unintentional (Media organizations parodies example)  

• Transparency: Be upfront and honest about what you report on  

• Plagiarism: Using work of others without attribution  

• Attribution: Naming and linking to the source of information used in story  • Digital Manipulation: Moving or removing elements present in a picture or audio file  Living with Prader-Willi Syndrome – By Maisie Crow 

• Piece encouraged her to go to grad school

• Reason for the story: to show light on Prader-Willi Syndrome, see Max as a  threedimensional person; viewer gets to see what is happening firsthand and learning  about Max’s specific behavior, not just an overall, and why it is happening Ethics

Community Standard – NYT Lens blog: Tyler Hicks in Nairobi 

• Ran into a mall shooting with his camera; wife encouraged him  

• Photo of woman bleeding profusely ran in NYT and Nairobi newspaper  • Similar to Las Vegas shooting (proximity to event matters)  

• Executive editor for Nairobi newspaper got fire ???? blamed for being insensitive  • What is appropriate to show?  

• Making the tough choice between being a responsible journalist or being a  compassionate human being.

• The proximity factor  

• Have a plan, don’t wait for it to happen then decide  

• Ask: do I want to answer the phone calls if I run this photo? If you hesitate, don’t run it. Plagiarism

Jayson Blair—New York Times

• plagiarized and fabricated stories

• covered DC shooting story, getting details nobody else was getting

• covered story about woman serviceman who was captured in Iraq. Story about her  homecoming in West Virginia. Hadn’t turned in an expense in three months, he never left  Brooklyn. Pulled up photo archive on his computer and saw proof of plagiarism and him  lying

• NYT assigned reporters to investigate him  

• **Problem comes from reporters under pressure and take shortcuts on deadlines. Even  more common with newsrooms who have limited resources

Cutting corners

Brian Walski LA Times, embedded in Iraq  

• Manipulated the photos to show soldier motioning at him, cloned soldier from one  picture to another, gets caught and someone calls the LA Times ???? fired

• Problem: credibility, reputation is huge

Attribution (or lack there of)

Kendra Marr – works for Politico

• Unattributed text found in seven transportation stories, all on completely different  topics, produced for Politico over a three-week period  

• Copy and pasted the entire story, gets called out for it ????fired

Unintentional Deception

Erik Wemple – not a case of lazy reporter who cut corners

• Breaking news—train derailment  

• Pictures from Flickr  

• The photos are all different, the middle photo is a model train (a guy reenacted the train  wreck in his basement and shared it online)

Digital Manipulation

Allen Detrick – 2008 Pulitzer finalist for Children of the Underground Railroad (story of runaway  children being saved from abuse)

• Was caught digitally altering photos ???? fired

• Credibility of most his work was compromised, no mainstream US journalism  organization would publish his work

• Digitally altered baseball photo Ohio – 5 players died in bus crash, told to get photo. But  there were 7 photos showing legs, but only 1 without legs, company looked into his  photo archive and got caught


Clarence Williams – won Pulitzer for photo essay on plight of young children with parents  addicted to drugs and alcohol

• Reason he didn’t run to social services: goes to the greater community good, lets you  know it happens to thousands of kids not only one family  

• This is an important story, happened in every city in the United States back when it was  shot and in present day

• It is a bigger story that resonates with more people

Week 9  

Community standards – Todd Maisel 

• Photojournalist at NYU who saw smoke and ran to twin towers where 9/11 attack  occurred

• Took photo of ex-coworker David, broke friendship because he crossed the line and  became personal

DART: center for journalism and trauma – helps journalists with PTSD from what they’ve  covered, recover

Breaking news & documenting violence

• Does violence affect journalists?  

• Should journalists protect viewers from the “truth?”  

o To an extent; need to be honest about what happened (don’t sugarcoat) but also  need to remember what you are reporting  

• Does proximity make a difference?

• Does social media change the equation?  

o Yes, more access  

• How aggressive should a journalist be in covering breaking news?

Boston bombing  

John Tlumacki 

• Took gruesome/real images that made many papers

• Ran toward explosion, not away – distinction between professional journalist and citizen  journalist (citizen journalist would not run toward bombing)

• Created relationship after bombing with victims because it was therapeutic for him and  the victims – wrote additional story of Celeste (mother) and Sydney (daughter) to follow  up with them

o Celeste had her legs amputated

o Sydney got shard of debris shot into her leg

Jeff Bauman and the Boston Cowboy

• Image of man with half of his leg blown off and man in cowboy hat pushing him in wheel  chair to safety

• How much is too much? ???? cropped out blown off portion of leg to “protect” the  audience  

Eye tracking photojournalism

• With professional photojournalism…

o The pictures were twice as likely to be shared

o Highest rating  

o Most memorable

o More time spent on average looking at them  

o 90% of people could tell difference in quality

o Great storytelling  

Rexnord Industries - workers asked to train their replacements at Rexnord Industries • NYT wanted to a story on workers about what it is like to be outsourced  • when the jobs were outsourced to Mexico they were able to reduce the price that they  would pay people  

• Not only is the company sending the jobs away but they are asked to train the workers  that are going to replace them  

• Shannon has a son and a daughter, she was supporting her kids and her grandchild with  her job  

• The company was trying to get the jobs to go to Mexico and also not attract a lot of  attention  

• Mark Elliot volunteers to train the replacement workers and gets $5,000 bonus and ($5  hour raise) to do so

• Reporting this story is not easy because Rexnord has no reason to let journalists in to  cover the story  

• This story was done in secrecy

Week 10  

What does global warming look like? Showing sense of scale while documenting the largest  glacier calving ever filming in Chasing Ice 

• Waiting for gigantic iceberg to break off  

• Answers the question, “Why should I care?” perfectly  

• As big as entire lower part Manhattan falling over and breaking apart  • Largest witnessed calving ever recorded

Principles of good storytelling  

• Show, don’t tell****

• Gerrymandering – the way legislators tell where demographic groups live like republicans  and democrats, draw out different groups demographically in a computer system, North  Carolina accused of not doing this

• Michael Li - senior redistricting counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU school  of law

Online graphics

• Data visualization: when I’m seeing pattern, graphic representation that illustrates the  data patters and relationship. Some news orgs use data scraping. (visualization - data is  blob of numbers and doesn’t make sense, program computers to collect data, cleaning  data set like comparing apples to apples, testing hypothesis against the data and looking  at patterns)

• Data scraping: Collecting data and then organizing it on something like an excel  spreadsheet. Can then test hypothesis  

• Interactive design: keeps the viewer engaged with participation and allows the viewer  and choose how to view data

• Data visualization vs. interactive design: data visualization is when you see data  illustrated based on pattern and relationships, but interactive design is when you can  influence the data displayed and test our different factors by clicking things, moving stuff,  excluding/including stuff.

Data scraping and visualization examples 

• Wind map to show hurricane patters

• Political maps to show the way people voted in an election

Data visualization examples 

• NYT Mariano Rivera pitcher interactive

• National geographic, A Season of Concussions  

• Fivethirtyeight.com and theupshot.com – statistical analysis of sports outcomes and  political polls

Interactive graphics example 

• NYT – How bad is the problem of opioids?

Why so much uncertainty in this election? 

• The move to mobile – no land lines to call and get numbers on who you’re voting for,  illegal to call your personal cell because they’re using your data plan and you’re charged.  People wouldn’t answer their phone. Online phones are self-selecting, difficult to  randomly distribute polls.

• More undecided voters than ever

• The mystery of the ‘likely voter’ – those who did vote had larger sway  Cross-platform presentation – NYT The Inside History of ‘Where are ü Now’

Week 11  

John Kasbe – Chukke 

• Chukke Johns -- homeless on the streets of San Francisco. Also plays the guitar.  • How did he end up being homeless? -- he’s a really big “pack rat”  

• The homeless outreach teams pays for Chukke’s housing.  

• Chukke is depicted as a 3 dimensional person -- thought really depressing thoughts but  has not acted on them. Sees hope in his future.  

• Has a job in soup kitchen.  

• Audio - cutting between interviews to pick up natural sounds. Covers up inconsistencies  (changes clothes in scenes). Very intricate details (editing).

Using detail to tell stories

Crows - READ

• Author Dan Barry uses a strong central character and follows her experiences to open  and close the story  

• Little old lady (Ms. Joy Sacopulos) driving a giant Cadillac, pistol in the front seat, birds and blooms magazine in the back seat and takes pistol and fires around over a tree to  scare away the birds. She joined the Terre Haute Crow Patrol after seeing a car so  thoroughly coated with droppings that its driver had to steer with door open and head  peering out

• Union Hospital – spent more than $100,000 on crow clean-up, which included power washing the parking lots

• Clabber Girl baking powder company – shoveled 4,000 pounds of crow poop off top of  building

Animals in Zanesville - READ

• Experienced storytellers know this: show don’t tell. They use detail to draw comparisons,  then use it to show differences in scale and impact

• Reporters may have a point of view, but detail doesn’t have an opinion Maisie Crow “A Life Alone” 

• Wanted to learn how to use detail as a metaphor

The power of detail

• Fake news: We Tracked Down A Fake-News Creator In The Suburbs. Here’s What We  Learned (audio)

• So gullible he could make money out of it. 6 figures a year of news that the doesn’t even  believe in. Profit motive not ideology.  

Alternative story-telling

Darn Archer 

• Introduction on his website so people can see what he’s talking about  • Does it as a comic

• John S. Night Fellow

• 1. Interviews

• 2. Oral testimonies – visual advantage, see who he’s talking about

• 3. Visual expressions

• 4. Drawing “Objectivity” – believable way so he’s not throwing audience off track by  doing something so crazy that it doesn’t look believable  

• 5. Narrative Data visualization  

Sebastian Vega – sketchnote from ONA17 (Online News Association)

• Visual aids to help understand large amounts of data and information

Man-made earthquakes: Fact or Fiction 

• Illustration is becoming an increasingly common tool for investigative reporters who want  their stories to be more accessible  

• Reveal News: Man-made earthquakes: Fact or Fiction?

• Oklahoma more chronic to have earthquakes because of fracking

• Disposal wells are what create the pressure underground and cause the earthquakes Broken Shield project – California Watch

• How CA handles mental patients

• Normal looking women but has developmental issues, assisted living home, acted weird  with human contact, mother isolated her, she was pregnant when she came home,  accused family of incest but she wasn’t home when she got pregnant so she was raped  by someone in the facility, mother didn’t want the family identified in any way  • Tells story with the graphic illustrations  

• Jennifer’s Room 

• Most effective way to tell this story would have been to have the real mother and  daughter in the story as a video to be effective and more believable but they were  compelled to tell the story even though the mother didn’t want any personal information  about the family to become public information. They still made the story effective and  real.

What IS the Higgs Boson? Minutephysics NYT 

• The guys who did this won the Nobel prize

• Interactive drawing – bc audience more likely to be engaged if it’s interactive John and Joe – Story Corps

• Using animation to help build audience

• Story about father who had two sons, one was a firefighter, the other a police officer

• Firefighter followed his footsteps, but they both passed when 9/11 attack happened

Week 12  

Joplin Tornado 

• Multimedia inspired and helped to tell the story

• Selecting the best characters to detail and create compelling narrative o Hannah Ward – “Is pink bad?”

o Donna Barnes – detail as transition (Pentecost: whosoever shall call on the name  of the Lord shall be saved)

o Ruben Carter – defining person with detail  

o Devastation – resisting the impulse to overwhelm with detail  

Long-form journalism 

• Digging in to reveal a great story within a story  

o Tightly edited writing/images/video based on extensive in-depth reporting using  multiple sources

o Character-driven narrative accented with carefully chosen detail  

The Twinkles by Nyier Abdou – WATCH  

• Using character to drive a story  

• Andrea Lipkus (and her best friend Gianna Antico)

o Ambitious  

o Facing a challenge

• Dangerous sport

• Show, don’t tell: let the characters drive the story  

• Nyier Abdou – NJ native, worked as reporter in Cairo for more than 6 years for  publications like Newsday, BBC online, Cairo Newspaper Al-Ahram Weekly o In 2008, she was first reporter at Ledger to be trained in video journalism and has  documented issues from political campaigns, gay marriage, medical marijuana  and the controversy over who should play George Washington crossing the  Delaware

o Now a freelancer, teacher and mom

o Multiple Emmy winner, video storytelling coach for the National Press  Photographers Association  

o Thing that made this video stand out the most was high quality of her writing Takeaways 

• Long-form  

o Audiences expect to be able to consume news two ways: as convenient quick  reads and in highly sophisticated in-depth packages

o News orgs are working hard to create presentations that will bring spectacle to  multiple platforms, especially TV, online and mobile  

o Pew reports that a new audience is growing in the evening as people discover in depth journalism. This is competing with time spent on entertainment (want you

to watch hour long video on news rather than binge watching Netflix. Want it to  be equally as entertaining and engaging.)

Wright’s Law by Zach Conkle 

• About teacher – amazing teacher, never bored, don’t fall asleep, entertaining, “exploding  with fun”

• He has a special needs boy as well as another daughter – angry at God for making his son  hurt the way he does

o Was “born blind” but then found out he could see and taught him sign language  and the first thing his son said to him was, “Daddy, I love you”


• video about 20 yr old girl  

• Girl raised on a ranch and is a cowboy  

• “ranch life doesn’t matter to the everyday person” bc it’s not corporate  • addresses broader issues, gender equality  

Gnome Sweet Gnome 

• Reporter Boyd Huppert and photojournalist Chad Nelson of KARE take craftsmanship to a  new level  

• Little old lady who paints leprechauns and gnomes – famous for Norwegian folk tales • Her welcome gnome in her front yard was stolen, called the cops and they said she  probably would never see her gnome before  

• Her husband and her went to eat at Arby’s, looked across the street and found her  gnome outside a record store, the owner said she bought it at a garage sale, person  before that got it at a garage sale  

• Chad spent all of thanksgiving day working on this

Journalists making movies

Louie Psihoyos: The Cove 

• Found out that Japanese fishermen were hoarding wales in a cove and butchering them  and selling them for meat

• The Japanese lie about it and keep it so quiet that not many know about what they do  and they’re hiding something so they need to go and find out everything secretly on their  own

Lauren Greenfield: Queen of Versailles 

• Building most expensive house in history of the US

• Started out as photo project, but then she realized people needed to hear this woman  o Book project to documentary film

• But the market crashes so they should change their lives

How is technology changing long-form storytelling? 

• Just like breaking news reports, the long-form storyteller has a bigger, better and cheaper  toolkit

Going Hollywood

Making a war movie realistic 

• The Hurt Locker

• Create such intense form of living and then when you come back to the real world you  don’t feel as close to those who you used to be close to before

Restrepo, War and Infidel

• War documentary  

Really long-form journalism  

The accidental movie

• Junger: Writing a book and shooting a video

O.J. Made in America

• Directed by Ezra Edelman for ESPN Films and their 30 for 30 series, which was released as  a five-part miniseries and in theatrical format, then streamed on Netflix and Hulu Takeaways 

• After a decade of exposure to multimedia reporting, journalists have gotten much better • The toolkit is better, too

Week 13

Ben Garvin and his Magic Beard 

• Wanted to learn how to do stop action photography – decided to shave off his beard  • Entertaining video that looked like his beard was alive and moving  

Good reporters - An award-winning team in action covering their community • Boyd Huppert – Edward R. Murrow Award (10+ x)

o Regional Emmy (70+ x)

• Johnathan Malat – NPPA TV photographer of the Year (3x)

o People call him for story ideas

o Man goes around neighborhood and takes walks twice a day and stops for a break  and sits on chairs at neighbors’ houses/lawns 

o 95, veteran

o Honored to have him sit on their lawn  

o Old man befriending 3 year old neighbor, soooo close and then a year later they  went back and reunited them  

o Craftsmanship of this video: little boy on the ground when filming, microphone all  the time so you don’t miss any spontaneous dialogue or behavior

Why this story works (Huppert)

• Good reporting that provides context in a clear way

• Letting the characters tell the story

o Huppert: I tend to stay out of the way in my stories because they’re not about  me, they’re about the people in the stories

• Text adds detail not covered in the video

Embracing change

Steve Mellon 

• Not too proud to fail and learn  

• Hardest thing for experienced journalists: to take your mistakes and learn something  from them comfortably

• Takes family trip to see great wall of china with 3 adopted Chinese children and wife • He’s now a documentary filmmaker

User experience and design

Poynter’s Eyeytrack studies 

• Cameras on glasses: one camera looking at what their eyes are looking at, another is  watching how their eyes move the whole time

• Use this for TV, mobile, etc.  

• These studies are a way to directly observe how people interact with news. Heat maps  show us how viewers interact online, this kind of study lets us see that behavior in real  time

National Press Photographers Association (NPPA): people recognize the quality of images made  by professional photojournalists

• Prefer professional over amateur, because of the story they create with image Quantify user behavior (metrics)

• Hits/views/ page impressions

• Stickiness (good) – opened story, read it for a while, then you went to something else on  sight because you liked it so much, loyal

• Bounce (bad) – gets onto page, says no, then navigates off it

• Unique users – refers to the number of distinct individuals requesting pages from the  website during a given period, regardless of how often they visit. Visits refer to the  number of times a site is visited, no matter how many visitors make up those visits. • diff btwn actual viewers and unique users

• Pre-roll ads, banner ads, branded content and big data. How many ad blockers? – people  stayed so much longer when there were no pre-roll ads


Poynter’s Eyetrack studies: major findings 

• People like hierarchy

• Readers, in print and online, tend to enter stories through a dominant element, usually  the largest headline or the biggest photo. Captions are also major entry point o ex. if photos are the same size, viewers gravitate to the image with the largest  face (beware of headshots) – Little photo with big face will be looked at more  than a bog photo with little face

• Reader behavior is diff on section fronts and within stories – people don’t want to scroll  on desktop, but mobile you want to scroll. Change your site with different platforms  when you need to.

The big picture

• Designers are digital tour guides, making choices that direct viewers through a story • The more interactive the experience is, the more the viewer stays engaged • Viewers are usually having an active experience when they view stories on a desktop  computer or mobile device

• …BUT some publications are also experimentation with passive content (like the NYT  Timescast and WSJLive)

• Active experience: watching game on TV but chatting with friends on phone through  twitter and what not to talk about the game, clicking story to read

The interactive experience - mobile

• Across platforms there are two main “bailer points” – the first is 10 seconds in, the  second is about 80-90 seconds into a story. They continue about every 90 seconds: if you  pull up newspaper page, image is read first, then headline, then caption under photo,  then story

• How does producer keep the viewer from bailing? By offering a “gold coin” – giving them  content that is so interesting and engaging that they will keep going for another 90  seconds. How long should media be for multimedia? ???? has to be good, if its 90 seconds  good, great. If 5 minutes long? Has to be good every second of the video  

o Buzzfeed is good at this, good throughout and then something right at the end to  get people to enjoy it so much that they want to then share the story

• Eyetrack measures what people do now, now what they can be trained to do: no  viewership? ???? bad, or don’t know how to show audience what is good about your  content

• For digital news, Eyetrack tends to focus more on index pages than interior pages, is that  a good assumption?

Poynter’s Eyetrack – how does it apply across platform? 

• It shows that design matters – always go back and are interested in all stories • Viewer behavior is remarkably consistent across platforms  

• It demonstrated digital news design is evolving – acknowledge that not everything works,  not engaging audience? ???? figure out right way and stop doing it the wrong way Evolving digital design 


• NYT desktop

• NYT ipad app – hierarchy of stories  

• NYT iphone (NYTNow app) – summary of news  

• National Geographic iPad app – one thing on front that is so compelling that will suck in  audience  

• NPR: active vs. passive iPad – effective, even though it only works on an iPad • NPR: iphone app: active vs. passive

• A viewer watching two screens – tv and mobile – is both an active viewer (mobile) and  passive (TV)

• Audience engagement is changing platform hierarchy. More than ever, it is mobile first. Being Curious –woman raped by police officer becomes karate instructor because she wants to  teach people how to fight and not be a victim.  

• Point of the video was to show how you’re interested the whole time because of the  style change and videography chosen every minute or so to keep you engaged NYT shows the way you talk reveals where you’re from 

• #1 story because of how many people shared it

• bigger than boston marathon bombing

Connecting the dots

• quality content counts – lesson is that good content produces loyal audiences, and loyal  audiences create revenue

• user experience counts – disruption happens because in a world of content, viewers want  convenience, too

• less is more – from using detail to tell a story to choosing which items go into your  portfolio, good editing counts

• understand the business of journalism – understand revenue streams. Learn how to keep  good financial records. Use metrics to your advantage (stickiness vs. views), know how to  innovate

• audience engagement – viewers want the news when it’s convenient for them and where  its convenient for them. Story arc determines how you package and promote info • social media – its part of the job. Know how to crowd source and how to engage  audiences

• online identity – journalists with an audience are more valuable bc their followers extend  the reach of their work  

• embrace change – resistance is pointless. Being curious and learning new things is what  makes journalism exciting, terrifying and fun

Goals before you graduate 

• have an established online footprint that includes social media and a tightly edited  portfolio of your best work  

• that portfolio should include examples that show the range of things you can do, what  you do best, the work you want to do and it must have a signature element that will help  an employer remember you

• do an internship to prove that you will be a valuable employee and to find out if you even  like being a journalist

The Serengeti Lion – national geographic

• took 3 years to film

• all about the life of lions in the reserves that still exist in Africa  


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