More information about your final projects

Most of you posted about your final-project plans, and in a few other cases I know what you are planning to do. I am a little concerned about how few of you have made contact with the key person you need to interview. If you have a project that you think is crashing and burning, please contact me immediately. I have some off-the-shelf projects you could easily do.

As I have told you, your project will comprise various components, the deadlines for which I am spacing out so that you don’t feel overwhelmed.

1. Your text story. You will write an 800- to 1,000-word feature story, in the form of an extended blog post, about a person, persons or organization involved in digital media of some sort. I am looking for interviews with at least three people as well as at least five links. Deadline: Sent to me by email as a Word file on Friday, Nov. 30, at 5 p.m.

2. Your slideshow. You will put together a slideshow comprising six to 10 photos that is either directly related to your story or that functions as a sidebar. You will post your photos to Flickr and create a slideshow as you did on our Flickr assignment earlier this semester. You will write a title and a caption for the set as a whole and for each photo individually. Unlike your earlier assignment, you do not have to interview people for this. But aim for variety and visual interest. Please do not create a slideshow consisting of the outsides of buildings, for instance. Deadline: Friday, Nov. 30, at 5 p.m. Send me an email with the link.

3. Your video. I have built into the schedule a full week for you to work on nothing but the video. So take a deep breath and relax. Your video can be directly related to your story, or it can function as a sidebar. The video should be two to five minutes long, with interviews with at least three named people. (No interviews with any unnamed people, please.) There should be B-roll in the form of video clips and still photos. There should be an introductory slide, and though I am not making it an absolute requirement, I think it will be better if you do a stand-up at the beginning. Other than having a friend shoot your stand-up, all shooting and editing must be done by you. The deadline is Friday, Dec. 7, at midnight. If there is demand — and by “demand,” I mean even one person — I will keep 171 Holmes open until midnight. Post it to YouTube and send me an email with the link.

Notice that with both the slideshow and the video, I’ve suggested that you can use them as sidebars to your main story. Let me give you an example of what I mean. Colin Young hopes to do his story on the Beer Advocate magazine and website. He could interview his main subjects for his video, essentially producing a video version of his story — that’s not a sidebar. Or he could interview three people about where they get their information about beer. That’s a sidebar. He could shoot some sort of beer-themed event for his slideshow. That’s a sidebar, too. There are many, many ways you can approach the video and the slideshow.

4. Putting it all together. Our last class meeting is on Wednesday, Dec. 5. That will be my deadline for sending you memos about recommended revisions to your blog posts and slideshows. Your final deadline is Tuesday, Dec. 11, at 10 a.m. Post your revised story to your blog. Embed the lead image from your slideshow and link it to Flickr, just as you did with your earlier assigment. Embed your YouTube video.

Also: Send me a brief (a paragraph or two) memo explaining how you used social media (most likely Twitter) as part of your reporting — whether it was finding sources or some other aspect. And after your post is live, use a Google map to link to it, just as we did with the dessert project.

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About Dan Kennedy

I am an associate professor of journalism at Northeastern University, and I'm using WordPress.com for my blog, Media Nation, as well as class websites.
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