What to teach in an intro digital journalism class: web writing, mobile, data, multimedia storytelling

Don’t expect to teach everything in one class – focus on a few components and leave some topics to advanced digital journalism classes.

Writing for the web: Effective web writing requires some special writing techniques. Students need to incorporate these techniques in (a) blog posts, (b) Twitter tweets and (c) social media reporting (Storify).

Mobile news reporting: Focus on the use of mobile devices such as regular digital camera, smartphones, tablets. Students need to create (a) audio story, (b) audio photo slideshow, (c) video story and (d) live-tweet story.

Data visualization: Students should be able to make use of popular web tools to create data visualization projects: infogr.am for Excel tabular data and Google Maps for customized maps.

Multimedia storytelling: Students need to be familiar with online contents sharing (e.g., embedding audio/video); students also need to practice digital multimedia reporting and work in groups on (a) event Storify project, (b) event live blogging and (c) create standalone multimedia story package.

Topics I will leave for a separate, advanced digital journalism class:

  • Advanced data visualization: advanced tools such as Tableau Public; and necessary coding knowledge to create customized data visualization. (see a post comparing Tableau Public and infogr.am)
  • Web metrics: Use Google tools to research for keywords and analyze web traffics.
  • Long-form digital storytelling: narrative techniques in long-form reporting project

About Mu Lin

Dr. Mu Lin is a digital journalism professional and educator in New Jersey, United States. Dr. Lin manages an online marketing company. He also manages MulinBlog Online J-School (www.mulinblog.com/mooc), a free online journalism training program, which offers courses such as Audio Slideshow Storytelling; Introduction to Social Media Marketing; Writing for the Web; Google Mapping for Communicators; Introduction to Data Visualization; Introduction to Web Metrics and Google Analytics.
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2 Responses to What to teach in an intro digital journalism class: web writing, mobile, data, multimedia storytelling

  1. I agree with your list. It’s close to what I have scheduled for this semester’s class. I’d be tempted to find ways to incorporate bigger data visualization projects, if I knew how to do those myself. But it would be, as you say, a lot to pack into one semester.

  2. Pingback: Multimedia Journalism | Clark College JOUR 111 Class Blog

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