This three-credit course introduces students to conceptualizing and producing content across multiple platforms--from Web sites to tablets and mobile devices-- by exploring essential concepts, tools and interactive story forms.
This course explores how the news industry is adapting to new technologies and ways to map or illustrate data and news. Students will also explore ways to add interactivity to audio and visual storytelling.
We'll explore all these tools and technologies within the journalistic context of pitching, reporting, producing data and interactive-rich news packages.
The course covers fundamental technical skills that will serve as the foundation for your interactive work at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
Students will leave this course with experience:
Students will also have experience telling meaningful and complete stories in interactive formats where space is at a premium.
Your work for this class should be your own original reporting. However, if you've done reporting for another class that you'd like to expand on in an interactive project, we encourage you to return to stories you know well.
Every story you produce for our class should include clear source information for any data or images that you did not produce yourself.
Sample data bases can be found here.
Pitch due: Friday, Sept. 25 at 10pm
Deliverables: Find a data story! It’s time to find a data-driven story. What subject areas are interesting to you? And what stories do you wanna tell? Answer the following questions:
Final due: Monday, Oct. 5 at 10pm
Pitch due: Friday, Oct. 9 at 10pm
Deliverables: Find a data story! It’s time to find a data-driven map story. What subject areas are interesting to you? And what stories do you wanna tell? Answer the following questions:
Final due: Monday, Oct. 19 at 10pm
Draft due: Oct. 30 at 10pm
Put together an outline of your materials and all the components you want to display.
Final due: Nov. 16 at 10pm
Draft due: Dec. 11 at 10pm
Create a paper prototype of the kind of coverage you would do for a major news event or enterprise story. This is both a coverage plan and wireframes of potential components.
If you don't have a story you want to do, here are some sample topics you can choose from:
Showing: During class week 15.
In assessing students' work, the instructor will focus on the following factors applicable to all assignments (specific criteria for each assignment will be detailed later):
Grading for individual assignments is based on the level of professionalism of the finished work: A being professional quality work with minimal editing required. B being good quality student work. C being unsatisfactory work. F being atrocious, unacceptable work.
Grading for the class as a whole will be based on your overall performance, with the weights of assignment and other grades as follows:
|In-class participation/professionalism/in-class exercises||20%|
I'm an interactive editor for Al Jazeera America, where I lead a team of coder-journalists and cover poverty-related stories. Before coming to Al Jazeera, I was a multimedia producer for NPR's Planet Money where I created interactives, data visualizations, videos and photographs to explain economic issues in visual ways. From 2009-2011 I worked for The Wall Street Journal in Asia and was the editorial lead for video content in the region. I worked with more than a dozen bureaus to create both breaking news stories, regular series and produced enterprising multimedia projects. My reporting in Asia includes stories about China's property market, the 2011 Japanese earthquake and climate change issues in Vietnam's Mekong Delta.
The way I teach is very informed by my work experience: I've hired and worked with a range of people — from freelance videographers, photographers, developers and writers to full-time reporters whose pitches I edit and hone. I will hold your assignments to a high standard and expect you to be working independently. I believe that this will prepare you for real newsrooms and help you deal with editors who are strapped for time and expect high-quality work. Don't be worried, I will still give you advice on your stories and we will workshop ideas in class to help guide your progress. But the goal is for you to come out of this not just with tech skills but also with an understanding of what might be expected of you in newsrooms.
It is a serious ethical violation to take any material created by another person and represent it as your own original work. Any such plagiarism will result in serious disciplinary action, possibly including dismissal from the CUNY J-School. Plagiarism may involve copying text from a book or magazine without attributing the source, or lifting words, code, photographs, videos, or other materials from the Internet and attempting to pass them off as your own. Please ask the instructor if you have any questions about how to distinguish between acceptable research and plagiarism.
In addition to being a serious academic issue, copyright is a serious legal issue.
Never "lift" or "borrow" or "appropriate" or "repurpose" graphics, audio, or code without both permission and attribution. This guidance applies to scripts, audio, video clips, programs, photos, drawings, and other images, and it includes images found online and in books.
Create your own graphics, seek out images that are in the public domain or shared via a creative commons license that allows derivative works, or use images from the AP Photo Bank or which the school has obtained licensing.
If you’re repurposing code, be sure to keep the original licensing intact. If you’re not sure how to credit code, ask.
The exception to this rule is fair use: if your story is about the image itself, it is often acceptable to reproduce the image. If you want to better understand fair use, the Citizen Media Law Project is an excellent resource.
When in doubt: ask.
By appointment or email me. Please allow 2-3 days for me to reply.
The lesson plan below is subject to change depending on the progress and success of the students in the class.
Read: Design Principles for News Apps & Graphics - ProPublica Which chart or graph is right for you? | Tableau Software
Read: Using Web Maps to Tell Your Story | ArcNews
Information Design (slides)
Read: Should journalists learn how to code? They already do. (And yes, they should) | Online Journalism Blog Read: Introduction to the Web by Scott Murray
HTML and CSS (slides)
Sample files to play with can be found here
Steal that code! (slides)
Learn CSS (slides) Id v. Class Float Fonts Color
Steal that code! continued — Github, uploading to hosting service (slides)
The story of you (slides)
Setting up your Wordpress site (slides)
Write 150-word bio Headshot categorize and gather your material
How to navigate Wordpress (slides)
Set up portfolio with with gathered content
Guest lecturer: Blair Hickman
Harness free tools and techniques to scrape websites and PDFs. (slides) Recognize how a web page structures and holds data, images and other information you might want to capture. Tap tools to analyze a page to determine how to scrape it. Scrape web pages with minimal coding. Transfer collected data to a CSV or Excel spreadsheet where it can then be analyzed.
Create a plan for how to cover a major news event during the initial breaking news and ongoing coverage. Decide your team and the skills you need and what each of them will be doing.
Plan an interactive project as part of your coverage and create a paper prototype or wireframe to explain your concept and how it will work.
You’ll present your idea in front of the class -- pretend they’re the editor of your publication -- in the final week.
Organize and practice your presentations
Each team presents their prototype in front of the class.
Coaches work one-on-one with students to guide them on projects and help problem-solve. Students are advised to consult a coach if they have tried something themselves and it hasn’t worked to their satisfaction.
Kirsti Itameri, Design, WordPress, Illustrator, Photoshop, Social Media – Newsroom. Office Hours: Tuesdays 6:30-8:30 pm or by appointment. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Malik Singleton, Data Storytelling, WordPress, HTML, CSS – Newsroom. Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday, 5:30-7:30 pm. Email: email@example.com
Nicholas Wells Data Storytelling, HTML, CSS, R -- Newsroom. Office Hours: Tuesday 6:00 - 8:30 pm. Email: Nicholasbwells@gmail.com