Archive for the ‘assigned work’ Category


The videos from Project 4

19 Dec 2008

All videos can be accessed directly from the links here:

Project 4: Video

If there’s a question mark after your name, it means your video is not here:


The assignment and grading criteria, as you know, are here.


Uploading the videos

6 Dec 2008

The YouTube channel for our class is ufjournalism.

The login and password information were e-mailed to you on Dec. 6. Please check your e-mail and don’t make me resend it to you.

The screenshot below shows that I expect you to title, describe and tag your video IN CONCERT WITH your team members to ensure that EACH video has a UNIQUE title.

If you have any questions about this, please post them as coments here.


Project 4: Video

15 Nov 2008

Details about the video project are online now.


Check the specification on your own point-and-shoot still camera. If it meets or exceeds these specs, you’re ready:

  1. Image stabilization (essential)
  2. Video at 640 x 480 at 30 fps (absolutely essential); video must include audio
  3. 2 GB (gigabyte) high-speed SD card or larger
  4. USB 2 output

If you do not have a suitable camera, please make every effort to borrow one. If you are unable to borrow one, please contact me immediately so we can make arrangements.


How to make a screenshot

15 Nov 2008

Some students have mentioned that they do not know how to capture an image from the computer screen. This is not hard to do, and it comes in handy.

Your first step when you don’t know how to do something should always be — Google! 😀 In this case, I Googled:

screenshot tutorial

I also tried:

how to make a screenshot

The top hit might not be the best tutorial out there, so make sure you glance at several before you settle down with one to learn.

These two tutorials (Windows and Mac in both) seem accurate and clear to me:

Once you have the screenshot, you will need to CROP it and RESIZE it. For the Zoho page layout, please make the width 700 pixels or LESS. The height is not important in this case if the width is correct.

> How to crop and resize the image.

If you do not have Photoshop on your own computer, then GO TO A LAB. You can use any CIRCA lab on campus — you are not limited to using Weimer labs. Every lab on campus has Photoshop installed.


Project 3: The wiki for your work

14 Nov 2008

The wiki we will be using is at Here is the HomePage of our wiki. You must be registered with Zoho to use it. You will need to sign in before you can write or edit in the wiki. I sent each of you an invitation to join about two weeks ago. If you can’t find the invitation and you have not registered yet, please e-mail me.

Everyone on your team will work together to write, edit and finalize the pages of your project at the wiki site. Your project editor will assign tasks to make sure the work is divided evenly.

The controls for the wiki should be easy for you to figure out — making a link, adding an image and so on are very similar to what you have been doing in all semester.

So, you already know how to write in this kind of environment. Now you’ll share the work and author all the pages as a team, rather than alone.

Project editors: Make sure EACH page is edited at least twice AND carefully fact-checked AND spell-checked. You can assign any of the team members (including you) to do this on any page.

Double-check ALL LINKS by clicking them to ensure that they go to the intended page.

Your Team’s Pages

Each team has five pages to complete. The pages have already been created for you in the wiki — but you must write and edit the content for each one.

Note that the TOP PAGE has a name that is simply the description of your topic. You will write the top page to introduce your topic to a general audience, equivalent to a regular daily newspaper audience. Imagine the audience as people who may or may not be interested in your topic when they arrive on your TOP PAGE.

DO NOT rename or alter the title of any page in your set of five. YOUR TEAM’S PAGES HAVE BEEN MADE FOR YOU. Do not create a new page.

Your team’s five pages are:

  1. Top page (introduction to your topic)
  2. Graphics
  3. Interviews
  4. Resources
  5. Reporting Team

1. Top Page

To introduce your topic to a general audience, you need to think of what would spark the interest of any reasonable person who MIGHT feel like finding out more about this topic.

Think about that. Anyone, young or old, rich or poor, parent or not a parent.

Someobody who would never care about this, no matter what, is not your audience. But the real audience — all people who MIGHT care — can be enticed to read more by your FIRST SENTENCE.

If your first sentence is boring, passive, obvious, or hard to understand, you will lose most of your audience immediately.

Therefore, I want an awesome, active, CLEAR first sentence.

I want a second sentence that adds more information and makes that potential audience even more interested in learning more.

And I want a third sentence that seals the deal: Persuade your readers to find out more. Convince them that you have something here that they will find original, new and interesting. Drive them to continue on to your other pages.

And then, one by one, tease each of the other four pages, with an explicit link to each one.

2. Graphics

An example of a correctly formatted Graphics page is HERE. Please follow the format shown.

To make a screen capture of your data visualization at Many Eyes, follow the instructions HERE.

Your graphics page should follow this exact pattern (just like the example):

  1. Introduce and LINK TO the Many Eyes visualization (text).
  2. Screen capture of the graphic from Many Eyes.
  3. Subheading: What the chart represents
  4. Explain what the chart represents (text).
  5. Subheading: About the data visualization
  6. Explain the data visualization and also LINK TO the appropriate page in Many Eyes that explains that type of visualization.

These six elements are shown in the example. Follow the example.

3. Interviews

An example of a correctly formatted Interviews page is HERE. Please follow the format shown.

  • Be sure to find an appropriate professional page for EACH one of your interview sources — to LINK at the bottom of this page, as shown in the example.
  • You will edit two different MP3 files. Each one must be between 30 and 60 seconds long. Name each MP3 file with the LAST NAME of the person interviewed. You will copy these into the Homework folder in the lab. I will upload them to a Web server for you. Please make sure each of your team’s MP3 files is correctly named, with NO SPACES and NO CAPITAL LETTERS in the filename.
  • NEW: Here are the instructions for inserting the two audio players.

4. Resources

An example of a correctly formatted Resources page is HERE. Please follow the format shown.

  • Your team should provide exactly six (6) different resources.
  • Each one must be a publicly accessible LINK.
  • No two resources can be from the same domain (e.g.,,, That is, I need to see resources from six different domains.
  • As shown in the example, use the exact title of the page as the linked text, and BOLDFACE the exact and correct name of the source organization in the text below that linked title.

Good and bad resources:

  • News media domains and articles by journalists are NOT ACCEPTABLE as resources. YOU are the reporter here. Do not copy other reporters.
  • Government, NGO (nonprofits) and foundation sites are often (but NOT ALWAYS) credible and acceptable resources.
  • Blogs and other privately authored pages are seldom (RARELY) credible and acceptable resources.
  • Wikipedia is NEVER an acceptable resource — any idiot already knows how to find Wikipedia. Your job is to select valuable resources that are not so obvious.

5. Reporting Team

This page provides a brief professional bio of EACH team member and clearly identifies which one is the project editor. Your bio must be less than 100 words, include your first and last name, your year (e.g., junior, senior) or expected month and year of graduation, AND your major, AND something about your professional goals or ambitions (e.g., “She hopes to become an editor at a magazine such as National Geographic Traveler“).

  • Put each student’s bio in a separate paragraph.
  • Boldface the student’s first and last name on first use.
  • You may include any student’s e-mail address, or all, or none. It’s up to you.
  • In your bio, you may link to your class blog, LinkedIn profile, or other professional page(s).

Any questions, please LEAVE A COMMENT here — so I am not asked the same question 17 times.


First ‘Many Eyes’ dataset

2 Nov 2008

The first step is to find a data set. Then clean it up in Excel so you can copy and paste it easily into Many Eyes.

Wait, I lied — FIRST, you have to register with Many Eyes. Do that immediately, because there may be a delay.

On the Upload Data page at Many Eyes, there is a simple illustration of how you will select the cells to copy in Excel (it’s in Step 1 there). After you have pasted your selection, you’ll see whether it looks correct (under Step 3). Next, you’ll type in a TITLE for your dataset, the source, a URL, and some tags. Finally, you will click Upload (at the bottom of the page).

After your dataset has been uploaded, you will select a visualization based on the story you want to tell with these data.

For convenience’ sake, I set up a Topic Hub called JOU 4341 class work. After you upload a dataset or create a visualization, ADD IT to ths Topic Hub so we can all find it easily.


Video assignment for your blog

10 Oct 2008

In the effort to promote your blog, you need to let people know about it — and make it seem interesting. I’m going to require you to make a video to promote your own blog. The video must be less than 1 min. 30 sec. You must appear in the video, talking to the camera. I would like you to use a Webcam so that you can practice the skill of interacting with a little beady eye sitting above your computer screen.

You should write out a script for yourself, but you should NOT read the script while making the video. It’s going to sound like reading if you do, and that would be bad. Very bad.

You should also adjust the lights in the room to make yourself look good. A lot of people shine a bright light on their face when they are using a Webcam, but this makes their face look flat and unnatural. Experiment with two lights, such as a desk lamp and a standing floor lamp. Position them to the side. If you position a floor lamp to shine on your hair, the result can look quite nice.

Make sure your voice is clear and easy to understand.

You might need to re-do the video five or six times before you get something decent. Please put in as much time as you need to produce a good end result.

If you have a MacBook, you can use iMovie to record with the built-in Webcam (info here; also, a video about how to do it in iMovie 08). In versions before iMovie 08, just open iMovie and do what you see in the image at left.

If you have a Windows laptop, you may have a built-in Webcam, and you may already have software for recording. If you have Windows, a Webcam, and no software, have a look at this free software. If you don’t have a Webcam, find a friend who does.

You will upload the video to both YouTube and Facebook. You will send me a direct link to the YouTube video, and you will send me a link on Facebook too. If your Facebook profile is private, you’ll have to show it to me in class.

You don’t need to post the video on your blog, although you can if you’d like to.