News Judgment, Reputation, Engagement, Advocacy Spring 2012 Prof. Marie K. Shanahan University of Connecticut
What is news?• News is a report of recent events, of new information.• Reporting the news is a public service.• News originates in three ways: naturally occurring events, planned activities, and reporter enterprise.• “Explanatory” stories should also be included as a form of news.
CurrencyMore value is given to stories pertaining to issues ortopics that are in the spotlight of public concern ratherthan issues or topics that have little prevalence. Flickr photo by David Shankbone
Human InterestStories about individualsand groups of people andtheir problems, concerns,or achievements can stirempathy, interest andoccasionally, outrage, inthe reader or viewer.Human interest stories areoften the story behind thestory. Image by photoxpress.com
Explanatory Stories• The public benefits from professionally reported information explaining issues, processes, trends and events that affect their lives and communities.• Digital journalists can create interactive “crash- courses” on topics that are currently or repeatedly in the news, providing necessary background to give users reliable understanding.
Data Visualization• Can be a useful tool in an explanatory story.• Helps audience understand complex statistics and numbers.• Is used to communicate information clearly and effectively through graphical means.• Interactive maps are a common form of data visualization.
Multimedia StoryboardingThe best multimediastories are multi-dimensional.Contain elements ofaction, process, andpeople.Organize anexplanatory story witha storyboard.
What is a storyboard?• A visual sketch of your story/project, separated into different parts so it can be organized.• Pictures and words depict what users can see and do on every screen• Visual representation helps you define the scope of your project• Forces you to think about focus of your story.
Online StoryboardingDivide your story into logical parts:•Lead or nut graph – the introduction•Profiles of the main person or people in the story•The event or situation•Any process or how something works•Pros and cons•History of the event or situation•Other relatedtopics/hyperlinks/resources/conversation
Create a new blog post!• Open a new browser window and start a new post on our class blog.• Your post will have 3 sections: Reputation, Engagement, Advocacy. Use SUBHEADS.• Follow the instructions on slides 20-25 and answer the questions in BOLD TYPE.• Make sure to include a visual element in your post, and hyperlinks, of course.
1. Your reputation• Perform a web search on yourself. For example, I searched: “Marie Shanahan” and “Marie K. Shanahan.” What shows up your first page of results?• If available, click on the links about you. How would you rate your digital footprint? Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor, or Invisible. Why? How do you think your digital footprint reflects upon your reputation as a journalist?• How do you think you should conduct yourself (online and off) if you want/need sources and an audience to trust you?
Read this article7 Steps For Journalists To Build Trust and Credibility with anhttp://www.poynter.org/how-tos/community-engagement/122806/highlights-from-sxsw-7-steps-to-buildi
2. Engaging your audienceOnce you have a work of journalism to publish, youneed to find an audience for your work. Journalists canuse the power of the web to create a communityaround the topic, if one doesn’t already exist.You can discuss/promote the work of journalism in“places” where your key audience gathers, includingsocial media sites, blogs and off-line events.Journalists are expected to be conversation leadersand moderators, and not just “broadcasters” ofinformation. How do you feel about this new role?Comfortable or uncomfortable? Why?
Watch This VideoTED Talk featuring Seth Godin: The Tribes We Lead http://www.ted.com/talks/seth_godin_on_the_tribes_we_lead.html
Advocacy JournalismBrowse these two websites and read the bio of New YorkTimes columnist Nicholas Kristof (who will be speaking atUConn this month.)•CNN: The Freedom Project•Hartford Courant:Domestic Violence Project - Overcoming Battered Lives•Nicholas Kristof | UConn Reads
3. Advocacy questions• Should journalists and their news organizations use their communication resources and large audience reach to champion “causes?”• If no, why? If yes, why? Can a journalist advocate a cause and still operate within the “objectivity/fairness/accuracy” standards of the profession?• Can “crusading” journalists go too far?• One perspective: http://www.ojr.org/ojr/people/robert/201112/2042/