Public Affairs Reporting for New Media: Day 1

The new semester kicked off this at 9:30 this morning in CA 132 with “Public Affairs Reporting for New Media,” a new APPLES service-learning class I’m teaching.

The goal: Partner with N.C. news organizations to create a set of multimedia, interactive news reports about the state’s high school dropout rate. And since part of the class’s mission is to be a public service, I’ll be blogging from now until May 2 about the lessons we learn.

Here’s the syllabus and here’s how the first day went …

The class has 14 students, with room for four more. Only four have any newsroom experience. The rest have never even had an internship. Only two have online experience at all. But probably a third to a half said that someone in their family had not earned a high school diploma.

My hope is that what the students lack in the journalism experience that would help them survive this advanced reporting class they will make up for in curiosity , creativity and passion for the issue. They’re UNC students, so I have no doubt they will.

Their first assignment (I mean, other than reading Journalism 2.0 before they arrived in class this morning) is going to be to start creating a stream of links using Publish2. This week we’re going to walk through the basics of HTML and FTP as a a way of understanding just why online journalism is so cool — it’s all about the link…

Oh yeah, we’re working on Macs in the classroom we used today, but we’ll have PCs in the lab/newsroom that’s open from 2 – 5 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

More on Thursday after those lab classes. Also on Thursday, look for a report on my other new class, “Newsdesk,” in which we create an interactive, multimedia news organization from the ground up.

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One thought on “Public Affairs Reporting for New Media: Day 1”

  1. Ryan,
    I’m intrigued by this project and excited about where it might lead. We’re happy to be a part of this and look forward to learning more about the issue as the semester progresses.
    Julie Martin
    Managing Editor
    Wilmington NC

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