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January 17

Hello. This is going to be an adventure. I taught this course from 2010 to 2015, and also taught COM206 one time, so this blog has a lot of resources to draw from. At the same time, it means that I have been following online journalism and digital news from the sidelines, so I’ll be joining you in looking at where we are right now and where the field goes as the semester unfolds. The waters still have not settled, and as John McManus says in one of our readings, this is actually a good time to rethink how journalism works, and should work, in the current online and mobile environment.

So, to kick things off, here is this week’s agenda:

  1. Sign-up sheets that help me get some information about you
  2. A look around this class blog and website
  3. Dive in to setting up your blog at WordPress.com (not to be confused with WordPress.org, that I am on)
  4. Build some pages, start a first post that explains your blog, add links, clean up any dummy text, set up some categories and tags, look at plug-ins and widgets (import some other themes (here is Dyad from my DArt student class)
  5. Look at some pages and infographics on the state of blogging
  6. Set up teams/pairs and assign the first group presentation for next week with readings
  7. Prepare for interview next week with Meg Liebsch, focusing on her experience last summer as a Dow Jones News Fellow

That should be lots … so to elaborate:

  1. Sheets coming round.
  2. Note the main pages, blog, where the course lives, and sidebars with links and widgets, especially Admin that has a login so you don’t need to go back to WordPress every time.
  3. Go to WordPress.com and the Start a blog graphic; most of what you need can be found later in their excellent Support. Try this Getting Started page and videos. This video from Mark Johnson introduces CMS (content management systems) and goes over most of WordPress. Log in and you will see the Dashboard. You will see this a lot. Go to Settings and change the title of your blog, and add a Tagline. Obviously, this is something you can do again later. There are lots of other sites that supply free WordPress themes such as Dynamic Guru , BogOHBlog and BytesForAll, where I got mine (Atahualpa, which is fairly common).
  4. Do the above. You can experiment during the week, and we’ll have lots of time to continue as the semester progresses. When you have a blog set up, send me the URL via La Salle email. They will be posted in the sidebar here. Your topic will be whatever niche or brand you want to establish, but also posts on the state of digital news in 2018.
  5. OK– here are three good places to think about blogging:

11 Essential Ingredients Every Blog Post Needs [Infographic]

Like this infographic? Get content marketing advice that works from Copyblogger.
6. Teams will be based mainly on video experience. One team of three and three of two. Then we need a volunteer team to do a presentation on these readings: John McManus on objectivity from Nieman Reports (handout); Reuters State of Digital News 2017; Pew report on news and social media. Note that everyone will nee to write a post on this

7. Let’s brainstorm some questions for Meg Liebsch, Collegian editor and Dow Jones Digital Intern last summer. You will also blog about this “press conference.”

 

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1 comment to January 17

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