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May 2

The main goal for today is to get over to Holroyd 167 at 3:15 for an editing session on Adobe Premiere CC. Here are the two clips I demo-ed last week in my office with external and internal mics (right-click, Save link as) to experiment with if you need some footage.

But in part one, I will return the two blog posts on mobile journalism and Lane DeGregory’s webinar. I do want to go over lessons learned, as this is our last class meeting. Then I will hand out my feature writing tips (“features” being stories with a human touch and lighter tone such as we have been blogging all semester). Again, let’s spend some time with these, as they could be useful going forward, and they are condensed from a lot of years in the business.

Then two items we did not get to: customized Google maps and other tools at the Knight Lab (home of Soundcite).

For editing and posting video: tips on compressing videos for YouTube and Vimeo; my graphic on video formats (below); intro to Premiere CC from Adobe help center, their videos, a 15-minute intro and a one-hour course; a nice piece on shooting B-roll from

Quick summary of SD, HD

Quick summary of SD, HD

That should do it. Remember that your final 800+ word post is due next Wednesday, May 9, with the completed video incorporated into the post. See Assignments page for further details (e.g. that you need some form of data/infographic that you create).


April 25

Here’s a first take on the plan:

  1. Note how Canva embeds on but not
  2. Hand back Olson post and Canva/Excel graphics
  3. A reminder that due today are posts on mobile journalism (Group 4) and Lane DeGregory’s webinar on finding your voice

    Pulitzer Prize winner for feature writing

    Pulitzer Prize winner for feature writing – Tampa Bay Times

  4. Check in on final story package and reporting plan
  5. Back to video; update on gear for iPhone, noting this demo (and adapter explained), handout on video grading (rubric); some video links:
  • Video 101 from the Vimeo School
  • Shot selection from Vimeo
  • BBC’s 5-shot sequence from MulinBlog and Mattias Suessen
  • Media Storm’s 10 ways to improve your multimedia (open some of the examples)
  • My study of video formats published in the Journal of Visual Literacy, notably Table 1; study was based on student work from this class; note clips from “YouTube” and “MTV” versions
  • Possible look at/critique of some previous student videos
  • Possibly time to edit (we will do that next week; be sure to bring some video footage); I have quick demo from Adobe Premiere CC posted on Tech Stuff on the other blog


In connection with the video, we will go over my condensed interviewing tips, Lane DeGregory’s 20 questions about character [both as handouts] and this KDMC presentation on difficult interview types. I also have some feature writing tips that we can hold till next week. Other topics we would have done include customized Google maps (here’s the explanation) and other projects from the Knight Lab at Northwestern, notably Timeline.js (extra credit for diving in and getting that in your final package!).

Links for posts

Here are links you will need to do your two posts for next week. For Group4 Mojo:

The four articles (note where one cites author of another piece):

Group 4’s PowerPoint

For Lane DeGregory webinar on voice, here is her Stormy Daniels story, and the Five Boxes from Rick Bragg.

April 18

Bit off a bit too much last week … but we time left to get things done, leaving out some topics planned for the next two weeks (Google analytics, custom Google maps, the Knight Lab i.e. Timeline.js). So today, not necessarily in this order:

  • Start with the live NewsU webinar with Lane DeGregory on finding your voice; this starts at 2, so you need to be here; you will write a standard 400-word post with graphic, categories, hed, at least three links for next week
Poynter's online training site

Poynter’s online training site

  • Go over final project (see April 13 post) and reporting plan (optional/extra credit) which also has more on the video component
  • Look at interviewing tips, as part of that (I have a summary handout)
  • Maybe some quick video tips—more to come next week: This Video 101 from Vimeo’s Video School; two versions of the BBC 5-shot sequence: 1 and 2; anyone using a Joby Gorilla pod with iPhone adapter? external lav from audio-technica?
  • Group 4 presents on “mojo” (mobile journalism); standard blog post on this due next week as well
  • Get your Gravatar done
  • Return posts on Group3, independent journalism, and your slideshows/post
  • Finish the Canva infographic, do the Excel chart on color preferences, and the USA map and color chart in Infogram (see instructions on April 11 post)

Again, we shall see. Should be do-able, as we have next week to go over more on video, and the last two classes we can go over to Holroyd for editing (here your groups could get together and help on editing, narrative, etc.)


Final story package

Story package

Story package

The final story assignment is up on the Assignments page and also here. Note that you will begin with a reporting plan assigned April 18, and that assignment has more details about the video component. For now, take a look at what you will need, maybe track down the data, and try to schedule interviews with your expert(s).

Dr. Olson’s presentation

Here are Professor Olson’s PowerPoint slides.

April 11

Another fun-filled day, I expect. Let me set down the agenda first, then we can take a look at the Assignments page to confirm where we are at.

  • Go over last week’s post
  • Remind you to try different themes if yours isn’t loading well (e.g. Morgan and Julia both did, they now load faster and they look more current); also if anyone still has the “Let the Journey begin” post, you should delete it
  • due today are the post on Group 3/independent journalism and the slideshow; Morgan mentioned that Spark may be available with Adobe Creative Cloud (CC), but the version I have in my office and in H-167 do not have that installed
  • Presentation by Dr. Olson on Media Law Online; as before there will be a post due next week, with the same requirements:
    • at least 400 words (this is down from 500)
    • include at least one Tag or one Category for each
    • have a compelling title or headline (downstyle = cap only first word and proper nouns), catchy lede, and conclusion (see the three blogging links from Websitebuilder, SmartBlogger and copyblogger; you should return to these throughout the semester) a photo or graphic as you see fit, and at least three links; here’s another link on good blog posts from Melyssa Griffin


  • Group 4 (Julia, Stephen, Buck) presents on Mojo; Julia is ill, but we will expect Stephen and Buck to do the presentation; post on this also due next week, requirements as above
  • Did you bring a photo? Time to update your profile, which will also mean that you are linked to Gravatar or you can do the update right in Gravatar which is now linked to WordPress (it should show up in our next app)
  • We will listen to the audio/podcasts and check the posts
  • On to Canva to make an infographic; see my demo on Emerging Tech Blog/Tech Stuff—it’s embedded via a link to Canva. We will
    Create an account; log on a a student (.edu email); explore what it can make (Instagram posts, resumes, etc. etc.); go to More->Blogging->Infographics->Open template and then pick one and edit the text, move elements, try adding icons, etc. so that it is yours (you’ll need on for your final story package); Share (note WordPress option) you can also Save and download as a PNG; link/embed on your Tech Notes page by next week
  • If we can get this far, Make an Excel chart (see Emerging Tech Blog/Tech Stuff and also this blog’s Tech Notes inserted as a PNG; add data and labels manually; select all; Insert->Recommended charts->Clustered column (try some other e.g. pie—does that make sense here?); change chart design, format title, change fill color for text, etc.; select Plot area and put a border on it; Right click Save As picture (PNG); Add Media to get it into your Tech Notes page
  • On to Infogram (formerly; here’s their intro video (tutorials are there to explain all those steps): You can also use this to get a graphic into your final package (think of where you could get data on your topic); We will
    (A) Create Account; Log in; take a look at what yhey make (lots of social media content, animated GIFs, etc.); Go to Maps select USA Map, change to Grouped; Edit data; spreadsheet opens; add values for the missing states (Oregon, Indiana), add a title or subtitle; Share and try embed code or link as a back up on static image (PNG or JPEG) that you download and post on Tech Notes
    (B) Re-create the color preference chart; Choose Blank template->Add chart->Column->Grouped; edit data, enter manually as with Excel but without the %; Add Y-axis title (Percent) change colors of USA to orange and Canada to Blue (note also custom color and HTML Hex codes); try embed codes or download and link to static image that you post on Tech Notes

We shall see …


April 4

Hope you got the message. The change that made today Monday was also not apparent on the portal, as far as I could see. Anyway, here are some links that might be helpful concerning Spark (tutorial that sort of matches your assignment), how to post a slideshow on Instagram, how to think visually in a blog post (from and seven iPhone photo tips.

Then a recap of where we are at, with plans for next week.


  • no class today (Monday schedule is being followed)
  • deadline for post on independent journalism (presented by Group 3/Trevor & Morgan) is now next week, 4/11
  • do some reporting, think about some questions for next week’s guest, Dr. Kathy Olson: her areas are media law and ethics, particularly intellectual property, copyright, fair use and right of publicity (hint: what is the DMCA?); what are other legal areas of concern for online journalists (you could start your post for 4/18 on general issues, then segue to Dr. Olson and issues she discussed); what is on her resume? where does she teach (OK—it’s Lehigh), what is her background?
  • bring a mug shot for a gravatar next week
  • deadline for slideshows/Spark assignment is still next week, 4/11

Next week:

  • group 4 (Julia, Stephen, Buck) presents next week on mojo (mobile journalism—note there are some legal issues raised in those articles)
  • presentation by Dr. Olson
  • return of audio assignment and listen to clips
  • infographic assignment using Canva (see demo on my Emerging Technology Tech Stuff page), Infogram (formerly and Excel charts
Dr. Kathleen Olson, Lehigh U. media law professor

Dr. Kathleen Olson, Lehigh U. media law professor

Group 3 presentation

Here’s a link to today’s presentation on independent news media by Trevor and Morgan.

March 28

Hello—my name is John  Beatty … it’s been a while. For that reason I have adjusted the Schedule and Assignment pages from this week forward, so let’s start with a quick look there. Then I’ll give back the last posts (Pyramid/skills). I’d like Group 3 to present next and you all will write a post by next week (April 4) on the topic of independent journalism and its future. So:

  • This time we start with just one article from Media Shift
  • As before the assignment is:
  • at least 400 words (this is down from 500)
  • include at least one Tag or one Category for each
  • have a compelling title or headline (downstyle = cap only first word and proper nouns), catchy lede, and conclusion (see the three blogging links from Websitebuilder, SmartBlogger and copyblogger; you should return to these throughout the semester) a photo or graphic as you see fit, and at least three links; here’s another link on good blog posts from Melyssa Griffin

Then I’ll handout the slideshow assignment that’s due in two weeks, with the rubric I use for grading visuals. One option for that is to do either an Instagram or Snapchat story. We’ll watch a bit of a NewsU webinar that I archived on these. I have other resources for next week, but here’s a good Snapchat guide. For slideshow ideas here’s one I did using Soundslides for this course.

The King's Way, Prague

The King’s Way, Prague


Then it’s on to photos. I have my basic tips on the assignment, and here is a venerable photo composition site and a page from Vimeo that included the rule of thirds and tops for framing video for your final package. I expect most of you will want to get to know Spark, so well play with that next (see the previous [post). Note some of the Inspirations there (try travel and look for video; Paris; Rwanda; Social Cause). To have something to work with here are some photos and a quick video:


Finally, group 4 (Stephen, Buck and Julia) will present on the articles about mobile journalism (“mojo’): 1 2 3 4 and you will post on that for the following week.


Let me put this in a separate post for class this week.  I have a Spark video (a slideshow, actually) that I did for a workshop here at La Salle last year. The idea is for you to try embedding it by pasting the HTML in your Text/HTML editor (did it work? Does support it?). Note that I went into the <iframe> tag and editing the size down to 600px from the default of 960px). The linked versions still require Flash to be allowed, so if your browser won’t play (happened with Firefox) click the allow button in the browser address bar to play them.

and then try it as a link on a slide that you insert:

What is technology? (Creative Commons image)

What is technology?
(Creative Commons image)

Or just a text link.


February 28

This time I’ll start with some of the plan and add to it later. So …

  1. Return the posts on journalism apps with comments
  2. Group 3 presentation on big companies taking over journalism (if both Trevor and Morgan are back healthy) based on the MediaShift article; posts on that will be due after break (March 21; see point 3)
  3. Listen to this podcast on the power of audio–we might post on that later, but for now you have the audio assignment due next week so nothing else is due; podcasts are hot
  4. Look at a cool voice app called Soundcite from Knight Labs at Northwestern U. See my demo on Tech Notes page. There are other projects there we might get back to later including Timeline.js and a 3-D one that seems to have vanished.
  5. Experiment with mixing your clips in Audacity(or other app if you brought that); how’s this example?
  6. Post to SoundCloud and see if it plays (test on your Tech notes page for now)
  7. Ask that you bring a photo/mug shot for next week that you can add to your profile (which will connect you to

Soundcite JS


For Audacity if you’re using it, here is a quick guide from La Salle, and my list of tips that we (mostly) went over last week:


Some tips

  • Try the timeshift tool (double arrows) if you want to move some of your narration in between quotes
  • select, go to Effects->Amplify as another way to adjust sound besides the Envelope tool—can also decrease volume here
  • Effects -> Fade In and Fade Out are the only others you should need although you might try Noise removal (see handouts)
  • you can do the export to MP3 without using Quick Mix (in the handouts)
  • split any stereo track, then just delete (use X) rather than convert to mono
  • the spacebar plays and stops in most AV editing software
  • you have already found Record (red button); use Skip to Start/END (Purple arrows) to move around
  • be sure the Project Rate (bottom left corner) is 44100 Hz;
  • don’t forget to locate the Audacity project file (.AUP) the data folder, your original file from the recorder, and your exported MP3
  • we will upload from a URL (see Tech Notes page); you will have to write a short piece of code in the visual editor that looks like this in square brackets []:

See this link for how to post from SoundCloud to For posting to WordPress directly, you would  need to FTP the MP3 file to (remember PSWD = For SoundCloud you’d need an account and then upload to their site. Note the file formats that SoundCloud supports (not .m4a)

February 21


  • Give back the Facebook posts and the HTML/CSS-PHP-photo Tech notes and go over them a bit
  • Look at the Pyramid of Competence as a group and assign your post on it for next week; consider these questions:
    • What might seem overrated or out of place here? Why are certain items adjacent to each other? What might still be missing? Pick one and explain what it entails (e.g. judgment, or numeracy) How much of this should reside in one journalist?
    • also discuss this 2015 Knight Foundation article on 10 basics for today’s journalists; what’s different? Same? Where are competencies headed?
    • As before the assignment is:
    • at least 400 words (this is down from 500)
    • include at least one Tag or one Category for each
    • have a compelling title or headline, catchy lede, and conclusion (see the three blogging links from Websitebuilder, SmartBlogger and copyblogger; you should return to these throughout the semester) a photo or graphic as you see fit, and at least three links; here’s another link on good blog posts from Melyssa Griffin


  • Group 3 (Trevor and Morgan) presentation assigned for next week on how online/social media companies are taking over journalism; start with this Media Shift article and add two others from their links or links that you locate
  • Start audio assignment (see Assignments page and handout) with tips from Mark Brooks on interviewing (handout) and a quick Audacity guide (handout) and the online manual (also comes with Audacity install)
  • Practice an Audacity project with external headset mic (be sure to plug it in before opening Audacity), this music file, a phone Voice memo that will need this audio converter (to go from .m4a to .mp3 for import to Audacity); maybe try for this basic output example; for later go to the Creative Commons search for free music (also in the Legal links)

Audio project will be due in your blogs March 7, with a post that introduces your topic, describes how you did the reporting (“I decided to goon campus and ask … “), at least one visual (as noted, ask people if it’s okay to take their picture) and the sound file embedded from SoundCloud. We’ll go over that process next week (preview the instructions from project project

February 14

How about a quick list this time:

  • Return 2 blog posts with comments
  • Hand out my quick AP style tips for future posting
  • Give you a rubric for any story or post that we do
  • Finish posting the HTML/CSS page
  • Do the PHP page and post that
  • Optimize and post the fair photo
  • Presentation from group 2 on apps and tools for journalists (Val Hoeppner and U. Texas); you will blog on their presentation (and any other apps you think are interesting) for next week; as before the assignment is
    • is at least 400 words (this is down from 500)
    • includes at least one Tag and one Category for each
    • has a compelling title or headline, catchy lede, and conclusion (see the three blogging links from last week from Websitebuilder, SmartBlogger and copyblogger; you should return to these throughout the semester) a photo or graphic as you see fit, and at least three links; here’s another link on good blog posts from Melyssa Griffin
  • Break
  • Pyramid of Competence slides will be next week; you will post on them for Feb. 28
  • Start the audio assignment; there are handouts on Audacity, and on interviewing (from Brian Storm)
  • If there’s time, we cam experiment a bit with Audacity and external mics

For recording your phone’s Voice memo is OK, but I prefer an app such as Voice Record that gives you more control over levels, output formats, etc.


February 7

Back on track, we hope. Today we will

  • finish posts on Pew, Reuters and McManus and on Meg Liebsch’s visit
  • look at readings for next week’s post on Facebook, from CJR and Monday Note; as before the assignment is
    • is at least 400 words (this is down from 500)
    • includes at least one Tag and one Category for each
    • has a compelling title or headline, catchy lede, and conclusion (see the three blogging links from last week from Websitebuilder, SmartBlogger and copyblogger; you should return to these throughout the semester) a photo or graphic as you see fit (anyone get a photo of Meg?), and at least three links; here’s another link on good blog posts from Melyssa Griffin


  • add a Tech Notes page where we will link to an HTML/CSS page and a PHP page (see below) and an optimized photo
  • Assign Group 2 presentation for next week: Ryan and Brian will discuss apps and tools for journalists that come from this U. Texas list and from Val Hoeppner; in this case, you should give an overview and then select two or three to show or demo to us
  • Also look ahead and read the Pyramid of Competence slides from Poynter Institute which we will discus next week (and you will do a post)

Then we’ll discuss the difference between the Internet and the World Wide Web (they are not the same thing; take a look at this WIRED article and Briggs Chapter 1). We will begin the hands-on with HTML and CSS (Briggs Chapter 1) . I’ll introduce PHP, which is what most blogs (such as WordPress) are written in. To give us a common source on these, we’ll use


Here is what a PHP test page will show if you post it on

By Feb. 14, be able to write a basic HTML page with CSS rules embedded, and a basic page to test for PHP (sum of two numbers). We will post those to with FTP. The standard FTP client is Filezilla (note the URL).

(We’ll come back to all this as needed later on.)

Here is the Homework Assignment for HTML/CSS, PHP and the photo optimization:

  1. Create an HTML page in Notepad with the basic skeleton (see Briggs p. 23) that includes: <h1> <p> <ul> <a href=”blahblah” target=”_blank”>
  2. Add CSS rules (Briggs p. 29) for body {} h1 {} in a <style>   </style> element in the <head> element
  3. Save page as test.html in Notepad.
  4. FTP that using Filezilla to Host = User name = (standard) Password = (your La Salle ID, dot, first 3 of last name); put file IN your public_html folder
  5. View in the browser: URL is of the form
  6. Make a PHP page with the basic HTML skeleton, call it  sum.php with a section of PHP <?php … ?> that declares $a =5; $b = 7; $sum = $a + $b; echo “The total is $sum”;
  7. Also FTP that page to your public_html folder
  8. View in the browser: URL is of the form
  9. Make links to these two files, explaining what you did, on the Tech Notes page of your blog
  10. Save a copy of this photo, open it in Photoshop, reduce it to 500 pixels wide at 72 pixels per inch and JPEG quality of 80% (File-Save for Web and Devices). Insert it into your Tech Notes page:


Due Feb. 14 at the end of the day. If you cannot get in to the alpha server, let me know today and I will have IT send you a new password this week

The Filezilla window


January 24

The main activities this week will be the visit and interview with Meg Liebsch, and the presentation by Group 1 (Peter and Ewelina) on the readings from Reuters, Pew and Nieman reports. For both of those you (including Group 1) will need to finish a blog post by next week that:

  • is at least 500 words
  • includes at least one Tag and one Category for each
  • has a compelling title or headline, catchy lede, and conclusion (see the three blogging links from last week from Websitebuilder, SmartBlogger and copyblogger; you should return to these throughout the semester) a photo or graphic as you see fit (anyone get a photo of Meg?), and at least three links

Here’s my graphic on journalistic story forms that relates to the blogging tips:

Story structures

Story structures

So here’s the list:

  1. Confirm groups.
  2. Continue exploring your blog setup. Try different themes (see whether there are sidebars, menus, footers), and adding pages and widgets. See if you can add an Admin or Meta widget that allows you to log in directly without going back to Go back to this intro on the Customizer for your site. Also take a look when you Add Post at the Visual and Text tabs, see where to add a link (that opens in a new window), image, categories and tags. Remember this set of videos.
  3. Send me your blog’s URL so I can post them in the sidebar.
  4. Visit from Meg Liebsch. See assignment details above; then start your post, editing or deleting the canned First Post on your blog.
  5. Break.
  6. Presentation by G1 on the state of digital news and journalism; also start your post on that tonight.
  7. Read the articles on Facebook and the news for next week. We will discuss them as a class, and you will do your next post by Feb. 7 on them:



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 (not to be confused with, 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 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.”


April 28

Before I outline tonight’s agenda, a reminder that Ben Kalina will be in Comm Center 101 this Friday (May 1) from noon to 3 p.m. If need be, he said he could stay later.  Your group will get participation credit (see Syllabus) if at least one person is there with content to work on.


Quick summary of SD, HD

Quick summary of SD, HD

  • return previous work
  • watch the B-roll video from Transom
  • questions on customized Google map and embedding for final?
  • go over the requirements for the final story package (handout, see Assignments)
  • guidelines for compressing video from YouTube and Vimeo; handout on video formats (above)
  • our Community Health Data Base link, (go to Data Analysis Tool at bottom; log in information on board) comparison data from NIH and a source for ZIP codes and other city data (what ZIP codes cover the ENP area?)
  • build a quick Excel chart, export it as a PDF, open in Acrobat Pro and Export as JPEG or just slect chart, copy and paster into Photoshop, save as JPEG (asctually better quality)
  • maybe go over how to do an animated GIF in Photoshop; for use in Final Cut, you can convert it to .MOV file here or in Photoshop-> Export->Render movie and choose .MOV
  • Twitter official tips on journalism and Twitter media page and Facebook for journalists
  • note Storify (below) and
  • how to generate blog traffic (below)
  • I have my writing tips here, although they are more feature (not hard news) style




Here’s a quick Storify on the earthquake in Nepal. It’s all drag-and-drop, but you have to go through each possible source to get the content (icons in top right). For some quick tips here’s what journalism profs have been doing, and a Storify on how to Storify. Note mention of verifying—you might end up going to the Twitter account and finding out who posted that Tweet, and so on.



Getting traffic to your blog

Before our final agenda, here are two places to get good summary tips on blogging. If you work in the online content environment, you would need to know about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and writing good content. These slides cover both. Another resource is Copyblogger, with this set of 11 tips that are shown in the infographic that follows.



11 Essential Ingredients Every Blog Post Needs [Infographic]

Like this infographic? Get content marketing advice that works from Copyblogger.

April 21

The agenda:

  • Return and review old Golbacher, Henstenburg, and slideshow assignments; watch some slideshows; go over rubric (handout)
  • Discussion Group #6 (Zach, Jordan, Mike S.)
  • Reminder that we have an editing session with Ben Kalina, now noon – 3 p.m., Friday, May 1 in COMM center 101
  • A nice piece on shooting B-roll from
  • Handout group evaluation form
  • How it’s tough to be the Food Babe
  • Another take on Periscope, Meerkat, etc.
  • What if you unpublish the news?
  • Do a custom Google map using these places and following the new Maps Engine
  • Time to reopen your Soundslides project do another export and FTP it to remove the Demo watermark, if you want
  • Collect revised reporting plans

Exploring Nutrition list

Here is the full list of the 11 places that Exploring Nutrition is currently working with. You should be welcome to contact and get an interview with any of the six that we were not assigned to. They all got food during the Easter Drive, so you can use that angle.

April 14

Quick agenda this time

  • Give back Goldbacher posts with some lessons and last call (five people; if you didn’t get one back you didn’t get one done)
  • Update on slide shows; here we have more than half of them not done at this point. I’ll leave some time at the end to help post/FTP themlogo
  • Ben Kalina is our main guest tonight. He’ll go over footage that your group has brought in and discuss moving your reporting plans forward. Those preliminary plans are due tonight, but I’m going to allow you to revise and resubmit them next class
  • Posts of Henstenburg are due tonight or by tomorrow morning
  • Look at the page from Next City on food markets
  • Go over some of the interviewing links and my handout in more detail

Henstenburg videos

Here are the videos from this week, in three parts. Still waiting on other links, PowerPoints.

Part 1 (10 minutes)

Part 2 (13 minutes)

Part 3 (15 minutes)

April 7

Tonight …

  • Posts are due tonight on Dr. Goldbacher. You got a message about the videos, her PowerPoints,  and some other data earlier this week
  • If you want to download any of what I shot get a download add-on such as Download YouTube as MP4 which is for Firefox; note the Download button added to YouTube video playback. I shot these at 1080p (HD) but the download seems limited to 720p (still HD). For that reason, you should consider scheduling an interview with Dr. Goldbacher for your group
  • Visit from Professor Jule Ann Henstenburg, director of La Salle’s nutrition program in the SONHS; I’ll shoot and post HD video which you can use, but again, try to schedule a follow-up for your final project; as before, you are required to write a 300-plus word post on our guest’s visit tonight; the angle is up to you, but remember that your blog talks about how La Salle (and Exploring Nutrition) is working to help solve issues of health, nutrition and obesity in our area. As always, give your story a news-feature-style lead, a clear conclusion, write a good (SEO) headline, get some sort of art and include at least two links to other articles or resources. Due next Thursday, April 14

    St. Vincent's (Lauren Stair)

    St. Vincent’s
    (Lauren Stair)

  • For general use, here are two more issues raised by TakePart: food deserts and SNAP benefits
  • Check in on the piece on urban food markets for the use of audio, customized Google map, optimized photos, depth of research—maybe a model for your final project
  • Assign your group reporting plan for next week (see Assignments)
  • Finish and post slideshows; FTP to and link to that from an optimized still image
  • As part of the reporting plan, bring some footage next week for Ben Kalina’s second visit; each group needs some sort of video footage for Ben to discuss, and an idea of what you plan for your story so we can talk about possible gaps
  • Interviewing resources from last week, PBS on investigative interviews; this from KDMC on source types and my condensed interviewing tip sheet (also a handout)

Dr. Goldbacher II

Please note on her request, that I edited a piece out of Part 3 of Dr. Goldbacher’s presentation (below) in which she discussed Weight Watchers. You need to respect the source’s right for exclusion of content, especially when you id not explicitly ask for it. If your blog [post for this week mentioned Weight Watchers, please delete that reference from your story.

Dr. Goldbacher also provided us with her PowerPoints, added some data in response to the question at the end about efficacy of  their programs:


Behavioral weight loss:

Efficacy of behavioral weight loss treatments:

Target is to lose 8-10% of body weight; this is associated with measurable improvements in health

About 70% of individuals who participate in BWL achieve this goal


Treatment for Binge Eating Disorder (one of the main treatments that we use is called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).  We also use this for weight loss)

CBT for binge eating disorder: about 80% of individuals who engage in CBT improve (as measured by things like elimination of binge eating episodes)


The fees range from $10-$25 per session; this is adjusted based on income.  And all of theirservices are provided by psychology doctoral students who are supervised by a licensed clinical psychologist.

Videos, Soundslides

A reminder that you can get the full trial copy of Soundslides and then bring your files (be sure you have everything in one project folder folder; there’ll be several folders starting with 200_200 400_300 and so on, as well as the publish_to_web folder if you’ve already done an Export; also be sure you have the original audio and images in case you need to rebuild it).  If you re-open the project from the lab copies and export your final copy will be free of the watermark/logo.

Rememeber that after you FTP it, your URL will be of the form

Also, here are the videos from Dr. Goldbacher’s presentation. These are all recorded in HD, so you could use a clip from these for your project. I’ll cover YouTube download plug-ins next week. Also note the value of the external mike. She will be sending her PowerPoints later, if you want to check on what you are posting.

Part 1, about 10 minutes

Part 2 about 13 minutes–a bit is missing after this

New, edited Part 3, about 20 minutes

March 31


  1. Update and provisional plans for slideshow assignment (1) cover the food at the churches and pantries (2) shoot exteriors of the 11 places involved with the food drive; recall YouCaring site
  2. Dr. Edie Goldbacher, department of psychology; as before, you will write a 300+-word post on her presentation, including a head with a verb, at least one piece of art and at least two contextual links. As always, make this a news-feature piece with a grabber lead, the nut graf later on (who what when, etc.) and a conclusion that ties back to the lede. Check spelling and use AP style.
  3. Discussion with Khalice and group #5 (Tyler, Nick, Marissa); that means that group #6 on April 21 is Jordan, Zach and Mike S. Some items in the news that group 6 could use and we will discuss briefly: Meerkat and Periscope; Facebook may host news content and an analysis; photos on the Web (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat; anyone looked at Discover yet?)
  4. Make credit and text slides for the slideshow in Photoshop (500px by 375px is best at 72 ppi—pixels per inch. saved with .jpg extension)
  5. Look back at a few good examples (NPR, LATimes, Next City, below) and maybe review some good audio from our group
  6. Intro to interviewing set-up tips [handout], questions (more TK)
  7. Last call on Nutrition issues 2; reminder that slideshow is due online next week.
    • Your final slideshow post will include the following:
      • Write a brief intro—make it grabbing, enticing. Make people want to watch the show
      • Set appropriate tags and categories
      • Try for reasonable file sizes on your photos, although Soundslides makes smaller versions for the Web
      • Look again at this rubric for grading visual content
      • Include at least one title/credit/info slide done in Photoshop
      • FTP the publish_to_web folder to (password is 12345_abc version) post one of the photos and link to that folder e.g. There is a gigya shortcode to embed the Soundslides (it’s built in Flash), but current WordPress makes those hard to view (due to the https: secure server), so we’ll just go with this method.
  8. Plan for visit next week from Professor Henstenburg, director of La Salle’s nutrition program

March 24

Seems this is networking night, as several of us have to be at events all or part of the evening. Often at this time when I am asking you to go out into the field, we would give credit for that and reduce class time (in some years we have been able to shoot during class, because it was in the day). We still have lots to do, but in recognition of that, and the fact that I heard back that a lot of you feel comfortable shooting and editing video (and audio), here’s the plan for tonight:

  • Discussion #4 and arrange volunteers for Discussion #5 next week (only two more to go). For #5, look at the piece on Twitter language if we didn’t go over it tonight, or this American Press Institute study on how millennials get their news (or the NYTimes report, etc.)
  • Give back the assignment, audio assignment (some of you got that last week) and Nutrition Issues II (on food waste; the latter I will still accept for most of the credit) and go over some good work on these and some lessons
  • For reviewing an audio package this piece from NextCity (also has a Philly branch, and accepts interns) on food markets is instructive; note how the story is close to but not exactly a transcript, the custom Google map, optimized photos, etc.
  • Look at slide shows below from LA Times and NPR to help with slideshow assignment (due April 7, but you should be getting photos this weekend)
  • Review shooting tips posted last week, and for reference here’s the video on DCKitchen Ben showed and his lighting tips; I’ll also give you a 10 commandments handout from Poynter, and we could go through a few pieces form Kobre’s Guide and Vimeo video school basics and framing and composition; we might come back to these, or you can use them as references; see also Videolicious (although no one is using a phone for video, correct?)
  • Plan for this weekend, into Monday; you’ll need to get shots for your individual  slideshows, as well as video for your group; here is a collection of all the info I have gathered from LGU for the food drive; I expect that we will have lots of time to do that

March 17

It’s video session No. 1 with Ben Kalina of Mangrove Media, so I will try to take a back seat.


I will give back and comment on the and audio assignments that were due last week, so if you did not get one posted, you can still submit and get some of the credit. Some people have missed a few pieces already. Don’t forget the Nutrition Issues II due tonight.

We will hold Discussion #4 at the end of class, so Ben can head out. That’s Brendan, Tyler H. and Khalice.

I have some place to senf you for video and multimedia that we might look at tonight—in any case we’ll come back to these next week:

Also, I have updated information on the Easter Food Drive. The main days are now Friday, March 27 and Saturday March 28, so get your group organized for those days (approx. 9 till 1 or so). Here is a YouCaring site that’s part of the LGU class’s fundraising efforts.