Digital Journalism is a hybrid hands-on and conceptual course designed to help master¿s-level students develop introductory-level skills in multimedia reporting (using text, still images and video) while gaining an understanding of the foundational philosophical, ethical and legal principles underlying the practice of journalism in the 21st century.
Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:
- Share news from a “beat” or area of expertise as it breaks, through email bulletins, text alerts, and Twitter posts.
- Report and write more substantive textual accounts of breaking news for the web.
- Take and edit still photos to enrich news alerts and web stories.
- Combine text and still images, using software, to create photo galleries and tell stories visually.
- Record and edit audio at an introductory level.
- Combine text, still images and audio, using software, to create audio photo galleries and tell visual stories that also use text and sound.
- Use text, still images, audio and video to develop multi-layered news or feature stories for the web.
In the conceptual component of the course, which will be integrated with the hands-on work, students will develop an understanding of the broader philosophical traditions of journalism. By the end of the course, they will be able to:
- Explain the development of digital journalism and how it can be contextualized within the broader scope of journalism history.
- Identify practical and theoretical differences between “analog” and digital journalism.
- Identify and explain digital journalists’ ethical responsibilities, including truth-telling, accuracy, fairness, independence, attention to justice, and transparency and how those are reflected in their own work.
- Identify characteristics of digital journalism that can lead to unethical conduct — including the ease of plagiarism and fabrication; the temptation to favor speed over accuracy; the lack of a accuracy “safety net” for digital journalists working alone; and the developing nature of digital journalism standards — and explain strategies for avoiding missteps related to these characteristics.
- Recognize the legal problems digital journalists sometimes face — such as libel, copyright violation and invasion of privacy — and identify and explain strategies for avoiding those problems.