Vote: Online Journalism Textbook Title

Written by Ryan Thornburg December 16, 2009 12:52 pm EST 3 comments

Alright, wise crowd. I need you to show me what you’re made of.

I’m writing for college students a book about online journalism. The book connects the traditional elements and values of journalism with new ways of telling stories and engaging audiences. It will start with a discussion of online news values and elements and the unique characteristics of the online news audience. Then it’ll take readers through the gamut of digital media skills and tools, and wrap up with a section that talks about how to make sensible use of the tools to create journalism that’s more engaging and relevant.

But… what should I call it? Please vote below and then leave any comments here.

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The One Tool Your Newsroom Needs Right Now: A Failure Form

Written by Ryan Thornburg June 10, 2009 9:50 am EDT No comments

The other day I wrote about the need for newsrooms to encourage experimentation rather than innovation. OK, but how? Here’s one tool you can download right now and use in your newsroom — the Failure Form, to be used by reporters and editors who want to pursue a crazy idea.

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Notes From a Semester

Written by Ryan Thornburg May 6, 2009 5:03 pm EDT No comments

The semester at UNC-Chapel Hill is done and the students in “Public Affairs Reporting for New Media” have put together a wonderful resource for learning about and engaging in efforts to curb the state’s high dropout rate.

You can read my notes about their work at http://www.ncdropout.org/node/415
or visit the site’s homepage at http://www.ncdropout.org.

Among the pieces I’ve enjoyed the most are the online journalism tutorials that the students themselves created based on their own experiences hashing through their first efforts and multimedia, interactive, on-demand news story telling. You can see their tutorials here.

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Advice to Future Magazine Editors

Written by Ryan Thornburg April 16, 2009 12:57 pm EDT No comments

Contrary to what seems to be popular opinion, magazines have a strong future online, I think. But their future depends completely on the leadership and innovation of publishers and editors, as I told the Carolina Association of Future Magazine Editors last night.

The audio of the talk is after the jump.

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Spelling, Grammar and Domain Name Registration

Written by Ryan Thornburg March 4, 2009 12:31 pm EST No comments

Over on the N.C. Diploma Dilemma site, I’ve posted about the technical and strategic work that’s going in to creating our own, more appealing domain name for the site.

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Social Media and User Generated Content for Journalists

Written by Ryan Thornburg March 3, 2009 8:14 am EST No comments

There are so many great new buzzwords — distributed reporting, citizen journalism, crowd sourcing. They excite a lot of people who don’t think through their implications for public affairs reporting… and they terrify a lot of people who don’t realize that in many ways they are just juiced-up version of pretty common “old-media” techniques. In either case, they’re exciting because they pit two traditional journalism values — giving voice to the voiceless and accuracy — directly against each other.

Here’s an introduction, with audio to come in a future version. (If you can’t wait for the audio – give me a call or shoot me an email.)

Social Media and User Generated Content For Journalists

View more presentations from ryan.thornburg. (tags: citizen journalism)
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Why Do We Need a CMS?

Written by Ryan Thornburg February 21, 2009 10:36 pm EST 2 comments

A bit of career advice for anyone in an online news organization: Never get roped in to leading the creation of your site’s new content management system. Yes, you may realize that the business rules that underly the CMS will determine who has the power to make decisions in your newsroom, but CMS projects are like storming the beach at Normandy — even if it’s successful, many involved in the operation will not survive.

With that optimistic image fresh in your mind, let’s look at what CMSs do and why your news organization needs one.

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How To Edit for Online & SEO

Written by Ryan Thornburg February 17, 2009 8:00 am EST No comments

One Pager Tip Sheet: Search Engine Optimization (PDF)

Lecture Slides

Editing Online News

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IT Fluency for Journalists

Written by Ryan Thornburg February 11, 2009 11:00 am EST No comments

Dan Gillmor’s recent blog post about the future of journalism education — particularly collegiate schools of journalism — is highlighting once again what is perhaps the most popular debate in our field. The question revolves basically around this: How much technology do journalists need to know?

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How to Report for New Media

Written by Ryan Thornburg February 10, 2009 8:04 am EST 1 comment

Reporting for New Media in Six Easy Steps!

View more presentations from ryan.thornburg. (tags: journalism reporting)

Links Referenced in This Lecture:

  • Slide 3
    • Little Green Footballs
    • Powerline Blog
  • Slide 5
    • Sworn Statements by Abu Ghraib Detainees (washingtonpost.com)
    • The Fact Checker: Romney and Abortion (washingtonpost.com)
  • Slide 7
    • Bluffton Today
    • Live Online With Bob Kaiser (washingtonpost.com)
    • Wiki Scanner (wired.com)
    • GasBuddy.com
    • #ch-snow (Twitter.com)
    • Ushahidi.com
    • Veep-O-Matic (washingtonpost.com)
    • Consumer Consequences (American Public Media)
  • Slide 10
    • MarketWatch.com
    • War in Iraq (washingtonpost.com)
    • Times Topics (NYTimes.com)
  • Slide 14
    • Breaking News Blog (L.A. Times)
    • iReport of Va. Tech Shooting (CNN)
  • Additional Resources

    How to Report a News Story Online (Online Journalism Review)

    A Guide to ‘Crowdsourcing’ (Knight Citizen News Network)

    Multimedia Storytelling (Knight Digital Media Center)

MP3 Audio of the Lecture

Lecture: Reporting for online media

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What I'm reading

  • Writing from Video Exercise 2 hours ago
    These video writing and editing exercises are from the 4th Edition of the Broadcast News Handbook by Charlie Tuggle, Forrest Carr and Suzanne Hoffman.
  • News Corp. Donation Clouds Fox Coverage of Prop. 24 - NYTimes.com 2010/11/02
  • How to Count Items in a Filtered List in Excel 2010/10/25
  • Relational Databases - Example - Martin Baker 2010/10/16
  • MySQL :: MySQL 5.0 Reference Manual :: 10 Data Types 2010/10/16

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