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JOUR 352: Class Schedule & Readings (part 2 of Chris Harvey's syllabus):

(The instructor reserves the right to make changes to the weekly schedule to fit the needs of the class and to accommodate guest speakers. All readings should be done before class meets, except for readings for the first class, which should be done before Week 2. Please be sure to check the Web site of this syllabus every week to check for any changes to the schedule.)

Week 1:

Jan. 27, 2010: Course and syllabus overview, student and instructor introductions, and a brief history of ARPANET, the Internet and the World Wide Web, and news in the digital age.

Week 1 Readings: Chapter 1 in the Foust book: "Introduction to Online Journalism."  Plus "" by Chip Brown in the June 1999 issue of American Journalism Review, for an early history of news on the Internet.

Week 2:

Feb. 3: Discuss search terms, engines and directories and the validity of Wikipedia for research. You'll be asked in class to make a factual edit on Wikipedia-- to see how easily users can change the site. (I'll show you how.) You'll be asked in class to set up RSS feed preferences on Google Reader. (I'll show you how.) And you will be given a Web-surfing assignment that will be counted as an in-class grade. If time permits, we'll do an online, in-class tutorial from John R. Henderson, a reference librarian at the Ithaca College Library, on distinguishing between reliable sources and junk on the Web. 

Week 2 Readings: Plus: Chapter 2 in the Foust book: "Tools and Terminology" through page 25. Plus: "Wikipedia in the Newsroom," by Donna Shaw, published in the February/March 2008 issue of AJR; "See Who's Editing Wikipedia: Diebold, the CIA, a Campaign," by John Borland in the Aug. 14, 2007, issue of Wired; "Collaborative Conundrum: Do Wikis Have a Place in the Newsroom?" by Mark Glaser, in the Sept. 10, 2004, issue of Online Journalism Review; "RSS for journalists: Your own personal Web butler," by Jonathan Dube, in the Feb. 15, 2005. Additional handouts from Harvey will be distributed in class.

Week 3:

Feb. 10: CAMPUS CLOSED FOR SNOW. Before class on Wednesday, Feb. 17, please go to and create a basic, free account, which you will use this semester to post your resume, clips and final Web site analysis. You will need to create a user name and password, read the user agreement, click to set up a blog, create a blog title, and click the e-mail that Wordpress sends you to activate the site. That's it. We'll customize it in class on the 17th. If you want more than the 3 gigs of space this free account gives you, and if you want a URL without "Wordpress" in it, I can give you tutorials on Wednesday to set up a paid account on We won't have time, however, to do the godaddy tutorials in class.

Week 3 Readings: Chapter 2, in the Foust book: "Tools and Terminology," pps. 26-31, "Types of Digital Media." Chapter 3 in the Foust book: "Authoring and Managing Web Sites," pps. 39-49. Plus: "Special Characters" from Also see the W3Schools' explanation of CSS, and an explanation of differences between external, internal and inline CSS.

Week 4:

Feb. 17: Catching up! An introduction to basic html tags and to the concept of CSS, used to control font sizes and styles and grids on a Web page and site.We'll discuss structural tags, used to set up all Web pages; comment tags, used to hide coding in a browser; hyperlinks; e-mail links; and anchor (internal page) links, paragraph tags and breaks, bolding and italicizing, image tags, and others. And we'll do some set up on your Wordpress sites. Also: we'll have a basic introduction to photo scanning, sizing, cropping, compressing and color correcting in Photoshop, along with a discussion of shooting and selecting strong photos. Please bring in a photo of yourself for use on your resume page; we can work from either a snapshot or a digital image. We'll also discuss some of the ethical pitfalls of photo manipulation.

Readings: "Distorted Picture," by Sherry Ricchiardi, from the August/September 2007 issue of AJR. Plus, please view some of the award-winning photos on these sites: "NPPA's Best of Photojournalism Web Site Contest 2009" and "NPPA's Best of Photojournalism Web Site Contest 2008." The ambitious among you may also want to click through photos and galleries on The Digital Journalist. I'll have photo scanning and photo shooting handouts for you in class.

Week 5:

Feb. 24: We'll begin discussing ethics, taste and restraint in new media. Just because a news organization can publish something doesn't mean it should. A look at how the speed of the 24-hour news cycle has affected news judgment; whether or not online sites are properly differentiating between editorial and advertising content; corrections and linking policies, and more. Plus: Legal issues in cyberspace. Among the legal questions to consider: Can news sites be held liable for comments posted on bulletin boards? Is it OK to copy source code from another site to mimic design? What's allowed under "fair use?" We'll discuss the code-pillaging case of The Fray's "Meeting Peter." We'll also look over this Digital Journalist package, "Seeing the Horror," about photographers' considerations while shooting 9/11 images--especially those of the towers' jumpers. And we'll look at the more recent case of AP's release in September 2009 of a mortally wounded soldier's photo. You'll get a graded assignment in class.

Readings on ethics: Chapter 11 in the Foust book, "Legal and Ethical Issues." Plus: Tish Grier's "Can we all just learn to interact?" in the June 13, 2006, edition of OJR; Robert I. Berkman's "Is It Appropriate for Reporters to Lurk in Online Chat Rooms?" in the Feb. 2, 2004, issue of Online Journalism Review; Barb Palser's "Charting New Terrain" and Michael Oreskes' "Navigating a Minefield" in the November 1999 AJR; plus Matt Welch's "What If You Couldn't Trust the New York Times?" in the April 24, 1999, issue of OJR; and Howard Kurtz's "Dallas Paper's Story: A Scoop That Wasn't," in the Jan. 28, 1998, Washington Post. Readings on copyright: A handy online guide: "10 Big Myths about copyright explained," new-media publisher Brad Templeton's wise-guy analysis of a complicated subject. Plus "Copyright Issues Present Ongoing Dilemma: To Link or Not To Link? by Robert I. Berkman, in the Oct. 1, 2003, edition of Online Journalism Review. Readings on Credibility issues: Bob Steele and Bill Mitchell's "Removing Content: When to Unring the Bell?" in the Aug. 27, 2007, issue of; and Aly Colon's "Putting Old Values to Work with New Tools," in the Dec. 12, 2003, edition of

Week 6:

March 3: We'll post an "About" page for your Web presence on your Wordpress site, which you can use--at least temporarily--for your home page. And I'll show you how to add images and create pages to your site, so you can get your clips page set up for next week's deadline. We'll also begin discussing online design and navigation issues, eye tracking studies, audience concerns and the importance of folder structure to Web building and Web addresses. We'll review Web design tips and Web site planning in class. Plus, if time permits: We'll discuss table building in Dreamweaver.

Readings: Chapter 3 in the Foust book: "Authoring and Managing Web Sites," pps. 50-60. Plus: Dan Farber's "Eye tracking Web usability" on ZDNet's "Between the Lines," March 27, 2006; and Edward C. Baig's "Survey Offers a 'Sneak Peak' Into Web Surfers' Brains," on USA Today March 26, 2006. Plus: Help with Dreamweaver: Getting Down to Basics, More on Tables, and Creating Links in Dreamweaver (tutorials from Internet4Classrooms).

Assignment: Due at the beginning of class March 3: Your resume file (.html) should be turned in to the x (staging) drive in its folder (which should also include your cropped head shot), so I can copy edit it. It should include text, subheads, an e-mail address link, at least one external hyperlink, at least one bulleted list and a photo. You should also include a copyright line and a Back to Top line at the bottom. Each factual mistake will result in one letter-grade deduction, as will each broken link or broken image tag. Unreadable resumes (because of bad color choices for fonts or backgrounds) will result in an automatic F. Resumes should follow AP style for print throughout.

Week 7:

March 10: Review for Midterm. Plus: We'll discuss different storytelling structures that work on the Web -- including nonlinear ones such as photo galleries and interactive ones such as news quizzes, polls and chats. We'll talk a bit about and look at examples of multimedia coverage of Michael Jackson's death. Plus: I'll go over basics of incorporating interactive polls and quizzes on a site. Begin thinking about your multimedia feature story assignment. You must give me one-paragraph pitches for two story ideas at the start of the next class. The pitches should include possibilities for photos, video and interactive elements.

Assignment due March 10: "About" page and "Clips" page due at the start of class on your Wordpress site, for which you purchased a domain name and a host early in the semester. (You will cut and paste the body area of your resume to create a new page on the site at your leisure.) The About page could be one simple paragraph about you. We will designate it as the site home page. The clips page should link to published writing or broadcast samples --news clips, press releases, or links to audio or video clips. Please do not link to unpublished work. Or the page could be used instead as a montage of photos you've taken of friends, family or travel. The two pages must include copyright info. All links on your pages must work; all text must make sense and be written in AP style for print. Each factual mistake will result in a full letter-grade deduction, as will each broken link. Projects turned in late will lose a full letter grade for each day that they're late. This should be something you'd be proud to show a prospective employer.

Readings: Chapter 7 in the Foust book: "Writing and Editing Online." Please also review Jonathan Dube's page on "Online Storytelling Forms," on Plus: Harvey's Writing for the Web handout.




Week 8:

March 24: MIDTERM TEST! Plus: You must give me one-paragraph pitches for two multimedai feature ideas at the start of class.

Week 9:

March 31: I'll return your story pitches. We'll begin discussing reporting, writing and structuring succinct feature stories for the Web. What platforms and storytelling techniques work best for what stories? We'll also work together on two types of multimedia content: We'll create a google map, using markers, lines and shapes, along with text. We'll also work together to create a slide show in SoundSlides -- using photos, text and an edited audio clip.

Readings: Chapter 8 in the Foust book: "Using Links in Online Stories." Plus: Harvey's Writing for the Web handout. Plus: Paul Grabowicz's "Picking the Right Media for Reporting a Story."

Week 10:

April 7: I'll return your part 1 of your midterms and review your answers. More writing for the Web: headlines and blurbs. We'll discuss search engine optimization, or SEO, for headlines, titles and file names and and also how Web headlines share similarities but also key differences from print ones. Also: I'll do a tutorial on shooting basic video and demonstrate how to upload edited video to YouTube. I'll show you how to grab a coding embed tag from YouTube to put the video player on your Web page.

Readings: Chapters 9 & 10 in the Foust book, "Multimedia and User-Generated Content," and "Gathering and Editing Images, Audio and Video." Plus handouts from Harvey will be distributed in class.

Week 11:

April 14: I'll show you how to do a basic edit on video shot last week. Today we'll do some in-class headline exercises and some graded ones. Before our next class, please find a good and not-so-adept headline on one or more news Web sites, and explain why you think so on this class discussion blog: Please be sure to give the full URL and headline for each. Please don't write anything you don't want the world to see.

Readings: Pps. 135 and 136 in Foust. Plus: "This Boring Headline Is Written for Google," by Steve Lohr, on the New York Times, April 9, 2006. And check out these general headline writing tips from John Schlander, Joel Pisetzner and Wayne Countryman on Harvey will give additional handouts in class.

Assignment due April 14: Text version of your feature story is due at the start of class. (This includes scripts, if your story is chiefly video.) Please turn in a double-spaced printout of 400-700 words, with your name and the word count at top.

Week 12:

April 21: We'll discuss how social networking sites - such as Facebook,Twitter and blogs - are being used by reporters to mine sources, interact with readers and post story updates from the road. Please get a Twitter account before class starts. We'll tweet part of our discussions - for extra credit - from the session downstairs with the managing editor of CNN / U.S. Please also read about Google Wave, which the Seattle Times experimented with in fall 2009 on a breaking story on the murder of four police officers . And I'll answer questions on your multimedia projects, which are due at the start of the May 5 class. We'll set up story folders and templates for those projects, and I'll show you how to create a basic banner in Photoshop.


"Hitting the Tweet Spot," by Barb Palser, in the April/May 2009 issue of AJR; "Networking News," by Arielle Emmett, in the December/January 2009 issue of AJR; " All the News That's Fit to Tweet," by Laurie White, in September 2008 as an online exclusive on American Journalism Review.PLUS: Barb Palser's "First Responders: Citizen media's agility during the Iowa floods offers a lesson to traditional journalists," published in the August/September 2008 issue of AJR; Amy Gahran's "Another Sad But Seminal Day for CitJ," published on PoynterOnline April 16, 2007; Steve Outing's "Taking Tsunami Coverage into Their Own Hands," published Jan. 6, 2005, on PoynterOnline; Mark Glaser's " blogs and forums help save lives after Katrina," in the Sept. 13, 2005, edition of OJR; Barb Palser's "Journalism's Backseat Drivers," in the August/September 2005 issue of AJR; Plus: Plus: Mark Glaser's "Flickr, Buzznet Expand Citizens' Role in Visual Journalism," in the Nov. 15, 2005 edition of OJR; J.D. Lasica's "Citizen's Media Gets Richer," in the Sept. 7, 2005, edition of OJR;  and Mark Glaser's "Bloggers, Citizen's Media and Rather's Fall: Little People Rise Up in 2004," in the Dec. 21, 2004, edition of OJR. Plus: Rachel Smolkin's "The Expanding Blogosphere," in the June/July 2004 issue of AJR; Aly Colon's "Blogs and Ethics" in the April 22, 2004, edition of Poynteronline. Plus J.D. Lasica's "When Bloggers Commit Journalism," in OJR's Sept. 24, 2002, issue;  Catherine Seipp's "Online Uprising," in the June 2002 issue of AJR; Staci D. Kramer's "The Perfect News Incubator" in the Dec. 18, 2002, issue of OJR. See also blog tracking sites Technorati and The Truth Laid Bare.

Week 13:

April 28: Professional Web newsroom tour and talk, at, beginning at 1:45 p.m. We'll talk with Interactives Director Josh Hatch and other staffers about storytelling, story presentation and reader interaction. You will be given assigned questions to answer about the visit; your typed responses will count as an in-class grade, and will be due at the start of the next class. If you'd like, we could pre-arrange for carpools. I'll post a thread for this on our class blog; please get more info there. We'll end the session at 3:15 p.m., to allow driving time before your next class.

Readings: Please get very familiar with!

Week 14:

May 5: Multimedia story packages are due at the start of class; your story folders with all the accompanying photo file and images must be turned in to x--the staging drive. The home page URL for your project will be uploaded to the college's assessment site, after I've pushed it live on the college server. We'll do this together in class. We'll discuss and look at all of your projects. We'll talk about media convergence, jobs in journalism, your individual career plans and how that fits into where journalism is heading in the near future. And I'll leave time for class evaluations.

Readings: Chapter 12 in the Foust book: "Opportunities and Challenges." Also: "Pssst: The Next Big Thing May be Mobile," by Rick Edmonds in his blog April 14, 2008, on Poynteronline; "How the Web Was Won," by columnist Leslie Walker, in the Aug. 3, 2006, Washington Post; and "The Great Divide: Is the industry really ready for high-tech students?" by Elizabeth Birge, in the Aug. 1, 2006, issue of Quill Online.

Week 15: Finals Week:

Final: Analysis of a news Web site (on your Wordpress blog) due Friday, May 14, by 3:30 p.m. Please e-mail me the link to your blog before the deadline, and slide a printed copy of your blog analysis under my office door, 2214 Knight Hall. See more info in "Assignments/Tests," at top of page 1 of the syllabus. 

Page 1 of syllabus

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Copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, Chris Harvey. Published stories, tutorials or personal bios linked from this page are the property of their respective copyright holders. Faculty at UMD are given permission to crib liberally from this. Latest version written Jan. 25, 2010; last updated April 28, 2010.