Workshop I: Word 2010- Advanced Formatting

Microsoft Word 2010 advanced workshop covered several advanced formatting skills to edit documents.

Track Changes allows individuals to note changes and edits made to a document. This feature is an easy way to edit another person’s work and communicate those changes effectively through markups, highlighting and comment balloons

Advanced find and replace may be used to scan and make changes to information in lengthy documents. The wildcard feature allows users to extend their search and find and replace the following items

  • Any single character or string of characters
  • Beginning or end of a word
  • Specified characters within a certain range
  • Occurrences of characters or expressions

Quick Parts enables users to create and store reusable templates for documents.

The following techniques may be used to refine documents, reports, resumes, letters and online stories to add a more professional touch. Furthermore, these skills will be useful for my editing role in my class project and will allow me to effectively scan through and edit another person’s work.

3 comments Posted in  annibraz ,comm361  Tagged:  March 3, 2012

The Buttry Diary: 13 ways a reporter should use a beat blog

Steve Buttry shares 13 ways reporters should cover a beat blog:

  1. Liveblog
  2. Post quick tidbits
  3. Link
  4. Post source documents
  5. Use video clips
  6. Use audio clips
  7. Feed in your tweets
  8. Crowdsource
  9. Curate the conversation
  10. Report unfolding stories
  11. Seek feedback
  12. Post drafts of stories
  13. Post frequently

Buttry highlights some excellent points on how to effectively cover a beat. I found the following tips to be most useful:

  • Video and audio are key elements to hold readers’ attention.
  • Linking can help increase credibility and provide further information on a topic.
  • Reporters should get the audience involved in the conversation by asking questions and encouraging them to provide feedback on stories.
  • Storify is an effective tool used to combine social media elements to tell stories.
  • According to Jeff Jarvis, a story is a process, not a product. Reporters should get into the habit of posting information frequently. Report newsworthy events as it breaks.

Add comment Posted in  annibraz ,comm361  Tagged:  March 1, 2012

Slideshow- Family Time

1 comment Posted in  annibraz ,comm361  Tagged:  March 1, 2012

Briggs: Chapter 11

Building a Digital Audience for News

Content of interest should be easily found through search engines and social media sites.

Measuring journalism

  • Track, measure and adapt

Track all that you publish

  • Total news stories per day
  • News stories by topic
  • Total blog posts per day
  • Slide shows per week
  • Videos per week
  • News updates
  • Social network posts
  • User-generated content

Set benchmarks

  • Set goals with criterion such as audience numbers, revenue, audience satisfaction
  • Think broadly when setting goals

Use web analytics software—Google Analytics—to track your audience

Identify key data points

  • Pageviews
  • Visits and unique visitors compared
  • Engagement (amount of time spend on the site)
  • Referrers (where traffic is coming from)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engines

  • Spiders and robots- small computer programs sent to record information on Web pages report back to search engines
  • Indexing- catalog where search engines refer to when users perform a search
  • Queries- computer programs take keywords and checks index for relevant results and presents them to Web page

SEO to grow audience

  • Aim to have Website among the first 10 search items
  • Utilize descriptive links and title tags
  • Write effective headlines
  • Headlines should be simple and direct for the readers
  • Robots will easily recognize a  headline that contains search repeated keywords throughout the story
  • Write for readers with Google in mind
  • Use conversational language
  • Engage potential readers

Use social media as distribution channels

  • News media Web sites should participate, comment and link

Increase social capital

  • Journalists should be a trusted center for a community
  • Participate in social media conversations and engage the audience to generate a two-way conversation
  • Aim to humanize journalism


Add comment Posted in  annibraz ,briggs ,comm361 February 29, 2012

Briggs: Chapter 10

News as a Conversation

Journalists are engaging in news conversations through comments and social networking:

Comments serve as a place for readers to openly discuss and debate topics. Nowadays, almost all online stories have a section for user-generated content, which allows the audience to connect with each other through news, photo and video sharing.

Social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook have transformed the way people connect and receive information online. Reporting now reflects a constant flow of information that is timely and interactive because of the two-way conversation among the journalists and the audience.

How to build and manage online community:

Make news participatory

  • Link and comment through photos, video, edits, message board posts, votes, recommendations, promotions, etc.
  • Use the 1-10-100 rule by Bradley Horowitz: one percent of users create content, 10 percent post comments or link, 100 percent benefit from actions of first two groups.

Develop sources through large scale social networks, niche networks or build one on your own through Google Groups.

  • Build extended networks
  • Search for ideas
  • Build contacts
  • Discover information
  • Proactively involve the audience

Collaborate with community through link journalism.

Maintain integrity and accuracy in conversations

  • Set guidelines for participants
  • Monitor offensive posts
  • Correct errors
  • Educate the public
  • Hold journalists accountable for their mistakes

Add comment Posted in  annibraz ,briggs ,comm361 February 28, 2012

The Buttry Diary- Digital Ninja School: A plan and incentives for newsroom training

Steve Buttry discusses a new training concept out of Connecticut that puts a twist on digital skill development.

The Digital Ninja School is a new training program that will train journalists in Digital First Newsrooms to develop skill sets in five key areas:

The training program emulates the martial arts approach where journalists will earn belts upon mastery of each skill. The belts convert into monetary bonuses, and the completion of all five belts turns into $2,000 in bonuses.

Each area will be taught through workshops, web seminars and of course, firsthand experience. Journalists will have the opportunity to blog about their training and apply their skills on the job.

The Digital Ninja School employs a similar concept to how this class (COMM 361) is structured. As students, we develop a set of digital skills over six to seven weeks, document it and then incorporate each skill into a final project. Although we are not earning belts or monetary bonuses, we are awarded with skill sets and experiences that are essential in today’s job market. The skills we learn today will open the door to new opportunities and advancements within the digital journalism field.

1 comment Posted in  annibraz ,comm361  Tagged:  February 23, 2012

Journalism Next: Chapter 6

Digital cameras provide convenience and portability with the ability to capture photos, review, upload, edit and share on the Web in a matter of minutes.

Photos are made of pixels, a visual representation of data in a digital image. Photo resolution measures the number of pixels in an image. High-resolution images should be compressed for online publication.

The two major classifications of cameras are point-and-shoot and DSLR

  • Point-and-shoot cameras are more affordable, simple and compact with a built in lens and flash
  • DSLR or digital single-lens reflex cameras capture better images but are more complex and expensive, with an additional cost for lenses or flash capabilities

When operating a camera, it is important to be familiarized with basic camera functions such as different camera modes, zoom, flash and view/delete function.

Craig Sailor, former photo editor at The Olympian and The News Tribune shares the following tips on how to take a good photo:

  • Be steady when shooting
  • Fill the frame and don’t leave excessive headroom
  • Focus on one thing
  • Get closer or move around to capture the right angle
  • Shoot action, not poses

Other tips to keep in mind:

  • Lighting is critical when taking a photo. Natural light works best but do not shoot in bright sunlight environment
  • Avoid flash or a strong backlight when doing a head shot. Choose a neutral background (dark over light).
  • The more photographs you take, the more chances you have to get the best picture.
  • Do not manipulate images that will mislead or alter the context of a photo.
  • Manage and organize photos by creating a master folder and subfolders.
  • When naming a photo, change generic file names to something recognizable such as the date and subject of the photo.
  • Use underscores to separate words instead of spaces when naming a photo.

Editing: Always edit a copy of the original photo. Basic editing functions include cropping, resizing, modifying resolution and adjusting the tone, contrast and brightness to enhance quality. When editing photos, ask which image can best communicate the message of the topic. iPhoto for Mac and Windows Photo Gallery for PC are free and provide basic editing functions.

Publishing: The size of a photo matters. Therefore, know the maximum possible width in pixels for display on a blog. Sizes should vary among photos. It is important to use the largest display size for the most important photo.

Slide shows: Slide shows represent a story you are telling and should contain at least 10 quality photos. Photos should be organized in a compelling and logical manner to build the story. An effective slide show should utilize captions, have effective transitions, an attention-grabbing opening, logical progression and an ending which concludes the entire show. Slide shows are created best with software such as Photoshop Elements or Soundslides for audio slide shows.

1 comment Posted in  annibraz ,briggs ,comm361 February 21, 2012

Journalism Next: Chapter 5

Mobile journalism allows reporters and average citizens to provide firsthand coverage with the ability to post updates, photo and video from a cell phone and onto the Web. Mobile reporting can be done on any medium from any location and serves as a supplement to in-depth reporting.

Mobile reporting can cover an array of events, including speeches, trials, breaking news events, public gatherings, sporting events and grand openings of public consumer spots. When covering an event, it is important to use news judgment to determine what events are interesting and worth reporting.

Tim Repsher, managing director for Media General provides the following tips for mobile reporters:

  • Deliver immediate, relevant information to the reader
  • Draw in readers to pursue other channels for additional coverage
  • Invite the public to gather information and share perspective

There are two types of mobile journalists in the field today:

  1. Gearhead: A journalists who is constantly reporting and publishing content from the field. They will use a variety of reporting equipment such as a laptop, camera, video camera, tripod, audio recorder, headphones, microphone and cell phone.
  2. Light packer: A journalist who occasionally reports from the field. This type of journalists usually carries a smartphone with camera and video capability, keypad and internet connection for reporting purposes.

Nowadays, it is easy to publish any type of content to an online platform for free.

Twitter is the most effective for mobile microblogging, for minute by minute coverage on a topic.

Live blogging sites such as TechCrunch and CoveritLive allows timely coverage for an ongoing event. Remember to create one post and add to it for the audience to easily follow along.

Mobile video services such as Qik, Kyte, Flixwagon can stream live video on a cell phone without Internet connection

Mobile crowdsourcing allows the audience to get involved in the conversation with a user-focused approach. Sites like Twitter gives the audience instant access to comment and leave feedback through hashtags for certain news events. News organizations can connect with the mobile audience by retweeting user comments.

1 comment Posted in  annibraz ,briggs ,comm361 February 20, 2012

Skillset #2

Add comment Posted in  annibraz ,comm361  Tagged:  February 16, 2012

The Buttry Diary- 10 ways to think like a Digital First journalist

Steve Buttry highlights some characteristics of Digital First journalists that differ from the traditional mindset of journalism.

  • Digital First journalists work for digital platforms, and since journalism is constantly changing, they are always experimenting with new social tools and trying to diversify their techniques.
  • Digital First journalists utilize collaborative journalism to their fullest advantage by reaching out to the public and generating discussions through Twitter or Facebook.
  • Twitter is their first resource to check when news breaks and their success is measured through the number retweets or links to a story.
  • If a journalist does not have the story first, they will credit and provide links to the sources that do.

In my opinion, the most valuable trait that Digital First journalists possess over traditional journalists is their exercise of collaboration over competition. Journalists seek to engage readers by building strong networks with community bloggers, encouraging the community to participate in conversation and linking to sources with relevant information. Furthermore, it is important for rookie journalists to emulate the qualities exhibited by Digital First journalists in order to embrace a more innovative form of journalism that employs fairness, transparency, credibility and more readership.

1 comment Posted in  annibraz ,comm361  Tagged:  February 15, 2012

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