The stories should be in a file format compatible with Microsoft Word, such as .doc, .docx., .rtf or .txt. The multimedia submission could be an attached file or a link to a website, YouTube video, SoundCloud audio file, etc. Do not imbed the multimedia in the same file as your main story or sidebar.
Put your name on each item, and label one story as the main story and the other as the sidebar. Indent paragraphs and double-space, using the software settings we have discussed in class.
Hall School of Journalism and Communication
Final Reporting Project Guidelines
The project in JRN 2201 allows you to showcase the writing and reporting skills learned this term in your Reporting class. You will be responsible for enterprising, researching and writing a two-part package of news stories relating to a single theme.
For this project, you will create three items:
- A main story (800 to 1,000 words, including at least two hyperlinks)
- A sidebar (400 to 500 words, including at least two hyperlinks)
- A multimedia element such as a photo gallery, chart, informational graphic, audio file or video.
The topic can be local, state, national or international — but you must talk to people who can provide authoritative information, so be sure to pick a topic for which such sources will be available. Talk to as many sources as are necessary to give you two complete, fair and balanced stories — probably six or more sources for your main story and three or more sources for your sidebar.
Your hypothetical audience for the whole project is the students who read the Tropolitan.
You could have a main story about an issue or a situation and a human-interest sidebar, in which you focus on a particular person or a small group of people deeply affected by the main story. Or the people might be your main story, with the sidebar describing the general situation. (As you collect information, you may find that what you intended to be the sidebar would be better as the main story. That’s usually OK. Just get the professor’s approval.)
Previous successful ideas include:
_ Financial aid — how to get it, and one student’s triumph over the system
_ Credit cards — why so many solicitations, and one student’s struggle with debt
_ Parking — why university officials say you need to just stop whining and walk that hundred yards, and how one student found the rules expensive to ignore.
The multimedia element cannot be something you found on the internet or elsewhere. It must be something you created yourself. A single photograph is not sufficient, although a gallery or PowerPoint presentation of five or six original photos will be fine. You must include captions and/or other text necessary to make your photos, videos, audio or other materials understandable to the reader.
Your final project must be of publishable quality. In fact, publication in a recognized publication will earn you extra credit for this course.
Drafts for this final project must be submitted at least a week in advance, if you plan to submit a draft – so plan accordingly.
Grading will be based on criteria including the following:
_ Adequate information
_ Adequate sources
_ Readability and relevance to readers (no butt-grinder stories allowed!)
_ Interview development and effective use of quotes
_ Appropriateness of topic for target audience
_ Suitability for publication
_ AP style
_ Multimedia element
_ Lack of errors
_ Following directions