JOU 3002 – Introduction to Multimedia JournalismSPRING 2012
Instructor: Bryan Murley
Office: Buzzard 2535Phone: 581-6003E-mail:
Office hours: 9-10:30 MW; 1-3 TTH

 You are responsible for knowing and understanding the syllabus for this course. Your failure to follow the syllabus can harm your grade.

Academic Integrity

You are responsible for knowing and following the Academic Integrity Standards as published in the EIU Course Catalog. Copying homework assignments, cheating on quizzes or tests, lying about sources of information and plagiarizing (claiming the work of others as your own) are all instances of academic misconduct. Using the same work in two different classes or using material originally created for a student media outlet to fulfill an assignment (double-dipping) is also considered academic misconduct. In short, no act(s) of cheating, plagiarism or other academic dishonesty will be tolerated, as outlined in the EIU Academic Integrity Standards and the Journalism Department Code of Conduct. Any such act will be met with the maximum penalty the university allows. All such instances of academic dishonesty will receive an automatic “F” (0) for the assignment, and other penalties – up to failure for the class – may be imposed. A copy of the Department Code of Conduct is accessible on the department web site:

Course Description

An Introduction to basic elements of multimedia journalistic storytelling, including audio, video, slideshows, and online journalism formats.

Course Objectives

Students will be able to:

*      identify elements of multiple media used in journalistic storytelling

*      critically evaluate professional journalistic multimedia packages

*      produce audio story packages

*      produce video story packages

*      combine audio and still photographs to produce audio slideshows

*      demonstrate understanding of characteristics of online journalistic storytelling

*      produce stories for online news site

Assignments and schedule information will be posted at


Journalism Next, Mark Briggs, CQ Press

Online Journalism: Principles and Practices of News for the Web, Foust, Holcombe-Hathaway, 2005

You will have to store the audio, photos, video and graphics and other elements you create in this class on a portable medium. It is highly suggested that you purchase a Flash (thumb) drive. BACK UP YOUR WORK!


Grades for this class will be determined by the following assignments:

  • 100 pts One Audio Package
  • 200 pts Two Video Packages
  • 100 pts Soundslides
  • 050 pts Weblog critiques
  • 150 pts Quizzes/Lab Assignments
  • 300 pts Final Multimedia Project
  • 050 pts Adopt a Multimedia Journalist Paper
  • 100 pts Attendance/Participation
  • 1000 pts total

91-100 – A; 81-90 – B; 71-80 – C; 61-70 – D; 60-0 – F

Assignment Descriptions:

Audio Package: You will be assigned several lab assignments to produce audio. You will produce one audio package that will be worth 100 pts.

Audio Slideshow: You will produce one slideshow combining audio and photography that will be worth 100 pts.

Video packages: You will produce two video packages that will be worth 100 points each.

Quizzes/Lab Assignments: Most weeks, you will have an online quiz or lab assignment that will be worth 10 points. These assignments will be worth 100 pts total.

Weblog: You will be required to post to a class weblog based on assigned reading or discussion questions.

Final Multimedia Project: Your final multimedia project will contain one piece of audio, one piece of video, and one other multimedia piece around the same journalistic subject. This final project will be worth 300 pts.

Adopt-a-multimedia-journalist paper: You will select one multimedia journalist and write a blog post critiquing this journalist’s work. This will be worth 100 pts.

Attendance/Participation: Punctual attendance is expected. Attendance is worth 100 pts.


As part of this course, you will be assigned a “Mojo Pack,” consisting of a video camera. You are responsible for this equipment for the duration of the semester. Any equipment that is broken or lost while it is in your possession will be your responsibility.


If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of disability, please contact the Office of Disability Services at 581-6583.


Punctual attendance is expected. Don’t be late. The only acceptable absences in this class are those excused as an OFFICIAL University Activity, or with a written medical excuse from a medical doctor. Students should make every effort to contact me via e-mail, telephone, or in person prior to the class meeting he/she will miss. Students who need to make up work for an excused absence are responsible for arranging such work in a timely fashion, usually the first week after returning from an absence.

Students are allowed three unexcused class absences. After three unexcused absences, the student’s final grade will drop one full letter grade. Tests and/or quizzes given during an unexcused absence cannot be made up. Any student who feels that he or she has been treated unfairly concerning the class’s absence policy has the right to appeal to the Journalism Chair.


Deadlines are crucial and will be strictly enforced.

Out-of-class assignments are due at the beginning of class on the due date. Late assignments are accepted, but penalized one letter grade for each day they are late. A student who encounters circumstances preventing the completion of an assignment by the deadline should contact me as soon as possible, but such contact does not guarantee that a late penalty will not be given. In-class assignments are due at the end of the class period.

The instructor reserves the right to modify the requirements of this class during the semester as necessary to achieve the objectives of this course.


*      Turn off cell phones or set to vibrate

*      DO NOT text message during class discussion and/or lecture times

*      Participate in class discussion

*      Offer constructive criticism

*      NO food or drinks in lab

*      Contact the instructor if you are having trouble with any material in the class

Tentative Class Schedule

Week 1: Introduction and Overview: What is multimedia journalism? Definition of terms, history of multimedia storytelling and how the Internet has changed journalism, challenges and opportunities, and the development of multimedia journalism within media industry
Week 2: Conceptualizing multimedia stories: How to plan a story to incorporate several media in ways that are effective.
Social Media – Twitter, FaceBook, Google+
Week 3: Writing for the Web: How web stories differ from print; How web readers/viewers read stories; what is SEO and why it matters in headline writing.
Hyperlinks: What are they? Why are they important? How to make them? What to link to?
Week 4: Weblogs: What is a weblog; weblogging conventions – blogrolls, posts, permalinks, traffic, conversation; setting up your own weblog.
Implications of weblog use for journalists: Are weblogs journalism? Examples of professional journalists who blog; weblogs as watchdogs.
Week 5: Basic audio storytelling techniques: What makes for good audio; definitions; examples of effective audio usage online.
Equipment use and technical specifications: How to use a digital audio recorder; microphone basics; terminology.
Week 6: Audio (cont.): Importing and editing audio with computer software: options available, including Garageband, Audacity, and others; basic inferface conventions; basic editing; terminology; exporting.
Week 7: Audio Slideshows: Combining audio and still photographs; planning the story; examples from industry; using Soundslides software package.
Best practices for audio slideshows: Do’s and don’ts; thinking about the viewer; captioning and titling.
Week 8: Audio Slideshows, Cont.
Week 9: Basic online video storytelling techniques: What makes for good video; definitions; examples of effective online video.
Quantity vs. quality: the newspaper online video debate, making the case for quality; making the case for quantity.
Week 10: Video equipment: what to use and when to use it: Camera basics; purchasing a camera – what to look for; microphone usage; tripods; video recording formats.
 Week 11: Video editing for online journalism: Importing video to a computer; using iMovie as a basic video editor; discussion of higher-end editing software; basic editing techniques; do’s and don’ts; exporting a final video project.
 Week 12: Legal concerns in multimedia journalism: Copyright and ownership; release forms and when to use them; slander.
 Week 13: Ethical concerns in multimedia journalism: Privacy; Manipulation of digital images, audio and video – what’s right and what’s wrong with this picture?
 Week 14: Final Project Preparation
 Week 15: Final Project Preparation, Final thoughts

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