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Grading Sheet – Fall 2021

22 Nov

Final Project is an in-depth multimedia project. Each student’s part of this project will include a headline, abstract, 400-word (minimum) text story, video that includes multiple sources, sound and nat sound, strong sequenced video and a voice track.  You’ll lay it out on the project site using subheads, pull quotes, multiple photos, captions, links, etc. using the elements of strong web layout we’ve discussed in class.  The video should run between 1:15-1:45, include multiple sources, sound and nat sound, and signed out with “I’m ____________, for the Webster Journal.” Email the script for the video to your teacher.  Your individual project is worth 400 points.

  • Is it web optimized-or at least engaging enough to click on?

Abstract:  xx/30 

  • Does it entice the reader to click?

 Focus:  xx/10

  • Does the story speak to the intended audience—students, faculty and staff at Webster University?
  • Have I chosen a story that lends itself to both text and video?

Text:  xx/100

  • Does the lead engage the reader?
  • Is the story accurate, fair and complete with appropriate sources?  
  • Have I avoided opinion?
  • Have I used active voice, precise language, good grammar and spelling?  How’s the SVO sentence construction? Sentence length?

Video:  xx/175

  • Did I engage the viewer in the first :05-:10 seconds? Is there an appropriate establishing shot in this sequence?
  • Is it clear that I understand and used the five-shot sequence technique?
  • How’s the continuity
  • Did I shoot people, not just things?
  • Is the video clean?
  • Is the sound and natural sound clear?
  • Is the editing clean?

Etc:  xx/30

  • Have I diligently performed my job as part of the group project?
  • Is the story posted by the deadline?
  • Have I posted it properly on the project website and added the transcription to the Comments section below the ‘rough’ post on the class website?

Layout:  xx/35

  • Have I drawn the reader’s eye down the page from start to finish using photos, video, subheads, additional information, related content and links?

POINTS:  xx/400

Climate Consciousness Resources

25 Oct

Find at least three useful resources for our project on climate consciousness in St. Louis. They can be sources, websites, databases, and/or articles.

Post them in the Comments section below.

How to post on the class website

10 Sep

Check for an email that makes you an editor on  If you haven’t responded, you won’t be able to load your work. Contact me immediately if this is the case.  Include the email you used to sign up for WordPress.

So you clicked in your Premiere timeline … then exported your file using File-Export.  Then you hit ‘Media.”  Change the format to H.264 or MP4 if it’s not there already.  Hit export.

Here are the file types that WordPress accepts:

.mp4, .m4v (MPEG-4) (H.264 is a close relative)
.mov (QuickTime)
.wmv (Windows Media Video)
.ogv (Ogg)
.3gp (3GPP)
.3g2 (3GPP2)

Step by Step

Sign into WordPress.  Click on ‘My Sites’ in the upper left corner and choose Journalism Bootcamp. Click on Write in the upper right.

You should see a blank ‘post’ which includes a box for a headline, then space below for a post.

Write a headline in the box marked “Title.”  (Make sure it’s a sentence that includes a verb … not just a label.) Then cursor down and add a few lines about your story.  Now click on the + sign (to the left of the toolbar.)    This takes you to the Media Library where you’ll want to hit ‘Add New.’

Great.  Now take a breath

It usually takes a few minutes to load.  When that’s done, you’ll want to create a second page … so put your cursor between the copy you wrote for your story and the actual media and hit the ‘Insert Read More tag’ near the top right side of the toolbar.

You’ll see a menu on the right called  ‘Post Settings.’ Click on Categories and Tags.’  Click the 1020 Stories category.  Unclick “Uncategorized.”

Don’t forget to “Publish.”

PS – Your free personal site doesn’t allow you to post videos.  (We pay for that on this site.) So you’ll need to load your video on YouTube or Vimeo and embed the code to include videos on your personal site.)

Selfie Stick/Tripod

23 Aug


For those wondering, here’s the selfie stick I bought on Amazon that seems to do the job.  You do NOT have to get this one–shop around–but I do know this one works pretty well and costs around 20-bucks.

Selfie Stick Tripod, Eocean 54 Inch Extendable Selfie Stick with Phone Tripod Stand and Wireless Remote, Compatible with iPhone 12 11 Pro Max X 8 7 6 Android, Perfect for Live Stream Vlog, Lightweight


PS… Don’t forget to send me the email you used to sign up for WordPress and the URL of your website.

Welcome to Bootcamp

10 Aug


Glad you’re along for the ride in JOUR 1020.01.

This semester we’ll learn the tools you’ll need to thrive as journalists.

The demands, conventions and newsgathering tools change constantly.  Print journalists carry video cameras and narrate photos. TV and radio journalists write long-form text and post to the web constantly.  All journalists cover 24/7 breaking news using Facebook, Facebook Live, Twitter, Instagram etc.

But the basics of good reporting do not change.  The goal in this class is to learn those basics … and put them into practice.

Meet the teacher

I come from a TV background–spending 20-some years in newsrooms.  My work includes two decades at Webster and 17 years as a consultant and trainer for 602 Communications — running workshops for journalists in storytelling, writing, digital and social media, etc.

I look forward to spending time with you this semester.



Listening Assignment

9 Aug

Spend ten minutes listening: 

Sit down for ten minutes–anywhere you please. Jot down the sounds you hear. Which of these sounds is part of the foreground?  Which are parts of the background?  Note the high frequency sounds.  Note the low frequency sounds. Write about your experience in the Comments section below.

(Note:  Don’t worry if it doesn’t show up right away. Sometimes your first Comment has to be approved by the administrator.)

Pitch for Audio Project #2

27 Jul

Write your pitch for Audio Project #2 in the Comments section below.

Remember: a pitch is not a story idea. Pitch a story you know that you can turn because you’ve already done the research and contacted sources who have already agreed to be interviewed.

Please attend the Media Academy

17 Mar

Details from the Dean:

This year’s edition of Media Academy is Wednesday and Thursday, March 24 & 25.  Please join us and please help us maximize the event.  You can see the full program, session titles and descriptions, and presenter’s bios (click on their names) here:  All sessions will be by video; each has a link you can click to register.

Please sign up for as many sessions as you can attend.

Seek variety. Attend sessions that might not obviously be within your major area of study.  

Please give extra attention to the Student Showcase. Work samples will be posted to the webpage in advance for you to review.

I appreciate everyone’s participation.  These visiting executives are normally highly paid consultants, who are taking time off to give us these workshops for free.  The line up this year includes several creative options responding to immediate, contemporary issues; they have obviously given thought to designing something specifically for our students.  Let’s make sure they each have a good audience and know that they are appreciated.

Mary says:

Up to 20 extra credit points are available. Click on the ‘Comments’ section to write a few words on what you learned from each session you attended.

Podcast assignment

6 Jan

Homework due in two weeks:

Check out the podcasts you see in the sidebar of this website. Also explore these articles:

The Best Podcasts of 2020 – New York Times

The 10 Best Podcasts of 2020 – Time Magazine

The Best Podcasts of 2020 – Rolling Stone

The Ten Best Podcasts of 2019

Pick a favorite.  Listen to at least one full episode and analyze it. Write 200-words about what the producer did well as both a storyteller and audio producer. Did the producer grab your attention right off the top? How did they do it? How did they maintain your attention? Be sure to talk about the use of sound and natural sound in the podcast.

What would you have done differently?  Post your analysis in the Comments section below.  Include a link.  Be prepared to discuss this in class on Monday in two weeks.  (30 points)

(Don’t forget to bring in a pitch for your own long-form audio piece when we meet in two weeks.  See details in Week 1.)

Post your pitch for Audio Slideshow here

21 Sep

If we didn’t hear your pitch in class … please post the pitch for your audio slide show here:

This audio slideshow should focus on a visual story with good sound and natural sound that is of interest to a college audience. This story can include your voice (or not), but at minimum should include at least 20 sequenced photos, at least one interview, and nat sound. It should run at least :45 but no longer than 1:00. Post this on the class website with a headline and abstract. Include the script in the Comments section below your post. (30 pts) This completed story is due next week.

Post your pitch in the Comments section below.

Zoom Link

17 Aug

Here’s how to find us on Zoom:

Larry Baden

Mary Cox

Welcome to Media Production for Journalists

16 Aug

Welcome to JOUR 1020.

The goal this semester is to learn the tools you need to thrive as journalists across all platforms.

Change is constant

Print journalists carry video cameras and narrate photos. TV and radio journalists write long form text and have to know how to spell.  All journalists cover 24/7 breaking news using digital tools including Facebook, Facebook Live, Twitter, Instagram etc.

The demands, conventions and news gathering tools change constantly, but the basics of good reporting do not.  The goal in this class is to learn those basics … and put them into practice.

Meet the teachers

Larry: I have been working as Mary’s teaching assistant in Journalism Boot Camp for more than 10 years. (Mary says:  NOT.) And I’ve been teaching at universities for 26 years (This will be my 18th year at Webster.) Before transitioning into teaching, I was a reporter at newspapers in Nevada, Colorado and Missouri.

… I hate the Oxford comma. Deal with it.

Mary: I come from a TV background–spending 20-some years in newsrooms.  My work includes two decades at Webster and 16 years as a consultant and trainer for 602 Communications — running workshops for journalists in storytelling, conversational writing, digital media, etc.

… glad you’re along for the ride.

Welcome to Production Techniques

6 Jan

This is the site for our “directed study” for JOUR 2110 – Production Techniques.  We’ll meet on Zoom until the vaccination arrives.

This class builds on what we learned in JOUR 1020 – Media Production for Journalists.

You’ll find the syllabus and the week-by-week schedules in the tabs above. Be sure to check these often to find out what we’ll do in class and when homework is due.

I look forward to spending time with you this semester.


Canon XA-10 Checklist

8 Oct

Here’s the helpful checklist offered by the Media Center’s Nick Hendershott …

Check your switches.

  • Channel 1&2 should be on “Mic”
  • INT/EXT set to “EXT”
  • Att (Attenuator) set to OFF if there’s no wind or heavy background noise, ON if there is.
  • AUTO/M/CINEMA switch set to “M” for Manual.
  • Your mic has a switch on it, make sure that’s on.

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