Multimedia News Bureau Syllabus
Overview Standards Routine Grading Readings
Class Overview and Goals

Instructor: Chris Harvey
Instructor phones: 301-405-2796 (work office); 301-314-2696 (new-media lab)
Instructor e-mail: or
Office hours: By appointment.

Bureau hours: TuTh, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., for JOUR 353, advanced multimedia reporting and writing; and for JOUR 355, multimedia editing and production. You will work in the new-media lab, Room 3210 Knight Hall, and work alongside graduate students taking JOUR 655, the graduate Multimedia News Bureau semester.

Welcome to the staff of the online newsmagazine, Maryland Newsline --which will be undergoing a name-change and re-design this semester, as we move to a content management back-end and work even more closely with the other three news bureaus. JOUR 353 and 355 are a six-credit package of classes designed to give students hands-on experience on an online newsmagazine. Undergrads may take the courses together or individually. 

Students taking JOUR 355 work as online producers, editors, researchers and special report builders. They watch the CNS wires for key text and video stories and write concise briefs, headlines, photo captions and Web links to package or highlight the work of colleagues in the print and TV bureaus. Good news judgment is critical in story choices. They also edit audio and video. They create interactive quizzes, polls, google map mashups and other interactive visuals. And they build special reports, to package Web, print and TV stories and photos by topic. New-media students will be in close contact with the students and bureau directors working in Annapolis and Washington and in our broadcast studio at Tawes theater on campus.

Students taking JOUR 353 will chiefly be reporting and writing original multimedia stories and interactive features, but they will also do some Web research, production and page updates.

I'll be asking students in both groups to think beyond straight-text presentations and to consider nonlinear, interactive and multimedia writing forms.

You should treat your time here as you would time spent at an off-campus internship. This means calling in to alert me if you're too sick to work, or if you've been delayed due to car trouble. It also means dressing professionally, since you may sometimes have to go out on unexpected assignments. This means no blue jeans, T-shirts or tennis shoes.

All of your work will be closely supervised by me. For many reasons, including the need to avoid potential libel suits, nothing will go out live on the site unless I (or one of the other bureau directors or deans in my absence) have had a chance to edit it. 

Although you'll be tackling serious jobs, and you'll be working hard, it's important to me that we have fun while we work and learn from each other. 

Our goal will be to provide lively updates, news packages and interactive and multimedia features each week for our online sites, which include the Bay Beat.

I'm hoping Newsline will be routinely read by legislators, lobbyists, political junkies and activists, and by some Marylanders (and college students) with more than a passing interest in politics and public policy. So let's try to make it compelling and fun, so they'll want to repeatedly return.

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Copyright 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 Chris Harvey
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