JOUR 271: Final project reminder

Your final multimedia story — which takes the place of your final exam — will be due by the regularly scheduled exam time for this course:

Thursday, May 12 at Noon.

This means that next Thursday you will send me a link, via email, to your project – whether it lives on your blog or on another platform (Medium, Storify, etc.).

We will NOT be meeting during this time.

Thanks once again for your attention and efforts this semester – I look forward to reading your final stories.





Class notes, Thursday April 28

Reminder that we’ll be workshopping your final stories in class today – please bring any info and/or multimedia works in progress that you may need to move forward on these.

Below is the presentation schedule for next week, selected at random.

**You are expected to be in class on BOTH days, regardless of when you’re presenting:

Tuesday, May 3:

  1. Miller, Joliasa Jana
  2. Caruso, Isabella Grace
  3. Murphy, Edward Thomas
  4. Hathorne, Elizabeth Laurel
  5. Rosenthal, Amy Catherine
  6. Scaife, Trenton Pope
  7. Neely, Alexis Nicole
  8. Frisbie, Darby Ann
  9. Davis, Andrew Hilton

Thursday, May 5

  1. Kyra Henderson
  2. Harper, Annie St. Claire
  3. Glass, Hannah Margaret
  4. Muoio, Brooke Alexandra
  5. Franklin, Andrew Mark
  6. Lyles, Logan Allen
  7. Stringfellow, Damore’ea
  8. Usry, Samantha Annette




Class notes: Tuesday, April 26

Discoverability (how someone finds your story)

What are some ways people will be able to find your story?

Engagement (how long someone spends with your story)

What are some ways to entice people to spend more time on your story?

“Multimedia” – making a deliberate mix of elements to deepen a reader’s understanding of a story – is about increasing engagement, via “rich media” and interactivity.

Rich media: a digital advertising term for an ad that includes advanced features like video, audio, or other elements that encourage viewers to interact and engage with the content.

What are some examples of interactivity? What makes it interesting?


Project tips:

Timeline examples: Changing styles at Ole Miss

Storify example – Changing standards of female beauty/body types

Which of these works better? Why?

***Make sure to make full use of the tool!***

StoryMap: Why are you eating that?

Timeline: The music of Sam Mooney

Adding photos to WordPress, Medium

Shooting video: Vertical Video Syndrome – pros and cons




JOUR 271: Final assignment reminder

Reminder that you will be presenting your final story drafts the week of May 2  – I will randomly assign you to a day (either Tues or Thurs).

You will not read your stories verbatim, but will present the story along with your strongest elements.

The final, revised story will be due on THURSDAY, May 12

There will be no more WHAT WORKS assignments due. I’ll be calling on some of you next week to present some of your past What Works…if you haven’t yet done so.


Class notes, April 21

Paraphrasing quotes:


“Madisen Theobald was a student in the Visual Creative Thinking and Digital Publishing classes. I found Maddie to be a very conscientious student. She was a very hard worker. Maddie shows a great design sense and a great enthusiasm for the design process. She also works well with her peers,” Darren Sanefski said. “She moved up the ranks from Board Member to President of our Society for News Design student organization, OLE MISS SND. During those three years she was extremely organized and had a great vision for organization. Maddie is one of the most motivated students I’ve ever known in my higher education career. I believe that she would bring that motivation to anything she does.”


Darren Sanefski, professor of design at Ole Miss and advisor to OLE MISS Society of News Design, says Theobald was the most motivated student he’d ever known.”Maddie shows a great design sense and a great enthusiasm for the design process,” he said, crediting her vision and leadership for the success of the SND.

***Good example here: 

Over the years Wilson has learned many valuable lessons from working with the public but perhaps the most useful was the realization that “you can’t please everyone.” In regards to retail, Wilson had to constantly be up to date on the latest fashions. Wilson said, “You always try to be ahead of the game, but a lot of things you see in the magazines or on the runway will never make it to Mississippi.”

and here:

When asked his favorite type of music he says “I like a lot of  jazz,” but quickly adds alternative, indie, classic and country to the list of favorites.

“I go to concerts when I can,” he says modestly, before mentioning a recent trip to see Bruce Springsteen play at Madison Square Garden.

****Let your “main character” have the last word!!***

The geological engineering department will be losing Cathy Grace next spring as she gears up for her retirement.  After 22 years working for the university, Grace is planning to take a few cross-country road trips to Vancouver, British Columbia and Maine. and sleeping on former students’ couches along the way.

“[Maine] is fascinating geologically,” she says. “Fortunately I’ve got friends and former students in all of those places, so I’ve been warning them – get the guest rooms laid out. Or the couch. Or I’ll take a tent and a sleeping bag.”


Good example here: 

“I like to stay busy,” he says. “The common thread in all of this is vision, whether its my art or my music, or the narrative I’ve got running through my head. It’s important to see the world, really see it, you know?”



Smith, who is minoring in Italian, believes that Cappozzo’s rich Italian culture is an added benefit to his courses.

“It’s not just about learning the basics of grammar. It’s also about the culture and the people and their history, so having a teacher who has lived there and been there gives us a first-hand account,” Smith said.


Profiles shouldn’t be rehashed resumes – doesn’t have to be in chronological or reverse chronological order! It’s ok to open with, “Tell me about your typical day”


Leave out the inside baseball!!!!

While conducting the interview with Ken in his office at the Indoor Practice Facility (IPF), I asked him about what was the most important part of his job, his simple response was “just making sure everyone has everything”.

Make sure each graph is a single idea:

After falling just short of the NFL, Evan came back to Oxford, the town that gave him four extraordinary years of his life to begin his next chapter, adulthood. A big issue many college athletes face is a transition period from sporting life to the normality of the average citizen walking the streets. Many struggle with the hard realities of not having a structured lifestyle are feeling that they aren’t needed. For Evan his adjust period was short, something he applauds his personality for. His friends say otherwise. Seth Palcic a former student at Ole Miss met Evan over two years ago during summer session at the University.


Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Planning for Multimedia:

Fun tools:

Class notes: Tuesday, April 19

  1. Profile Story feedback
  2. Writing Editorials

Profile story feedback: Examples of strong narrative leads

“Momma, please hurry up so we can go see the pretty brown lady who works at Neilson’s,” pleaded what appeared to be a five-year-old little boy as he impatiently drug his mother hand in hand across the Oxford square. The “pretty brown lady” is as much a fixture of Oxford as the red telephone booth or the tulips that currently that adorn the corners of square.

Kristy Henry Wilson, the former cosmetic manager for Neilson’s, has worked for Oxford’s oldest retailer for over 30 years. Growing up in Oxford she began working for Neilson’s in high school. Wilson now works part time for the department store, along with her daughter Auguste, and now her second husband Lane, whom she met at Neilson’s.


On the surface, he’s just a guy with a crumpled white poster donned with crooked handwriting, seated in front of the James Meredith statue – perceived as yet another African-American in protest, expressing outrage over racial discrimination or police brutality.

But to many more he’s Correl Hoyle – a compassionate being with a big heart for equality and enlivenment.


It is a Saturday night in Tuscaloosa, which in that town means one thing and one thing only, Crimson Tide football. On this Saturday however, while the rows of fans cheering from Bryant- Denny Stadium echo throughout the state, not many took notice to what would become the beginning of one of the best Offensive Line careers at the University of Mississippi.


Paper clothing patterns line the living room walls, warmly illuminated by a single floor lamp. Two mannequins, pinned with fabrics and notes, stand at the end of the sofa. All of these items are part of the designs for Jeffery Peavy’s upcoming spring fashion shows, named Kaleidoscope and 1992.

Peavy, an “eco-fashion” designer, is from McComb, a southern Mississippi town about an hour and a half from New Orleans. The idea of eco-fashion, he explains, is something he was drawn to because of his Mississippi roots.


“I’m probably not your typical pastor’s wife,” Anna Fortner joked pushing her reading glasses up into her grayed, curly hair as ambient music from the coffee shop hummed in the background. “I love Breaking Bad, and I’m on the last season of Walking Dead.”

Fortner is a local celebrity and the resident “momma” to all who attend Grace Bible Church in Oxford, MS.It’s easy to pick out Mrs. Fortner on a Sunday morning, she’s the gregarious one singing hymns loudly and greeting every attendee with a gracious smile.


Each time the Ole Miss Football team travels to an away game, a customized “Ole Miss” 1999 Peterbilt 379 Extended Hood Truck packed with exercise equipment, medical equipment, uniforms, and all the items needed has already pulled out from Oxford, usually hours ahead of the team. The man responsible for the ordering, packing, and maintaining of the equipment is Ken Crain, equipment manager, for the Ole Miss Football team. With the assistance of around 15 managers, the truck is loaded and unloaded on the 48 foot trailer that has two decks.


2:30 PM on a Thursday in The University of Mississippi’s Lamar hall echoes Freddy Mercury’s “Under Pressure”, marking the start of one of Cathy A Grace’s geology classes.  The song closes, and in a slight southern drawl, she says “Man, I forgot how good Mercury was, golly!”  Her lectures always start with a song tied to the subject matter of the day before bringing up her PowerPoint slides through a light torrent of computer glitches.


Writing persuasive editorials/commentary


Andrew Rosenthal, the editorial page editor at The Times, explains that a good editorial consists of “a clear position that is strongly and persuasively argued.” He then goes on to recommend seven pointers for students.

1. Know your bottom line. “You have to know what you want to say. You have to have a clear opinion — what we call a bottom line.”
2. Be concise. “You need to get to the point of your editorial quickly. You have to state it clearly and you have to be concise.”
3. Give an opinion or solution. “There are basically two kinds of editorials. One expresses an opinion about a situation, like if you want to write about human rights abuses in some part of the world or the country that you’re concerned about. The other kind of editorial proposes a solution to a specific problem. For example, if you want to write about traffic congestion in northern New Jersey, where I live and there’s a lot of traffic, you should have an answer to how to fix the traffic problem.”
4. Do your research. “Everyone is entitled to their opinion, you’re not entitled to your own facts. Go online, make calls if you can, check your information, double-check it. There’s nothing that will undermine your argument faster than a fact you got wrong, that you did not have to get wrong.”
5. Write clearly. “Good writing is important. Make your writing clear and easy to understand. Write as if you’re sending a letter to a well-informed friend who cares about what you think. But don’t use any slang.OMG — no. Use examples whenever you can. It’s better to use an example than just to use a word or an adjective that describes something. If you want to say that the mayor’s pre-K policy is wrong, explain how — don’t say it’s just stupid. In fact, never use the word stupid.”
6. Every writer needs an editor. “After you’ve written your editorial, give it to someone you trust to read and listen to what they say. If they don’t understand it, that means it’s probably not clear.”
7. Be prepared for a reaction. “When you write something and you publish it, be prepared for a reaction. If you write a good editorial, people are going to respond to it. And if you criticize people, they definitely are going to respond. So if someone writes you a letter, write them back. Be prepared to defend your position. Don’t get defensive, just explain why you said what you had to say. And if they question your facts, be ready to show that you were right.”


Class notes: Thursday, April 14

Notes on profile stories: 


Make sure to place your subject in place and time.


  • Photo at top
  • ID your subject on first reference
  • Last name only on second and subsequent references
  • Writing in first person- ask yourself whether it’s necessary to the story:

When I asked Anna to describe her husband to me she smiled, and her eyes lit up, “Tim is a fantastic husband, we’ve been married almost 51 years. We love each other fiercely, we have fun together, and we laugh a lot.”

Learning to listen:


6:24 –


12:30 – spent three months up on the roof

13:13 – 13:35

114: 39 – as soon as I could pick up a Coke bottle


3:22 “I love to take nothing and make it pretty….”





Final project pitches

The assignment for the final project is as follows:

You are expected to produce a multi-source, multimedia news feature from your beat

Your story will:

–be at least 1,000 – 1,200 words

–have at least four ‘expert’ sources

–contain numbers, stats or data points that put the subject/issue into context

–have at least two different additional media elements aside from the text: possible elements may include photos, slideshows, audio clips, video clips, infographics (graphs or charts), a Storify sidebar of social media, timelines, etc.

–include all pertinent links to relevant data/ other news stories.

–have a well-written, SEO headline and deck that sells your story to the reader.

Your final projects will be discussed during class on May 3 and May 5.

By this time you be able to provide a brief summary of the story, plus an explanation of what other elements you chose to include and why. It will NOT be a straight reading of your text story.

You will have the opportunity to make changes to any part of your project before the final version must be posted to your blogs by the assigned exam period: THURSDAY, MAY 12 at NOON.

You are expected to post a written pitch for your story idea by next Tuesday. You will be permitted to make revisions/additions, but you must come to class prepared with at least one solid story idea that you’re prepared to pitch verbally. We’ll discuss these in class on Tuesday.

The story will be graded according to this multimedia story rubric – with a primary emphasis on the reporting and writing.

Available tools: 





Possible multimedia features: 

Photos, photo sequence
Audio + Video


Past successes:

Not your average study group


Gay Pride on Rebel Drive

Profile writing: The interview

Good interviewing for a profile feature should be a conversation- not an interrogation.

  • Have your list of questions prepared
  • Ask specific questions about their *process* as much as about the biographical details of their life – those are things you can probably learn ahead of time through research
  • Listen to the answers – connect these answers to your next question
  • Include information about what you already know in your questions
  • Don’t be afraid to rephrase or revisit a question
  • Don’t be afraid to share what you know/think – it’s part of the give and take of a good interview

Charlie Rose

Marissa Meyer:   7:27   42:25

Cast of Hamilton:

David Gregory:  9:12 , 14:37


Fresh Air with Terry Gross  4:37, 8:36, 24:50, 27, 32:50


Profile stories due Thursday, April 14

  • You MUST record your interview and upload to Soundcloud
  • Choose your best “soundbite” to include in your story, and add a still photo.



Demo photo captioning in WordPress (Kyra, Eddie)


Final story pitches due TUESDAY, April 12