Assignment 1: My UOW Blog: Portraits and videos

Students will establish a personal JRNL101 blog and they will produce a series of photographic portraits of their classmates and a series of video vox pops and interviews.

Students will complete a number of blog posts which must include as a minimum:

  • 3 individual classmate photo portraits each with 100 word captions
  • 2 images of university life with 100 word captions
  • 2 video vox pop posts each with short introductory captions (up to 100 words)
  • 1 x 2 minute edited video interview with classmate with a short introductory caption (up to 100 words)

This assignment provides an opportunity for students to establish their own publication that explores the lives of UOW students.

The blog is about the lives of UOW Journalism students and university life in the broadest sense. It is about your lives, opinions, stories, aspirations inside and outside university. By getting each of you to focus on profiles of your classmates and fellow students we are hoping to build up a set of profiles which shows just how fascinating and diverse this group is. So the focus of the assignment is not just on “Why I want to be a journalist?”

However having said that, the thing that will link all your pieces, and give a sense of cohesion to your blog as a whole, is that they are all about journalism/media communications students and some of their friends. So you have to find subtle ways of indicating this without making that the main point.

One of your portraits/captions, vox pops or interviews may explicitly be about journalism or journalism aspirations but make sure it goes beyond the predictable: “I thought I’d be a journalist because my English teacher told me I was great at writing”. An interview might start that way but for it to be interesting there has to be a story arc, a realisation: “But after a couple of weeks here I realise that journalism is about so much more than just writing……”

But maybe a more interesting story is: Sarah Smith wants to be a journalist but at the moment she has to balance study with six shifts a week as a cashier at Woolworths, a passion for dance classes and helping out her single mum caring for her three younger sisters ….”It’s really teaching me about multitasking and deadlines,” she says with a wry grin.

This story mentions the student’s journalistic aspiration but focuses on the stress of student life at the moment.

However if you come across a classmate who has been contributing to their local paper since they were 14 and has really developed ideas about being a journalist then explicitly focusing on that would work well.

Always ask yourself what is the most interesting story that I can tell about this person?

The captions should be about the person portrayed and should be written in the third person (She/Sue is a….) not the first person (When I met Sue…..). You only have 100 words talk about their lives and interest not the process of interviewing them or taking their photograph. Use at least one direct quote.

This is a blogging assignment, not just a photography and writing assignment so make sure you use what the blog can offer – incorporate links, use a vibrant theme, use categories and sidebar widgets to add extra information. All these elements are explained in the introductory WordPress tutorials we went through in week 1 if you are unsure about getting the most out of blogging go back and revise these tutorials. Before you hand in your assignment refer to the blogging checklist posted under assignment resources on the moodle.

Your blog as a whole should tell a cohesive story. This doesn’t mean that it should feature the same people in each of the parts or that the portraits are intros to the video. We mean that each piece is an individual part of the puzzle. Taken together the stories tell us about the diversities, aspirations and backgrounds of the class of 2014.

You also need to think about stylistic ways that you tie your posts together by creative use of headlines that bounce off each other; by ensuring that your captions all follow the same format; by using a set of stylistic devices which link your three portraits etc etc (These are just examples not things you have to do – be creative think of your own ways to show that what you are doing is a “set” not just isolated elements).

Just one more thing to add – and this is REALLY important.

The most important thing about the assignment is the QUALITY of your work. Take great photos. Make sure the sound on your video is really clear. Edit and re-edit all your writing until it sparkles and is mistake free. Explore the ways blogs work and make yours sparkle.

This is what we are really after

Marking Marked out of 100 – 35%  of total subject mark
Description Students will establish a personal JRNL101 blog and they will produce a series of photographic portraits of their classmates and a series of video vox pops and interviews
Due date  21/04/2014 5pm
Graduate qualities
developed
Independent learners
Problem solvers
Effective Communicators
Format Students will complete a number of blog posts which must include as a minimum:3 individual classmate photo portraits with 100 word captions
2 images of university life with 100 word captions
2 video vox pop posts with  short caption (up to 100 words)
1 x 2 minute edited video interview with classmate with  short caption (up to 100 words)
Assessment
Criteria
Students will demonstrate an ability to
– Take engaging photographs which convey information and emotion;
– Use the basics of blogging technology as a storytelling medium;
– Capture engaging content through video interviews;.
– complement visual storytelling with simple, well expressed written content
Submission
method
URL submitted via moodle
Must attempt Yes