Fall 2011: Staci is not currently teaching this course.

Welcome to the website for J226 – Digital News Gathering at San Francisco State University.

This site is used to teach students how to work with content management systems. It’s powered by WordPress.

Staci Baird
sbaird [at] sfsu.edu

Office hours:

Or by appointment via:

  • In-person
  • Google chat

Class website: http://www.digitalnewsgathering.wordpress.com

Time and Effort Commitment
Students should expect to spend between 3-9 hours outside of class each week working on assignments.

Learning Outcomes/Objectives
By the end of this course you will be able to gather, produce, publish and promote digital news stories using images, charts, maps, audio and video.

You will learn how to use a variety of applications including tools for managing social media, organizing and presenting data, editing images, audio and video. This includes (but is not limited to): Twitter, Facebook, CoTweet, Flickr, YouTube, Google Reader, Google Docs, Garage Band, and iMovie.

Required Readings/Textbook/Gear
The course syllabus and assignments are posted on the class website: digitalnewsgathering.wordpress.com. Schedule and assignments are subject to change. You are responsible for checking the website for the most up-to-date information.

  • Journalism Next A Practical Guide to Digital Reporting and Publishing by Mark Briggs
  • AP Stylebook (hard copy or online subscription)
  • Yahoo Style Guide
  • Various articles and handouts as assigned.

Students are required to have access to devices that can capture audio, video and still images and allow for the easy transfer of such media to a computer. We can assess your gear at the beginning of the semester.

Suggested devices: a smartphone (iPhone or Android are best), Zoom H1 ($100) or H2 ($130-150) audio recorder; Kodak Zi8 ($100) digital video/still camera.

Attendance: 75 (5 pts per class, 15 weeks)
Discussion/class participation: 75 (5 pts per class, 15 weeks)
Social media: 50 (5 pts per week, 10 weeks)
Multimedia: 100

  • Map: 10
  • Spreadsheet 10
  • Chart: 10
  • Chart: 10
  • Photo story: 10
  • Photo story: 10
  • Audio Q&A: 10
  • Audio interview: 10
  • Video MOS: 10
  • Video interview/b-roll: 10

Essays: 10 (5 pts each, 2 essays)
Research papers: 40 (20 pts each, 2 papers)
Skills test: 100

Total points: 450 points

A passing grade for this class is C+ or higher.

Journalism Department Policy on Plagiarism
Plagiarism, the passing off of someone else’s work as your own, is a serious offense against scholarship, journalism and honesty. It is regarded as a serious offense by this university and this department. In journalism, the object is to develop one’s own original body of work, based on one’s own reporting and research, and delivered in one’s own “voice”–in one’s own writing–in an effort to give the reader as faithful a rendition of the truth of things as we are capable. By contrast, plagiarism delivers what someone else has researched and written under the pretense that it is one’s own work. The plagiarist lies to the reader by pretending the stolen writing is original, depriving the real author of credit, and denying readers the right to form opinions based on the real sources of information. To call this a disservice to journalism is putting it in the mildest terms. When a journalist steals someone else’s work, it damages the credibility of all his or her associates, calling into question the integrity of the newspaper or magazine in which the plagiarized work is published. Plagiarists fail their readers, their profession and themselves. San Francisco State University calls plagiarism “literary theft” and treats it as a disciplinary issue. Journalism Department professors regard plagiarists as liars and thieves and read their assignments with disbelief beyond skepticism. Any assignment found to be plagiarized will receive an F.

Accommodations for Disabilities
Students with disabilities who need reasonable accommodations are encouraged to contact the instructor. The Disability Programs and Resource Center (DPRC) is available to facilitate the reasonable accommodations process. The DPRC is located in the Student Service Building and can be reached by telephone (voice/TTY 415-338-2472) or by email dprc@sfsu.edu. (More info: http://www.sfsu.edu/~dprc/facultyfaq.html#1)

Journalism Department Policy on Misspelled Names, Errors of Fact and Deadlines.
Misspelled names received an F on the assignment. Missed deadlines receive an F on the assignment. Errors of fact receive an F on the assignment.