Curate and Share: Tips and Tools for Survival in #Virtual300


Tips for Surving this “Wild” Class!

1. You’re scared of “new” journalism? Well, Kara Chiuchiarelli of The Marquette Tribune shows you how similar old school journalism is to new school journalism, even with all of our multmedia.

2. A quick definition of visual journalism from Amanda Farnsworth of the BBC.

3. See how Troy Thibodeaux basically created his dream job Associated Press. He is the new Interactive Newsroom Technology Editor and he calls his team programmer-journalists.

4. Here is a job description from The Roanoke Times looking for a visual journalist. I think it really shows how you will take everything you do in Virtual 300 with you into your career.

5. A simple guide to building infographics, timelines and maps from Natalia Mazotte at The University of Texas.

6. More about how to turn data related to your story into a visual element from Peter Verwejj at MemeBurn.

7. Having trouble thinking of an idea for your story? Meranda Watling from MediaBistro published not one, but two articles with great places to go to find story ideas.

8. Once you have a story idea you want to do a little planning before you start gathering your media. Know what you want to get before you go out and get it. Mark Glaser from PBS’s Media Shift teaches Storyboarding 101 in this article.

9. For things to go smoothly once your out gathering media you need to know your equipment. Jonathan Malt of KARE-11 in Minneapolis (The dream team of storytellers) says “Be so confident in your gear that you go to the next level and worry about the story, you don’t ever worry about the mechanics.”

10. And last but not least… relax! It will all be okay.


Review and Reflect: #Virtual300 and My Future


Understand various types and methods of digital publishing using text and multimedia elements, via the Web and mobile means.

My favorite lesson of digital publishing was with my mobile phone. One of our first assignments was to take pictures of local architecture via Instagram and link it to our Tumblr account. Once you get used to it, it becomes more fluid but keeping what you are posting where organized can be tricky. 

I think you really made us forget our legacy mediums while in class. I felt like you really got the point across that now Television and Print news is nothing without the online medium.

Be proficient in the use of social media and blogs for journalistic endeavors.

Using TweetChat during chapter presentations showed me how well I could interact with my classmates and get more out of the presentation then I would by just listening to the group lecture. I can see the value in using social media to obtain sources and story ideas and by giving my followers a hashtag, I can keep track of what is coming in.

Know the power players in the online journalism industry, as well as current industry trends.

I think reading the New York Times’ Snowfall showed me that they might be in the lead in the online journalism race. It showed that they really understand what viewers want out of an online piece better than any other outlet. 

By throwing us into areas of media that not everyone is comfortable with really showed how our generation of journalists has to know how to do everything in order to get a job. 

Fluidly incorporate multimedia elements into journalistic storytelling online.

I’ve learned how much multimedia that is not fluid will turn off a reader just by reading pieces done by the local media on their websites. I do wish that the preview option of WordPress worked more effectively with all elements of multimedia, that way I could be confident with what I am posting before I hit publish.

Through hands-on experience with as a content management system (CMS), be trained and prepared for student reporter/administrator staff positions at

Instead of just training students for, Virtual 300 has trained soon-to-be graduates who may be getting jobs where they need to know the in’s and out’s of WordPress daily. 

After I gathered all of my media for my eight stories and was ready to distribute it was when I really learned how to display my story in a reader-friendly way. It took less time for me to publish each story as I learned my way around WordPress. 

The State of the News Media 2013: The Changing TV News Landscape


The Pew Research Center’s findings are small enough not to notice but large enough to be significant. I don’t think there is anything that they have found that has changed TV News that doesn’t have a reason why.

Cable News

The report starts out discussing opinionated reporting. I think there is definitely a place for opinionated news especially from established, well trusted journalists. I think the reason why cable news outlets catch heat for expressing their opinions is because they do not distinguish between opinions and news reporting very well.

Some cable news outlets have even gone far enough to brand themselves as fair and balanced and then overwhelm the viewer with opinions.

I also think that the cable news format has changed so much because they are letting local and network news handle the live coverage and packaged stories about hard news. They have found something different to offer which is their opinion. Since they only reach television consumers that buy cable, I don’t think they have as much of an obligation to be fair and balanced as local and network news, which in theory is free.

It seems like Fox News led the way to opinionated content. I think the other cable news outlets saw the entertainment value and followed suit.

Local News

The study says that most local news outlets stay away from content that depicts the economic strains on the industry. I am not sure if that is true or not but there is value in being honest about how unglamorous the industry is. It makes television reporters and anchors more relatable.

As far as sports, weather and traffic taking up more space in local news, I think viewers expressed that these three were the most useful topics for them. It is true that you can just pick up your device and receive all the information you want about sports, weather or traffic, but I think there is still a great deal of value in hearing someone you trust verify what you have found on your smartphone.

I don’t think live coverage of events has wavered. If it has the industry has learned that not everything has to be live.

The decrease in time a reporter has to tell a story might have to do with the fact that there is so much more to incorporate in a newscast now than there was in 2007. With the emergence of social media and crowd sourcing becoming more common, the newscast has to have more time to make the viewer feel like they are participating in newsgathering rather than just the reporter always being the one to tell the story.

Also the television version of a story also has to compete as well as work with the Twitter version of the story. On Twitter the deadline is always now which changes how people consume their news. I think deadlines are coming a lot sooner for reporters now resulting in shorter pieces.

The decrease in packages and reporters voicing over and telling the story may have to do with less reporters being employed. Lots of industries have downsized personell since 2007 and news is definitely one of them.

Network News

The study shows that network news has stayed steady since 2007. I don’t think loyal viewers of The Today Show, Good Morning America and CBS this Morning like drastic change. Since they integrate so well with local news by switching off coverage, I think the networks are letting local television do the downsizing. That allows them to stay in depth because you are getting the less in depth version from the local news.

Each network is so different. You won’t get the same thing from Good Morning America, The Today Show or CBS this Morning in one single morning. I think they have all distinguished themselves with something different to offer.

Analyzing and Adoring Snow Fall


I quickly became very invested in this piece. What blew me away the most is how everything was a surprise. Each piece of multimedia seemed like it came from nowhere as you scrolled through. Even the direction of the story was a surprise. I found myself gasping at each new surprise as it slightly startled me.

I really enjoyed watching the documentary at the end. It really brought everything full circle for me.

I think I would use the word beautiful to describe the entire package. It probably had something to do with the mountains and the breathtaking snow but both the lighter and darker moments seemed pretty in a way.

This “act of journalism” or to me, “artwork“, is so revolutionary because the package had an answer to everything. Any question that you could think of was answered through a video, picture slideshow or demonstration.

The reader is in the story. You get to know every one of the skiers whether they survived or not and each path they took down the mountain. It is really hard to not feel like you are actually there which is so hard to do without video and natural sound being the leading role.

The three required multimedia components with our eight stories in Virtual 300 seems like it is too much at first. It is hard to say that every story you do for an online medium will have a video, and pictures, and an infographic, and an audio/photo slideshow etc.

“Snow Fall” had its three different multimedia and it didn’t at all seem like it was too much. I think that was because there was a lot of story to tell.

Although you don’t see pieces like “Snow Fall” very often, it gives me hope that they are veteran journalists that understand where the future of journalism is going.

Anything this gripping makes me inspired to tell the stories of the people of my community. The skiers at Tunnel Creek that day were not average people but reading how easy some lost their lives brought them back from daredevils to normal people.

I am also inspired to really get deep into the lives of the people the story is affecting. The survivors trusted the Times reporters so well that they gave them personal photographs, intimate interviews and telling video from their own helmet cameras.

I was hooked from the very beginning but once the story went into the history of the area I wasn’t sure where it was going to take me. I was not a fan of the background at first but as I kept reading I knew it was all for a reason.

The stories of people kept me reading faster than the stories of things, like the mountains or past avalanches. I really liked how the story of each skier was reinforced multiple times throughout the piece. You didn’t just learn everyone’s full names at the beginning and then only get a last name throughout the rest of the story. Pictures of everyone popped up throughout to help the reader keep everyone straight.

The most impressive thing about “Snow Fall” is the reaction from the industry. It speaks volumes for how revolutionary this piece was when their own competition did stories on their story. I also found this Q&A session with the New York Times team that put together the piece compelling.