Today you’ll come away with two assignments — a blog post about our latest guest speaker, and a Flickr slideshow.
1. Blog post. Not that long ago, Jennifer Lord Paluzzi was laid off from her job as a journalist for a corporate-owned community weekly newspaper. Today she is the editor of a growing group of community Web sites in Central Massachusetts called CentralMassNews.com. Paluzzi will talk about her journey from employee to entrepreneur. Please post your blog item on Paluzzi by Friday at 5 p.m.
2. Slideshow. I’m giving you several days, including the weekend, to do this because I want you to have a chance to find a story that engages you. Your assignment is to find a news story to cover. It could be a concert, a sporting event, a street fair — whatever.
You can find listings of plenty of things going on in the Boston Phoenix, at Boston.com and a whole host of other places. An event at Northeastern is fine. Or you could simply interview a series of people about a topic you’re interested in.
You will take a series of photos for your story. I’ll be looking for you to pick the best ones, but don’t be shy about taking a lot of pictures. Electrons are cheap. Aim for variety: distance shots, close-up shots and the like. I want to see brief interviews with at least three people. For instance, if you go to a hockey game, you should take pictures and get quotes from three fans, or two fans and a hot-dog vendor — something like that. Your goal is to produce a piece of visual storytelling, so try to have an idea of what you hope your slideshow will look like as you’re shooting.
Your next step will be to edit your photos with whatever editing program you like, such as Picnik, iPhoto, Picasa — or Photoshop if you have access to it and know how to use it. You will be producing a slideshow with at least six but no more than 10 pictures, so choose your best. Carefully crop each photo, and use your editing tools to improve lighting and contrast and to remove red-eye. This is journalism, so the idea is to strive for accuracy. Please don’t play around with unnatural colors or special effects.
Once you have finished choosing and editing your photos, upload them to your Flickr photostream and create a set. Write a title and a caption for each picture. Write a headline and a description for the set. Choose the picture you think best illustrates the set and make it your opening image. Add tags. Adjust permissions if you would like.
Finally, embed your lead image in your blog. Write a short story to go with the photo (a 300- to 350-word blog post), and link your photo to your Flickr set. Make it clear to your readers how they can access your set. A caption that says “For more photos, click on image” is sufficient.
Your deadline will be this coming Sunday at 5 p.m. We’ll look at some of them in class next Monday.