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2021 Spring


James Fassinger
For information about registration please contact our admissions.

This introduction to reporting for electronic media incorporates weekly lectures, analysis of broadcast reporting and documentary production, both current and past, and, through practical exercises in electronic news gathering, students will learn the basic concepts of visual journalism. Because the course focuses on independent media production, students are advised to use their own video cameras, camera phones, iPads or other recording devices, MacBooks or PCs when we move into the production and post-production phase - although cameras are available for those without one. Working in groups, we will produce a series of video exercises culminating in short Final Project at the end of the semester, incorporating everything we've covered about finding, researching and reporting a story, gathering elements that may include documentation, archival material, interviews, sound and field footage. Technical considerations, such as lighting, composition, focus, audio, editing, and post production enhancements and formatting issues will also be covered.

You can download a copy of the VST course syllabus below:



Here is the course outline:

1. Class 1 - Telling Stories With Video & Camera Basics

Feb 10

Meeting the pre-reqs for the course. Introduction to the course – review the syllabus, go over textbook needed and other resources. Discuss main structure and goals for the class. Watch video selections from previous semester, analyze and discuss. Review equipment needed for the next class: Smartphone, DSLR, Cord to down load to computer, Headphones/ear buds, (tripod, external mic if available) editing software. Equipment available to check out from dean’s office. Discuss possible subjects for final group projects.

2. Class 2 - Interviews/Exposure & Sound

Feb 17

- View 'How to conduct an interview' video. - Talk about Camera Exposure & Video Sound. - Choose teams/groups to work in for projects. - In class video assignment.

3. Class 3 - Finding a story to tell with video/multimedia.

Feb 24

Discuss what makes a good story and where to find to find them for your videos.

4. Class 4 - Five shot sequence – building a story using five basic shots

Mar 03

Five basic shots for a sequence, avoiding the zoom and pan, using the tripod. Editing: Review which software you are using, tips, help, questions. Downloading to your computer, organizing your clips into folders for easy editing, the importance of backing up your files.

5. Class 5 - Successful Story Topics + Producing a Story

Mar 10

Topic: Successful Stories + Producing a Story. Break into working groups for final video project, discuss possible topics/story ideas. (You should have your stories by April 5th.) View videos and discuss Interview assignment.

6. Class 6 - Review of shooting assignments - Interview chapter

Mar 07

Topic: Discussion of final project topics. View and discuss Shooting Assignment #2 in class. Final video project research and shooting. Review 'Conducting and Interview' slides.

7. Class 7 - Writing your script & video editing

Mar 17

Topic: We will discuss chapter 12 and how to put together a script for your video projects.

8. Class 7 - Conducting and Interview & The Importance of Vox Pop Field Interviews

Mar 21

Conducting an interview & adding Vox Pop interviews to your story. The importance of using the native language of respondents with translated subtitles - not just English - to give a sense of place and culture. Look at some Vox Pop examples. Discuss final project story ideas. Discuss Shooting Assignment #3

9. Class 9 - Ethics. Story Editing. Final Projects.

Apr 04

Ethics in storytelling. Editing: Transitions - audio & video, titles and credits. There will be class time to work on final projects and instructor review.

10. Class 10 - Final project review

Apr 06

Rough cuts of Final Projects and Scripts due - screened. Discussion, critique. Class time for final project work/review.

11. Class 11 - Marketing your Story

Apr 11

Outlets to market your stories. Writing pitches to editors. Review and critique of Final Project progress. Class time for final project work/review.

12. Class 12 - New Media / The Future of Visual Journalism

Apr 18

Independent Journalism. Working Freelance. Review and critique of Final video project progress. Class time (workshop) for final project work/review.

13. Class 13 - Final Project Work

Apr 20

Review and critique of Final Project progress – rough/final cut. Class time for final video project work/review. (final workshop)

14. Class 14 - Final Project Work

Apr 25

Review and critique of Final Project progress Putting the finishing touches on your projects

15. Class 15 - Final Exam

May 02

Final Video Projects Due – Please upload online (i.e. Google Drive, Dropbox, etc...) and send me an invite link to view in class. - AND - bring a copy of the final video file to turn in. We will view all projects in class. Students will critique each other. Class discussion of projects.

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