DRAFT Course Proposal:

Journalistic Publishing in the 21st Century

Course Overview

Catalog Description

The continued shift of journalism to digital platforms requires greater collaboration between journalists and computing professionals. Journalists need to have a better understanding of the structure, functionality, and larger implications of online news preparation and delivery systems. Journalists need to be able to target mobile, tablet, and big screen content delivery and interaction devices. Computing professionals need to better understand how system structure and design help tell stories and inform the public. In this advanced seminar, co-taught by professors in journalism and information technology, a mix of journalism, photojournalism and computing students will work together in interdisciplinary teams to design, build and test competing digital publication approaches. Each publication will be built using a different set of technological solutions requiring varying degrees of computing expertise. Students will launch their community-news focused publications at mid-term, and will compare and contrast the pros and cons of each technology mix at the end of the term.

Probable Students

Journalism. Photojournalism, and Computing majors who wish to prepare to work in an online publishing environment.

Maximum Class Size


Space Required

Classroom with projector, students will bring their own devices. Student Innovation Center would be ideal, to provide greater public visibility and student engagement.

Prerequisite Requirements

Primary Topics

Weekly Outline

  1. Introduction to and overview of the issues and problems/questions in Twenty-First Century Journalistic Publishing
  2. Introduction to and overview of range of current probable technological solutions, including:
    • (most tech staff/knowledge required) completely hand-crafted in HTML5/CSS3/Javascript
    • (some tech staff/knowledge required) blog-style customized but rigid templates, like WordPress
    • (little tech staff/knowledge required) fixed-format data-consumption solutions, like Scoop.It
    • (some tech staff/knowledge required) use across devices ranging from big-screen connected TV to handheld smartphone
  3. Coverage assignments, teams formation, initial visual and workflow design
  4. Visual and workflow design review and revisions
  5. Second design review and first prototype publication
  6. Prototype testing and review
  7. Version 1.0 published
  8. Publication testing and review
  9. Version 1.1 published
  10. Team Projects Presented and Reviewed

Guest Speakers

Outside experts will be brought in to speak on a regular basis during this course, utilizing videoconferencing tools such as Google+ Hangouts. The focus will be on speakers who can clearly articulate the problems of 21st Century journalistic publishing, and who can situate these issues within the larger historical and technological context.