Columbia Scholastic Press Association
Phone: (212) 854-9400
CSPA is affiliated with the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in the City of New York.
Summer Journalism Workshop - Class Description
Newspaper Reporting & Writing (Group #2 - for the Web)Learn how to enhance your reporting and writing skills to reach audiences on the worldwide web through principles of teamwork, communication, and effective planning. Prepare now for your career by developing skills that will help you find credible sources, gain loyal readers, and bring a variety of storytelling elements together to attract and retain an audience on your website.
Students will learn:
• That showing, not telling, is the best way to write great stories
• That conducting research before an interview – including research on the interviewee – will lead to better interviews and thus better stories
• That the Internet is a great springboard or starting place for sources and research, but that it ought to lead you to real people who have real information, not merely information itself
• To use an online newsroom to coordinate, plan, and submit assignments
• To form effective teams, relying on each individuals’ strengths and encouraging them to work on their weaknesses
• To become a multitasking writer to help you write more visually
• To coordinate text, photo, video, and other multimedia elements
• That all writing is creative, or ought to be
• To use social media to find stories and build an audience.
• That group writing need not be the most boring prose on the face of the Earth
• That people who are skilled at communicating ideas are needed more than ever before, given the depth and breadth of information now flowing freely to everyone via the Internet
• To plan effectively, improving the quality of your product
• To write effectively for the web – what are the similarities and differences between writing for a print publication and for the web
• How to build a writing portfolio
Assignments will include:
• Conducting an interview and then writing a personality profile
• Consider how to integrate photos, illustrations, video, links, and social media aspects to enhance a story
• Use the Internet to locate three to five experts willing to share insights on a given topic
• Evaluate the contents of a Wikipedia article or other informational web site for inaccuracies, bias, and other pitfalls• Write an opinion or humor column
• Write a group editorial
• Edit each others’ stories to help them show, not tell
• Work as a team to create visual and aural elements to augment and accompany a story
• Communicate effectively with sources so they're dying to contact you and hope you call them again
Alan Murray is the President and cofounder of Uncharted, a network of journalists, designers, programmers and other professionals who work together with an online community of explorers to document people, cultures, and places worldwide. An award-winning photographer, reporter, and editor, his work has included assignments such as the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, NCAA tournaments, and long-term multimedia documentary work on a variety of subjects. He was awarded public service honors for his work educating the public on organ donation.
CSPA is an international student press association, founded in 1925, whose goal is to unite student journalists and faculty advisers at schools and colleges through educational conferences, idea exchanges, textbooks, critiques and award programs.