Ad Prac 2 – IMJ4012 – Assessment Guidelines

 

Term 2: General Assessment Requirements, Grading & Deadlines: OVERVIEW

 This page compiles guidance for your MA module Advanced Practice 2 – IMJ4012, including information regarding deadlines, assessment submission requirements, and grading. Please read carefully.

You will complete 2 modules:

You need to pass both Term 2 modules to continue to Term 3. Assignments must be handed in on time and to requirements. Penalties for late assignments are below:

  • Up to 7 calendar days late = 10 marks subtracted but if the assignment would normally gain a pass mark, then the final mark to be no lower than the pass mark for the assignment. (50%)
  • More than 7 calendar days late = 1 mark will be awarded. This means you will have one final chance to resubmit work on a refer status (6 weeks after the original deadline). Work submitted on a refer status is capped at the lowest grade (50%).

If you have serious mitigating circumstances, which means you need to defer your submission up to(6 weeks after the original deadline). You must provide documentary evidence (e.g. medical certificate). Please see your tutor or refer to the school handbook for details of how to submit mitigation documentation. Please come and see your tutor 4 weeks before the due date with any problems you may be having.

This page does not contain comprehensive module or course information, and you should all read, in full the IMMJ Handbook PROGRAMME HANDBOOK — MA in International Multimedia Journalism 2015/2016. 

Module: IMJ 4012 Advanced Practice 2 – General Assessment Requirements, Grading & Deadline Guidance

For your Term two practical assignments, you will produce (research, plan, report, edit, polish edit and publish) two digital multimedia journalism features. For the second project, you may work independently or with a partner (*1).

DEADLINES

  • The final deadline for story / project 1 is: 25th February
  • Complete, high-quality story / project 2 draft online at a working URL for feedback by 20th February. (Note, individual links to videos etc are not acceptable and WILL NOT be reviewed). 
  • The final deadline for project 2 is: 29th April
  • Complete, high-quality story / project 1 draft online at a working URL for feedback by 21st April. (Note, individual links to videos etc are not acceptable and WILL NOT be reviewed). 
  • Links for both projects must be submitted in a reply to an email you will receive 2-3 days prior to deadlines. Links must also be written in your story / project forms which will be placed in a drop box folder created for you.

GRADING

You will be assessed on:

  • 2 x practice based projects – each one consisting of a digital multimedia journalism feature story or project published online at a single URL. A multimedia story is one story told in multiple formats and published on a single webpage or site, or microsite.
  • 6 x Weekly 5 to 10-minute story / project presentations delivered in class
  • 2 x story / project forms to accompany each story / project (If partnering, each student needs a completely independent story / project form).
  • Studentship
  • You will be assessed and given two marks overall, one for the two practice-based projects / studentship, and one for the two project forms / and accompanying presentations. There is plenty of guidance for the project forms here.

2 X DIGITAL MULTIMEDIA JOURNALISM FEATURE STORIES 

What exactly is a multimedia journalism feature story or project?

We are training you to be capable multimedia journalists, equipped to tell short and long form stories with either a single media or a combination of media. For your term 2 longer-form reporting, however, you are required to combine multiple media into a single feature story or project. You may or may not use multiple platforms too. By now it should be clear what a journalism feature is, a digital multimedia journalism feature (story or project) incorporates multiple forms of media and is enabled by digital technologies. 

The terminology project and story can be somewhat interchangeable, therefore confusing. For example, see this excellent collection of multimedia storytelling titled:  The Best Online Journalism and Storytelling of 2015, the subheading is “40 Amazing Reporting Projects You Might Have Missed”. The title talks about story, while the subhead references projects – see what I mean? Generally, a multimedia story is a typical feature that you’d consume online, with a clear focus and a beginning, middle and end. A multimedia project is often something bigger and longer, sometimes with a broader or more fragmented focus or sometimes it publishes reporting that is ongoing. For examples, An Unbelievable Story of Rape — ProPublica / The Marshall Project is a multimedia story, while The Counted — The Guardian is a multimedia project. While IMMJ-MA students typically work on stories, we like to keep things open, in the past students have worked on projects, for example, developing apps or building complex databases for economic news. Story or project, the choice is yours.

What should my multimedia journalism feature story or project look like?

Sorry, there is no easy answer for this one. Digital technologies along with the proliferation of the internet and mobile have transformed how we produce, distribute and consume stories. Old storytelling formats and formulas are still important, but many more now exist – and many more are yet to be imagined. There is no formula for a successful multimedia feature. As you can see from the contently page, multimedia stories and projects are extremely diverse in terms of topic, approach, methodology and design. So please be inspired, creative and innovative, and choose an approach that fits the story you want to tell.

It could be a 5 – 8-minute short documentary incorporating graphics and accompanied by a story portrait series on Instagram, or it could be a more typical snowfall like story incorporating a number of short videos, still pictures text and graphics on a single page. It could be a series of gifs accompanied by other relevant media. It could be a single scrolling page or a website. Or you might produce a single story in multiple media to publish on multiple platforms – see Rape on the Nightshift for an example of this.Think big and then consult with teachers and peers to find a ‘doable’ approach in the timeframe you have. Ultimately, we want to see you tell an important, interesting and engaging story, and tell it well. Do not approach your story as a student turning in an assignment for a tutor. Instead approach it as a journalist turning in a story for a specific professional publication. We are looking for innovative stories / projects that start with a strong story or issue and have considered the best way to tell that story.

How long should my multimedia journalism feature story or project be? How many videos? How many words?…

Again, sorry, there is no easy answer for this one. In terms of ‘length’, we judge by the quality, not the quantity. That means we judge length by time put in rather than the number of words or videos etc. We expect to see around 200 work in each project. In the 3 x class based weeks, you have around 30 hours to spend on research, planning and testing. In the reporting / editing weeks, you are expected to put in 3 x 40-hour weeks. That’s roughly 200 hours or 25 days per project.

One word of advice, as a working journalist you rarely ever get this amount of time to report on a single story – it’s an incredible luxury, use it! Students who do good Term 2 projects usually do excellent term three projects. They also have work to show potential interviewees for their further reporting. Students who do excellent term 3 projects have the portfolio they need to progress their careers.

“Put it before them briefly so they will read it, clearly so they will appreciate it, picturesquely so they will remember it and, above all, accurately so they will be guided by its light.”  

-Joseph Pulitzer 1847-1911

Now for a word of caution, the quote above is over 100 years old – yet it’s perfect for multimedia journalism. A common mistake of previous students is to approach multimedia storytelling in an encyclopaedic manner. For research that’s perfect, but for your final edited reporting product that is not what we are looking for. Journalism is not about condensing down everything you have found and delivering it to an audience, it’s about finding the meaning in your findings, selecting and prioritising. Thinking about your audience – what are the most important things they need to know? You will get to know your subject matter intimatley, you’ll know so much about it that you could produce an hour long piece. That doesn’t mean you should.  Realistically, think about the time you spend with a journalism feature story, (Text, video, photo or multimedia) even with a topic that really interests you. Usually, it’s no longer than 20 minutes. In turn, each of your Term 2 projects shouldn’t take longer than around 20 minutes to consume – that means a lot of editing. Sometimes students spend so much time researching and reporting they leave little time for the edit – we are looking as much at your final product as your process. So if the reporting is incredible but the edit is rushed and poor your grade will reflect that.

You will get to know your subject matter intimately, you’ll know so much about it and gather so much material that you could produce an hour-long piece. That doesn’t mean you should.  Realistically, think about the time you spend with a journalism feature story, (Text, video, photo or multimedia) even with a topic that really interests you. Usually, it’s no longer than 20 minutes. Each of your Term 2 projects shouldn’t take longer than around 20 minutes to consume – that means a lot of cutting. There are exceptions to this rule – your project could be much longer or much shorter – depending on the kind of project you produce.

 There are a few explicit requirements:

  • Your first multimedia journalism feature story or project should incorporate all core skills and mediums covered in Term 1: Photography, audio (most likely — but not necessarily — as part of video), video, text, graphics, as well as social media & engagement.
  • For your second multimedia journalism feature story or project you may negotiate this ‘every media’ approach and focus on one or two mediums, or choose a purely social publishing platform such as Instagram, anything is possible, so long as you have a compelling idea and reasoning. (For example you want to focus on a 7 minute web documentary, or you want to do a data investigation. An alternative approach however needs to be negotiated early on and well before the reporting period.
  • Your stories / projects must have news value
  • Each medium should be complimentary, not redundant or repetitive; different parts of a story should be told using different media. Each medium needs to be carefully considered. Make considered choices and use the medium, whether it be video, audio, photos, text or graphics, to deliver story components in the most compelling and informative way. Whether you are using many or just one or two mediums, see this Berkley tutorial on Tutorial: Picking The Right Media For A Story). NOTE: Clearly this doesn’t hold true if you are producing a single story for multiple platforms, e.g, Rape on the Nightshift.
  • Your stories maybe linear or non-linear, but they need to be well and logically structured so that your audience can navigate your story or project in a meaningful way. And so, that when they arrive at the end, they have been given a deeper insight into an interesting topic.
  • Both multimedia features need a clear and journalistic driven story focus. By your second presentation, you should be able to clearly articulate a concise focus for your story or project. This focus may change or alter during the course of your reporting. But, your final product must have a clear focus.
  • Your multimedia stories or projects must be visually lead. That means your primary media or mediums MUST be visual. The primary medium cannot be text. It’s not a journalism writing programme, and while text might be a very significant part of your project it should not be the primary medium. With this in mind, it’s imperative that when you choose your story you choose one with a strong and accessible visual element. It must lend itself to a visual treatment.
  • During the second project, you will have an extended writing workshop to write an 800 (or so) text article to accompany your multimedia project. If an extended text piece does not sit with your idea you will still have to report and write an article and we will review it separately.
  • The reporting must meet high standards of accuracy, fairness and balance.
  • You will also need to adhere to ethical guidelines. See the IMMJ-MA Code of Ethics
  • You will gather quality, relevant and reliable sources of information and properly attribute, hyperlinking when and where possible. You must include primary and secondary sources such as field and expert interviews, research papers, documents,
  • English and grammar must be excellent throughout, including subtitles etc.
  • Remember – you will take one of the projects forwards to the final third term, so you’ll need to select a story or project that has the potential to be extended in some way.
  • We have mentioned and are looking for innovation – this includes, for example, employing ideas or experimenting with new techniques, devices, platforms or methods. Creative or strategic solutions utilized in research, reporting, presentation, distribution, social engagement or proposed new models for funding or generating revenue?

6 X STORY / PROJECT PRESENTATIONS

During each of the 6 x in-class story / project research and preparation weeks, you will deliver 6 weekly presentations, covering the elements outlines in the Multimedia Feature Project / Story Form. You will receive in class guidance to help you prepare your presentations.

Story / Project 1

  • Week 1: Presentation 1: Pitch your story! Loose Story focus + Production Plan / Production Methodology 1: 6 mins (Including examples of other stories, projects and practitioners, which serve as inspirations for style / methodology / platforms choices and approach).
  • Week 2: Presentation 2: Tight Story focus outline + Production Plan / Production Methodology 2: 6–7 mins (Including your own tests of style / methodology / platforms etc).
  • Week 3: Presentation 3: Ethical Assessment / Risk Assessment / Engagement Plan 6-mins

Story / Project 2

  • Week 1: Presentation 1: Loose Story focus + Production Plan / Production Methodology 1: 6 mins (Including examples of other stories, projects and practitioners, which serve as inspirations for style / methodology / platforms choices and approach).
  • Week 2: Presentation 2: Tight Story focus + Production Plan / Production Methodology 2: 6–8 mins (Including your own tests of style / methodology / platforms etc).
  • Week 3: Presentation 3: Ethical Assessment / Risk Assessment / Engagement Plan 6-mins

NOTE: During the Term 2 ‘intensive’, we will rigorously critique your first multimedia feature story / project and you should carry key learning points into your second feature.

2 X STORY / PROJECT FORMS

 The Advanced Practice 2 sections of your story / project forms are as follows:

  • Story Focus & Summary
  • Production Plan
  • Production Methodology
  • Ethical Assessment
  • Risk Assessment
  • Engagement Plan
  • Media Archive
  • Diary – This should provide a day by day account of what you did with your weekly 40 hours. It should also provide reflections on what you are learning about your story and multimedia journalism.

You will in addition, need to complete the story / project forms sections included in your theory module as directed by your tutor Cong Yan.

STUDENTSHIP

Studentship means conducting yourself in a professional and independent manner. For example, it means hitting scheduled intermittent deadlines and completing ‘mini assignments’ on time and to requirements. Tutors will want to see, review and give feedback support on your work as you go along. To do this efficiently, work must be presented for feedback in an organised manner – uploaded online at working URL’s. We will not download random zip files for example, nor will we view any un-subtitled or poorly subtitled video, nor will we read text where the English and grammar prohibits understanding. Should you miss feedback deadlines or turn in work for feedback that too sloppy or unorganised for tutors to give feedback support, not only will you will lose grades, also the work will not be viewed until the next submission deadline meaning you lose critical feedback support.

Studentship also means attending classes, being on time, engaging in classes, engaging online and working as a team.

We-chat updates: You will be required, each Monday of every reporting week, to give a brief day by day 5-day update of what you will work on that week. If you are out of Beijing we’ll need your location. We also want to know specifically what you are doing each day. For example ‘I’m researching today’ is too vague, we want to know what you are researching. Are you researching for an infographic? Are you working on your web platform are you contacting or doing background interviews to find characters, are you shooting? Let us know with a brief but specific update.


*1: If you do partner you’ll need to explain why the chosen multimedia story / project requires two people. You’ll also need to explain how you will work as a team and keep a meticulous log of which team member did what. Finally, the final project will need to reflect the work of two people.


SCHEDULE

17 weeks: Dec 12 – May 5 (With breaks for Christmas December 19 – Jan 1 & Chinese New Year Jan 30 – Feb 10)

6 x TEACHING & PRACTICAL WEEKS – Project A  – Dec 12 – Feb 24

  • Christmas Holiday: 19th – 30th Dec, 2016
  • Chinese New Year: Jan 30 – Feb 10, 2017

1 x READING WEEK Feb 13 – Feb 17, 2017

2 x INTENSIVE WEEKS: (2 weeks) Feb 27 – March 10

7 x TEACHING & PRACTICAL WEEKS Project B (7 weeks) March 13 – April 28

1 x ASSESSMENT WEEK (1 week) May 1 – May 5

*Note Students should work on AdPrac at minimum 25 hours per week to average 400 hours

*Note Students should work on AdRes roughly 12.5 hours per week to average 200 hours

 DETAILED SCHEDULE (subject to changes – check calander for updates)

(Sean to update according to plans)

Week 1

  • Mon: Presentation 1
  • Tues:
  • Fri: Project/Story form submission deadline to dropbox folder. DO NOT EMAIL OR UPLOAD FORMS ANY OTHER WAY. ONLY DROPBOX SUBMISSIONS IN THE EXISTING DEDICATED FOLDER WILL BE ACCEPTED. Label your forms like this: project1_form_name for example: project1_form_sharron. Fill in ALL AdPrac Sections relevant to presentation 1 — they are clearly labeled on the form and include; Story focus, Production Plan; Production Methodology. Also, fill in the AdRes sections as completely as possible this stage, include; Sources and Draft Research Questions. You should have already started your digital research page. So please include the link at the top of your project form.

Week 2

  • Wednesday, 4 Jan:

10 A.M. – 5 P.M. Presentation 2;

6:30 P.M. – 8 P.M. Project Form Lecture with Yan.

Required reading before class:

Watch the video “The Suicide Watch” from 0:00 to 6:00, and take notes of all the information or data provided in text cards, interviews, etc. We’ll use this video as a case-study in class to reverse engineer the research needed to produce this video.

English Subtitle: https://video.vice.com/en_us/video/south-koreas-suicide-bridge/5714f8928321242b7b8ce03f

Chinese subtitle: http://www.vice.cn/read/the-vice-report-suicide-watch-south-korea

  • Thursday, 5 Jan:

9 A.M. – 4 P.M. Guest Lecturer – Adam Kerby – Editing Workshop (N.B. Please bring video equipment, including tripods)

4 P.M. – 5 P.M. Student Meeting with Sean and Yan (N.B. Only 2 student representatives need to be present in this meeting)

  • Fri: Project Form draft deadline. Project forms to be submitted to dropbox folder. All relevant AdPrac sections, this means all sections relevant to presentations 1 & 2. They are clearly labeled and include: Production Plan; Production Methodology. Also, fill in the AdRes sections you can, include: Sources (should be added to and refined); Research Questions (should be fully refined this week) and Research Abstract now needs to be complete. Your digital research page will be further developed.

Week 3

  • Mon:

10 A.M. – 5 P.M.  Presentation 3 – Ethics, Risk Assessment and Engagement Plans – ALL DAY

7 P.M. – 9 P.M. Guest Lecturer – Zhang Lijie

(N.B. Prior to the workshop, please fully review Zhang Lijie’s website to gain an understanding of her work and prepare questions for her.)

Required readings:

http://news.qq.com/original/zaixianyingzhan/cici.html

http://www.chinafile.com/features/chinese-orphan-disability-life-us-brought-strength-help-friend-left-behind

  • Tues:

10 A.M.  In-class workshop with Sean (Please bring photo, video and audio gear, plus tripods)

2 P.M. – 5 P.M. Guest Lecturer – Sarah Semple – Graphic Designer – Infographics and Visualising Data Workshop (N.B. Prior to the workshop, please fully review Sarah’s website to gain an understanding of her work and prepare questions for her http://www.sarahsemple.com)

  • Fri: Project forms to be submitted to dropbox, all sections to be complete and as developed and refined as possible. Important new updates will include the AdRes Research Proposal (1500 words) and AdPrac sections Ethical Assessment; Risk Assessment and Engagement Plan.

Week 4

  • Reporting week 1: 40 hours per week per student
  • Fri: Face to Face Tutorials with Sean (in class) assessing first weeks progress. Sean will want to see some concrete reporting, you should not still be researching at this stage and should have already done 2 or 3 days reporting. For students not in Beijing, We-chat tutorials will be available. Tutors will want to SEE work, not just hear ideas. That means possibly seeing interview transcribes, (with time code). Seeing video clips or still images. Knowing what progress you are making with sources etc. For those participating in remote We-chat tutorials students will need to upload content according to online submission instructions above:

Week 5

  • Reporting week 2: 40 hours per week per student.
  • Revised content to be submitted online via url for Sharron to feedback (within 3 days). Project forms updated and updated diary sections.
  • If you would like Yan to review your project forms before final submission you should do that this week, to give her a week to turn around feedback and yourself a final week to revise.

Week 6

  • Reporting week 3: 40 hours per week per student.

Week 7 & 8 – INTENSIVE

(Sharron to update in February)

Week 1

  • Mon: Presentation 1
  • Tues:
  • Fri: Project/Story form submission deadline to dropbox folder. DO NOT EMAIL OR UPLOAD FORMS ANY OTHER WAY. ONLY DROPBOX SUBMISSIONS IN THE EXISTING DEDICATED FOLDER WILL BE ACCEPTED. Label your forms like this: project1_form_name for example: project1_form_sharron. Fill in ALL AdPrac Sections relevant to presentation 1 — they are clearly labeled on the form and include; Story focus, Production Plan; Production Methodology. Also, fill in the AdRes sections as completely as possible this stage, include; Sources and Draft Research Questions. You should have already started your digital research page. So please include the link at the top of your project form.

Week 2

  • Mon: Presentation 2
  • Tues:
  • Fri: Project Form draft deadline. Project forms to be submitted to dropbox folder. All relevant AdPrac sections, this means all sections relevant to presentations 1 & 2. They are clearly labeled and include: Production Plan; Production Methodology. Also, fill in the AdRes sections you can, include: Sources (should be added to and refined); Research Questions (should be fully refined this week) and Research Abstract now needs to be complete. Your digital research page will be further developed.

Week 3

  • 2Mon: Presentation 3
  • Tues:
  • Fri: Project forms to be submitted to dropbox, all sections to be complete and as developed and refined as possible. Important new updates will include the AdRes Research Proposal (1500 words) and AdPrac sections Ethical Assessment; Risk Assessment and Engagement Plan.

Week 4

  • Reporting week 1: 40 hours per week per student
  • Fri: Face to Face Tutorials with Sean (in class) assessing first weeks progress. Sean will want to see some concrete reporting, you should not still be researching at this stage and should have already done 2 or 3 days reporting. For students not in Beijing, We-chat tutorials will be available. Tutors will want to SEE work, not just hear ideas. That means possibly seeing interview transcribes, (with time code). Seeing video clips or still images. Knowing what progress you are making with sources etc. For those participating in remote We-chat tutorials students will need to upload content according to online submission instructions above:

Week 5

  • Reporting week 2: 40 hours per week per student.
  • Revised content to be submitted online via url for Sharron to feedback (within 3 days). Project forms updated and updated diary sections.
  • If you would like Yan to review your project forms before final submission you should do that this week, to give her a week to turn around feedback and yourself a final week to revise.

Week 6

  • Reporting week 3: 40 hours per week per student.

Week 7

  • Polish Editing week: 40 hours per week per student.
  • Mon: Good quality rough drafts of projects online on working URL’s and ready for tutors to review for polish editing feedback.
  • Tues: Sharron to give face-to-face tutorials in class. All students MUST be present. All students must have working story drafts online. If we are to help polish edit we need to see quality rough cuts and draft projects.
  • Final deadline. All projects online by midnight to be submitted via clearly identified links on Project forms uploaded to dropbox. Final submission for Project forms, all AdPrac & Adres sections to be complete.
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