Term 3 Interim Deadlines

Students, please note this is a somewhat flexible schedule. While major changes will not be made, minor changes almost certainly will be. Please take a look at the schedule at the beginning of each and every week to stay on track. It’s your responsibility to check in with the schedule weekly and submit on time. The reason that we cannot fix an exact schedule is that tutors will respond to the work we are seeing as it develops, therefore, we may add in some extra general or student specific ‘mini-assignments’ and deadlines to target problems. Extra ‘mini-assignments’ may be general for all students if we believe they will benefit the group or tailored to support individual students. Individual tasks will be assigned by email so please keep a regular eye on your student email address. 

Please note, should you miss interim deadlines you can not hand your work in late. Tutors schedule dedicated days for feedback (generally on Friday’s) so if you submit late, you’ll need to wait until the next deadline for feedback and you may not receive comprehensive feedback for the deadline you missed. This means you’ll miss timely and formative feedback essential to improve your work. From my experience students who miss interim deadlines typically fail Term 3. Tutors need to see work as it develops to help guide and support.  

If you have an urgent question or problem, you can contact us outside of the scheduled deadlines. For non-urgent, more official communications please stick to email. We aim to respond within 72 hours. For urgent issues please WeChat message, Sharron or Alina. Also, sometimes you might just want to chat to a tutor for 20 minutes to discuss an idea or challenge, please contact us via we chat and we will aim to respond in a timely matter and arrange a call. Please also share questions, pictures, and videos to the group we-chat – so that you can support and receive support from your peers!

In the first 3 weeks, we accept links to videos etc for your bi-weekly interim deadlines. By the reporting week 5 interim deadline, work submitted for tutors to view must be uploaded to your chosen digital platforms URL. We do not, of course, expect your digital platform to be complete, however, the earlier you start working on it the better. You final platform should not be an afterthought – it should be part of the story design from the early stages. You’ll need to think about how the story is working or not online early on. Uploading your work at your URL early on with placeholders helps you and us to get a really good sense of the final project. If you can do this by week 3 it’s preferable, otherwise, week 5 will suffice. We cannot dictate exactly how you upload your work, show us as much as you can in a well-organized fashion so that we can deliver constructive and critical feedback. Interview transcribes, video scripts etc can be attached at the end of your project forms. Your diary should be written daily as you progress.

We cannot dictate exactly how you upload your work, every student will work in a different way depending on their story and chosen mediums. Endeavor to show us as much as you can in a well-organized fashion so that we can deliver constructive and critical feedback. If your work is well organized and substantial tutors will give you substantial feedback. If it is in poor shape, tutors will have little material to feedback on. If your English hampers comprehension we will not bother to mark it. It is not our job to translate poor English. You’ll be asked to revise it and send it back on the next deadline wasting valuable time. Interview transcribes, video scripts etc can be attached at the end of your project forms. Your diary should be written daily as you progress.

Interview transcribes, video scripts etc can be attached at the end of your project forms. Your diary should be written daily as you progress.

*Dates are subject to small changes, we endeavor to let you know a week in advance of any changes.

*All work submitted for interim deadlines must either be in English or be subtitled. Tutors can not and will not feedback on Chinese language video.

*All work must be proofread, tutors will not feedback on work where language is so poor that comprehension is hindered. We do not expect perfect English, however, we do expect a smooth read/watch.

Introduction week

Week: 8th May – Introduction Week (interim deadline)

  • Monday 8th or Tuesday 9th May (interim deadline) – Story pitches must be uploaded to dropbox by 8th or 9th May so that Sharron can refer to them prior to tutorials on the 10th 
  • 10th we-chat tutorials with Sharron (all students with Sharron). Designed so that Sharron can check over ideas and give some direction. 

Reporting weeks (10 weeks)

Week: 15th May – Reporting 1 (interim deadlines)

  • Monday 15th May MINI-ASSIGNMENT!!! Listen to one of our favorite podcasts below. Especially important is the point Jonah Kessel makes about ‘following action’. Many of you will have some kind of longer form video as a major story component, often they will use some kind of documentary approach. Sometimes the lack of time journalists have to film and report means this is difficult for short assignments. However, with ten full weeks ahead of you — most of you should all be able to capture engaging ‘live’ scenes where things are actually happening… think about your live scenes now!!! Please write them down potential ‘live scenes’ in the diary section of your project form – we will take a look at them there. You might also include a ‘shot list’ in your style & methodology section.
  •  Listen to the podcast at https://soundcloud.com/multi-media-week/mmw-56
  • See more of Jonah’s work at @jonahkessel / www.jonahkessel.com. A Tibetan’s Journey for Justice nyti.ms/1HuQxd2 / Fear and Forced Marriages nyti.ms/1MGj686 / Jade’s Journey Marked with by Death and Drugs nyti.ms/1yyUyEV
  • Mike Davis’ Three Commandments of Multimedia (Referred to in the podcast and an interesting follow-up read)
  • *Please note. Not every shortform video requires action scenes. Perhaps you are doing something more stylized in approach. Of course, this is totally fine, but then you will need to clearly outline your visual approach in the style & methodology section.
  • Thursday 18th May – 9 am Beijing time. (interim deadline) The outline section of project form must be carefully completed and uploaded. DO READ THE PULITZER EXAMPLES AS DIRECTED ON THE PROJECT FORM. TOO MANY OF YOU ARE STILL MAKING POOR OUTLINES AND CLEARLY HAVEN’T TAKEN A GOOD LOOK THROUGH THE PULITZER OUTLINES WHICH ACT AS SUPERB EXAMPLES. Please make sure to fill out the top sections of your project form. This will be Version 2. 
  • Thursday 18th May – 9 am Beijing time. (interim deadline) Practical sections of project form to be completed. Sharron and Sean will need to view all sections, particularly research/style + methodology and ethics. Tutors will give brief feedback to their assigned students. 
  • Written feedback will be returned to you via project forms by Friday 19th – 5 pm
Week: 22 May – Reporting 2
  • Students must be actually reporting/filming/shooting by now – you may have used week 1 to strengthen your research – and while you will continue research, preparation, testing, gaining access and editing throughout your projects you cannot dedicate and waste entire weeks to research. Get reporting! Now! Tutors will want to see work next week
Week: 29th May – Reporting 3 (interim deadline)
  • Monday29th May to Weds 31st May MINI-ASSIGNMENT!!! (Estimated time 3 hours)
  • If video is a major component then you’ll need to write a ‘Video Treatment’ YOU WILL NEED TO COPY THIS INTO THE APPENDIX OF YOUR FORM. You will also need to complete the first mini assignment as you’ll be expected to insert potential ‘live action scenes’ into your treatment.
  • You can find out what a video treatment is at DOCUMENTARY TIP #7: Writing a Strong Treatment
  • This is also worth a watch https://vimeo.com/9992731
  • If you’d like to see a pitch example from me – here’s one I made earlier: India’s Poisoned Villages (Please do not share).
  • Thursday 1st June – 9 am Beijing time. (interim deadline) Tutors will want to see tangible assets online at this point. You might include interview transcripts, a gallery of images, a rough cut of a video, a subtitled interview…. or other tangible assets that best help us to understand what you have been reporting and capturing in the field.
  • Friday 2nd June Tutorials (remote via We-chat or face to face in Beijing). Tutors will look at your work in the early morning and schedule feedback tutorials in the afternoon.

Week 5th June – Reporting 4

  • Reporting / filming / shooting / editing / research / creating digital platform etc

Week 12th June – Reporting 5  (interim deadline)

  • Monday 12th June to Weds 14th June MINI-ASSIGNMENT!!! (Estimated time 5 hours)
  • Please consult Gary Thomas, How to Do Your Research Project, Chapter 7. (It’s in the Library – you may wish to organize one person to make copies the chapter or a digital copy). Please also refer to the IMMJ-MA CODE OF ETHICS. Thoroughly revise your ethics section in light of a) the practical work you have done so far b) the research you have done so far and c) the reading of How to Do Your Research Project by Gary Thomas. 

  • Thursday 15th June – 9 am Beijing time. (interim deadline) Selected assets online at your new project/story digital platform URL. There should be some semblance of how your final project may look with placeholders for assets etc. Re-upload your revised project form and ensure that diary sections are complete. Make sure you have revised your time management plan for the 5 remaining weeks so that tutors can track your plans. Your ethics section must now be in perfect order and revised in light of this weeks mini-assignment. 
  • Friday 16th Junewritten feedback via emails from your assigned tutor

Week 19th June – Reporting 6

  • Reporting / filming / shooting / editing / research / creating digital platform etc

Week 26th June – Reporting 7 (interim deadline)

  • Thursday 29th June – 9 am Beijing time. (interim deadline) Refined selected assets online at your digital platform URL. There should be a strong semblance of how your final project may look with placeholders for assets etc.
  • If video is your main or a central medium you will need to deliver – via your project form – a video story narrative structure in bullet point form. Please use the appendix video scripts section at the end of the project forms for this. Later as you progress this will be replaced by your video script. If you already have a script for a rough edit of your video this will be optimal and means tutors can give you much better support at an earlier stage. 
  • Friday 30th June Either written feedback or tutorials TBC. This week both tutors will look at both work you will get some brief feedback from you assigned tutor. You will get more in-depth feedback from your non-assigned tutor. This is a good chance for students to get a fresh pair of eyes on the work.
  • If possible Sean will conduct in-class tutorials with Sharron’s students. Sharron will have 30-minute wechat tutorials with Sean’s students. 

Week 3rd July – Reporting 8  

  • Reporting / filming / shooting / editing / research / creating digital platform etc

Week: 10th July – Reporting 9 (interim deadline)

  • Thursday 13th June – 9 am Beijing time. (interim deadline) Refined selected assets online at your digital platform URL. There should be a strong semblance of how your final project may look with placeholders for assets etc.
  • Video scripts must be in place.
  • Friday 14th JuneEither written feedback or tutorials TBC

Week: 17th July – Reporting 10  

  • Reporting / filming / shooting / editing / research / creating digital platform etc

Editing weeks (4 weeks)

Sharron returns to Beijing on 30th July and will be on hand in class for most of weeks 2 & 3 . Specific dates TBC. You are expected to spend the Edit weeks in Beijing and some time each week editing in class so that Sharron and Sean can support your editing process.

Week 24th July – Editing 1 (interim deadline)

 

The edit month works the same way a professional edit works at a news organisation. Though of course you will receive much more support. The process works as a cycle of tutor (editor) review / tutor (editor) feedback / student (journalist) amend & re edit … tutor review / tutor feedback / student amend & re edit. Professionals typically turn a new edit around to an editor every 2 or 3 days for 2 or 3 reviews.  as students. you will have a little longer and more support. However it should be clear that you are expected to work largely independently in Term 3. If you stick to this process and come well prepared and well organised (provided you’ve completed the necessary reporting) the process will work and you’ll pass.  If you do not come to edit month properly prepared and leave things to the last moment the process won’t work and you will likely fail. We see this happen every year. Unless you fully participate in the edit process it won’t work and you are likely to fail your degree. If you fail first time around your mark on a second attempt is capped at a 50 – which is very low. You’ll want to avoid this at all costs.  

Please note: You also need to respond to and act on the feedback and advice that tutors give you. Sometimes advice given during the reporting weeks has been ignored – this means some students are already quite far off track.

  • WEEK 1 – This week should be dedicated to preparing for the 28th July quality + complete project draft deadline. You will need to come to the critique on the 28th with work already edited to a quality standard online at your URL. That means tutors need to be able to see how the full project looks and all content text / video / images / graphics will need to be in place in a draft form. Videos will need to have strong narrative structure at this point – with a clear beginning, middle end and clear meaning and news value. (not like the videos you are handing in right now) You should also have folders of assets ready and organised and at hand on your computer or hard drive so that tutors can look at raw content as needed. For example you should include folder such as: a folder of translated transcribes of all your interviews (for text and video), a folder of your raw video footage, a folder of all selected images, a folder of your graphics and the sources you have used to create those graphics. Your digital research page containing key factual and contextual information. Your work needs to be well organised for us to help you, if it isn;t we can’t. If your work isn’t in a good shape by the 28th and we are unable to adhere to a cycle of tutor review / tutor feedback / student amend … tutor review / tutor feedback / student amend formative assessment process you will very likely fail. This process needs to start on the 28th. 
  • 24th – 27th July: Editing, at home or in class. You’ll need to produce a first quality and fully complete draft by 28th July. All assets should be in place even if they are not finished. We’ll want to see decent drafts of texts, videos and graphics and see where all content will sit on your platform. This week should be dedicated to preparing for the 28th July quality drafts, presentation and critique. 
  • Friday 28th July – 10 am Beijing time. (interim deadline) In class presentation of your projects online via URL. Sean will be present for face to face feedback. Expect a long day in class. No student may miss this date! and must attend the full day. 
  • By Friday 28th Stories MUST already be in a quality rough edit/draft stage on your digital platform URL. Sean will offer feedback to help you improve things for the 4th August deadline. Your work must be properly prepared online, we simply can’t give feedback for work that is not well prepared.  The final three weeks are for polish editing, not rough editing. 

Week 31st July – Editing 2 

  • 31st July – 4th August Editing at home or in class when Sharron is in class.
  • Sharron will be in class all day 10 – 6pm on August 1, 2 & 3. Sharron will circulate the room spending around an hour at a time with students. Students will also be asked to focus group projects with peers. 

Week 7th August – Editing 3 (interim deadline)

  • Monday 7th June – 10 am Beijing time. (interim deadline) In class presentation of your projects online via URL. Sharron and an external professional will be present for face to face feedback. Expect a long day in class. No student may miss this date! and must attend the full day. Beware this may take place on the Friday of week 2. 
  • 8th August – 11th August Editing at home or in class when Sharron is in class.
  • Sharron will be in class all day 10 – 6pm on August 7, 8, 9. Sharron will circulate the room spending around an hour at a time with students. Students will also be asked to focus group projects with peers. 

Week 14th August – Editing 4

  • 8th August – 11th August Editing at home or in class when Sharron is in class.
  • Sharron will be in class all day 10 – 6pm on August 15, 16 & 17. Sharron will circulate the room spending around an hour at a time with students. Students will also be asked to focus group projects with peers. 
  • 18 & 19 August. You should upload all large files (videos) on 18th, uploading can be a slow process with Chinese internet speeds so you’ll need to upload any videos or big files day ahead of deadline. The 19th can then be used for tweaking design and information architecture and copy editing.
  • Final deadline 19th August 2017 midnight Beijing time. 
  • Assessments in class 24th  August.
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