Blog post 21: Reading assignment

In this blog post, publish your notes from Kern chapter 5 and Kobré chapter 10. Your notes must appear in the form of TWO (2) numbered lists (one list for each chapter). Write a brief statement above each list to explain or summarize it.

Write at least three (3) items in each of the lists.

A list is not meant to represent everything in the chapter. It should represent what was most meaningful to YOU. Thus each student’s list will be different. Read more of this post

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Data 2: Make a map with Google Fusion Tables

The resources we used in class: Week 10.

Your CSV data

Make sure you use the counties BLOCK assigned to you. If you use the wrong counties, or omit any schools, no points.

  1. Go to the resources page (Week 10, linked above!) to find the link for mailing addresses for all Florida schools. Download the giant spreadsheet. Open in Excel.
  2. Find ALL of your assigned counties and copy all the rows for each of your counties. Don’t miss anything.
  3. Paste all the rows you copied into a new Excel spreadsheet. New file. Not a new sheet.
  4. Close the big spreadsheet file and just keep it, unchanged. Use only your new spreadsheet for everything else.
  5. Lots of things need to be cleaned up in this data. Instructions can be found here.

It is essential that you clean your data carefully BEFORE you save as a CSV file.

Saving the CSV is the final step BEFORE you make the Fusion Table. Read more of this post

Some tips about upcoming deadlines

Please read the Course Schedule from now up to the end of the semester and start thinking about how you will manage your time.

The deadlines will not change. What we do during class might be adjusted, but NOT the deadlines or the assigned work.

Both the audio and photo story and the final project account for a big part of your final grade. The points and percentages are explained in the syllabus under both “Course Requirements” and “Grades and Grading Policies.” You can also read details here: Required Work. Read more of this post

Update your Mac OS (free)

You should most definitely update your Mac’s operating system soon.

However!! Be aware that the download takes a long time (especially on home wi-fi) — mine took HOURS. And then the install, which is automatic, will take longer than a few minutes too. NEVER quit or shut down during an operating system update!

I suggest you plan to do the update when you can attend to your MacBook but you don’t need to be using it. You can do the download while you’re sleeping. Then restart to begin the upgrade itself.

OS X Mavericks now available as a free download (The Verge, Oct. 22)

To start the download, just open the Apple menu and select Software Update.  The free update should work for all of you — you have to be running OS X 10.6 or higher for it to work.

Blog post 20: Reading assignment

In this blog post, publish your notes from Yau, chapter 8. Your notes must appear in the form of one numbered list. Write a brief statement above the list to explain or summarize it.

Write at least five (5) items in the list. You may try out one or more of the tools Yau recommends in the chapter and write about your experience with that tool. Read more of this post

Data 1: Use a CSV file and Excel to make a chart

The resources we used in class: Week 8 and Week 9.

Of course, we also needed Yau’s book.

The assignment is to use Excel to create a clear and attractive chart of 365 days of high temperatures from your assigned city for your assigned year (see the Week 9 resources for that link). Requirements are listed below. Your chart will look similar to this one: Read more of this post

Blog post 19: Exploring data journalism

The intention of this assignment is for you to discover, by yourself, what people in journalism are saying about data skills and programming skills for journalists today. This is NOT about HTML, CSS or Web page design. The topic is data, data journalism, data-driven journalism, and programming. It includes Excel, computer languages such as Python, frameworks such as Ruby, databases and large data sets, Big Data, etc.

Do several Google searches, using different search terms. Find articles about these topics, and go to different professional sites, industry sites, and/or blogs about journalism. You might find some articles in newspapers, but the better sources will be the sites about journalism.

You must read enough different material to be able to write a blog post about the consensus, the zeitgeist, the general attitude, toward programming skills and journalism today, in 2013. This assignment is intended to open your eyes, to inform you.

Investigate. Question. Seek answers. Read more of this post

Blog post 18: Reading assignment

In this blog post, publish your notes from Yau, chapter 3. Your notes must appear in the form of one numbered list. Write a brief statement above the list to explain or summarize it.

Write at least five (5) items in the list. You may try out one or more of the tools Yau recommends in the chapter and write about your experience with that tool.

The list is not meant to represent everything in the chapter. It should represent what was most meaningful to YOU. Thus each student’s list will be different. Read more of this post

It’s not the camera. It’s you.

If you want proof, see the shots Jim Richardson took with an iPhone 5s in Scotland.

“Little by little we come around to taking the pictures the camera can do well.” — Jim Richardson,  who shoots for National Geographic Magazine

See Richardson’s Instagram feed.

Examples of photo stories

These are from the winners of the annual international NPPA competition, Best of Photojournalism 2013.

Look at each image and think about the composition. Also: What is THIS picture about? What is the point of EACH image? If you answer these questions, you will be better prepared to start making more meaningful pictures yourself.

AE1 – Myanmar elections, 2012. Think about how the photographer waited, and where he stood, to make these pictures. Almost none of them are straight-on or typical. Look at the lines, the framing. Think about why he chose each one.

1st – illegal immigration in the U.S. This is an issue story (Kobre explains this type). Check out the vast variety of scenes in this photo story. There’s only one full-on close-up of a person in the whole story.

3rd – Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Try to noticed the “captured instant” or “frozen moment” quality in many of the images of people in this story. They are the opposite of random. These are examples of “when to push the button.”

1st – 14-year-old Elvis impersonator. Check out the variety as well as interesting composition in photos are featuring one person.

3rd – A home for underage mothers. This story demonstrates a great variety of angles within a constrained single location.