Monday, April 5 class

Citizen journalism site evaluations. Be prepared to present to the class the four sites you found and how well they conform with the APME online credibility guidelines

Discuss previous Knox IJ sites 33 months and Downtown Alive

Wednesday Assignments:

Read and be prepared to discuss J 2.0: Introduction and Chapter 1

Submit two completely different project ideas and be prepared to pitch them to the class. Post it as a comment by noon, Wednesday.

Each proposal will be no more than two pages and will address these specific parameters.

  • Unearths new information: Detail the reporting activities that will generate new content on this site. What will students report on?
  • Targets a specific audience: Define intended audiences, primary and secondary.
  • Encourages participation from that audience. What participatory elements will you include?
  • Storytells with text, images, audio and video
  • Gets fed every day: Suggest a reporting, editing and updating process that involves all class members.
  • Builds alliances with existing sites: Include components that draw information from pertinent sites.
  • Is doable by five students over 10 weeks
  • Includes worthwhile minimum expectations
  • Holds the promise of exceeding those expectations
  • Can be adapted to fit reader interaction
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6 Responses

  1. Idea #1
    There is a huge issue with the Galesburg public housing. The issue is that there isn’t enough public housing in Chicago to support the need; therefore the housing authority of Chicago is sending their residents to Galesburg. We will be able to report on the cause of this action and the repercussions because of it. There are many people we could interview such as the people who moved here from Chicago. We could also talk to the Galesburg residents and those already in the public housing. We should also talk to the Galesburg housing authority to see how they are handling this and what they are doing to help these new residents. The Galesburg housing authority has programs for the Chicago turned Galesburg residents, like helping them receive their general education degree (GED).
    The primary audience for this project would be the Galesburg community. Since this project directly affect the residents. As a secondary audience it will appeal to those at Knox, in Chicago, and all over the United States. This is an issue that many people can relate to with the growing issue of immigration. This topic is something that many people will have a say on and therefore this will generate lots of comments on the issue.
    There are many ways we can make this story topic interactive. If a resident is willing we could do a video interview, or at least get some video clips. It would be great to hear everyone’s story on this issue. We could also take pictures of the housing conditions. This project is very doable within 8 weeks and a journalism class of only 5 students. I think in order to get this accomplished we can each have a day where we post (since there are five of us). We could all have the same dead line and therefore could all help with the editing.

    Idea # 2
    Galesburg is a town of roughly 33,000 people which is considered to be a small town. I think we should do our blog on the life of a Midwestern town. We will report on people who have live here their whole life, people who just moved here and why, business that have stuck it out through the rough economy, the farming industry, and much more. We can report on the changes of Galesburg’s economy; remembering when it used to be good. The years (I forgot the time period but my friend was just telling me about it) when people would go onto main street just to watch the foot traffic. How a child, teen, ect feel about living here. Our primary audience will of course be Galesburg, but this is a topic that many people will find interesting.
    All of these story topics give us plenty of opportunity for all five of us to write at many stories in the 8 week span. We will also be able to video clips for our stories. We could do a photo slideshow on the blog of Galesburg and the people we interview. I think in order to get this accomplished we can each have a day where we post (since there are five of us). We could all have the same dead line and therefore could all help with the editing.

  2. Scratch my second idea. I should have looked at the blogs from years past.

  3. Sexual Assault Watch Page
    My first proposal is to create an interactive site that would track the progress of the sexual assault debate on campus. This webpage would target the Knox community, which involves parents, alumni and professors as well as students. We would want to encourage full participation from our audience, as this debate affects everyone on and off campus. We could create an open forum, monitoring it daily to avoid abusive or offensive conduct and promoting calm, rational dialogue about our subject. We could conduct interviews with those who are closest to the debate, those who are advocating change and those who will implement it. This controversy continues, and it is clearly at the center of student concern. Live forums have already been held concerning the matter, and more will be held in the future. It could be the job of our news force to cover these events, and the job of our site to garner public feeling about them. As sexual assault is prevalent in America’s college campuses, we could provide as a sidebar stories from other campuses. How do they handle assault? This will provide context for the problem on a grander scheme, a valuable thing. Understanding the problem beyond the Knox bubble will help the Knox community to gain perspective on it. My only concerns for this project are that there will not be enough information to cover in a given week. The minimum we can expect is the creation of a forum to discuss these matters, as well as more comprehensive coverage of the progress of the debate from a variety of opposing sources.

    Graduating Seniors Page
    My second proposal is to create an interactive site concerned with covering the expectations and activities of the graduating senior class. Ideally, we will conduct an interview with each member of the senior class, to get a general understanding of their expectations after graduation, their plans. We also want to get a feeling of their experiences after four years in the Knox community. This project could be ongoing, or could simply end with this year’s seniors. The intended audiences are the Knox community, the secondary are the families, friends, and acquaintances of graduating seniors. Also, we can track senior projects. There is a wealth of final projects, theses, presentations that most of the Knox community never gets to see. As the culmination of each student’s academic journey, it seems fitting that these projects should be shared with the rest of the Knox community. This could provide video or audio coverage that interested students can tune into. Since Knox is not a large school, it seems plausible to interview all seniors who agree. The minimum we can expect is a commemoration of graduating seniors. Ideally, they and others will be able to look back on their interviews in years to come. However, should this project be continued in years to come, it will provide a social perspective on the changes in Knox students.

  4. Illinois Education – Blame Blago
    The Illinois state government is almost bankrupt, and it began cutting funds to programs across the state–including public schools at all levels. Many districts are being forced to lay of staff, teachers or aides to balance their budgets. This in turn affects the quality of public education in Illinois, from preschool to the university level. [[Most preschool programs in Illinois are funded by a state grant, which is being cut at the end of this year. Most districts are eliminating the program to cut costs.]] Therefore, I propose an examination of personal stories from across the state–employees who have been “pink-slipped,” students who are being lumped into already crowded classrooms, and parents who worry about the quality of the education their child is receiving.

    If we wished to expand the project, we could also include healthcare–cuts to state programs like nursing homes, Medicaid funding, and hospitals would be devastating for much of the state.

    As a fun, interactive element, we could also follow former Governor Blagojevich’s run on the TV series “The Celebrity Apprentice,” allowing the audience to comment live during the broadcasts as one of us follows his actions. We could also have a poll each week to see who believes he should be ‘fired’
    by Trump.

    The major audience here is mostly those who work in education, parents, and some students. College students would probably be more likely than their younger counterparts to keep tabs on the blog, simply because they are more worried about financial aid coming through.

    Audio and video could be either user-submitted or prepared in advance by the class. Ideally, a photo would accompany each profile.

    Proposal #2

    Illinois’ Medicaid system is, for lack of a better word, ridiculous. Most doctors, dentists and hospitals will not accept IL Medicaid as a payment option, because the system takes 6 months to two years to actually pay physicians and clinics. There is only one dentist in all of Galesburg, for example, that will accept Medicaid patients–and that dentist is employed by the Knox County Health Department specifically for those who cannot find care elsewhere because they rely on Medicaid.

    The questions I propose are these: How does this affect community health overall, and what reforms would community residents or beneficiaries of Medicaid like to see? How do legislators feel about the program? Is there an explanation for the enormous amount of red tape involved in getting a prescription filled?

    At a minimum, we could expect a more knowledgable community, and at the very best we could expect actual change to occur.

    The audience here is at least statewide, and could include healthcare workers from other states as well. Interactive elements could include user-submitted videos, detailing their experiences with Medicaid, polls, forums, and other text-based interactivity.

    As for audio and video, using the local situation could be advantageous in that we can do short clips with doctors/caregivers giving their thoughts on how Medicaid works. The same can go for patients, if they are willing to talk to us.

  5. Idea 1
    Alternative and obscure sports
    This is about discovering and reporting on the different and obscure sports around us. TI doesn’t have to be involved in Knox so much, because everyone plays odd sports. This includes whiffleball, Ultimate, various pongs, flip cup, whatever is consdered a sport or even a contest of some sort of skill. Math-letes included. The audience would be mostly young people, because they are the ones who participate in odd activities to pass the time. The project could allow for the inclusion of other people by allowoing for commenting, polls, etc. We could link up with FastPlastic.net, rackthose.com, other sites that talk about this sort of thing, as well as something like maybe Deadspin.com, because of their odd, different take on normal sports. Reporting on events, clubs, groups, and even just random stuff that goes on during the weekend.
    Idea 2
    The hunt for the perfect sandwich. It is a quest unending, practiced by men since the times of Charlemagne. A goal even the most righteous and most dastardly of men strive for. And yet, ever unfulfilled. We shall continue this Great Crusade, handed done to us through the ages, our forebears blazed the trail, a trail we must pursue. But following for following’s sake is to be discouraged, for a man can become made anew through the success of this Crusade, if only he strives to be. When possible, we must make our own path, to enlighten the common man, he who so deserves the sandwich.
    I want to search Galesburg for the perfect sandwich. Everyone loves sandwiches, and theres a bunch of sandwich places in Galesburg. We would want to disseminate this sandwich information to everyone, and that would be our target audience. We could welcome comments, and suggestions of places once we get established. Everyone could go out and get sandwiches, and videotape their construction, record their chewing sounds, etc. We could link with sandwich shop websites, as well as other food based places. At the very least, we can inform about the great sandwiches in town. At best, we can find the perfect sandwich, and everyone, the world over, will be better off.

  6. Whoops, looks like my post earlier didn’t take. Apologies for the delay.

    Pitch #1
    12:32 AM
    Late-night entertainment is big business in Galesburg. For a town that sometimes complains it doesn’t even have a Burger King, the types of venues available run the gambit from hole-in-the-wall sketchy spots to higher-end cocktail bars to regional-draw music venues. There is the occasional short-term blog or perhaps an article or two every so often about Galesburg’s night life, but fully-encompassing reporting has yet to be attempted on this topic. Students could report on the bars and night-spots themselves, what kind of entertainment is available there, the events and acts these places attract, and so on. The audience would include all of-age residents of Knox and the surrounding community, with probably particular interest to Knox students and those who have recently reached that milestone. Participation could be greatly encouraged by providing a space for community ranking and reviews of the venues featured and the events hosted there. There would be many opportunities for a wide-variety of media content, such as photos of events, video of shows, even tracks of songs played, just to name a few. Members of our class could go out practically any weekend and garner stories to last all week. This could easily be made to work with existing sites and blogs on the same topic. This would be very doable by our class over the next term, and most likely very enjoyable to do so.

    Pitch #2
    Beat Street
    Possibly one of Galesburg’s greatest untapped resources is the music scene. There are a wide variety of bands just starting out to those that are doing nickel tours of the Midwest that can be found in Galesburg at any given time. The scope of reporting could cover everything from the well-publicized Rootabaga Jazz Festival to smaller events that happen in bars and even Wallace Lounge. This project would target largely the groups and venues that host them, but could also easily include the larger music-oriented local public. Participation from these audiences would most likely be readily available, with the bands featured telling their friends and families about it, and we could again encourage community response and reviews of venues and performances. There is again a rich availability of a wide variety of content such as the music itself, videos of performances and pictures of events. With spring music festivals and big events coming up, feeding new content would not be much of a challenge. We could link with the web pages and publicity sites of the events and groups to further build up our information available.

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