City College of San Francisco
Fall 2000 Session
Classroom: Computer Learning Lab
Room 209, Rosenberg Library
Office Hours: E-mail
E-mail George Shirk: firstname.lastname@example.org
E-mail Jon Rochmis: email@example.com
Editor-in-Chief, Wired News
Editor-in-Chief, Lycos News Network
Content Editor, Wired News
Lycos News Network
Texts: Because of the velocity of information about the Internet, students will use handouts instead of textbooks. Students also will be required to read material from the Internet itself, as assigned.
Recommended texts: Negroponte, Nicholas. Being Digital, Vintage Books; Ullman, Ellen. Close to the Machine: Technophilia and Its Discontents, City Lights Books; Bud E. Smith, Arthur Bebak, Kevin Werbach. Creating Web Pages for Dummies, 4th Edition, IDG Books; Wallace, Jonathan; Mangan, Mark. Sex, Laws and Cyberspace; Turkle, Sherry. Life on the Screen -- Identity in the Age of the Internet,Touchstone; Rheingold, Howard. The Virtual Community -- Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier; Smeddinghoff, Thomas. Online Law -- The SPA's Legal Guide to Doing Business On The Internet.
Class handouts: Photocopies as needed. Treat these as you would treat texts. The Internet moves so fast that the best material often is the material just recently published.
Net Access: You will need access to a computer with a web browser (preferably Netscape Navigator 3.01 or higher or Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 or higher) and Internet access. The journalism lab has very limited access to the Internet, so I recommend that you also have access of your own.
Miscellaneous: A 1.44 MB floppy disk, pencils, paper, and an open mind.
What do we mean when we say "Internet Journalism?" How is it different from traditional media, such as print, broadcast and magazine?
As we progress through the class, we will learn that the single most distinguishing factor of Internet Journalism is that it is digital, and that, as such, information can be indexed and searched on a variety of platforms -- print, video, sound, graphical. Thus much of the burden of storytelling is with the reader or end-user. The author therefore becomes not only a storyteller, but also a careful architect of digital story components.
We also will examine how "action items" attached to news create "The Internet News Experience."We will learn some of the tools that will help us build story components in their various forms, such as sound, text, photo and illustration, and how journalists combine them into Internet journalism packages.
We will learn what effective storytelling tools are in use on the Internet today, such as hypertext, and we will learn how to "chunk" a story into layers.
In addition, we will examine the digital "landscapes" of Internet chat and bulletin boards, familiarizing ourselves with the world of bits and bytes, the sociology of that environment and its political, legal and moral features.
We also will examine issues that come bundled with this new medium: business aspects, such as the dynamics of online advertising; legal considerations, such as the state of copyright and First Amendment law; and ethical questions such as those raised by so-called "user tracking" technologies.
Finally, we will learn to use the Internet as a reporting tool, to help the journalist gather reliable information quickly so that he or she can present an accurate, useful and interesting story to the most number of people.
This is not a class in web-page building. Rather,it looks broadly at the field of journalism as it is employed on the Internet -- on the World Wide Web, in ListServes, in email and in other interactive platforms.
Students will be expected to respond actively in class discussion, raising topics for discussion themselves as well as responding to assigned text.
Students should come prepared to respond with care to other students' contributions. Students are focusing on the cutting edge of new methods in an old craft. We hope to foster a spirit of inquiry.
Papers and assignments are due by the beginning of class.
GRADING AND DEADLINES (subject to revision)
Grades will be based on exercises completed in and outside of class. Considerable weight will be given classroom participation in discussion sessions.
There will be a take-home mid-term examination and a take-home final examination.
Final grades will be based on exams, tests, class participation and outside assignments.
* Note: Due to the newness of this course, students should expect some flexibility in this regard.
Come to class every day or risk being left behind. It is your responsibility to keep up with the class, even if you are absent.
You will be given a number of homework assignments to help in your understanding of the Net publishing process. To properly complete the assignments, you will, at minimum, need access to a computer with a web browser, as well as an Internet connection.
90-100% = A
80-90% = B
70-80% = C
60-70% = D
0-60% = Whoa
Do your own work and take your own tests. Work with others, but avoid copying work from other students or from a solutions manual. Cheating on tests, copying someone else's work, or having someone do your work for you is not allowed. Be dishonest once -- you'll receive a zero on the assignment. Be dishonest twice -- you'll receive an F in the course. Please inform us if you observe someone who is guilty of academic dishonesty.
SOURCES OF HELP
We will be available to answer questions via email, and after each class session. Also, selected material will appear on the class website.
If for any reason a natural disaster causes the campus to be closed, you should call me. If such a natural disaster prevents me from administering an assignment, I will either reschedule it or eliminate that assignment from the grading scheme, at my discretion. You will be responsible for contacting me and getting directions.
The Internet is also somewhat of a moving target, since new technologies and storytelling techniques seem to emerge on a monthly basis. As a result, we will follow the course outline and this syllabus as closely as possible, but may also change the course if change appears warranted.
August 22 (Shirk-Rochmis) -- Introduction to Internet journalism. Opening Remarks/Discussion. Class business.