You're invited: Create a 4x6 postcard, on paper or digitally, to welcome displaced New Orleanians to Phoenix. The card will become part of a Web site produced by my 425 Online Media class. 30 extra-credit points.

Week 5

Links visited in class:
Kevin Sites' Hotzone

What's next? What's now?
"Special report: News for the next generation" Columbia Journalism Review

Current Rimrats Topic: Graphic rescue photo becomes a symbol
Wednesday, a photograph of a man being rescued from his flooded home in New Orleans was carried A1 by a number of newspapers. What made running the pic a matter of discussion in most, if not all, of those newsrooms was that the elderly man was carried naked out of his home. The papers that ran the photo did so because they felt the news value was high; they did not consider the photo distasteful. You may, or you may not. Here's your chance to figure out how you feel about news media running not just that picture but others like it. What would be determining criteria for you? Should whether someone lives or dies soon after the picture was taken play a role in the decision to publish? What are similar issues that should be considered? MORE: The story behind the picture, here. Photos from OCRegister.

Backstory note (to supplement previous handout):
E-mailed Tuesday, Sept. 20: Today's news article (any source) about the death of Simon Wiesenthal, Holocaust surviver, would be a good topic for the backstory assignment (I'm not pushing it, just citing it as an example). Right off the top, I spot words that copy editors would have to check the spelling on -- like "Wiesenthal" and "Holocaust." Really. And here are some other things that I would think should be in a backstory report: a good description of what the Holocaust was, including dates and key names/words/places. Also, some reporting on Holocaust denial and the rise of neo-Nazism (and what it is). Of course, a report on Wiesenthal's life and mission including dates and key events. A list of online resources -- and notes as to whether they're credible, objective or opinionated, etc. Are there any local tie-ins? Was he controversial? Why, and what were the various points of view? A map might be called for. Several, in fact.  

I would expect anyone doing a backstory will discover a LOT of material that is new to him or her. That's part of the fun of doing something like this. Well, for some of us, anyway. :-) There's lots more I haven't thought of, but my coffee's cold now and it's time to move on.