Welcome to Journalism 121, Spring 2011

Okay, I admit it.  I’ve broken one of the cardinal sins of blogging:  I stopped blogging.  To be fair, this blog serves a particular audience (JOUR 121 students) with a particular purpose (to showcase their work and enhance our classroom discussions), both of which were made irrelevant when I was assigned to teach a different course for Fall 2010.

But I’m back.  We’re back.  And to get the discussion rolling, I’m once again having my students read the American Journalism Review‘s 2008 article on charticles as a lead-in to our Google maps assignment.  (On a sidenote, can there be such a thing as overusing hyperlinks?  I say yes.) I’m looking forward to reading their comments about the AJR article.

And yours.  While the targeted audience for this blog are my students, if you’ve found your way here too, please join the discussion–at least until the next time I take a hiatus from this course.


About Nancy Kaplan-Biegel

I am the journalism program coordinator at Skyline College in San Bruno, CA, as well as the adviser to The Skyline View.

6 thoughts on “Welcome to Journalism 121, Spring 2011

  1. I read the article and it was pretty good. I liked how the article talked about the relationships between writers and editors. That was new for me since I usually only hear about the writers and advertisers

    • What do you think of charticles? When could you see yourself using them? Are there situations or topics you feel charticles would be a poor choice?

  2. I like this article and I really like the idea of Charticles. I think a good time to use them is if you wanted to get opinions on something that wasnt too serious or controversial where it needed that much detail. You can just simply put a graphic image up and have large texts of quotes. It will bring attention to readers because they will want to see other people’s opinions. I think a poor choice of using Charticles is when the story needs to have good narration for the reader to understand the whole lining of the story. Maybe doing a feature story on someone considered as a hero. I think that wouldnt be appropriate for a charticle.

    • I love the example you give of when not to use charticles. I agree that a profile–especially of a hero–would be much better served by a longer form. And certainly, there are some news events–for example, a crime and its investigation and resolution that would be best told chronologically. Thanks for the thoughtful comments.

  3. after the reading the article about charticles, its a little diffrent to see a journalist point of view.
    so let me get this clear, the whole articles are
    basically cut down into minimal text and more pics, and graphics? sounds simple but i really cant invision it.
    sounds like a peice that was missing alot of information and was just plugged up.
    my opinion is peices should just be good text and
    a great pic to go with it

  4. haha, yes Nancy, I think there is such thing as too many hyper-links also!

    As for charticles, I’m a fan. I wasn’t really grasping what they were, a photo example on the site would have helped, until the author mentioned Wired magazine. Wired uses them often when telling stories that involve heavy stats, and I find that I end up reading those more than the regular style articles in their magazine because the charticles are all that I have time for.

    They are also interesting to look at. It’s nice to give my eyeballs a workout that’s different than reading strictly left to right, top to bottom.

    Also, while reading “Charticle Fever” I found myself wishing that IT was a charticle due to its length and lack of images. I suppose I fit Sicha’s view of being used to “look not read” publications, however, I’m not convinced it’s a bad thing.

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