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Multimedia Journalism, CRN 73203 (Distance education)

JOUR 205, Fall 2018

Instructor: Jeff Nachtigal

JOUR 205/ CRN: 73203

Email: jeffrey_nachtigal@cuesta.edu

Dear prospective multimedia journalism student! 

This multimedia journalism course is for motivated and online-savvy students. If you’re interested in journalism and multimedia storytelling, this course is a good first step.

To complete this course, you will need access to a computer with video and photo editing software, an Internet connection and the ability to download additional software to edit digital media. Or — you can access video and photo editing software on the computers at the Cuesta College main library. Assignments will require you to use software to edit digital audio, images and video files. This is not a “hands on” course where I can provide step-by-step support with individual programs, however I will help assist you through any issues you may have learning the software you use to edit.  You will need a working knowledge of this software, or be willing to learn software in a short amount of time to complete assignments in this course.


Things to consider in determining if this online class is right for you:
This is an all-online course, but in practice it is the same amount of work and more participation compared to a classroom course. We will not meet in person as a full class. This is not a self-paced course. The class has required assignments and specific due dates.

This course requires that you use software to edit digital images, video and audio, and build data visualizations and infographics.

To make sure that YOU ARE READY to succeed in an online course, please read more about what it's like to take a distance education course at Cuesta CollegeLinks to an external site

Please also check out these California Community College videos that explain what it’s really like to be a student in an online course in this set of videos Links to an external site.(that run about 12 minutes in length) and this set of online readiness tutorialsLinks to an external site..

[https://apps.3cmediasolutions.org/oei/modules/intro/story/Links to an external site.


https://apps.3cmediasolutions.org/oei/Links to an external site.]


Course dates
Sept. 24 — Dec. 14, 2018

Course Description:

This three-credit course introduces the fundamentals of reporting, producing and
presenting multimedia news/information for an online audience. The course will cover skills including:  identifying and developing stories, writing for online/social media audiences, interviewing sources, digital photography, audio slideshow production, video recording and editing, online sourcing and reporting issues specific to digital media, infographics, data visualization, writing outlines and story pitches, the internet and social media and their relationship with news, online journalism ethics and media literacy, and working (for yourself!) as an entrepreneurial journalist and multimedia storyteller.

This course requires students to use a digital camera to record digital audio, video and images (such as a DSLR, digital camera, or mobile phone). You are welcome to use your mobile phone.

Each week there will be project assignments related to the skills we’re learning, and you are expected to participate in weekly discussion forums. 


Class opens / Accessing Canvas:
Prior to the class start date on Sept 24, 2018, you will receive an email to your my.Cuesta.edu address providing you with a reminder that class will be starting and log in procedures for Canvas, the learning management system (LMS) used to deliver course content. You can access Canvas by logging into MyCuesta, then clicking on the Resources Tab, then clicking on Canvas in the Online Learning Channel, or by typing https://cuesta.instructure.com/ into your browser address bar. Do not bookmark / favorite the canvas site after your login, or you will get an error message next time you try to log in. You must access the canvas log in directly.

Office hours: 

This is an online-only course, we talk primarily by email, or video Zoom conferencing.

We will be using the campus Moodle site for this course. All assignments and class information will be posted here:



Number of Student Hours

  • Time expectations for completion of course: (3-5 hours per week)
  • You are expected to participate (post, and respond to your peers’ posts) in discussion forums each week of class. Plan to log in to the course and forums a minimum of 3-4 times per week.


Help and Technical Support


College Support Services


Student Learning outcomes for Multimedia Journalism 205, CRN 73203 (Distance education):
Upon completing the course successfully, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to produce multimedia stories for online news sites.
  2. Describe and display the characteristics that make multimedia storytelling distinct from traditional journalism.
  3. Describe and display the characteristics of entrepreneurial journalism.
  4. Critically evaluate professional news multimedia stories.


Required Textbooks/Equipment

  • The Principles of Multimedia Journalism, First edition (2017), by Richard Koci Hernandez (required)
  • Journalism Next, Third edition (2015), by Mark Briggs (recommended)

  • Digital camera with video capability (your mobile phone is fine)

  • Digital audio recorder (smartphone memo app is fine)

  • Tripod and adapter that works with your mobile device or camera (required!)
  • Video editing software. You must have access to video editing software to take this course. If you already have/use a video editor, please plan to use it.
    Adobe Elements is high quality software, as a student you’re eligible for a discount:

https://shop.collegebuys.org/adobe-photoshop-elements-2018--premiere-elements-2018-student--teacher-edition-dvd-p7801.aspxLinks to an external site.

When we begin a specific unit that requires other software, I will point you to free options


    Waitlist Procedure and Add Policy:
    People wishing to add, including those on the waitlist, should send me an email on the first day of spring semester, and I will add students as spots become available. I will do my best to accommodate as many students as I can.   jeffrey_nachtigal@cuesta.edu


    Drop Policy:

    As a courtesy to other students, please log in to Canvas and post in the Discussion forum on the first day. Once you do, your place in the class is secured. Failure to login and post in the discussion forum may result in being dropped from the roster.

    In conclusion
    I think multimedia offers incredible new ways to tell better stories, and I love teaching students who want to learn how to go out and use these skills. In my experience teaching this course, most students encounter a lot of new topics and some technical challenges. That’s ok! I expect you to be learning new things in this course. If you’re already familiar with journalism practices or have some experience producing multimedia, that’s ok too! The lessons and stories you’ll be working on in this course scale — so you’ll have the chance to learn from the ground-up, or build on your existing skills and become an even more proficient multimedia storyteller and journalist.

    This course requires that you stay on top of the assignments and reading. My goal is to have everyone become proficient using digital media technology so you will be able to use these skills in the future — as storytellers, communication professionals, marketing specialists, and journalists.

    I understand and expect there will be some technical hurdles as you learn how to produce digital stories, so please be ready to contact me and ask questions if you have any issues getting a program or camera to work how you want it to.

    No question is too small to ask! (After all, that’s what we do as journalists and storytellers: Ask questions!)




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