Multimedia Journalism JOUR 205

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Multimedia Journalism


Jeff Nachtigal

Contact information


Course Calendar

Sept. 5 — Dec. 15, 2023 (15-week course, online, asynchronous)

Course Description: (JOUR 205, CRN 73203)

If you’re interested in learning how to tell a multimedia video story with images, audio and video, this is the course for you. This 3-credit course covers the fundamentals of multimedia reporting including capturing digital images, recording interviews, recording and editing news video stories, finding and developing stories, using social media to publish your work, and media literacy. I’ll send a survey to everyone registered for this course in the first week to make sure I know what you most want to practice and learn more about using multimedia to produce stories and journalism!  

In this course you can use a mobile phone camera, or a DSLR camera to record images, video and audio. You also need a computer and video editing software to complete story assignments. I will teach you how to use Adobe Premiere Pro video editing software, and you can download a free version of the software as a Cuesta College student. Or you can use any video editing software you are most comfortable with.

Each week there will be assignments for you to practice the skills we’re learning in class, weekly discussion forums, reading assignments and short quizzes about the topics and reading we’re covering.

Instructor communication

The best and fastest way to reach me is by email. I will generally respond to your emails within 24 hours during weekdays. During busy times of the semester, the response time may increase to 48 hours. On weekends, I will do my best to get back to you ASAP but I cannot guarantee an expeditious response. 

Course Environment

This online course will be using Canvas, Cuesta's online Learning Management System. Canvas provides the framework for the course including the tools to receive and send course materials, and a grade book. You can communicate with me using Canvas e-mail, and you can share materials and ideas with other course participants via the discussion forums and other tools we will go over at the start of the course.

First day of class / Accessing Canvas

Prior to the course start on Monday, Sept. 5, 2023, you will receive an email to your myCuesta email address with a reminder that the class is set to begin, and log in procedures for Canvas, which is Cuesta College's 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 the Canvas address into your browser address bar. Canvas requires students to log-in each time you return to the course; you won't be able to "bookmark" a specific Canvas course.

If you are not familiar with logging into Canvas, please refer to the Cuesta College Links to an external site.Canvas GuideLinks to an external site.. Once you are logged into Canvas, you will see a "course card" on the Canvas dashboard for each course you are registered. Click on the Multimedia Journalism course card to get started.

If you are having difficulty logging into Canvas please email me, or email technical support at this email address:

Online Learning

This is an all-online course, but in practice it is the same amount of work and likely requires more participation than in other face-to-face classroom courses. We will not meet in person as a full class. This is not a self-paced course — there are due dates and deadlines three times per week.

In this course you will be producing audio, photo and video story assignments, including editing you'll be asked to use software to create and edit digital images, and video stories, and radio stories, and build infographics. The way learn how to tell multimedia stories is to... do it! So plan to stick with assignments and continue practicing, and I will give you lots of support and feedback so you walk away from this course able to produce stories!

I want you to succeed, and I will do everything I can to make this happen, as long as you stay on track completing assignments and communicating with me and your classmates.

The class has required assignments and three deadlines per week. In practice, an online course is the same as a classroom course. If you are unsure about whether an online course is right for you, please watch this video Introduction to Online LearningLinks to an external site. for an idea how an online course works!

There is more information about distance educationLinks to an external site. courses to help you get familiar with taking an online course is published by The State of California’s Online Education Initiative (OEI).

Regular Effective Contact policy

Regular and Effective Instructor Contact will be met through weekly discussion forums; weekly announcements to students; timely and effective feedback on student assignments; email, phone or messaging to individuals; and virtual office hours.

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

  • Aim for the Heart, Third edition (2018), by Al Tompkins:  You can purchase or rent this book through the Cuesta College bookstoreLinks to an external site., or read this book online through Cuesta College's library at NO EXPENSE to you. The library also has a copy of the book for use in the library.
  • Digital camera that records video (you can use your mobile phone)
  • Digital audio recorder (you can use your mobile phone + app)
  • Tripod and adapter that works with your mobile device or camera (required!).  Any small tripod that holds your mobile phone or camera steady is okay to use.
  • Video editing software: Required for this course.  As a Cuesta College students you are eligible for a free download of Adobe's Creative Cloud software, which includes Premiere Pro video editing software, which I will teach in this course.
  • Or, you are welcome to use ANY video or audio editing software you already own, or are most comfortable using. I can help you decide what video editor to use when this course begins.

Technical Support

Cuesta students are encouraged to direct all technical support inquiries to If you are having issues with Canvas, you should contact the Canvas Support Hotline at (877) 921-7680, or click on the help button on the Canvas Navigation to report a problem.

If you are having difficulty viewing the course or logging in, it may be because you are not using the correct url: or you are using your phone or using an unsupported browser.

Your learning environment is best accessed from a desktop or laptop computer, using Firefox or Chrome.  This may solve your problem!  Please review the browser requirements and minimum computer specificationsLinks to an external site. to make sure your computer will work for this course.


This course is designed using an accessible Learning Management System, and course materials have been created with ADA compliance in mind. If you have a disability and might need accommodations in this class such as extended time on exams or other resources. Please contact the instructor as soon as possible so that you can receive appropriate accommodations in a timely manner.

You should also contact Disabled Student Programs & ServicesLinks to an external site. (DSPS), or call DSPS: 805-546-3148. 

College & Course Policies

Academic Honesty Policy: Violating copyright in this course is prohibited, and will be cause for immediate drop. In addition to my course policy, please note all students attending San Luis Obispo County Community College District at any district site and when representing Cuesta College in any off-campus activity, assume an obligation to conduct themselves in an acceptable manner compatible with the Student Code of conduct.

Add / Drop Policy

  • I will send add codes and admit students on the third day of the course, if there is space available.
  • Please log in to JOUR 205 in Canvas on the first day of the course (Sept. 6, 2022) and complete the first Discussion post with your bio and background by the third day of this course. Failure to complete the first assignment (or contact me with extenuating circumstances) by the end of the first week of the course may result in you being dropped.

Waitlist Policy

Please contact me for an add code if you are interested in adding this course. I will admit students on the third day of the course, if there is space available.  

In addition to my course specific procedures, please review Cuesta College’s Waitlist procedureLinks to an external site..

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