JOUR 425 Multimedia Editing and Design — printed by VISITOR , NON-STUDENT, THURSDAY LAB

WEEK OF FEB. 23

TUESDAY

Statistics

Read: Meyer, Chapters 4, 5, 12 and 14 through 16; Tufte (opt.); presentation and videos 1 and 2.

Due: GLANCE.

THURSDAY

Charting

Read: Meyer, Chapters 11 through 15, style rules, presentation.

Due: ICON.

FOLLOWING WEEK

TOPIC | CHART

SYLLABUS

DETAILS | HIGHLIGHTS

Please submit GLANCE HTML before start of lecture

Please submit ICON PDF before start of lab

Please submit GLANCE PDF before start of lecture

VISITOR

NON-STUDENT

THURSDAY LAB

I think icon, I think icon

It's time to get organized visually, visitor.

Now that we've learned InDesign with our sample page and have learned design basics with our first and second (shown at right) front pages, it's time to learn tools that will allow us to do more than just react to material presented to us.

We're start off rather slowly, creating an icon, due Thursday, while we also start learning how to tell stories with numbers — first with a predetermined set of statistics, then with statistics we research on our own. We'll also be learning how to tell stories with images in a photojournalism assignment at the same time.

Now is a good time to begin thinking about how and what you might choose to cover statistically and photographically. The more you prepare now, the easier your task will become later.

For the icon project, concentrate on simplicity and universality, practicing such tools as gradient shading, perspective and Bezier drawing to the extent that they add to rather than detract from your effort. Remember to include no words, logos or other symbols, just an image that you personally create.

If you need a refresher on how to operate Illustrator, videos about this and most other programs are available.

Don't overlook your glance assignment

Intellectually, the two-part glance, due Tuesday, is the hardest assignment we have had to date. You have to synthesize and parsimoneously summarize the background of the coronovirus and then you have arrange your information so it can be told non-linearly in two different sorts of informational hierarchies — one print and one online.

This will take a lot longer than you think — and not just for technical reasons involving the online version. This isn't just a matter of gathering a few random bullet points, and it certainly isn't just reciting dull details. It's about offering the big picture, with drill-downs to details. Think of it as, on one level, a cheat sheet primer for people who haven't been following the story and, on another level, a detailed wrapup of exactly what's at issue.

For both print and online, remember reading order and the need to put actual facts, not just categorical labels, in each position of that order: headline first, punched bold second, any optional chunking labels for the bullet points third, the bullet points themselves fourth, and finally any text lead-in to the bullet points fifth.

Understand and take advantage of the differences between print and online. In print, everything will be visible at once. Online, only if a user clicks on a main point will its subpoints be revealed. Avoid narrative approaches in which the main points are mere introductions to the subpoints. They should stand on their own, with the subpoints augumenting rather than completing them.

A common failing on this assignment is to treat the headline as a label and to either forget to punch key phrases into bold or to make those key phrases labels (what something is about) rather than facts (what it actually is).

In many regards, what we are doing in the glance box with text is exactly what we are doing with images in the icon and upcoming photo assignments and with statistics in the upcoming chart and graphic assignments. It's all about content and organizing it non-linearly. Keep this in mind as you work through the assignments.

Also keep in mind one key bit of technical advice: Don't try to code the online version all at once. Figure out how it will unfold and use placeholder text for each point until you get the technology right. Then and only then cut and paste the actually points into the code in place of the placeholders. This approach will save you considerable grief.

Grades posted

Grades on all projects submitted through Feb. 23 have been posted to this site's gradebook. It's way too early to be worried about such things, but here for those who obsess over such things is the current percentage grade distribution in the class.

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