Digital Media Storytelling Project

Part A: Digital Media Storytelling Project (60%)

Each student MUST have ONE STORY of their own (Choose any one option from 3 options below).

Option One:

Tell us your story. Your goal is to produce a 1–3-minute video of your life during the pandemic.

STEP 1: ASSESS YOUR SITUATION. 

  • Put pen on paper and write down all the ways in which coronavirus has affected you. Use this to get your thoughts together and think about your friends and family members, too. Are you stuck at home? Scared for yourself or loved ones? Worried about your job? Grieving cancelled events?
  • If the virus hasn’t impacted you directly, why not? What are you hearing?

STEP 2: STORYBOARD YOUR PERSONAL NARRATIVE 

On paper or with your computer/electronic device, use the following prompts and questions to create the BEGINNING, MIDDLE and END of your piece:

  • Describe who you are (age, grade), where you live, and where you go to school. 
  • Are there cases of coronavirus in your community? What do you know?
  • At what point did coronavirus become a serious concern for you, your family, school? If it hasn’t yet, why not?
  • How has this global pandemic impacted you directly? Explain using specific examples – such as – your school cancelled games, dances, classes, etc..

STEP 3: PRODUCE YOUR STORY

  • After you have gathered or written all the information that you want to include, choose the medium you’d like to use to share your story and follow the hyper-linked directions:
    • Social – best for mobile phones
    • Digital – best for more traditional cameras and video production methods
  • It’s up to you to decide what kind of recording device to use based on what you have experience with and access to. Options include mobile phones, camcorders and more sophisticated cameras like DSLRs. 

Note: Please submit the video link and written part/storyboard both

Source/Credit: the story concept and the links given above are from PBS Newshour (USA) student media project.

Option 2: Full News Package

Tell someone else’s story. One of the most important parts of digital communication is doing honor by telling someone else’s story. Take this responsibility seriously, but also have fun! 

STEP 1: FIND A GOOD STORY

Write down all the possible coronavirus stories. 

Themes to consider:

  • How is the coronavirus pandemic affecting lives in general and student lives in particular?
  • How are people dealing with anxiety, fear and the mental health effects of the pandemic?
  • What about students who don’t have internet access, or food security?
  • What are communities doing to help children access: 
    • Safe spaces, heat and shelter
    • Food and meals that were provided in schools
    • Online assignments and general internet connections 
    • Books, textbooks and other supplies from school
  • How are international students really spending their time?
  • How does staying home affect family dynamics?
  • What about students at risk of dropping out?
  • Are jobs in danger?
  • What are the economic impacts on jobs and businesses in your community?

STEP 2: IDENTIFY YOUR CHARACTERS. 

**REMINDER: Face to face conversations outside your immediate circle should be replaced with virtual interviews. USE THIS VIRTUAL INTERVIEW GUIDE** Additionally,  producer Jennie Butler of NowThis and Andrew James Benson of Inquire Films shared some secrets about conducting a successful remote interview with SRL. Watch The Art of the Remote Interview Webinar here, co-hosted by The Video Consortium.

Your main character can be a friend, parent, worker, business owner, doctor, teacher, caregiver, etc. Who is willing to tell their story?

Questions to think about:

  • WHAT’S YOUR BIG IDEA? If your audience only learns one thing from your story, what would it be?
  • IS THIS A STORY? Does it have a beginning, middle, and end? An interesting character?
  • CAN YOU PULL THIS OFF? Think about logistics: weather, time, length, access to people and filming locations. Is your idea realistic?
  • IS IT VISUAL? Is video the best way to tell this story, or how can you make a topic that’s clearly newsworthy into a compelling visual piece?

STEP 3: WRITE YOUR INTERVIEW QUESTIONS. 

Avoid yes or no questions. Have an idea of what you want to hear but let the conversation flow.

STEP 4: TIME TO FILM! 

Self-educate for some basic ideas about how to set up your camera, frame your shots, find strong lighting and capture good audio.

STEP 5: THINK VISUALLY

Besides your characters talking, what can you film to bring your characters and their story to life?Write down the shots you want to gather using this organizer.

STEP 6: TRANSCRIBE THE VIDEO YOU RECORD

You can do this by hand or use a site that creates a word file of your video  like otter.ai.  Make sure to GO BACK and listen to fix spelling errors and become more familiar with the material you captured.  

STEP 7: HIGHLIGHT YOUR BEST SOUNDBITES and cut them out with scissors.

STEP 8: IDENTIFY YOUR STORY’S BEGINNING, MIDDLE AND END

What is the best way to start your story? Think about the videos that you watch online: how do they capture your attention? 

Remember: The first 7 seconds of your video are critical. Use your best b-roll or most compelling soundbite.

How do you want your story to end? What do you want your audience to feel? What do you want us to be thinking about after we watch your story?

Arrange your soundbites to tell your story.

STEP 9: WRITE YOUR SCRIPT USING THIS TEMPLATE that includes a beginning, middle and end before you start editing. Take a look at this script lesson for inspiration. 

STEP 10: EDIT YOUR VIDEO. 

Use the highlighted soundbites to create a video montage on your timeline. If it’s your first time editing, use the Editing Lesson Plan to help you organize your footage, create a project, import, and export your final video.

  1. Add b-roll to visually support the audio and cover jump cuts.
  2. Pay attention to sound and match levels.
  3. Export a rough cut edit, maximum of 4 minutes for review.
    1. Format: H.264 Preset: Vimeo 1080p Full HD 
  4. Get feedback from your teacher or ask a friend. Revisit your timeline, make fixes and finalize the piece. 

Note: Please submit the video link and written part/storyboard both

Option 3: Confronting Misinformation and Social Commentary

Learn how to identify and assess coronavirus-themed memes and then flip the script by learning how to make your own fact-based memes and other social commentary content during this period of uncertainty

STEP 1: FIND A MEME ABOUT CORONAVIRUS 

STEP 2: FACT-CHECK THAT MEME

  • Check the information shared in the post against information shared by credible sources and see if it measures up
  • What credible sources are you using?
  • How do you know these are credible sources/ who has the authority to speak on public health information? (this is where we’d have to wade into the waters of POTUS not currently being a credible source…)

STEP 3: FIND INFORMATION — FROM A CREDIBLE SOURCE — THAT YOU THINK IS IMPORTANT TO SHARE (WE GIVE SOURCES)

STEP 4: CREATE YOUR OWN MEME SHARING THIS INFORMATION

  • **CITE YOUR SOURCE SOMEWHERE IN THE MEME*

Content ideas – Make it visual/ fun & positive (with respect)

– how to avoid touching face

– explain covid-19 symptoms

– explain “social distancing”

share stress-relief tips

– share ways to support/help older people & people at higher risk, due to health conditions

– ideas for things to do if stuck at home

– explain “flattening the curve” like example:

Note: Please submit the video link and written part/storyboard both

Note: You might want to upload your video into Youtube (private/personal), share the link into AmpEducator (and you might want to keep it private or delete later)

Part B: Reading from a journal article and answering questions (40%)

Read attached articleCorporate Ownership and News Bias Revisited: Newspaper Coverage of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United Ruling” and answer the following questions:

  1. Upon reading the findings of the article/research, do you think how media corporations benefited from the changes in campaign finance law influenced their news outlets’ coverage of the Citizens United decision?
  2. What is news bias? What are the components that support news to become bias? 
  3. Briefly outline the research method applied for this research (just a paragraph)
  4. What are the key findings? Just in points
  5. Please suggest -how could the government control the financial interests of the news media corporations which they use with their power to influence how their news outlets cover issues? Please recommend just based on your own opinion and observation.

Answer in complete; no word limit is set but I would go upto 1.5-2 pages at least.

Citation style: APA 7th edition

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