You are the media

The Internet has turned what it means to be “the media” on its head. The media was once the domain of publishers that could afford printing presses and media moguls that owned TV studios and radio stations. Now anyone with an iPhone wields the power of the media.

What does that mean for you? It means the audience is no longer passive. You are an active participant in media creation, curation, distribution and commentary. Information is shared peer-to-peer and not just media-outlet-to-anonymous-audience.

Because of this paradigm shift, our class will operate on the premise that technology has made all communicators and content creators part of the media. In short, you are the media.

This active role makes studying media writing even more important than ever before. As professional communicators in training you have the opportunity and obligation to become savvy media consumers and creators.

With that in mind, the goal by the end of this course is to empower you with writing skills to be an effective member of the media.

The above statement came from the syllabus in our media writing class.

Now it’s time to put everything you learned this semester and share your work with the public. You will put your writing out into the world and be evaluated by your audience, just as you would in any job that involves media creation.

The final project is to create a Medium publication on a topic of your choosing and publish three articles. During our final class, we’ll read each other’s publications and evaluate them on the following criteria:

News judgement

  • The publication clearly defines its topic and audience
  • The writing effectively informs, persuades or entertains
  • The articles answer the questions who, what, when, where and why

Research and reporting

  • Each article contains research from at least one outside source
  • Each article contains at least one quote from an interview
  • The writing relates the topic to current trends or historical context

Clear and concise writing

  • No passive voice
  • The writing gets to the point
  • The narrative is edited to include compelling and important information

Accuracy and authority

  • All the facts are correct and opinions are supported by research
  • The writer appropriately cites and links to sources
  • No mistakes in AP Style, spelling and grammar

I’d also like you to add at least one image to each article, though that won’t be counted in the criteria for evaluation.

The deadline to send me a link to your publication is by noon on Tuesday, December 13th. You’ll then be randomly assigned publications from classmates to read and evaluate during class. I’ll also individually evaluate and share feedback on each project myself.

If you’d like to discuss your publication topic or have any other questions, send me an email or leave a comment on this post.

I’m looking forward to reading your work!

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