All students of Media Writing in Tipperary Institute need to be able to accomplish the tasks related to creating social media, web writing and communicating with both a pen and a mouse. We have routinely increased the level of sophistication in our first year (freshman English) Media Writing module to set the bar at the appopriate level for students who aspire to a BSc in Creative Multimedia. The main academic work appears below the fold.
1. Script one episode of any segment longer than 14 minutes from This American Life (http://thislife.org). Scripts should be suitable for use by presenters, interviewees, producers, sound engineers, and researchers.
2. Script one advertisement for a job for a creative multimedia graduate. The script should be a text that can be used by a presenter in a segment lasting between 24 and 54 seconds. The script must be spell-checked and must reference online assets, a five-word Google phrase, a job title and a company. The job does not have to be in Ireland.
3. Produce an acceptable press release on a selected start-up company from Ireland. The name of the company must be pre-approved by the senior multimedia lecturer no later than five workdays prior to submission of the 400-word press release. The press release must describe a graphic or a photograph stored and tagged on Flickr (x_ref125mw08 opencoffee) suitable for high-resolution printing. Easily searchable terms of reference must be evident in the body of the press release along with URLs appropriate to the company profiled.
4. Produce a press release on Robocode. The press release must focus on a specific facet of Robocode 2008 and this focus must be approved by the senior multimedia lecturer no later than five days prior to the submission of the 400-word press release. The press release must describe a graphic or a photograph stored and tagged (x_ref125mw08 robocode) in a public place on Flickr suitable for high-resolution printing. Easily searchable terms of reference must be evident in the body of the press release along with URLs appropriate to the company profiled.
5. Produce an online post (200-600 words) of a designated cultural event that draws upon personal observation and the use of specific phraseology that anchors the review in an Irish perspective. The senior multimedia lecturer must approve an outline of the event, which can be an art exhibition, light sculpture, performance, film or radio production observed in Ireland. Travel, accommodation, and ancillary items should be cross-referenced in the online post. The online publication of the event must be tagged on del.icio.us (x_ref125mw08 culture), cross-posted to Facebook, connected to upcoming.org and discoverable on Flickr.
6. Write an 800-word technical review. The subject and tone of the review should be suitable for publication in a broadsheet, special supplement, conference handout, or technology weblog. The senior multimedia lecturer must approve the scope of the technical review by signing off on an outline of the treatment at least five days prior to submission. The review must incorporate a graphic or photograph that is stored and tagged (x_ref125mw08 technote) in a public place on Flickr and the imagery must be suitable for high-resolution printing. Easily findable terms of reference must be evident in the first 200 words of the technical review. Appropriate URLs related to the subject must be included in the review. The word count must fall between 780-800 words and include usage of Hiberno-English vocabulary. A 140-character summary of the review must be posted in the skunkworks channel of Jaiku.
7. Write a review of a gadget in 800 words. The word count must fall between 780-800 words. The subject and tone of the review should benefit from your first person observations and be suitable for publication in a community paper, a broadsheet, special Sunday supplement, conference handout, or technology blog. The senior multimedia lecturer must approve an outline of the review at least five days prior to submission. The review must incorporate a graphic or photograph that is stored and tagged (x_ref125mw08 gadget) in a public place on Flickr and the imagery must be suitable for high-resolution printing. Easily findable terms of reference must be evident in the first 200 words of the gadget review. Appropriate URLs related to the subject must be included in the review. The review must be localised by the use of Hiberno-English terminology. A 140-character summary of the review must be posted in the skunkworks channel of Jaiku.
8. Write a review of your travel as an email in 780-800 word submission. The subject and tone of the review must be derived from personal experience. The email must address either a friend or be an open letter to someone following your experiences. The subject and tone of the email must be suitable for publication in a family newspaper and be approved in outline form by the senior multimedia lecturer no later than five days prior to the submission of the email article. The email must incorporate a hyperlink to a graphic or a photograph that is stored and tagged (x_ref125mw08 travel) in a public place on Flickr and the imagery must be suitable for republication in a print medium. Easily findable terms of reference must be evident within the first 200 words of the email. At least one URL must be included as a cross-reference or a continuation of the email. The review must include at least one example of Hiberno-English used correctly in context. A 140-character summary of the travel email must be posted in the college channel of Jaiku.
9. Successfully complete the Christmas examination and earn five percent of continuous assessment credit for the Media Writing module. The exam measures comprehension of terms of reference, awareness of published authors, appearances of actors in films, as well as name recognition of producers, directors, editors and bloggers.
10. Write an article online in 780-800 words that draws on an event that transpired on microblogs such as Jaiku, Twitter, or Pownce. Cross-post a reference to your online article by using the college channel in Jaiku (http://www.jaiku.com/channel/college). Point to an online photo or graphic that is stored and tagged in a public part of Flickr (x_ref125mw08 socialmedia).
11. Write a 1200 word essay that compares and contrasts Bebo and Facebook. The essay must draw upon personal observations and at least one specific example from a friend. The essay must include no fewer than five references correctly formatted in a bibliography. At least two screenshots should be included in the essay.
12. Contribute to a social media lifestream. Contributions to this lifestream should be tagged (x_ref125mw lifestream) on del.icio.us and include text, photos, videos, and audio files that have a bearing on the local college experience as well as the international environment of social media in campus worldwide. Lifestreams must be suitable for use by editors of a newsletter about the college and for researchers of a local radio show about college life. At least one contribution to the lifestream must be suitable for use in revising for the final examination.
Media Writing 2008 Supplemental Reading
Several examination questions will be drawn from these three supplemental resources.
The Cult of the Amateur by Andrew Keen
How Today's Internet is Killing Our Culture
ISBN-13: 978-0385520805 (Currency Press)
According to Andrew Keen, a sea of amateur content threatens to drown out more vital information. Keen became somewhat notorious for a 2006 Weekly Standard essay equating Web 2.0 with Marxism; like Karl Marx, he offers a convincing overall critique but runs into trouble with the details. Media Writing readers will nod in recognition at Keen's general arguments but might disagree with many of his conclusions.
The Long Tail by Chris Anderson
Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More
ISBN-13: 978-1401302375 (Hyperion)
Wired editor Anderson declares the death of "common culture"—and insists that it's for the best. Why don't we all watch the same TV shows, like we used to? Because not long ago, "we had fewer alternatives to compete for our screen attention," he writes. Smash hits have existed largely because of scarcity: with a finite number of bookstore shelves and theatres and Wal-Mart CD racks, "it's only sensible to fill them with the titles that will sell best." Today, Web sites and online retailers offer seemingly infinite inventory, and the result is the "shattering of the mainstream into a zillion different cultural shards." These "countless niches" are market opportunities for those who cast a wide net and de-emphasize the search for blockbusters. It's a provocative analysis and almost certainly on target—though Anderson's assurances that these principles are equally applicable outside the media and entertainment industries are not entirely convincing.
The Search by John Battelle
How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture
ISBN-13: 978-1591841418 (Portfolio Trade)
Battelle specifically indicates his desire to understand what he calls the cultural anthropology of search, and to analyse search engines' current role as the "database of our intentions"--the repository of humanity's curiosity, exploration, and expressed desires. Interesting though that beginning is, though, Battelle's story really picks up speed when he starts dishing inside scoop on the darling business story of the decade, Google. To Battelle's credit, though, he doesn't stop just with historical retrospective: the final part of his book focuses on the potential future directions of Google and its products' development.