***We have switched video servers from the old Avid/Unity system to one called EVO. The process for mounting a drive to access and store on the Futures Lab network has changed. Please follow these instructions.***
A Wearables Playbook for Newsrooms
Team: Samantha Healey, Chris Mathews and Lauren Slome
Mentors: Victor Hernandez and Mike McKean
Wearables such as the Apple Watch are still mostly in the “pre-iPhone” stage. To leverage the momentum and support behind this new wave of computing, it’s important that everyone understands where we’re going.
You’ll help us build an understanding of wearables by:
If you choose, you may also take part in or provide guidance to teams in the RJI Student Competition. Those teams will build new products and services around the Apple Watch.
New Strategies For Engaging Women in Online Comment Sections
Team: Kristin Rohlwing and Eliza Davidson
Mentors: Marie Tessier and Amy Simons
RJI Fellow and New York Times comments moderator Marie Tessier seeks to give women’s voices an equal place with men’s in online news sites. Currently, scholars say that men’s voices outnumber women’s 3:1 or 4:1. How do news organizations bridge that gap, and engage the most lucrative consumers in public policy conversations? Capstone team members should be comfortable with analytics and business research, with gender analysis and its implications, and be willing to think creatively about driving innovation in user experience that will reshape public conversation.
Tessier’s ambition for the fall semester is to work with the team to generate four to six articles about online comment spaces on news sites, the barriers to women’s participation, examples of successful efforts to overcome the gender gap, and information about the business opportunity that deepening women’s engagement represents to news media. She is particularly interested in gender-inclusive engineering and product testing protocols in information technology, and the way that companies of various kinds have created successful “value propositions” for women’s engagement in online conversation. Plans are underway for you to work with one or more students from computer science on this project.
Your work will help to advance the Coral Project, an open source initiative to improve comments sections sponsored by the Knight Foundation, Mozilla Foundation, The New York Times and the Washington Post.
Applying “Structured Stories” to Missouri State Government
Team: Maggie Angst and Hellen Tian
Mentors: David Caswell and Frank Russell
The team will investigate a novel form of journalism known as “structured stories” by reporting on four areas of Missouri state government and by formatting that reporting as structured records in a growing database.
Structured journalism projects are currently in progress at The New York Times, the BBC and elsewhere. You can learn more about structured stories from these resources:
This reporting project will use the Structured Stories experimental platform. Structured Stories is not an archive of text articles, or a collection of writing, or a wiki, or any other unstructured or language-dependent repository. Instead it encodes journalistic news events solely as data, and organizes them naturally and coherently.
The primary objective for the reporting team will be to (1) select one or more state government beats for each team member in consultation with your mentors, (2) organize your reporting into discrete journalistic events and (3) arrange those journalistic events into coherent narrative structures. These tasks require an ability to perceive the patterns that occur in news and to match reported events to those patterns. The objective is not breaking news or publishing investigative results, but instead to steadily accumulate news into comprehensive stories that are simple to navigate, understand and use. Initial reporting will mostly involve building timelines of “back stories” from archival and state government sources.
Video Production and Training for Community Newspapers
Team: Aaron Pellish and Susu Yan
Mentors: Jim Robertson and Judd Slivka
The Columbia Daily Tribune is purchasing new video production equipment, and your job is to come up with a plan to make the best use of it. The plan must be realistic for a small newsroom, incorporating or building upon best practices among other community newspapers, and it doesn’t have to be limited to newsgathering. It might include ways to use the equipment outside the newsroom for promotions or advertising.
Hands-on aspects of the project will include meeting with the newspaper staff to understand their goals and explore their limitations (staffing, time, facilities, etc.). The team will create videos to serve as examples. What kind of video is most likely to engage viewers? Is it the same for desktop and mobile? What type of video has the most potential to generate advertising or sponsorship revenue? How do you attract viewers in the first place? What role does social media play and how do you monetize that? Is there potential to drive online subscriptions?
The plan will be developed for a specific newspaper, but it could serve as a model for all community newspapers around the country.
Telling News via Virtual Reality
Team: Berkeley Lovelace, Taylor Nakagawa and Haley Reed
Mentors: Nathan Griffiths and Paul Cheung (AP), Mike McKean
Each new publishing technology reinvents how we experience news, and VR promises the next revolution by immersing us deep in a story.
The Reynolds Journalism Institute is working with the Associated Press to explore various ways to create immersive storytelling via virtual reality following AP’s highest news and ethical standards. Students on this capstone team will report and produce 3 to 4 VR stories on New York City’s transportation system from the second avenue subway construction to the redesign of LaGuardia airport. You will produce stories using existing techniques from 360 video to panoramic photography to 3D modeling. We will explore best VR practices and output from desktop to mobile to VR headsets.
This will be an intense, fast-paced project that will involve working across multiple disciplines. While much of the work will be done in Columbia, we are considering whether and when to bring the team to New York for reporting and consultation with the mentors.
AP Business Research
Team: Natasha Brewer and Sarah Darby
Mentors: Fernando Ferre, Francesco Marconi and Lucy Sun (AP) and Mike McKean
The team will conduct and analyze customer market research for the AP’s data services. The goal of the project is to understand the ideal customer market for the products, and by completing this research, the team will be able to identify methods the AP can use to monetize and improve this content for the government sector.
Research will be conducted by interviewing potential customers, analyzing findings from the interviews and researching market trends within the media industry. The team will work closely with mentors to help guide the research.
The end result of the project will be a report to show the findings from the research and interviews.
Developing a Multicultural, “Smart Conversations” Podcast
Team: Ryan Levi, Mary Kate Metivier and Emerald O’Brien
Mentors: Alicia Stewart (2015 Nieman Fellow, former CNN editor), and Mark Hinojosa
The team will work with Stewart to conceive, prototype and launch a podcast of “smart conversations” with people about their lives. These will either be with well-known people who talk about things they normally wouldn’t or unknown people who have something valuable to share. Alicia is especially interested in the intersection of new technology and changing demographics, especially when it comes to multicultural newsrooms and audiences.
In the first third of the semester, the team will work to figure out what this independently-produced podcast will offer that consumers won’t be able to get from any other.
They’ll spend the second third of the semester starting to produce the podcast and preparing to distribute it. They’ll also use this time to plan out publicity and promotion of the podcast.
The final third of the semester will focus on releasing episodes, executing the promotion strategy and measuring user response to the work.
Responsive Re-design of VoxMagazine.com
Team: Shelby Mann and Bell Johnson
Mentor: Rob Weir
Those involved in the project will be responsible for the front-end web design work, but will be assisted by the Missourian’s programmer.
Last semester’s projects here.----------Posted on January 11, 2016 by admin in Uncategoried