• 4992 Projects: Spring 2016

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    BBC homepage strategy for international editions

    Clients: Eizabeth Raisig, Vice President, Consumer Digital and Dan Fisher, Lead homepage editor, BBC Worldwide

    Mentor: Mark Hinojosa

    Team: Danielle Dieterich, Jack Howard and Deme Walls

    The BBC.com homepage is a discovery mechanism for international audiences that highlights and provides access to all of the BBC’s distinctive news and information, products or services that are available in a reader’s territory for the device from which they choose to access the site.  To the vast majority of international users, BBC.com is a news website, and is most often compared to publishers like CNN, the New York Times and The Guardian.  Developed and managed by the commercial arm of the BBC, the international homepage curates the best news, sports and near-news features for an audience of approximately 20 million monthly unique visitors.

    In order to best engage audiences, BBC.com has created six editions of the homepage targeting strategically important audiences – North America, Australia/New Zealand, India, Asia, Africa and International (all other territories, i.e. Europe, Latin America.)  Currently, the same product design is served to all audiences, with the ‘editionalization’ coming in the form of content curation.

    Working together with BBC’s editors and product managers, the capstone team will analyze the impact of the current homepage editions strategy, suggest ideas for enhancing the editions that can be tested during the term and deliver final recommendations for an optimized editions strategy.  Recommendations can be in the form of editorial ideas, design changes or product functionality.

    Is Missouri ready for coming climate risk?

    Clients: Adam Glenn, Editor and founder, AdaptNY.org; Jacob Barker, Energy and environment reporter and Roland Klose, Business editor, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    Mentor: Judd Slivka

    Team: Katherine Hambrick, Soo Rin Kim, Hannah Lazo and Lindsey Pulse

    In the wake of disastrous flooding in Missouri in late December — the worst to hit the St. Louis region in 20 years — what exactly are state and local governments doing to respond to future floods and other impacts of climate change?

    Missouri already received an “F” last November in the first-ever national analysis of state preparations for climate change risks like flooding, extreme heat, drought and wildfire. Meanwhile, following December’s historic Paris Climate summit, governments around the world are now agreed on the need to prepare for climate change impacts. So how is Missouri planning for longer-term climate adaptation?

    Specific story angles will be selected in consultation with team members, mentors and local news partners. The team — working in partnership with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch — will zero in on a particular set of risks, explore their implications and investigate Missouri’s relevant adaptation planning. The team will tell the story through select digital reporting techniques, using interactive, multimedia and social media tools to fuel user engagement and crowdsourcing of information.

    The team will also make use of – and contribute to – an extensive database of resources in a just-completed Reporter’s Guide to Climate Adaptation, produced for Reynolds Journalism Institute by climate reporting expert A. Adam Glenn, who will serve as a team mentor.

    One additional aim of the project is to serve as a model for how news organizations nationwide can, using cutting-edge digital and social media engagement tools and techniques, cover the important emerging story of climate adaptation, particularly in terms of state and local implementation of climate readiness plans.

    Wearables Playbook: part 2

    Client: Victor Hernandez, Director of Media Innovation, Banjo

    Mentor: Mike McKean

    Team: Marie Bowman, Maria Di Bianca, Sang Jeong and Jessie Martin

    Wearables are still mostly in the “pre-iPhone” stage. To keep the momentum and support behind this new wave of computing growing it is important that everyone understands where we are going. You’ll build on the work of last semester’s capstone team to develop a detailed understanding of the role of wearables – especially the Apple Watch — within news environments.

    You’ll collaborate with RJI Fellow Victor Hernandez, who’s leading research and reporting on Smartwatches + Newsrooms on behalf of the journalism school.

    New advancements within the wearable space have become a weekly occurrence. You’ll want to be primed for smart pivots and ready to pounce on emerging opportunities as our team sees fit. Together, we’ll push the envelope with regard to new exploration and executions with the smartwatch — closely collaborating to accurately document and potentially influence the journalism industry from for years to come.

    The team will produce fresh analysis pieces for RJIonline and the Wearables Fellowship blog, document the 9th annual RJI Student Competition focusing on Apple Watch applications, and prepare thoughtful responses to the unveiling of second version of the Apple Watch(expected sometime in March).  And you will heavily influence and contribute to Victor’s ‘Wearables for Newsrooms Playbook.’

    RYOT: advocacy journalism with 3D/VR

    Client: Joi Lee, journalist at RYOT.org

    Mentor: Sarah Hill, Chief Storyteller at StoryUP Studios VR

    Team: Jason Boatright, Caty Eisterhold and Ross Terrell

    RYOT is a new, advocacy-based news platform that incorporates virtual reality and mobile, first person, citizen journalism, allowing the viewer to be transported to the story.

    They call this approach denizen journalism. RYOT seeks to transport the capstone team directly into its newsroom by having you cover two main aspects of its formula: Editorial and Project Development.

    You will learn how to produce VR content, start to finish, by producing a series documenting “Youth in the Digital Age” or another issue mutually agreed upon from a perspective of your choosing resulting in one deliverable per month. You will incorporate RYOT’s brand of storytelling combining immersion and call-to-action.

    You’ll also explore strategies to impact, inspire and empower prospective journalists by pitching two series that can grow and be applied internationally under one unified theme. Research these ideas and how you would apply a call-to-action to them, develop strategies to recruit contributors, distribute the content they produce, and suggest partnerships you’d want to establish and grow in order to further your reach and amplify your impact.

    “Business Beat” upgrade and podcast

    Clients/mentors: Ryan Famuliner, News Director, KBIA and Randy Smith, Managing Editor, Missouri Business Alert

    Team: Kara Tabor, Siyu Lei and Bita Eghbali

    Along with producing the four-minute KBIA Business Beat show that airs on Wednesdays, the team will focus on developing an informational and entertaining podcast.

    Potential special series topics include: Missouri Millennials and the Economy, Election 2016 and Missouri Economic Issues, and After the ACA: Healthcare Affordability in Missouri. The team may conduct traditional, week-to-week story research and data reporting, as well as social media engagement and online surveys. The team will also work to ensure cross-promotion of Business Beat through other KBIA programs and desks.

    Part of the team’s responsibilities will also include strengthening the existing relationship that KBIA and the show has had with Missouri Business Alert, a digital business publication. This includes maintaining clear and professional contact with MBA reporters and editors, coordinating story ideas and ensuring that cross-site posting of weekly shows and podcast content occurs.

    In addition, the team will interview producers for business and economics-oriented programs such as MarketplacePlanet Money, and Actuality. The information gained will allow the team to learn what story sourcing methods, production styles and audience engagement tools have and haven’t worked for these different shows and then experiment on Business Beat.

    Access Missouri re-launch

    Client/mentor: Ryan Famuliner, News Director, KBIA

    Team: Kaileen Gaul, Josephine Peterson and Daniela Vidal

    KBIA’s Access Missouri project is undergoing a significant re-launch ahead of the 2016 election. We’ll be working with teams of students from the journalism school, political science department and computer engineering to re-build the state government data site geared toward the 2016 election.

    This capstone team will serve a pivotal role: using the data to do reporting about the Missouri legislature. The work could be supported by some of the other student teams working on visualizations. Capstone Students may also work on stories for other news agencies in the state: part of the re-launch is getting news organizations throughout the state to sign on as “partners” for the project, agreeing to use the project on their site. The project has the data to tell very interesting stories no one else can tell. For example: stories about legislator’s voting patterns and campaign contributors, stories about the power structure of the legislature told through social network analysis, and stories about how effective individual legislators actually are.

    Students will be expected to work 8-10 hours a week on the project and coordinate with News Director Ryan Famuliner and the Access Missouri project manager for regular meetings and communication. Relevant skills include data reporting, state government reporting and audio reporting. Data visualization skills a plus.

    Tying journalism to a new philanthropy platform

    Client: Jason Dominique, Founder and CEO, Philafy

    Mentors: Mike Jerugim, Chief Creative Officer, Philafy and Reuben Stern

    Team: Maria Davison, Meghan Le Vota and Tony Peng

    Philafy is a social network platform that lets each user share material they read online and add the ability for their followers to donate to a related cause. The platform includes payment processing for donations, a button for micro-donations, etc., and additional features are in development. Now imagine if all news articles automatically came with that kind of ability for readers to donate toward related problems or people in need.

    This capstone project will try to figure out if there’s a way for this underlying technology to be integrated somehow with news so that this ability for people to act on what is reported could exist not just within the Philafy social platform itself but also in the original places where news resides and/or is delivered via something like widgets, plug-ins, shareable source code, APIs, or whatever else the team can dream up. Over the course of the semester the team will create various prototypes and ideally test these possibilities to see what’s most viable. Again, the goal is to figure out if/how Philafy’s underlying technology might be expanded to fit more centrally into the general flow of news from news providers.

    This is useful to the news industry because it fits with an overall trend of changes in the role of news providers/journalists, i.e. expanding beyond simply delivering information in a one-way flow to instead helping individual news consumers in their roles as citizen actors within their communities.

    Snapchat strategy for Newsy

    Client/mentor: Nathan Byrne, Director of Editorial Operations, Newsy

    Team: Ashton Day, Kamila Jambulatova, Alli Ladd and Maddie Ptacin

    The Spring 2016 capstone project with Newsy will focus on creating, testing and measuring the engagement impact of Newsy content specifically designed for Snapchat Discover.

    Students will conceptualize different types of content and organize them into categories. Each category will be tested on the platform.

    The final piece of this project is to measure and analyze the engagement with Newsy’s planned Snapchat Discover channel. This process should include an evaluation of the findings into actionable data that can be used to make content creation and publication decisions in the future. 

    Transparency, trust and social media

    Client/mentor: Joy Mayer

    Team: Anna Brugmann, Katie Grunik and Hannah Smith

    As users are flooded with messages online, how do they decide which ones to trust? How can journalists convey their value, building trust with their communities and audiences? How do they differentiate themselves from other kinds of communication?

    Joy Mayer is working with RJI on a project looking at credibility and social media. By the end of 2016, she will have produced a guide for the news industry. In the first few months of the project, you’ll help her ask and answer questions such as:

    • How are journalists attempting to be both proactive and reactive about the accuracy of information and train their audiences about credibility?
    • What opportunities exist when misinformation is spreading?
    • How can journalists be transparent about what they know and don’t know, and use that transparency to build trust?
    • How do they assess what information created by non-journalists can be trusted?
    • How do brands, advocacy organization and other industries manage the credibility of their messages, and what can journalists learn from that?

    The team will gather answers to those questions through surveys and interviews and compile and share the results on RJIonline and social channels. We’ll put together recommendations for journalists to test out in a variety of situations. We’ll then look for journalists willing to partner with us to develop and test strategies and report back about their experiences.

    Ramping up “Beyond Belief”

    Client/mentor: Janet Saidi, Vice President of News, KCPT-TV

    Team: Rebecca Greenway, Josh Matejka, Cara McClain and Emma Nicolas

    With digital and broadcast storytelling and events designed with partners in the community, KCPT will explore the interplay of religious life with youth culture, race, civic engagement and economic disparity in the Kansas City area.

    Part of a national initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, “Beyond Belief” will challenge community members to imagine concrete ways to strengthen dialogue.

    One way KCPT is planning to bring people together is through a set of round robin dinners, where people of different religious and cultural backgrounds share meals and conversation about their faith at each other’s homes. They’ll strike a balance between mining these events for frank and open dialogue and filming them to share with others. They also intend to explore how simple digital tools can help our community interact, perhaps guiding contributors to capture sound or images that become “postcards” from their places of worship.

    Last semester’s projects here.

    ----------Posted on July 13, 2016 by in 4992

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