Wednesday, February 6, 2008

My Digital Reporting Project Proposal

My Digital Reporting
Consulting Package : One Word One Vision Overhaul

The overall success of the “Image and Word: Photojournalism Program” is dependent on the successful marketing of the class to the students. This marketing effort would begin with a renaming of the current class to something that is a little more hip and engaging. This could be settled on very quickly and should be designed to be descriptive of the course and entice the high school mind. For the sake of this discussion let’s settle on “Digital Reporting” for the time being. This proposal has 3 key concepts:

1. Re-Brand hip image
2. Minor change to curriculum
3. It’s all about the students because they are worth it

The re-branding of the class is a little more than skin deep. With a small change to the curriculum students will be much more excited to sign up and get much more out of it. The students will already be producing amazing collections of work for public display, so why not help them publish them on the web in ways they can get excited about. They are already ecstatic about capturing and sharing their daily life with pictures, videos, and writing on the web (Myspace/Youtube). Let’s tap into this enthusiasm and give them their dream class, Digital Reporting, where they can take these skills to the next level.

The actual curriculum would not be altered that much, just the emphasis on the web publication. The teacher for the previous class created a gallery website that displayed the students work on a shared class page for all to enjoy. With minimal effort we could have the students create their own personal blogs to show off their stellar photojournalism projects that they are creating anyway. Not only is this a great way for students to view, critique, and comment on each other’s work, it’s also a great way to give them ownership of their work so they can have a permanent place to house their work and invite friends, family and the community to share in their newfound pride in having a voice.

The final key component of Digital Reporting is that it’s all about the students and what they have to say is VERY important. Students need to know the projects are about them and the stuff they are currently into: friends, family, music, entertainment, fashion, sports, community, causes they are passionate about etc. In addition to all the positive feedback students will get during the class and exhibition, students works will be submitted for publication in local newspapers and magazines, submitted to various writing and photojournalism contests, and submitted to major news networks like CNN and MTV under the sections for “citizen journalism” or “i-reporting”. Their work WILL be that good because we expect it to be. They’ll stretch to impress us because we have faith in them. Letting the students know that they can do projects on topics that they are already excited about, the potential exposure with hip news sources, and the realization that people want to hear what they have to say all should prove to be a major attractors during the recruitment process.

Recruitment would hinge on a well designed one page flyer that would be displayed around the potential student’s school and time spent campaigning face to face on the campus. The flyer would have to be hip, graphically rich and let the students know that this is not your ordinary after school program. The poster would bullet point much of the information above and include specifics like:

-Instruction on how to use a camera, fundamentals of photography, effective photographic displays, and how to curate an exhibit
-Instruction on the history of photojournalism, including major movements in history (e.g., desegregation, Depression era, Vietnam, Iraq)
-Introduction to blogs and learning how to create and manage one
-Field trips to local venues that have cultural and/or social significance
-Weekly skill-building photojournalist assignments, such as researching a social movement or issue, writing a reflective essay, or capturing an image that represents a specific perspective.
- Teaching students how to curate and promote a public exhibit.
- Great for college and professional resume
- Will be FUN, FUN, FUN!

Special focus will be spent on soliciting key people at the school site who will assist in the recruitment process. This includes faculty as well as student leaders who may be able to get people excited about the program.

Let’s MAKE this happen!

Matt Moran

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