FINAL PROJECT: ‘Death of a Newspaper’


As I mentioned in class, we’re going to devote the remainder of the semester on this final project.  As the headline states, we are going to examine the story surrounding the Globe news from over the weekend.  As the coverage has outlined, the union now has 30 days to meet the demands of the New York Times Co.   That timing should work out well for this project.  And, no matter what happens, we have a story.

I’ve divided you up into three teams — one team of five and two teams of four.

Here are possible story angles (each team will choose two):

Readers’ reactions.  This should include a road trip to Boston but could/should include interviews with readers in the Amherst area as well.  Could be either text, audio slideshows or video.

(NOTE:  Please avoid the easy interviews with roomates, friends, family members.  I want you to go out and talk to people you don’t know.)

* Academics and Insiders perspectives.  This could be wide-ranging but would look at the ‘expert’ point of views and the ongoing debate about where the practice of journalism and the business component are headed (not necessarily in the same direction.)  Depending on who you interview, one interview could lead to an angle that would result in a standalone text piece and/or podcast.

* Historical evolution.  I’m thinking we could come up with a pretty cool timeline looking at the history of The Globe and/or history of the profession.  This could be two separate pieces and would actually be strong as a text piece or podcast.

An Inside Look.  This would take some legwork, but trying to get interviews/comments with reporters/editors from inside The Globe — as well as former reporters/editors.  Could be a strong video and/or audio slideshow.

•    The Crisis:  A look at the current crisis facing the industry.  This could be a combination of interviews and/or an interactive timeline.

•    The Future.  A look at other opportunities within Boston/Mass./New England – include looks at citizen journalism, blogging, NECIR, etc.  Could be a strong text piece or podcast.


Each team member will receive a team grade and an individual grade.  Since I’m combining the final two assignments into one large final project, your grades will be weighted triple.  So, if you get a 90 for your team and individual grade, a 90 will be entered six times into your average.  So, you want to do well on this assignment.

Deadline for the project will be a week after the last class: NOON on May 19th.

Each team member will be responsible for taking the lead on a specific element of the project.  I will reiterate again that I want all team members taking part in editing the multimedia elements for each team’s presentation.  Editing should be a group endeavour — both with the multimedia projects and the text pieces.

On such a large project as this, storyboarding and planning takes on an even stronger role than in previous projects. Team members will need to stay in touch with each other and coordinate how reporting efforts are proceeding.  Story angles and interviews will fall apart so team members should be prepared with backup plans.

Team Breakdowns:

Teams A/C:  There should be at least two text pieces (750-1,000 words).  One video (4-7 minutes) and one audio slideshow (or podcast) (2-4) minutes.

Team B: There should be at least two text pieces (750-1,000 words).  One video (4-7 minutes), 1-2 audio slideshows and/or a podcast (2-4) minutes.

Each piece, whether text or multimedia should include multiple sources.  Remember, these are news features.  No essays.





Next steps:

I’m going to outline on the Day-by-Day how the rest of the semester should play out.  There will be deadlines, so make sure you check out the day-to-day schedule.  You should read all the links I have provided on the story so far and should be doing daily checks on any developments — including industry bloggers.

We’ll talk more in class.


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