Journalism in 2016

Notes for Wayne Lynch class, at UW Tacoma
TCOM 275: Writing, Reporting and Editing for Mass Media

Slides: PPT / PDF


Data journalism



  • —Direct observation (the reporter was there)
  • —Who said? (the reporter interviewed someone)
  • —Challenge: most stories quote government officials, “expert” counterparts
  • —Who said? (the reporter accessed public databases, documents)

Verifying Online Media

  • Identify who took the picture, what camera was used, where a digital picture was taken
  • Remember the “too good to be true” rule!
  • Beware of Powerpoint
  • Be wary of manipulation. Look for where tones touch
  • “Read” EXIF data using applications (or Flickr)
  • Identify who created a Word document (DocScrubber)


Verification Exercise

  • —You read this on Twitter or Facebook:
    “RT @yourBFF: OMG. There’s been a 7.1 earthquake in SF!”
  • —What do you do?
    • —RT/share based on trust of source
    • —RT/share only after verifying
    • —How might you verify?
  • —Why would the comment be more credible with a link included? Why might it not be a good practice to RT/share without checking the link (if it were there)?





Exercises (via ONA Educators)

Analysis (how I learned about Prince’s death today)

  1. Make a list of what makes an effective Snap story and what makes an ineffective Snap story.
  2. Analyze the snap stories by outlets on Discover (or other news outlets they follow) and critique what they learned/liked/didn’t like from how that outlet used Snapchat.


  1. Divide into groups and have each make a snap story that explained the Panama Papers (or any big news topic).
  2. Watched each group’s story and make a list of lessons we’d learned about how to tell stories with Snapchat.





By Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

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