New Media refers to digital-first platforms of journalism. Our New Media courses include an intensive combination of skills, practice, and intellectual rigor for producing richly engaging digital content. This allows students to better understand the nature of the web and how it works.
But most importantly our New Media sequence is about reporting and storytelling, the foundations of which our entire program is built.
Most of the courses are open to all students at the school, even those specializing in other forms of journalism. We created this sequence of courses specifically for those wishing to graduate with a specialization in digital journalism and storytelling.
Our New Media courses are meant to serve everyone at the school, regardless of concentration. But we designed a specific course sequence for students who want concentrate in New Media storytelling, and build a Master’s Project in digital media.
Typical Jobs for New Media graduates
The typical jobs our New Media graduates get include:
- Web producers, web editors, web developers, or other production related roles in online journalism;
- Multimedia reporters, web video producers, visual journalists, and new storyform journalists (i.e. VR, 360 video, gaming, interactive docs, etc.);
- Data journalists (both data-visualization and data reporters) and the data mining side of investigative journalism.
- Entrepreneurs and students interesting in launching startups for creating apps, or working in roles like social media editors.
New Media Master’s Project
After the first semester of study, all students at the graduate school pick a concentration of focus for their Master’s Project. In most cases, this aligns with a medium of journalism, like documentary filmmaking, radio journalism, narrative writing, etc. New Media projects are multifaceted/multimedia packages that are designed and reported specifically for the web, using technologies and tools that can only be told with digital media.
A qualifying New Media master’s project can be:
- A multimedia story that has multiple segments or elements with an intuitive navigation scheme and compelling overall design;
- A continuously published news site or blog featuring original and curated content,
- A prototype for a new concept or innovative idea related to digital journalism, performed as a research project and submitted as research paper with appropriate source citations.
Our New Media concentration focuses in the areas of visual journalism, interactive web development, data journalism, and entrepreneurialism/social media.
Students declaring a New Media concentration have three requirements:
- all New Media students must take Interactive Narratives, a seminar course that teaches fundamentals of storytelling on the web;
- they must take one or more specialization areas like coding, data journalism, or visual journalism;
- they must complete a master’s project in New Media and enroll in our New Media master’s project workshop course.
Award Winning Student Work
The best demonstration of the success of our program is the achievements of our students, who have won numerous national awards for their multimedia work. Recent work can be viewed at our New Media concentration website: https://newmedia.report/student-work/
Our students that won the Online News Association’s prestigious national award for best individual student multimedia story 6 of the past 7 years:
- Mobile Health: Apps for Every Age and Ouch by Lynne Shallcross, 2015 (Note: Animation driven)
- Return to Elwha by Jason Jacks, 2014
- (Map, scrolling driven)
- The Pulse of Oakland by Brittany Schell, 2013
- (Data driven)
- Slab City Stories by Jessica Lum, 2012
- (Photo essay driven)
- A Seed is Forever by Martin Ricard, 2010
- (Dual stories)
- It Happens at Midnight by Lisa Pickoff-White, 2009
- (Multimedia video story)
Each story required extensive in-depth reporting - visiting midnight movie theaters around the country, a reporting trip to Africa, a month embedded in a desert community, interviews with residents and collecting data on the health needs of two Oakland neighborhoods, a source-to-sea expedition on a river in Washington and an evaluation of the effectiveness of a dozen mobile health apps.
Other students experimented with creating online games.
Jake Nicol, Alexandra Garreton, and Christopher Schodt, class of 2015, build a multimedia package about the global black market of stolen cellphones called “Wiped, Flashed and Rekitted.” The project ran in National Geographic and was nominated for an Emmy Award in the new approaches category in 2016. It also won an Edward R. Murrow student award from the Radio Television Digital News Association.
Avni Nijhawan, class of 2014, traveled to India to report on rampant sexual harassment and assaults on women, and told the story as an online interactive game in which a woman tried avoid being harassed while using public transit New Delhi. She financed her reporting trip to India, which included using Google Glass to film her experiences, with a successful $5,500 Kickstarter campaign. Her game, “Fearless,” was a finalist in the Online News Association annual award category for best multimedia student story and she was invited in January 2014 to give a presentation on her project to the Smart Fip@ / Fipa Industry Festival Intl de Programmes Audiovisuels in France. In Summer 2014 her project won her a fellowship teaching at the Université Paris-Sorbonne.
Beatrice Katcher, class of 2015, created a mobile game to She developed from scratch an interactive and visual game application for mobile devices to teach high school students the value of journalism and then how to report on their own stories. To help develop the application Beatrice was awarded the Google/AP student scholarship awarded to promising students working at the intersection of new media and computer science. This is the 3rd year in a row that one of our students was selected for this prestigious scholarship, given to only six journalism students each year.
Our 2012 scholarship winner, John Osborn, class of 2013, created two online games to educate young people on election campaigns. One of those, "Gimme Props," built by seven students in our Advanced Multimedia Class, was a finalist for the Online News Association’s award for best group student project in 2013.
Close Ties to the New Media Industry
Our school is also renowned for the multimedia training we provide for mid-career journalists through our Berkeley Advanced Media Institute. Established in 2006 with a Knight Foundation grant, the Institute offers regular workshops in multimedia storytelling, social media, data visualizations and other digital skills. More than 1,000 journalists have attended Institute workshops and we have provided custom training for news organizations, including National Public Radio, American Public Media, E W Scripps Company, America Online’s Patch and Oregon Public Media.
Our new media faculty work as instructors at many of the Institute sessions and our students work as teaching assistants for the professional journalists in the workshops. This gives us constant insight into the digital challenges faced by news organizations and provides students with contacts at online news ventures around the country. The Institute program also brings to the school many of the nation’s top digital journalists who give guest lectures at the workshops on trends in new media. And the Institute website has more than 100 tutorials on digital media tools and techniques written by our faculty and training instructors and used in both our training workshops and our new media classes.
Careers in New Media
Our new media students are in very high demand at news publications.
Graduates of our program are currently working at the digital operations of the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNET, the Center for Investigative Reporting, Agence France Press, Mother Jones, Al Jazeera and National Public Radio, as well as numerous regional news organizations and public radio and television stations around the world.
Other new media graduates were hired to work on journalism initiatives at a wide range of new media and technology companies and organizations, including Twitter, Google, Yahoo, Apple, Code for America, EdSource, America Online, Storify and Facebook.
Pioneering New Media Curriculum
Our school has been a pioneer among journalism schools in reinventing our curriculum and constantly experimenting and innovating to stay ahead of the evolution of the news industry, introduce new technologies in the classroom that create the opportunity for new forms of storytelling by students.
We were one of the first journalism schools to teach web publishing back in 1995, and since then we have created innovative courses in digital media that other schools have followed. We launched classes in:
- entrepreneurial journalism and the business of online publishing, offered jointly with the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business in 1999
- multimedia reporting in 2000
- weblogs to publish news stories in 2002
- mobile reporting to cover elections in 2004
- video games and virtual reality for storytelling, a collaboration with the UC Berkeley Architecture Department in 2006
- databases and map mashups for news stories in 2007
- coding and data visualizations for journalists in 2011
- VR and social media focused courses in 2016
A required one-week intensive multimedia bootcamp at the beginning of the Fall semester, this class gives all first-year students a basic knowledge of digital storytelling techniques and trains them in using multimedia equipment and editing software to produce multimedia content. The objective is to provide all students, regardless of their planned area of specialty, foundational digital skills needed for reporting in the J200 Reporting the News classes.
This is a mini course that teaches students about illustration and motion graphics. This could be as simple as text moving on the screen (called kinetic typography), or creating mini-narratives through illustrations, drawing or other artwork. Student will learn Adobe After Effects.
This is a class that teaches students how to build multifaceted online news packages. Students will construct web presentations that combine multiple media forms, and learn how to design a longform story in a way that connects each piece into a cohesive narrative structure. Students will learn the technical skills for building web packages — HTML, CSS and jQuery — as well as design concepts for presenting content on different devices, with emphasis on how each medium influences the content. This is a production class where students will have to build a news package on a real news story they reported on.
This is a class in finding and telling visual stories from data. We will cover fundamental principles of data analysis and visual presentation, chart types and when to use them, and how to acquire and "interview" data. We will make static and interactive charts and maps using free software. There will be some coding, but no prior experience is required. The emphasis is on gaining practical skills that students can apply in a newsroom setting.Where noted in weekly schedule, individual students will lead a critique/discussion of a recently published news graphic/interactive.
Students will study how to combine multiple media forms into cohesive narratives. They must take into account the nature of each form — the cognitive load, the learning curve, the various senses it stimulates — and learn how to combine these into various narrative forms (linear and non-linear) to deliver maximum impact.
This is a class that teaches students how to build multifaceted online news packages. Students will construct web presentations that combine multiple media forms, and learn how to design a longform story in a way that connects each piece into a cohesive narrative structure. Students will learn the technical skills for building web packages — HTML, CSS and jQuery — as well as design concepts for presenting content on different devices, with emphasis on how each medium influences the content. This is a production class where students will have to build a news package on a real news story they reported on. Students in this class are encouraged to take a complementary reporting class like New Media Visuals. They may use reporting content from any other class for their final project in this class.
The course will introduce reporters to the practice of data journalism in a busy newsroom, showcasing the importance of telling a story and how tools can help you do it. Data – large sets of information and numbers – are increasingly available from public, private and social media sources. As a result, journalism organizations are looking to make use of this rich pool of information – and to hire those who are able to do so.
December 3rd at 8:59 pm PST
Application available September.