Reliable News Sources

It is important to get your news from sources that hold themselves to high journalistic standards and make an effort to be as bias-free a possible. The following links will take you to news sources that the Pew Research Center, Business Insider, and other sources have found to be both accurate and toward the center of the political spectrum. The following sources may lean slightly left or right, but the majority of their audience is from a mixed political spectrum. As always, please make an effort to note when a piece is based on a writer’s opinion and always look to confirm information you are skeptical about.

News sources that meet high standards:

More complex, analytical news sources:

More basic news sources:

Sources that lean:

J2 – 50 minute Design Challenge

Over the course of 50 minutes, create a layout that contains the following 8 elements. The layout can be on any topic of your choice and you can use any photos you want. While the headline and subheading should be actual words, the body copy can captions can just be placeholder text.

You can start with a default document (select file -> new -> document, and then just say “ok” to the defaults, or you could download an official Hoofprint Single Page template or Double Page template, or make a custom sized document.

Your layout should include:

  1. Follows a column structure and has a clear alignment (Layout -> Margins and columns)
  2. Establishes dominance and/or has an element of clear contrast.
  3. Includes a headline (actual text)
  4. Includes a subheadline (actual text)
  5. Has a placeholder text story or body copy that is between 250-450 words in length.
  6. Has three photos of varying dimensions (sizes and shapes) with captions (short text boxes next to the photos).
  7. Makes use of at least one colored rule line, box, or other page element (negative space, pathfinder, increase separation, eyedropper tool).
  8. At least one effect (right click -> effects), corner option (object -> corner option) or text wrap (Ctrl+Alt W) added to a picture, rule line, box, copy block.

After the 50 minutes are up, please do the following:

  1. Exported as a .jpg and added to this Google Docs folder.

To export, go to File -> Export. Select a jpeg as the file type and select “Maximum” for the size and 96 as the resolution.

J2 – Learn How to format photos for

Step One:

Log in to and go to Add New Post.

Step 2:

Follow this link and download the bball.JPG file to your computer.

Step 3:

Open the photo with PhotoShop.

Step 4:

Listen to Jon.

Video tutorial to follow.


Photo Size:

Image Size to Upload: 850px wide by 450px tall (that’s 11.806 in by 6.25 in at 72 px/in) PLEASE MAKE SURE TO INCLUDE THE px IN THE IMAGE SIZE or your computer will crash!

This is the size that is displayed on the story page, along with featured stories on the homepage. WordPress will automatically shrink the homepage image for regular stories.

Welcome to Journalism 2

Welcome to Journalism 2!

As you found your seats at the beginning of the block, you found out two of the groups you are in for the rest of the semester. The groups are indicated by the stickers on your note cards.

The circle group is your computer group. This was indicated by either a Pink or an Orange circle on the note card.

The next group is a little more significant, and it was decided by the colored star on the top of your note card. Make sure you write down your two groups, you’ll be using them all semester.

Publishing Groups:
Gold = Mondays
Silver = Tuesdays
Red = Wednesdays
Green = Thursdays
Blue = Fridays

We will begin publishing our first stries on Monday.


You’ll be using quite a few technology tools throughout the semester, so it’ s essential you keep them straight. If possible, try to use the same password for each of the tools we use in the class.


Once those things were taken care of we began a discussion that will guide us throughout the rest of this quarter. In publishing groups, we started discussing the concept of Truth and what it means to journalists.



Homework for tonight:

Read Tim O’Brien’s “How to tell a true war story.”

Login to your blogs at and update your password. Write your first blog post as best as you can.

Bring It!

Get ready to turn your technology into powerful learning and creation experiences. Your class is mobile device friendly. That means you’re encouraged to bring the following technologies to class;

  • Smartphones,
  • Laptops and Netbooks,
  • iPods and iPads,
  • Android devices and tablets, and
  • Kindles, Nooks, and eReaders.

You’ll be able to access coursework, readings, calendars, and assignments from your device. We’ll also find ways to put them to use in the creation of multimedia projects, research, writing, and reporting. From blogging and photography to reading and responding, we’ll find ways for you to get the most out of your technology. You may also find it helpful to use your own devices to keep yourself organized and connected during the school year.

Whenever possible, readings in this class will be available in PDF format, which can be read by any device. Longer readings may also be available in ePub and Mobi format, depending on copyright considerations. Choice reading is a big part of this class, and students often say that they feel better having their books with them on their personal devices instead of print format. The Buffalo Public Library has an eBook lending library that can be used on any mobile device.

We will practice responsible and respectful use of technology in the class, focusing on using technology appropriately and always keeping the focus on learning and creating, not the tools themselves.

Students are not and will never be required to bring a personal digital device to class. While students may want to use their devices in group situations, students will not be asked to share a personal device with another student. All devices will be in possession of students and the classroom will always be locked when devices may be left in the classroom. A limited number of charging cables will be available in the classroom.

Learn more about BHM Schools’ Bring it campaign or feel free to let me know if you have any questions.

J2 – Week 7 – March 19-24


We listened to a This American Life retraction about the Apple story we listened to earlier in the year and talked a bit about it. It was a great continuation of our first day of class discussion.

Then we read a chapter called “The Net and News” and did the sweetest reading activity ever.


Here are all our Main Ideas from the reading yesterday.

J2 – Week 6 – Design

Blog Topic: Design

Day 1

Days 2-3

J2 – Week 5 – Choice – February 27 – March 2




J2 – Week 4 – February 21-24


J2 Week 3 – Feb. 13-17 – What is Journalism and where is it going?



Here’s the link to the This American Life episode that we listened to the first 10:41 of today.


After that, we’ll have 50 minutes of work time.


We have the mobile lab and the entire time is work time.