Archives for May 2008

Term 4- Day 39

During first block today, we had a bit of a distraction with putting together newspapers this morning. After that, we distributed papers.

Next, those of you who weren’t quite done finished up your spreads, exported them, and emailed them to me.

After that, we everybody presented their layouts to the class, pointing out everything you did and learned in the process.

Finally, you started learning about how you’ll be making your final spreads for the class.

We went over how to download a blank Hoofprint spread and make column guides. We saw how column guides work, and some basics about beginning layout. After that, you had time to get started on your layouts.

Term 4- Day 38

Today, you finished your layouts.

When you’re done, follow these instructions to export your spread as a .jpeg file. Then, email your image file (not your InDesign file) to me at

We’ll go over them in class tomorrow.

Term 4 – Day 37

Today, you worked on your layout.

Term 4 – Day 36

Assignment for tomorrow: Bring headphones.

Today, we continued learning InDesign.

Here are some of the things we covered. Most of the things we went over have video tutorials here.

  • How to use rule lines.
  • How to work with borders on pictures.
  • How to select colors.
  • How to place pictures.
  • How to alter text.

Remember: Any pictures you use need to be SAVED TO YOUR LAYOUT FOLDER. DO NOT COPY AND PASTE.

After we learned about InDesign, you had time to work on your layout project.

We’ll begin a third and final project tomorrow.

Man, we’re busy.

Term 4 – Day 35

Due today: A magazine with interesting layouts.

Assignment for Monday: Bring headphones or earbuds to class.

After you finish reading the articles from yesterday, please react to the following questions in writing. If you didn’t read the articles yet, this assignment is required, so get reading.

  1. What is your general reaction to this series of articles?
  2. Was deception necessary to get this story? Was the story worth the risks and effort? Why or why not?
  3. How would you feel if you were a student or the parent of a student in one of Shann Nix’s classes?
  4. Was the story worth the risks? Did Shanever cross an ethical line?

After you reacted and we discussed the articles, we started learning a bit about creating layouts with InDesign. We barely scratched the surface today.

Before you can get started, we got familiar with Pica rulers today and took some time to learn how to measure each item on your layout. You’ll be using this tool quite a bit for the next few days, so make sure you know what you’re doing.

Next, we learned:

  • how to create a new document in InDesign.
  • what the different lines mean on the page you created.
  • how to create and use guide rulers.
  • how to use the ruler on the page.
  • how to create picture and text boxes of a specific size.

Your next task is to create a layout that matches the layout you brought in exactly. You started this by sketching the layout close to exactly on a sheet of white paper, noting each important element. Save this. You’ll be turning it in with your final project.

Next, if we had time, you got to start making your layout.

The FINAL class project

Here’s what we came up with today:

The book is starting at 20 pages.

The plan for the next few days is to check in with the first five minutes, check out as a group with the last five minutes and use 70 minutes to put this thing together.

Term 4 – Day 34

ASSIGNMENT FOR TOMORROW: Bring in a magazine that has layouts you like looking at.

We began the day by reading the articles by Shann Nix, the 26-year-old reporter who posed undercover as a student for a month, to write an article about high school in California.
Everyone read: Why Chronicle Reporter Posed as a Student

After that, the class picked if we were all reading the whole article or jigsawing it by parts. You had time to do that after we decided. Both classes decided to read the entire article.

The Whole Article

Part 1 of 4: Firsthand Look at an SF High School

Part 2 of 4: Creative minds try to compensate for devastating budget cuts

Part 3 of 4: At a party, classmates ask the new girl, ‘Are you a narc?’

Part 4 of 4: I’m a Reporter — And Not a Narc

Tomorrow, we’ll review and discuss your thoughts on the article.

Term 4 – Day 33

As a class, we discussed and debated a case study about a situation involving Dateline NBC using deception in a news story about the dangers of a certain model of GM Truck. Click the picture to see the full case we discussed. If you were absent today, decide what you would do and write a paragraph supporting your decision.

Dateline NBC

As a part of our discussion, we compared your choices with visitors to the Newseum in Washington DC.

Next, we broke into five groups and read It Didn’t Start with Dateline NBC.

Groups 1-4
In your groups, summarize the following information:

1.    What the station was trying to show.
2.    What they did to show it.
3.    What was wrong with their methods.
4.    What they could have done differently or what they could have disclosed to make things better.

Group 5 – your task is to summarize the meaning of the whole packet based on your reading.

You’ll be presenting your summary to the class today.

After the summary is presented, everyone will summarize the meaning of the reading and hand it in with the rest of your notes from today by the end of the class.

Here are my sub notes from today.

Term 4 – Day 32

Happy Tuesday!

We’re getting back to Ethics today!

We finished  the old debate that we started last week about the Immigrant Story. That took a little longer than I had planned, but I’m glad you did so well with it.

After that, we watched a short video clip that related to our discussion about whether or not journalists should assist law enforcement. We discussed it when it was finished.

Next,  you all read “Deceit: When is it justified” (pages 269-271) in Chapter 10 – Ethics and completed the Deception 3-2-1 activity. A few of you shared your answers with the class.

After everyone shared their answers from the 3-2-1 activity, you summarized your thoughts on deception on the bottom of the sheet. We’ll start with sharing these summaries tomorrow.

Term 4 – Day 31

I read through your drafts over the weekend, and many of them aren’t good enough to be finals at this point. There are still some major changes that need to be made. Here’s how we’re going to address that today:

  1. Print off 2 copies of your final draft, and make sure you’re name is on it.
  2. Give both copies to McCallum.
  3. Give feedback to the two drafts that McCallum gives you. Make sure your name is on the drafts you correct.
  4. Return the drafts to their owners.
  5. Make final changes to your final draft.
  6. Have your final final draft ready by the end of the block.