Digital Journalism (Jan-May 2017)

Class on Tuesdays at 9.00 in the Mediacom Studio

Module Outline

17th January
Overview of Digital Journalism
Reading material: Editorial of Bob Franklin for Digital Journalism

24th January
Last week, I gave the handout A Typology for Media Organizations from the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. Please read and highlight for discussion in class.

I have shared by email the Drive folder which was shared with you for the Data Journalism workshop by Anina Mumm. As discussed, you are expected to review and update the project you had proposed for final publication. You may change the angle of the story if needed.

Teams that comprised Politics students may be reorganised within the class. Students who did not attend or are unsatisfied about their initial work may start over. The idea is to get your stories published either on your personal blog or on the Comstudies blog.

Please bring everything on a pen drive in class this Tuesday. No student should come empty handed. Make sure you bring a copy of all data sets you wish to use.

31st January
Last week, we started working on the exercise related to the handout A Typology for Media Organizations. You are expected to complete the exercise for class discussion.

I shared the link to The Future of Journalism. Risks, threats and opportunities from the Digital Journalism journal. Please read and highlight for discussion in class, with particular reference to the first editorial of the same journal.

We also carry on with the first data-driven project. Please bring everything on a pen drive in class this Tuesday. No student should come empty handed. Make sure you bring a copy of all data sets and calculations made.

Teams are expected to have completed the data exploration and relevant calculations this Tuesday in order to be able to prepare the key points to be covered and thus to complete the necessary interviews (whether text, audio or video) by next week, when they will be expected to finalise the piece for publication (scheduled for 7th February).

7th February
All teams are expected to show draft versions of their work (either on their personal blog or on this blog). Credentials for the Comstudies blog have been sent to you by email.

Interesting online reading:
Journalism, Media and Technology Trends and Predictions 2017 (There is a detailed report in PDF)
What does the future of publishing look like?

No class on Tuesday 7th February due to the bad weather as per announcement by the Ministry of Education. Please carry on with the assignment nonetheless and keep me updated about your drafts.

14th February
All teams are expected to show advanced draft versions of their work (either on their personal blog or on this blog). Credentials for the Comstudies blog have been sent to you by email. So far, only one team has shown me a draft. All teams should do the same in class and are expected to be able to finalise their work for publication this week.

We will discuss the next assignment for the module in class. Also expect to have quizzes any time on any given week including this week…

21st February
All teams are expected to finish their assignment for publication. No further extension will be granted.

We need to move on to the next assignment. This will be discussed in class. All students are also expected to be in the Mediacom Studio on time. As from now, lateness will be noted and taken into consideration in marking.

Interesting online reading:
Journalism and Analytics: A Starter’s Guide to the Research
Great Journalism of 2016

First assignments posted online (there are still some amendments to be made):
Tea in Mauritius: an industry with potential. By Samuel Bathilde and Anoushka Bhugaloo.
Déchets: chaque Mauricien produit 300kg de déchets annuellement. By Dasa Appalasawmy and Naheeda Alibocus.
Special Education Needs: An NGO Concern. By Aadilah Soobratty, Johann Bissessur and Jaya Bhujun.
Pedestrians and two-wheelers: the most vulnerable on our roads. By Ashminta Bhantoo and Yahya Munglee.
Tourists in Mauritius: over 80% steer away from hotels. By Peerally Zainah, Liza Bonne and Ashish Dabee

28th February
I have posted the first assignments submitted (there are still amendments to be made – please refer to the emails I have sent each team).
We start working on the next report. This will be a collective one with division of labour (writing text, photography, audio and video interviews, interactive charts and graphs). We will choose a theme in class and discuss all possible angles. Data collection and analysis will be done collectively.

Interesting opportunity
If you’re a student who’s passionate about journalism then we want to hear from you. Whether you’re a writer, blogger, vlogger, photographer, radio journalist or work in any other kind of media you can apply for a place at Future News Worldwide 2017 as long as you meet all of the eligibility requirements below. See more at:

Interesting online reading:
What is fake news? How to spot it and what you can do to stop it
No mugshot exploitation here: On one local news outlet’s unusual crime reporting policy on naming names
What makes a winning data story?
How Mark Zuckerberg could really fix journalism
Should tech companies subsidise journalism?
Hans Rosling: The best stats you’ve ever seen

7th March
Last week, we brainstormed on potential topics for the next assignment. We agreed that the whole class will work on the topic of Education in Mauritius. In the first phase, all students were assigned specific tasks for data collection. I expect that everyone has done their part and brings the data in class with a summary of key findings to be shared in the team. All processed data and summaries will need to be shared on a Google Drive for the class. We will discuss collectively on the output to be produced (text, photos, video, interviews, graphs, etc.) and assign the different tasks.

Also remember to view and assess the reports produced by all the teams in class for the first assignment. The three main aspects to be looked at are:
(1) Quality of data and content. Is the data good? Are the sources and references reliable? Is the analysis sound? Are the conclusions valid?
(2) Structure and language. Are the ideas well structured and presented in a logical manner? Is there a good flow? Are there language, grammar, syntax or vocabulary issues that impede comprehension or undermine the report?
(3) Packaging. Is the report well packaged? Is the choice of heading, sub-heading, lead paragraph, captions, etc. appropriate? Are the layout and use of illustrations including photos, videos, graphs appealing?

14th March
As per email sent to all last week, you are all expected to have:
– completed your search within documentary sources and summary of key findings.
– shared all your documents and summary of key findings in the shared Google Drive folder.
– liaised with other classmates to confirm or cross-check any key information you have come across.
– identified which sources (persons) you can interview for further information on the key aspects we have listed in class and started asking them if they can provide you with the information.

Please also make sure you fill in the peer evaluation form for assignment #1. The stories are:

21st March
I need to see work in progress on the current assignment using the Google Drive folder which I have already shared with you all. Otherwise how am I supposed to provide feedback and guidance?

I thus expect you to catch up and follow all instructions (upload all your source files and your summary + spreadsheets) + henceforth work only within the Google Drive so that everybody can see all updates. This is a TEAM work, not an individual project. All data have to be shared and discussed with all team members.
I also expect to see some raw stuff for next week (audio or video recordings of interviews done, draft write-ups on sub-topics identified, illustrations including maps or charts, etc.). I have created a spreadsheet (at in the Google Drive folder and you should provide as much information as possible on what you are planning to do during the week so that there is no duplication between different teams (you can work in teams of two). You can then edit and finalise those pieces during the session.
Lastly, only 3 persons have completed the form for peer evaluation of the first assignment. Please make sure you complete it (including an evaluation of your own work).
And those who have published their first assignment on their own blogs, please make sure you add the following under your heading (with the link): (submitted as part of assignment for the module Digital Journalism)
I hope to see a full class on 21st March. We should aim to complete the reports by the week after (i.e. 28th March).
28th March
All teams are expected to show their draft work (video rush, texts, graphs, etc.) in order to do the final edits in class. 4 students have not yet filled in the peer evaluation form. Please do so urgently.
In case you have to go out for interviews, please let me know and also make sure you come back to class for the final edits.
For those doing graphs and charts, here is a resource listing some potential tools (scroll down to the non-developers section unless you have coding skills): The 14 best data visualization tools
4th April 
All teams should be present to finalise the reports and discuss the next assignment.
11th April 
The second assignments should have been finalised by now. We start working on the next topic.


25th April 

Please ensure that you finalise the second assignment for this Tuesday. Please send me the links to your pieces by email for vetting.

Also, please note that there will be a last assignment. Please come prepared with potential themes and angles in class.
Be also prepared for a short quiz.
18th May
As agreed, kindly see the schedule for our special session. Please make sure you respect the time slots attributed. Also, bring all your data and drafts to the meeting on a USB key. We will not have time to wait for you to download anything and we may not have Internet access due to ongoing exams.
Name Time
Alibocus 10.00
Appalasawmy 10.05
Bathilde 10.10
Bhantoo 10.15
Bhugaloo 10.20
Bhujun 10.25
Bissessur 10.30
Bonne 10.35
Dabee 10.40
Mahadeo 10.45
Munglee 10.50
Peerally 10.55
Soobratty 11.00

Thursday 25th May
All students are expected to attend the special session at 10 a.m. in the Mediacom Studio to present their final assignment.

Here are all links to assignments done in this calss:
Assignment #1:

Assignment #2:

Assignment #3: