Full Syllabus

Jour 3900 |   Digital Journalism | Spring 2017 |

Prerequisite: Jour 3010 and Jour 3060 with a grade of C or higher

3.0 credit hours

Friday 10 am – 2:10 pm (whew!)

Attendance Mandatory

109 Langdale Hall

Check your GSU student email often!

Andrée Grogan

Dept. of Communication

Georgia State University

404-413-5600 to leave a message

Office Hours by appointment

 BEST way to contact me ***Email:  agrogan2@gsu.edu

Class website: gsudigitaljournalism.wordpress.com

Checkout website: https://sites.google.com/site/undergradproduction/


Forms For Students: (to sign ethics/equipment responsibility statement to be authorized for checkout)



WELCOME to the fascinating world of digital media production. We live in a rapidly changing information environment, and this course will help you navigate the maelstrom, and help you master the basic principles of digital publishing and production.

For those who aspire to work in the field of digital production, remember knowledge is power! It is critical that you grasp the basic principles, the key terms, and the organizing structures of digital production, web delivery and social media if you want to succeed in the field. The course material is designed to serve as a strong foundation upon which you will build. If you can master these topics and themes, you will be able to accrue new knowledge, experience and skills, all of which will be crucial to your success in this complex industry.

You can set up an appointment to meet or contact me by email if you have any questions or concerns about this course, your program or your career possibilities. ***Email is the most immediate way to reach me.  Please put your name and course number (3900) in the subject field of any email. It is essential that you check your GSU student email regularly for changes and updates.


  • I am here to help you succeed in grasping and mastering the basic principles of digital production and to help you move on to the next level. You will learn how to shoot, select and arrange original video and audio materials as well as how utilize the strengths of web delivery and social media as a system for presenting information.
  • You will learn how to use tools and apply technologies that are appropriate for the various communication platforms in order to achieve desired outcomes.
  • Through hands-on digital publishing and production exercises, you will come to understand concepts and apply theories appropriate in the presentation of images and information in various platforms.
  • Since we will be exploring different communication platforms and it also important that you be able to write correctly and clearly in forms and styles appropriate for the various platforms, audiences and purposes they serve.

You will have access to recently updated electronic field production cameras and a state of the art editing lab. All essential principles, techniques, and platforms will be introduced in the course of the semester.

This course will cover all the basics–the tools, techniques and platforms of digital production. But nothing is more important than the discipline you will need in this class and in the field, and eventually in the industry.

This is a project-based, collaborative, hands-on class.  Teamwork and cooperation will be essential. Attendance is mandatory. The work we do in our lab cannot be made up. Tardiness will not be tolerated. Being on time shows you care.

You will learn how to shoot video on Canon Vixia HD cameras. You will also master basic editing on state of the art iMac computers utilizing Adobe Premiere Pro software. You will have 24/7 access to the editing lab (with the exception of a few times when classes are scheduled there).

Through lectures, demonstrations, readings, presentations, assigned critiques, lab exercises, productions, and screenings, you will gain the knowledge needed to complete digital projects and reach the next level of digital production. In addition to learning essential technical skills you will sharpen your media literacy as you critique the strengths and weaknesses of other digital publications and productions.


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 Students must have access to their own external hard drive so that media can be stored. It will not be possible to save projects to the lab computers’ hard drives.    Here are the specs:

  • Interface: USB 3.0 or Firewire 800 (with adapter)
  • Mac compatible
  • Solid state or7200 rpm rotational speed
  • Cache: 8 mb
  • Capacity: your preference but must have enough capacity to store HD video (120 gb or larger)

Apple recommends WD My Passport 3.0 drive or LaCie Rugged 3.0 drive. G-tech drives are also very reliable usually.

Make sure your drive meets each of the above specifications. You will have technical difficulties if it does not. Note that purchasing used hard drives or new hard drives from sources not offering replacement warranties may be less expensive initially but may be costly later if the hard drive fails or is damaged.  All data may be lost and it is the student’s responsibility for maintaining his/her own hard drive. The Apple Store and others offer replacement plans for hard drives and it is recommended that students consider purchasing such a plan in order to complete projects on deadline.


  •  Headphones, ear buds or any other compatible mini plug listening device to monitor audio in the 119-GCB Digital Video Editing Lab and while in class.


  • 1 or 2 SD cards – 8GB minimum. Class 6 or better. Make these cards for your video projects in this class only. Do not view the video on PC’s or you will not be able to edit your video.

 All these items are needed immediately so do not get behind.


The Department of Communication checkout room (106-G) is equipped with some equipment that you can check out. Most of the shooting will be done during class time but there will be other equipment that you can check out. As the department has limited insurance, you are financially responsible for all equipment you use, so please treat it with great care. To avoid technical incompatibilities and inequities, all outside equipment must be shown to me and approved by me before using on any of the projects.

Students must abide by the policies of the Department of Communication regarding checking in/out of the video/audio equipment. The GLA’s hours will be posted on the door of 106-G and students can only check-in/out equipment during those posted times. The phone number there is 404-413-5664.

 Students who fail to abide by the deadline for equipment return and other equipment policy may have points deducted for that project and may be fined late fees. You may also lose checkout privileges altogether if you are  late in turning in equipment.

Twelve Vixia cameras will be reserved for in class work. These are not to be checked out or taken home.


Required: Musburger, Robert B. & Kindem, Gorham. Introduction to Media Production: The Path to Digital Media Production. 4th edition.


 Attendance is mandatory and will factor into your grade heavily. I cannot stress this enough! Three unexcused absences will result in the lowering of your final grade. I will take attendance for both parts of the class period, before and after a short lunch break. If you miss both parts, that is considered 2 absences.  Punctuality counts big time in the digital production world.  3 tardies = 1 absence. If you sleep in class, I will consider you absent.

 Be punctual! Remember, it is rude to interrupt your classmates and/or instructor once class has begun. Important information is imparted at the beginning and end of each class, so just be there!

A majority of the class time will be hands-on learning in the 109 lab. Attendance is crucial and it is required, since it will be difficult for you to master the wide range and the depth of the production concepts and material that we are covering if you are not in class.

It is imperative that you turn off your cell phones and any other electronic devices while in class. Please do not surf the Internet during computer lab time. No recording of lectures or production labs is permitted.

All assignments not submitted by deadline will be penalized a letter grade for every day they are late unless the student receives prior approval from the instructor and provides written documentation regarding the absence.  If you must miss a test you must also have prior approval from the instructor and provide written documentation.



Video Productions (4) MOS-5pts PKGS-10pts 35%
Blog Website 15%
Demo Reel Website 10%
Critique 5%
Lab projects + Homework 15%
Social Media Presentation 10%
Exam 10%

Grade Breakdown & Other Policies

 100-90= A    89-80=B      79-70=C    69-60=D

59 and below = F

** All university policies including grading, withdrawal, academic dishonesty, plagiarism, cheating, unauthorized collaboration, falsification and multiple submissions, as detailed in the Georgia State University catalog, will be STRICTLY observed and followed.  See the university website www.gsu.edu for the university’s full policy on academic honesty.

**   Every effort will be made to accommodate students with disabilities. Please inform me with any special needs that you may have.

**An incomplete grade, “I”, will be given only in the case in which the student for non-academic reasons beyond his or her control is unable to meet the full requirements of the course.  In order to qualify for an “I”, the student must have completed most of the course requirements and have a passing grade in the assignments submitted (aside from the requirements not completed).  An “I” is awarded at the discretion of the instructor and is not the prerogative of the student.  Conditions to be met for removing an “I” are established by the instructor.

***Your constructive assessment of this course plays an indispensable role in

shaping education at Georgia State University.  Upon completing the course,

please take the time to fill out the online course evaluation.

This course syllabus provides a general plan for the course; deviations may be necessary.


COURSE SCHEDULE see tentative schedule here


Withdrawal Policy 

All undergraduates are allowed to withdraw with a grade of “W” a maximum of six times in their entire careers at Georgia State.  Students who exceed the limit will automatically receive a grade of “WF” which will count as an “F” for GPA calculations.  Withdrawals taken before Fall 2006 will not count against the limit and neither will hardship withdrawals, withdrawals at other institutions or withdrawals after the midpoint. Withdrawals after the semester midpoint are automatically given a grade of “WF.”

To avoid withdrawals, a student is encouraged to attend class regularly and complete every assignment on time.  Students should seek the instructor via e-mail or during office hours to discuss any problems with the course.  A student who does not perform well in class and/or on assignments and exams will be sent an e-mail by the instructor seeking a meeting to discuss any problem(s) the student is having with the course.  The purpose of the meeting will be to remedy the problem(s) and allow the student to find ways to succeed in this course.  At any time in the semester a student can seek an appointment for an advisement session with the Undergraduate Studies Office by sending an e-mail to advise-comm@gsu.edu or by going to the 6th floor One Park Place.

 Please feel free to ask questions. There are no stupid questions in this class!

Be creative in your projects, and have fun! Remember that television production depends on the teamwork concept. Learn to work with others, be cooperative, and devote all the time and energy needed for your work.


GSU Department of Communication Journalism Major Academic Honesty Reminders

GSU expects students to show integrity, fairness, and honesty in their class performance. Therefore, in accordance with university policy for any class, you are subject to academic penalty (failing grade in the class) as well as a disciplinary penalty (up to the discretion of the instructor) if you exhibit dishonesty in the following ways:

1) cheat on a test/quiz, or

2) turn in work that is not your own (example: handing in a paper or test that someone else wrote for you or that you took with or without permission from the author), or

3) collaborate with others on an assignment that is meant to be done individually/solely by the student who is getting graded, or

4) misrepresent your attendance (or that of others) on attendance registers in class.

To help you succeed, the Department of Communication seeks to add more clarity to what constitutes academic dishonesty specific to the journalism major with the following recommendations.

Due to the prevalence of writing assignments in the major, issues of plagiarism become central to academic honesty. Plagiarism is more nuanced than stealing a whole paper/essay (claiming credit for something you didn’t write) – it can simply be using ideas and facts for even one sentence without giving proper/clear credit to the author/source there. Make sure that all aspects and phrasing in the work you turn in is your own and is properly cited to avoid plagiarism in writing assignments. These writing assignments may be of an academic nature (research papers, responses to readings, and essays) or they may be practitioner-oriented/skills-based (news stories and press releases).

For practitioner-oriented/skills-based writing assignments:

It is a form of plagiarism if you fail to directly reference the author or source of information immediately upon using it in the body of the text. As reference sections/bibliographies are not typically used in this format of writing, you must make it clear to the reader the source of any information/quote as they are reading it, whether you are paraphrasing or using direct quotes. If you are using the source’s direct phrasing, you must put quotes around it.

For academic or research-based assignments:

It is a form of plagiarism if you fail to directly cite author information (immediately within the body of the paper) for info you got from a source or if you copy a phrase or sentence verbatim without putting it in quotations and including author/year citation info.

An example of a commonly used and appropriate citational system is the American Psychological Association (or, APA) guidelines. An individual professor may require or recommend some other citation system. Here are some common ways APA deals with citation issues:

  • If you are paraphrasing an idea you read about from any source, cite the specific author and year of his/her publication in parenthesis at the end of the sentence where you first start using the source…ex: (Garcia & Jackson, 2008).
  • If you copy some words verbatim, then put those words/phrases/sentences in quotations. For quoted material, you must add to the in-text citation the page number (for a book) or paragraph number (for web citation), so readers can easily verify the quotation… ex: (Garcia & Jackson, 2008, p. 209) or (Poynter Institute, n.d., para 3).
  • Have a reference section at the end of your paper with the full text/book citation for ALL sources used in paper (with the alphabetized author’s name matching the author you cited in the body of the paper). If a source is listed in the reference section, it should be cited somewhere in the body of the paper to pinpoint its exact contribution.

If you have any questions about academic honesty matters, please ask your professor for clarification.


For the entire Georgia State University Policy on Academic Honesty see: http://codeofconduct.gsu.edu



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