Welcome to
Journalism Capstone

CONCEIVE

You’ll develop an idea and reporting memo to pitch your capstone project and explain your plan for execution.

EXECUTE

Once approved, you’ll go out and report your project, gathering data and multimedia along the way. You’ll craft a lead and outline.

PRODUCE

You’ll publish your project online, after working through two drafts with me and your classmates. It’ll be a portfolio-worthy long-scroll piece.

JOURNALISM & PUBLIC AFFAIRS CAPSTONE

This course represents the culmination of your graduate level work in journalism.

The purpose is for you to complete an individual reporting project that showcases the skills and knowledge you have developed throughout your time here.

Assignments

Most class assignments are related to the final project and are designed to be milestones toward project completion. See the Assignments page for details.

SHORT CRITIQUES

You will write short critiques dissecting two projects of your choice. These projects should be representative of the type of work you aspire to do, both in subject and display.

50 pts

IDEA

You will submit a 1-page document detailing your final project idea. It should explain why this story matters now and what new information you’ll be reporting.

50 pts

REPORTING MEMO

You will submit a 2-page document detailing your reporting plan. It will include background info on the story, a possible narrative arc, interview sources and contact info, a clip search, data sources, multimedia opportunities and potential access issues or other roadblocks.

50 pts

OUTLINE, LEAD & MM

After some initial reporting, you will sketch out a rough outline of how your story will unfold. You will attempt a few different leads for your story. You will also show me unedited multimedia that you’ve captured as part of your reporting.

100 pts

DRAFT 1

You will have a written story and edited multimedia. It doesn’t have to be published to a content management system, but it does have to be readable/watchable.

150 pts

DRAFT 2

After feedback, you will polish a second draft and produce it in a content management system. This draft should simulate what the final, reported story will look like, including multimedia.

150 pts

FINAL PROJECT

The Final Project will be a portfolio-worthy long-scroll reporting piece that has a 10-15 minute experience time. (That includes time to read and interact with multimedia.) You will use written reporting combined with audio, video, photography, data or other interactives to tell a compelling story. You will offer short critiques of each other’s final project at an in-class presentation during the last class session.

400 pts

Examples

See other capstone projects (both from AU and other universities) and industry projects, to get a sense of what you’ll be completing for this course. Read, watch and interact with them.