JOU3109C or Multimedia Writing, is one of the many professional electives offered at the University of Florida. The class is perfect for any journalism students just starting out at UF because of the variety of different types of stories they’ll learn to write throughout the semester. Knowledge from Multimedia Writing can be applied to many other classes throughout your time at UF. Multimedia Writing is also a great way for students to find or refine their voice when it comes to writing news stories. Here are some of the different types of article formats you’ll learn about during the course:
Hard News Story
Like many journalism classes offered at UF, one of JOU3109C‘s main focuses is how to write a good hard news story. Hard news stories are a type of news story that is straight and to the point, giving the reader only the facts and nothing else. The author will include all of the story’s most important information in the first few sentences, with the rest of the information following from most to least important in the inverted pyramid writing style. During the semester, students will be assigned several stories like this, including one or more timed deadline story, so it’s important to be effective with your writing. Assignments will be graded based on organization, accuracy, and adherence to AP style rules. Crafting a good headline is also an important part of these types of assignments.
News Feature Story
Unlike the hard news stories, students will have a little more flexibility with their news feature stories. News feature stories will cover a point of interest for the author or reader. They can be about anything, from a local community member to a big event. The author is able to frame the story in whichever way they think will be the best to convey its message. In most cases, students are able to pick what they want to write their feature pieces about (sometimes they are limited to a certain topic by the professor), giving them more freedom to find their voice as a writer.
The third type of story JOU3109C students will learn to write is a personality profile. Personality profiles are exactly what they sound like. Students will interview an individual and write a profile based on that interview. You will pick something interesting or unique (examples could be hobbies, jobs, past experiences) about the person you are writing the profile on and base your interview questions around that. The purpose of a personality profile is to show, not tell. Show the reader how this certain aspect of the person you are writing about shaped who they are.
One of the biggest assignments students will do in JOU3109C is the blog. Over the course of the semester, students will be required to create and maintain a blog. It can be about any subject, so make sure you choose your subject carefully, you want to write about something you enjoy so it doesn’t feel like a chore.
JOU3109C students will also get a taste of what it’s like to write for a PR firm during the semester. News releases are sort of like announcements for big, newsworthy events. Students will be given a press release with all of the necessary information on it and use the press release to craft a good news release. News releases are meant to inform the public, so in addition to the raw facts, a news release needs substance. The writer needs to convey to the reader why the thing they are writing about is important and why the reader should care. Plus, learning to read and use a press release is a very handy skill to have for future classes and careers.
So, that’s JOU3109C in a nutshell. Students interested in any sort of career that involves writing or reporting should definitely take the class because of the valuable skills they will learn during the semester. Hopefully, this guide will be useful in helping you decide if the class is right for you!