Thoughts on Fish At Bay interactive storytelling class project and convergence

After a semester of work, my interactive storytelling class launched its site about fish in Biscayne Bay launched last Wednesday: Fish At Bay.

Hats off to our converged class of “print” and visual journalism students: Walyce Almeida, Maria Arroyave, Erica Landau, Brian Schlansky, Jen Shook, Jamie Straz, Alex Thacker and Jason Walker.

Our professors, Kim Grinfeder (visual journalism) and Sam Terilli (print journalism), did a great job overseeing the project — and recruiting everyone. Also, thanks to our TA, Zeven Rodriguez.

To provide some background, Grinfeder and Terilli have collaborated the past two fall semesters with their Web production and in-depth storytelling classes, respectively. I was in the fall 2008 in-depth class.

With this spring’s (experimental) interactive storytelling class, they took it to the next level of convergence. As far as I know, this was the first class at the University of Miami School of Communication to combine the talents of print and visual journalism students in one class.

I took advantage of the opportunity to get more experience shooting and editing video, as well as to become proficient with Final Cut Pro. I particularly enjoyed being able to work in so may areas:

  • Write history story
  • Shoot b-roll and take photos for history video
  • Edit history video
  • Edit and write cutlines for history photos
  • Edit Delicate Balance video
  • Shoot an interview for the Building on the Bay video
  • Copy edit all stories
  • Write about page
  • Add p tags and hyperlinks (plus find links for) all stories

I’m usually critical of the lack of collaboration between the print and visual programs, but I’ve seen some very encouraging strides this semester.

Grinfeder and Terilli get it. Chris Delboni, my online journalism professor, and Michelle Seelig, the spring Web production professor, get it. (More thoughts on the online journalism class and our collaboration with the Web production class to follow).

So, what now?

Without a question, the interactive storytelling class should be a standard course, and it should be required for all journalism students at UM. Yes, that means bringing in broadcast as well. And there needs to be more converged classes, like an introductory storytelling class (more on this to come as well).

Resistance is futile. You must adapt.

Weigh in: What do you think of the Fish At Bay site?

One thought on “Thoughts on Fish At Bay interactive storytelling class project and convergence”

  1. Really, really well done. This is one of the finest journalism projects to come out of the Comm School since I’ve been here. You guys really went above and beyond. Bravo.

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