Online Journalism: Thursdays 2009


the class blog for Columbia College Chicago’s Online Journalism class: Thursday edition

content reports go here

drop a copy here, but bring a signed one to class.


Filed under: group project work

5 Responses

  1. Brett Marlow says:

    Megan Ferringer Eve Fuller
    Molly Lynch Brett Marlow
    Online Journalism
    2 April 2009
    Content for F Major site

    1. Artists of the week: Each week, the F Major crew will hand-pick a local Chicago female musician we deem worthy of paying attention to. We’ll profile the artist and post clips, etc.

    2. On tour with/On the road with: We’d like to invite homegrown musician who venture out on tour to other cities/states a glimpse into the life of being on the road. We hope to have video blogs of their journey, and maybe even some written posts from the road, a la tour journal style.

    3. Bust or must?: While we strive to be a resource for emerging female talent, let’s face it, not everyone is cut out to be a musician. Here is where we tune up, and take a more critical look at an upcoming act with help from some music insiders on whether or not this chick or chicks can make it in the Chicago music scene.

    4. Reviews: Even though we may be an opinionated bunch, it’s not always up to us non-musicians to criticize those who can play. That’s why we’ll have guests/music buffs review live shows they may attend of local and bigger female artists.

    5. Song of the week: F Major staff will select a song from user/musician-submitted tracks we cannot get enough of and post/stream the song on the site for a week.

    6. Message boards: While we hope to have heavy discussion/feedback in our comments section for articles, etc., we’d like to have a forum where locals can chit chat about the community/business, offer advice, solicit help/needs, post wanted/for sale items (like instruments, gear, advice, etc.)

    7. Influencers: This section would be dedicated to talking with locals about what got them going, a Q&A or some form of an article, monthly about why they decided to get into music.

    8. Resources: Here, visitors will find a comprehensive list of where to go for gear, promotions, booking, management, press, etc., all the needs of being in a band and making it. (Differs from how-to’s, see below)

    9. Photo galleries: We want to attend shows, and also want our visitors/users to send in their own photos to build a large gallery showcasing local female talent whether they’re setting up the show or headlining it, all are welcome.

    10. Take it from me: Every now and then, we hope to have a famous female voice share advice with the up-and-comers on how to or how they made it in the music business: what struggles they had, how they overcame them, and other helpful hints//tips.

    11. The crew: It may be easy to forget that it’s not just the singer’s we’re targeting, our local ladies are also involved in the crews, booking, or going on the road with other major acts tuning guitars or manning the sound or light boards. Here, we talk with them and get their firsthand stories.

    12. How-to’s: This is where we build upon our resources. Yes, we have a resource page where we list where to find certain people, items, places …. but here is where we talk to the experts, people involved in the business side of things and tell our emerging lady folk how it’s really done and how they can make it

    13. YouTube Channel: To help local talent gain exposure, we’re also wanting to setup a YouTube channel to upload videos of local performers.

    14. Blogs: Here at F Major, we all have our own different tastes when it comes to female/local talent, but now we all can stop bickering back and forth and give our own take on things, from our perspective and fans, etc. on what we’ve learned. Here, we also may have guest bloggers or columnists involved in the scene to share what’s going on.

    15. About us: So, we love talking to and about local talent, but here’s a place to get to know who’s behind the site and what we do/love/and our motivation for starting the site. We’ll share things about our favorite bands, musicians, best concerts, etc.

    16. Staff playlists: Our favorites, jotted down each week to connect with visitors to see what we and they are listening to.

    17. Oh shit, wish I knew that!: A reflection with former local acts who’ve crossed over into the mainstream on what they wish they knew before entering the scene/business. It would be another way for emerging acts to learn how not to make mistakes.

    18. Happenings: What’s going on in the community? Here, we’d talk about the latest issues, events, conferences, get-togethers, etc.

    19. Podcasts: Interviews, music sampling, live performances from shows, etc.

    20. Polls: We’d assess our visitors and musicians opinions on pertinent issues in the local music scene like, does Gwen Stefani still have it?

  2. Michael Purgatorio says:

    Comedy Doctor’s content ideas

    Comedian Content:

    1) “Comedy isn’t always dirty”
    Description: Interview with Christian comedian George Casey, an Ireland native – currently residing in Chicago, on the in’s and out’s of clean stand-up comedy. What are the advantages and disadvantages?

    2) “Doing your comedy homework”
    Description: Self-proclaimed comedic researcher, Tim Cavanagh has proven his success over the years. This would focus on the research process Cavanagh goes through prior to company/industry gigs. What jokes work with whom? How can new comedians read their audience?

    3) “What do critics look for?”
    Description: Interview with Sally Edwards, founder and owner of the Chicago-based Humorous Speakers Bureau on the qualities and work ethic a Chicago comedian should possess before doing gigs.

    4) “South Side girl moves up the ranks”
    Description: profile piece on Sonya White, a Chicago native. How she used observational comedy and impersonations [In her stand-up] to land television and syndicated radio spots over the years. How did she navigate the Chicago comedy circuit?

    5) “Niche Comedy rocks!”
    Description: Q & A with Northwest Chicago native Jim McHugh, a comedian who specializes in sports humor. What’s niche comedy all about? (Featured on Comedy Central, HBO, MTV, ESPN 2, and Oprah)

    Events/Performance Content:

    6) “The right open mic nights”
    Description: Cover the Globe Pub’s Comedy Crave open mic night (Mondays). Give up-and-comers an idea of where they can go to market themselves and what these venues are looking for. Story would include interviews with that evening’s comedians, audience members, and bar affiliates.

    7) “Chicago comedy: the underworld”
    Description: Chicago Underground Comedy club does exactly what the name suggests. It strays away from the mainstream and instead focuses on raw, original talent. Interviews would include nightly performers, club bookers, and audience members. This story would focus on the candid mechanics of stand-up – minus all the publicity.

    8) “Stand-up is not for the faint of heart”
    Description: Coverage of The Edge Comedy Club boot camp classes. Tim has already been to this event; now let’s write a story about it. This article would engage our up-and-comers with essential interviews from students and working professionals. It would also describe the overall vibe of the lucrative learning environment.

    9) “Sex [and comedy] in the City”
    Description: The Lincoln Lodge hosts an all-female stand-up class. This article would focus on the similarities and differences between male/female stand-up. What do women need to do differently, if anything? Are females overlooked? Interviews with female students and teachers will grace the story.

    10) “The younger the better… right?”
    Description: The Chicago Center for Performing Arts is hosting a comedy event entitled The Young Punks of Chicago Stand-up Comedy. Full coverage of this show could be interesting for our up-and-comers because it pertains to their age group. Interviews could include performers and CCPA affiliates, in regards to mastering stage presence – what to focus on when performing for a group.

    Editorial Content:

    11) A review of a Zanies Comedy Night Club routine, focusing on comedic material used during the show, audience reactions, and environment. What’s being done right/wrong? Upcoming shows include Richard Lewis, Kathleen Madigan and Susie Essman.

    12) A review of Jimmy Figs – “Laughing in the Loop.” (Mondays) A showcase hosted by Kelley Howard. Story would include material used during the show, audience reactions, and environment. What’s being done right/wrong?

    13) A review of “So You Think you’re Funny” at the ETA Creative Arts Foundation. An open mic night designed to market new stand-up talent. Story would include material used during the show, audience reactions, and environment. What’s being done right/wrong? Also, mention the obvious flaws and strengths of the open mic night contestants.

    Multimedia Content:

    14) Photographs of various venues – including the stage, seating and action shots of comedians.

    15) Short original clips (3 – 5 minutes) uploaded to our site on occasion. Videos will highlight what we consider the “best of” comedy routines observed at venues in Chicago. (Zanies, Jimmy Figs, Lincoln Lodge)

    16) You Tube videos that pertain to up-and-comers looking to polish and finely tune their skills. (i.e. You Tube channel “Expert Village,” an online series hosted by comedian Chris Murphy. He shares advice on all aspects of the industry – very insightful.)

    Social Networking Content:

    17) Facebook Comedy Doctor will regularly update stand-up comedy news in Chicago. On occasion, we create polls, for example, “how do you prep yourself before a stand-up gig?” and then give our subscribers a few choices to pick from. OR our Facebook could be used for user feedback – allowing them to share horror/success stories that took place.

    18) The Comedy Doctor Twitter page will be primarily notify our audience of upcoming comedy shows in Chicago. (Dennis Leary is scheduled to visit the city on his highly publicized comedy tour.)

    19) Myspace Comedy Doctor will do much the same thing as our Facebook page; however, we will reach out to Myspace comedians who market themselves through the site. This will educate our users on upcoming shows, podcasts, and general news updates in the comedy world. (Dane Cook and Jeff Dunham update their pages regularly)

    Product Content:

    20) Stand-up comedy DVDs featuring famous comedians (Bill Murray, Richard Prior, Brad Garrett, George Carlin, Bob Saget)

  3. John Lendman says:

    ChiCharity’s Content Ideas:

    John Lendman 1-5
    Andrea Bacon 6-10
    Ricky O’Donnell
    Kasia Cichon

    1. “An investment in child care”

    If your seeking more experience in child care—whether you are looking into the field of pediatric work, child psychology or even preschool teaching opportunities—you have to start somewhere. Many volunteer opportunities offer free training sessions in child care such as the Connections for Abused Woman and their Children (CAWC) , ideal for anyone seeking experiences working with children, domestic violence, or with special creative talents (art, music, etc.) to share.
    Another opportunity to work with youth while receiving training:
    Or the Working in the Schools program associated with Chicago Public Schools. . This ideal for preschool teaching assistants.

    2. “What YOU can learn from tutoring”

    The Community Resource Network, associated with the St. Vincent DePaul Center, is looking for volunteers who can tutor for 1 hour a week, any afternoon Monday – Friday anytime from 3 P.M.- 6 P.M. for grades 1-5 in their after-school program. With their being no previous tutoring or teaching experience needed, it’s a great place to start in the field of teaching or student mentoring. This article would be a rundown of how this could benefit you beyond an hour a week.

    3. Regular profiles of volunteers:

    To give more of a personal touch to the volunteer community in Chicago, a short intro and Q&A with someone highly active in their volunteer community. What drives them to volunteer their time and what motivated them to start to begin with.

    4. Photo Gallery of volunteering at Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum:

    At the nature museum in Lincoln Park, volunteers can help maintain their animal and plant habitats and give back to the environment. Definitely a place for students to get their hands dirty, they provide their “citizen scientists” on the job training in their Biology and Collections Center. Students can work in various areas: Bird Care, Horticulture (planting), the Butterfly Lab, the historical (scientific) collections and the animal habitats. Seems ideal for photos with captions to tell the story.

    5. Immersion Trips to volunteer out of the area

    While it’s defiantly not in the Northside Chicago area, sometimes it’s nice to get away. And what better way to do that then by volunteering while vacationing? Habitat for Humanity offers plenty of opportunities ideal for students with only a week to donate. Rebuild homes in economically depressed towns across the country. Why not?

    6: Financial Assistance for Chicago’s Economic Woes

    The country’s current economic downturn is now beginning to affect those who have never previously experienced economic hardship. Kayce T. Ataiyero of the Chicago Tribune provides information on where Chicagoans can receive emergency and financial assistance. Emergency Assistance for All On the web: Emergency Fund ( Emergency Housing Assistance Program ( Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago ( Chicago Housing Authority ( In the News: Getting help when crisis hits (,0,7197739.column) Illinois receives $890 million in federal economic stimulus for more than 600,000 families ( What you can do to Help:

    7: To include these events in the calendar

    Inspiration Cafe in Uptown (I know, but it’s close to Lakeview, so I thought we might be able to get away with using this) -Volunteer Orientations for Meals on April 9th (6p-6p) and April 18th (10a-11a)

    8: A youtube video of the Chicago Cares serve-a-thon -I thought displaying a video on the serve-a-thon (if available) might be better than an article because it is an event that won’t be occurring for another 2 months, and getting a visual might draw more of an audience, because the event is so far away.

    9: An online poll of several volunteer opportunities
    ex. What volunteer opportunity do you find most interesting? -We could find out more information about our target audience and provide additional content based on their answers.

    10: Informational article on the importance of volunteering for young people… “What’s in it for me?”
    Generally speaking, experts say that young people’s involvement in positive activities increases their self-esteem, among other things. Some points that could be covered could include the psychological/sociological affects of giving back in general and to respective communities. This content could also take the form of a video piece done I guess with a flip phone, or digital camera, with everyone in the group including a clip of interviews, dialog, or narrative?

  4. Kasia says:


    11. Q & A’s with people that are in charge of various charities. They are the best source of information. They know what they’re looking for. Such an interview will give a clear picture of what a volunteer should expect from these charities and what is expected of them.

    12. A map that will constantly be updated, showing locations with volunteer opportunities. It would be easy for our website visitors to simply check out the map and see what’s closest to them.

    13. Photo slideshows of various volunteer activities. Greater Chicago Food Depository provides food for hungry people. People who never volunteered would be interested in seeing photos of what it’s like volunteering at such an organization. A photo slide show could also have audio with volunteers expressing their thoughts about the organization.

    14. Video profile of Adler Planetarium and its volunteers who share compelling stories about the exploration of space and fascinating information about NASA. They engage visitors through conversation and educational activities and can talk about everything from the history of spaceflight to what astronauts eat on the International Space Station.

    15. A profile piece on a volunteer opportunity that exists for an artist, or group of artists, who will assist Adam S McKinley Community Services with developing a mural in their school cafeteria.

  5. 16. Check ins from people who volunteered at past events: After someone finds a volunteering opportunity on our site, we can check in with them to see if it was a worthwhile experience.

    17. Facebook group: Facebook is perhaps the most popular social networking tool. Since so many people use it, it’d be good to consistently update an official Facebook group. That way people can still get updates even if they forget to check the site.

    18. A YouTube page: If we continue to post YouTube videos, we could have a page to keep them all in a central location.

    19. Weekly chats using Cover-it-Live: We can use this two ways. Either to answer questions from readers and would-be volunteers, or as a tool to interview multiple subjects simultaneously.

    20. Create a Digg profile: To raise awareness for our site, we could use a group Digg profile. It would allow our content to reach a larger group of people.

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