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Knight Center launches a massive online course in Portuguese on mobile journalism


Smartphones have become indispensable and have transformed various aspects of our daily lives, including the way that we consume news and how it is produced. To help those interested in learning about the latest in mobile media and how journalism can be done via smartphone, the Brazilian National Association of Newspapers (ANJ) and the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, supported by Google, will offer the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) titled “Introduction to Mobile Journalism.”

Click here to register.

Alberto Cairo

Smartphones have become indispensable and have transformed various aspects of our daily lives, including the way that we consume news and how it is produced. To help those interested in learning about the latest in mobile media and how journalism can be done via smartphone, the Brazilian National Association of Newspapers (ANJ) and the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, supported by Google, will offer the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) titled “Introduction to Mobile Journalism.”

Beyond learning about tendencies in digital journalism across the world in this free online course, participants will also have the chance to win a trip to Austin, Texas to participate in two international conferences on the same issues. Thanks to support from Google, ANJ and the Knight Center will be able to offer six travel scholarships. The scholarships will be awarded to those who produce the best projects at the end of the course, either an article or a journalistic product that was created entirely with mobile devices.

Click here to register.

The Portuguese course will last for four weeks, from Nov. 10 to Dec. 7, and it will be taught by specialist Will Sullivan, the American director of the Mobile Broadcasting Board of Governors, and Lorena Tárcia, a researcher and the coordinator of the Media Convergence lab at the University Center of Belo Horizonte.

"The Introduction to Mobile Journalism MOOC is going to catapult students into the 21st century and get them up to speed on every layer of how mobile is affecting journalism including the latest best practices in mobile reporting, design, product development, audience research, trends and future mobile/wearable tech,” sai­­d Will Sullivan, instructor of the course.

As is true of all the previous Knight Center MOOCs, the course will be primarily taught by journalists, professors, and journalism students, but it is open to the public. Anyone with an internet connection can take it. Both novices looking to understand the world of digital devices and those who already work in this sector, such as mobile designers, developers, programmers, editors, and others interested in mobile media are welcome to participate. No previous experience with specific concepts or tools is necessary. Once registered, participants will have immediate access to the course program, introductory information, and a video from the instructors explaining how the MOOC will work.

This introductory course will teach students how the global adoption of mobile platforms has influenced and changed journalism, how to report and engage an audience using digital devices, how the principles of usability and product design can inform and help create useful mobile experiences, how to make informed decisions about journalistic product development on mobile platforms, and how to plan for the future of mobiles.

Thanks to support from Google, participants in this MOOC that are journalists, students, or professors of journalism residing in Brazil will have the opportunity to win a trip to Austin, Texas to participate in the 16th International Symposium on Online Journalism (April 17 – 18, 2015) and in the 7th Ibero-American Colloquium on Digital Journalism. The awards will be given to six MOOC participants who will also receive a certificate demonstrating that they were able to learn and effectively apply the tools taught in the course to a piece of work or an original journalistic product created only with mobile journalism tools.

The metrics that will be used to judge the winning projects will be creativity, talent, journalistic and narrative value. The theme or focus of the work will be left to the discretion of each participant – they can move from the profiles of interesting local residents to larger questions, such as the impact of the World Cup or the Olympics in Brazil. The best projects will be chosen by instructors and by teams from the Knight Center and ANJ. Three of the scholarships will be given to journalists working to outlets affiliated with the ANJ and the other three to other participants. All submissions will be received at the end of the course.

The course will include videos, PowerPoint presentations, lectures, exercises, and questionnaires. Like other Knight Center MOOCs, the course will be divided into weekly modules and will be asynchronous or, in other words, done without live classes. Although students can chose the days and times when they would like to take the course, each weekly module has specific windows for the submission of questionnaires and participation in the discussion forums.

While the course itself is free, those participants who wish to receive a certificate of participation will have to pay an administrative fee online of 30 dollars per certificate. The certificate will be sent only to those students that actively participated in the course and who fulfilled the majority of the requirements, such as questionnaires and exercises. The certificates will be available for download in PDF form after the Knight Center has confirmed that the participant met the obligations of the course. No formal course credit of any kind is associated with the certificate.

This is the 13th MOOC offered by the Knight Center at the University of Texas in Austin since 2012, when it launched its pioneer program, the only one in the world that offers massive open online courses specializing in journalism. The initiative has already benefited more than 43,000 people in more than 160 countries. This is the third online training that the Knight Center has organized in collaboration with the ANJ and the third time that a Knight Center event has had the support of Google. The company also supported the Spanish language MOOC “Development of Journalistic Projects for the Web” in 2013 and the Portuguese language MOOC “Introduction to Infographics and Data Visualization” in April and May of this year. 

The National Association of Newspapers (ANJ) includes the primary newspapers from Brazil. The ANJ was created in 1979 to defend freedom of expression, freedom of thought, and freedom of propaganda, as well as the work of the press without restrictions, observing the principles of responsibility; and to struggle in defense of human rights, of representative democratic values and of fee initiative.

Google is a leading global technology company dedicated to improving the ways that people connect to information. Innovations in the Google online search engine, together with advertising, has made its website one of the most used internet products and its logo one of the most recognizable in the world.

The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas was created in 2002 by professor Rosental Calmon Alves, the Knight Chair in Journalism and the UNESCO Chair of Communication in the School of Journalism at the University of Texas in Austin. In the past, the Center has received contributions from the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation and other donors, such as the Open Society Foundation. Currently, the Center benefits from the support of the School of Communication at the University of Texas in Austin and other public donations.

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