News as Experience: In-class Assignment


News as Experience playing cards



Goal: To create a “Profile of a News Experience” that explores the values, affordances and affective impacts of a particular way of delivering the news

Students will divide into groups of 3-4 people. Each group will randomly choose 5 news experience cards.

From the 5 news experience cards, the group will discuss and choose one to work with in the exercise. Your goal is to create a “Profile” of that news experience based on the questions below.

One or more people from the group should be synthesizing the conversation into a short blog post or infographic that can be posted on the blog.

Profile of a News Experience: Easier Questions

  1. Method of attraction – how does the form attract and sustain attention in an attention scarce world?
  2. How did you find this news? Did you subscribe, link from a friend, turn on the TV, etc?
  3. Did you have to choose it (by searching, clicking)? Or did it find you (like radio, push notification)?
  4. When do you experience news in this way (time of day, during what types of activities)? What were you doing immediately before and immediately after experiencing the news in this way?
  5. Are you doing other things while experiencing the news in this way?
  6. Who else was experiencing the same news? Was it co-present, remote, asychronous?
  7. How did you feel while experiencing the news like this? e.g. Intellectually stimulated, guilty pleasure, obligated to read it, riveted until the end, interrupted but kept coming back, bored, occasionally annoyed, took you out of everyday life, etc.
  8. Did you “do anything” based on the news – for example, share it, talk about it with someone, log it somewhere, remember it later, cite it?

Profile of a News Experience: Harder Questions

  1. What kinds of values are embedded in this news experience?
  2. What is this experience’s “theory of the user”? Who do they imagine you are? Does the experience also have a “theory of change”?
  3. What is this experience’s end goal? Virality & eyeballs? Deep listening? Exposé for action?
  4. How are you empowered through this experience? Disempowered?
  5. What kinds of stories is this method good for? bad for? underutilized for?
  6. What other form could you mash up with this for to create a new product that delivers the news?

2 thoughts on “News as Experience: In-class Assignment

  1. Here is the list of news forms that we worked on in class:


    push notifications/alerts


    short youtube video

    streaming video




    online magazine

    online news story from a “serious” source

    online news story from a “light” news source

    mobile news article

    interactive data visualization


    short radio story

    longer radio story

    long-form journalism

    broadcast news

    map-based story

    twitter hashtag

    twitter feed

    Facebook or other social media

    google search


    rss reader

    Boston Metro (i.e. free daily paper)


    crowdsourced photographs

    online comments

    blog post

    mobile news app

    second screen

    Read it later news app like Instapaper or Pocket


    animated GIF


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