Interested in MAS.700 in Spring 2017? Please read this.

For everyone interested in taking MAS.700, welcome! There’s been a lot of interest in the class this year – one wonders why, as there’s nothing going on in the outside world that makes news particularly interesting or important. I am going to assume that people have simply heard that I’m a style icon and are attending to see my radical and provocative fashion choices.

Not true.

If you’re interested in the spring 2017 edition of MAS.700, here are a few things to know:

– You must come to the first class. It’s from 1-4pm on February 8, in E15-341. (This first class will probably go only 2 hours, but most will be closer to 3 hours with a break.) I will try to accommodate everyone, but there are constraints having to do with the size of the room and the number of assignments I can read each week.

– There is no passive auditing of any of my classes. You’re welcome to participate as an auditor, but I expect you to do the work that any student taking the course for credit would do.

– It doesn’t matter what university you’re from. I’m thrilled to have MIT students – Media Lab, CMS or otherwise – in this class, but I’m equally thrilled to have participants from anywhere in the greater University of Boston. If you’re affiliated with a university somewhere within driving radius of Cambridge, you’re welcome here.

– If I have to limit the size of the class, I will make decisions based on balancing skill sets. This class works best when I have roughly equal numbers of engineers, designers and journalists, plus a few wild cards.

– The syllabus is in flux. I am making some changes today, and will likely keep adding readings as the semester goes on as this is a really fascinating moment in time and some great writing is taking place.

– Most students find that this course requires more work than they expect. There’s three hours of classes a week, and reading will likely take you another 2-3 hours. There’s an assignment virtually every week, and those tend to take a minimum of 4 hours to complete. If that’s going to be a problem for you, please give your seat to someone else who wants it.

Looking forward to meeting lots of folks on Wednesday the 8th.

News and Participatory Media, 2013

Welcome to News and Participatory Media, no longer an experimental course, now officially MAS 700. This blog serves as home base of the class, the place where assignments are posted and commented on, and home for the syllabus and other readings.

News and Participatory Media is a workshop-based class, where we’ll be creating some of the tools and tactics that allow people making news – from established print newspapers to individuals with a phone and a twitter feed – to embrace what’s best of the world of participatory media while navigating around some of the icebergs. For the first half of the class, students will be reporting stories using a variety of tools and tactics. For the second half, we’ll be designing and testing new tools and tactics. Reading back through this blog will give you a sense for some of the projects students produced last year.

The class is open to anyone interested in issues of the future of news, but works especially well with students who either have a background in journalism, or in developing software – some of the most interesting projects happened last year when students who could code worked with students who had deep knowledge of a thorny set of journalistic issues.

Think you might be interested? First class is Wednesday, February 6, at 2pm in the Media Lab, E15-363. The syllabus we’re using is located here.

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