ASSIGNMENT: Inspiration

Time for you to take the class over … on November 4 and 6, each of you will take the clicker and run the class for 10 minutes. Go find a visual storyteller who inspires you, who excites you, who you want to emulate.

Show us what it is about them that helps you understand your world. Collect some of their images and comments on how they have impacted our industry and/or our communities. Give us some of their history, their path to where they are now, their philosophy on visual storytelling.

This is, in effect, your chance to reprise your Oral Report skills from high school.

Tech notes: We have both PowerPoint and Keynote available for presentations. You can also use online tools like Google’s Presentation or Prezi if you want. (Be careful on that last one – Prezi is very dangerous if not used well.)

You must email me who you are going to do by 5 p.m. on Friday, October 25. This is to prevent you from waiting to the last minute and throwing some lousy, unthought-out, poorly formatted presentation together. If you don’t email me, you don’t have to do this. And you get a zero for this assignment …

Two photographers are off limits – Pete Souza and Joel Sartore. Every one else, working or passed, is okay. If two of you choose the same person, I’ll ask the second to select a second person. So it pays to select early.

You will be graded on this, and the grade will be based on three criteria:

  • Research: How deep did you go? How well do you understand the influence of your chosen subject? Do you know more than what has been presented? (Part of journalism is understanding more than we communicate, that we have learned everything there is to learn and then decided what needs to be shared and what does not.)
  • Presentation: This is a visual class, are you using visuals well? Is there a structure and a form to your presentation? Is there a narrative to it?
  • Usefulness: How does it help us become better storytellers? How does it alter our way of thinking about storytelling or the subjects your inspiration covered? What’s our takeaway – what tip can we apply, what technique can we incorporate into our own work?

So, who will go when? No one knows – on that Monday and Wednesday I’ll draw names out at random, so everyone must be prepared on that Monday morning.

Questions? Send them along.


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