BighurtToday marks the end of the my first semester at the one-year M.S. digital media program at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and I wanted to share a few projects.

One of these was an in-depth look at how the recession is affecting New Yorkers. Five different digital media newsroom sections covered five topics surrounding “The Big Hurt”: housing, small business, unemployment, the arts, and people changing careers as a result of being laid off. Students partnered in teams of two to produce digital media profiles that include a print piece, flash graphic, video, a custom Google Map, and slideshow (some of these profiles may be missing one of these elements because of the structure of that section or because this is still in a “soft” launch and students are finishing elements off). The structure of the course allows for you to produce and in-depth digital profile, but also learn the skills required to create a story using digital media storytelling.

My section was taught by administrator of Pulitzer Prizes Sig Gissler and two digital media fellows. My partner, BighurtsamDaniel Johnson-Kim, and I did a profile on an independent pharmacist in Harlem, my neighborhood, that’s hurting as a result of the economy, changes in reimbursement rates and competition with chain pharmacies. We’re still tweaking our flash graphic, which will be up early next week. I would love to hear what you think and whether there are other elements that should be included as part of the pieces?

Also, on another note. Today we had final news media pitches in our Business Journalism class with former managing editor of WSJ.com Bill Grueskin. A lot of good ideas came to light that picked up on trends in technology and journalism. Below are some of the ideas:

  • SociallyEdible – This was actually one of the ideas I submitted for the Knight News Challenge. The basic idea behind is it’s a Manhattan restaurant news hub and application. I will expand on this in another post, but the idea is that it combines things that are out there into one place: original content, user-reviews, restaurant social gaming through the mobile application and the ability for people to actually order the food online. Again that’s the basic idea, which I will expand on in a later post.
  • NewsVibe – Augmented reality mobile news application – an application that recognizes your location and pulls up news based on nearby locations.
  • ObitWire – Exactly what it sounds like. A wire service that produces obits.
  • Triple P – Hyperlocal football website for a Odessa, Texas community.

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