The Media School


J303 The Bloomington Beat is a hyperlocal, online publication produced by students in J303: Online Journalism classes at The Media School

J303 is a backpack journalism class in which students explore and write about the Bloomington community, armed with story ideas, audio recorders and cameras, both still and video. They apply the fundamental techniques of journalism — solid research, comprehensive reporting and crisp, clear prose — to the online environment, enhancing their storytelling with multimedia audio, visual and Internet tools.

Over the course of a semester, students choose their own beats, or specific areas of coverage; identify off-campus issues and sources to cover; independently produce five multimedia story packages; and edit publish their work on the Beat. They produce three original-reporting projects — person-on-the-street interviews, narrative profiles and in-depth news features — and two blog posts — a first-person account of their street interviews and a news aggregation piece.

The blog posts are independently student-edited and produced.

J303 The Bloomington Beat was developed by award-winning, veteran journalist and Media School lecturer Steven Higgs, publisher of The Bloomington Alternative. He can be reached at shiggs @ indiana . edu.