The Mario Blog
02.16.2017—2am
Ties that bind: storytelling, design, coding

It's a first for my Columbia University course, Multiplatform Design & Storytelling: introducing students to the essentials of coding. It's also the new reality for journalists in a modern digital newsroom.

It was a special class this week for my students at Columbia University's School of Journalism. I have taught this course for four years now, but this is the first semester when I thought we had to include a segment on essential elements of coding. I am also grateful that my teaching assistant, Andy Rossback, who works full time for The New York Times, is quite adept on the subject so that he can teach it to the students, and to me, too.  I followed the program just like the students did, dipping my toes into such programs as GitHub, iTerm and Sublime Text.

It is a reality of our times that technology sits at the center of where the action is in newsrooms everywhere. While we are aware that these journalism students have no intenetion of becoming coders and/or developers, we are also cognizant of the fact that it is important for journalists to know what happens to their story and their designs. It is in the spirit of that knowledge that I have asked Andy to introduce students to these coding essentials.

The exercise

We have spent the first month of the semester introducing students to a Design Boot Camp: basics of story forms, typography, grids and color.

The emphasis has been on visual storytelling, especially for mobile devices.

One of the most interesting assignments has been to take the famous Gay Talese piece (Esquire, 1966), Frank Sinatra Has a Cold, and apply visual storytelling techniques for how that story would be presented in the digital age.  Students have added visual assets: audio, video, photo galleries to mix with the text.

Now they have used that story to learn the basics of coding. One story and various approaches and learning experiences from it.

The notion of coding may be intimidating to some journalists. It should not be. It is easy to understand and it all begins to make sense in a short time.

Just like it makes sense to realize that technology is strongly linked to all that we do as storytellers and, most importantly, the work of the visual storyteller/designer.

TheMarioBlog post #2572

Blog Post03.27.2017—1am
Financial Times: new look, new campaign (with readers as the main event)
Blog Post03.24.2017—2am
Mobile, news and Latin America: highlights of a conference
Blog Post03.23.2017—1am
For journalism students: learning about linear/visual storytelling
Blog Post03.22.2017—1am
Then we had 37 minutes to devote to print
Blog Post03.21.2017—1am
CNN Reliable Sources: the ultimate media briefing
Blog Post03.20.2017—1am
Netflix explores mobile-specific cuts of its series–and so should we
Blog Post03.17.2017—1am
These things caught my eye
Blog Post03.16.2017—1am
The Financial Times needs to make text type bigger
Blog Post03.15.2017—1am
Gulf News launches REACH by Gulf News
Blog Post03.14.2017—2am
Architectural Digest: Just call it AD
Blog Post03.13.2017—12am
Print to dust: The Tampa Tribune
Blog Post03.10.2017—2am
Wall Street Journal: “The Face of Real News”
Blog Post03.09.2017—2am
Inspiration is everywhere
Blog Post03.08.2017—2am
The new ad positions
Blog Post03.07.2017—2am
At The New York Times: when digital influences print
Blog Post03.06.2017—2am
Key centerpieces for discussion of media today
Blog Post03.03.2017—2am
It’s a new Type magazine
Blog Post03.02.2017—2am
Forget clicking, hello scrolling
Blog Post03.01.2017—2am
From Spain: a hard look at print and why it suffers
Blog Post02.28.2017—3am
Washington Post surprises with new slogan
Blog Post02.27.2017—2am
La La Land: the posters are winners, too
Blog Post02.21.2017—3am
In Dubai: Gulf News launches Sponsored Content
Blog Post02.20.2017—2am
Newsroom technology survey: important to participate
Blog Post02.17.2017—8am
Trumpian front pages
Blog Post02.16.2017—2am
Ties that bind: storytelling, design, coding
Blog Post02.15.2017—2am
Wanted: A Bring-Back-the-Copy Editors campaign
Blog Post02.14.2017—2am
Trump chaos incites newspaper marketing strategies
Blog Post02.13.2017—2am
In the era of fake news, fake photos?
Blog Post02.10.2017—6pm
The Economist does it again
Blog Post02.08.2017—1am
Voices in the news
Blog Post02.07.2017—2am
The quickly disappearing art of copy editing
Blog Post02.06.2017—2am
Some of my favorite e-mail newsletters
Blog Post02.03.2017—3am
Behold the Apple Watch : it’s still here, going strong
Blog Post02.02.2017—3am
News as a 24-hour event
Blog Post02.01.2017—3am
Visual storytelling innovation: key to progress in 2017
Blog Post01.31.2017—2am
Digital Design Challenge: Those article pages move up front
Blog Post01.30.2017—3am
Pages we like: Spain’s ABC
Blog Post01.27.2017—2am
It’s a new sports printed newspaper in Germany
Blog Post01.26.2017—3am
The new Axios: worthy of a look
Blog Post01.25.2017—3am
Mobile storytelling: fast, furious and simple
Contact us with speaking requests, questions or to discuss a project.