Andy Dickinson Andy is a Senior lecturer in Journalism at Manchester Metropolitan University where he is the program lead for the MA Multimedia Journalism.

What are the ingredients for creating a journalism portfolio?

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I’m currently putting together the details for one of my modules for Semester 2. It’s called Multiplatform Journalism and its aimed at first-year journalism students.  The general aim is to introduce them to the idea of digital informed journalism in a genre agnostic way. In plain english –  it doesn’t matter if you want to work in newspapers, broadcast or any other ‘type’ of journalism you want to make, digital skills are going to be a part of what you do.

We know that using digital skills in finding and developing stories makes for better content and using platforms like social media and the ubiquitous web presence, helps build a bigger audience for your content. So my general theme this year is the use of digital to enhance and amplify.

We have to assess this in some way and broadly, the assignment takes the form of a portfolio – a guided collection of content that shows a range of digital skills. Just to head some possible issues off at the pass, I’d also expect that the work would also show a good standard or ‘journalism’ – some news sense, proper sourcing and attention to some basic editorial standards etc.

I’ve got some ideas of what should be represented or contribute in the portfolio:

  • Audio and video skills
  • Meaningful image making
  • Social media and UGC awareness
  • Data journalism and visualisation

I’m also pondering things like analytics and mobile but thinking about how that is represented in terms of content outside the broad areas above.

That said, beyond my thoughts, I was wondering if people had other ideas about what they would look for in a portfolio to show some forward momentum. This is first years but I’m convinced that the kind of exit velocity you need to push into the industry these days means taking all the opportunities you can from day one.

So should I make a listicle mandatory? Should a liveblog of an event be the kind of thing to assess a first year on? What kind of video is good video?

Let me know.

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