Journo2Go is a blog focusing on multimedia reporting - specifically backpack journalism. Steve Johnson, the blog's creator, is a freelance journalist and adjunct lecturer at the University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communications.

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Creative Storytelling at the UFJSchool

I've created a new class this fall in creative storytelling for the UF College of Journalism and Communications.

Creative Storytelling will push the boundaries of what we can use to tell a story. This class, in partnership with Tumblr, will use the latest and off-the-wall techniques for gathering a telling a story — from light-field cameras to iOS apps to animated GIFs, we will use everything and anything to test the limits of storytelling.

If you are interested in spending a semester in the Innovation News Center testing new ideas then sign up today. The class is JOU4930, sect. 19H1.

You can also download a copy of the syllabus to get a preview of what you're in for.



Beyond the Finish Line - NYT Video

Probably one of the best pieces of video I've seen come out of The New York Times' newsroom this year, Beyond the Finish Line looks at Jeff Bauman's recovery after losing both legs at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon. 

Click to go to to play the video and read the article.

Click to go to to play the video and read the article.

Josh Haner, a staff photographer for The Times, shows the process of recovery amazingly well by letting the subject share his story.

All too often, journalists inject themselves into the story through voiceovers or stand ups. 

This is the pinnacle of what online news should look like. 

Follow Josh on Twitter and check out his portfolio



Top Five Tips for the Underage Journalist

Shooting the Tampa Bay Bucs football practice at age 17 for the Orlando Sentinel Sports Reporting Institute.

Shooting the Tampa Bay Bucs football practice at age 17 for the Orlando Sentinel Sports Reporting Institute.

Spring is the time for baseball, flower and garden festivals and journalism conferences.

Just a few years ago, I began speaking at a session here or there, and now, I feel like Tony Robbins at times - running from conference room to conventional hall trying to answer as many questions in between.

So after stops in some of my favorite states on the East Coast, I would like to share a few tips for those journalists who can't yet grab a beer with their editor.

I got my start in journalism when I was at the ripe age of 17, and a lot of these tips come from first days in journalism.

In no particular order:

Don't network, connect.

It's easy to print out 1,000 business cards and tweet every professional in your field. But does 'networking' really help you land that job? No. We are in the business of communications., and communicating with a colleague or mentor or editor is much more than a shotgun approach. Find a way to connect with an editor, source, colleague or reader. This can be in person or through a personal message. Then stay in touch through the more traditional channels of social networking.

Create a home base on the web

While belonging to the latest social network is always a good idea, and Facebook and Twitter are the current juggernauts for broadcasting content, you should always have a landing strip for your content. I would recommend a well-designed Wordpress or Squarespace. Then, post, tweet, link, share your content from your website. This will drive traffic to one location instead of confusing potential editors or colleagues to which place to go to find all of your work.

Just get started already. (What have you done for me lately)

Seriously. Stop reading this, and get off your butt. Or, hopefully, you're reading this on a mobile device while working. Nothing replaces hard work. Often, students think that they cannot be respected as journalists without a degree. Wrong. As long as you continually produce good journalism, age or experience will be less and less of a limiting factor in your career.

Do work

Again, nothing replaces hard work. Journalism is a field that is not only highly competitive between colleagues, but your success is dependent upon the connections you make. The only way to make those connections is by practicing journalism. Thus, it's a pretty simple equation; the more you work, the better you get and the more people you meet. This will result in better assignments for bigger news stories. Period.

Find a mentor

Your advisors are great, your professors are experienced and your mother loves you (still fact check that), but you need a professional - someone you can call when you need to figure out a day rate or when you need advice on contracts. Mentors can help you find that first big job and can know you well enough to tell when your work is slipping.



Reading List from J/i

So after decompressing from a weekend filled with some of the biggest thinkers in the journalism world, I have begun to put together a list of books that I have ordered that were recommended by the speakers, panelists and friends of Journalism Interactive.

Click on a book and hover over the image to see a description and link.

Feel free to comment to add to this list.

Thank you to the following innovators who helped with this list:


On the Road Again


On the Road Again

Hello and Welcome,

For the past couple of years I have been teaching at various workshops and am asked over and over again about what I use to report on the road. What is the best camera? What is in your backpack? How many hard drives to you travel with?

I usually devoted a blog post or two on my old website about gear, but it never occurred to me that an entire blog could be devoted to life on the road.