Digital Studies 101

A common resource for Digital Studies at UMW.

Digital Journalism

It’s a complex world and we need complex tools to make sense of it. In this module, you will identify a topic or pose a question, investigate that question, and tell the story you discover using a confluence of modalities and digital tools.

A recent piece breaks down new digital journalism formats into 12 categories:

  1. vertical video; often with captions, pioneered by AJ+ and NowThis
  2. Horizontal *Stories; swipeable cards like Snapchat Stories and its clones
  3. Longform scrollytelling; evolved from the original NY Times Snowfall
  4. Structured news; like the original Circa or the reusable cards at
  5. Live blogs; frequently used for big events
  6. Listicles; like Buzzfeed
  7. Newsletters and briefings; which seem to be on trend right now
  8. Timelines; which I expected to be more common
  9. Bots and chat; from the chat-styled Qz app to the many attempts to deliver news within chat apps
  10. Personalised; which typically is used to filter the choice of stories, rather than the story itself
  11. Data visualisation; from graphs to interactives
  12. VR and AR


  • Learn about the historical relationship between journalism and media technologies (print, radio, TV)
  • Learn how the Internet has made new modalities of communication possible
  • Learn how digital tools make new kinds of research possible.



Suggested Tasks

  • Collaborate with your cohort to tell the same story through different media.
  • Investigate some topic or question using a digital tool like OpenRefine, Kumu or even one of the APIs at the Huffington Post.
  • Learn about the history of converging media and modalities within journalism, starting with different technologies for including images alongside print (lithography, color photography, etc.)
  • Create your own multimedia, multi-modal journalistic piece telling the story of the question or topic you investigated

Slack Channel: journalism