• JOSH MELTZER

    scroll
  • JOSH MELTZER

    scroll
  • JOSH MELTZER

    scroll
  • JOSH MELTZER

    scroll
  • JOSH MELTZER

    scroll
  • JOSH MELTZER

    scroll
  • JOSH MELTZER

    scroll
  • JOSH MELTZER

    scroll
  • JOSH MELTZER

    scroll
  • JOSH MELTZER

    scroll
  • JOSH MELTZER

    scroll
  • JOSH MELTZER

    scroll

Teaching

I teach a variety of courses at Western Kentucky University in the School of Journalism & Broadcasting, where I specialize in photojournalism and multimedia narrative storytelling. Some of my student's work is at wkupj.com, a site run by the WKU NPPA student chapter.

In addition to these courses in still photography, video, design and interactivity, I also teach data visualization/infographics and a selection of core curriculum courses which are open to all students in the school. I have recently taken students to Spain and will take students to Ecuador in the summer of 2015 for a study abroad course in conjunction with a Spanish language instructor.

Some of the courses I have adopted from my colleagues and molded into my own, but I have developed, or helped develop five completely new courses of the 12 courses that I have taught.

latest post image

Photo by Ashley Cooper

Intro to Photojournalism

Introduces photojournalism majors to the technical, aesthetic and ethical aspects of digital photography through weekly projects.

popup-image

Photo by Srijita Chattopadhyay

MISSION

This course is designed to introduce you to two major concepts. First, you will learn the technical knowledge to operate your digital SLR and create technically proficient images. Second, you will learn to interact within the community to find, develop and execute great stories with great images. We will spend class time critiquing your work and giving one another feedback so that we can not only improve our craft but find and produce even better work with each assignment.

GOALS

  • To help you learn how to effectively use your digital SLR cameras.
  • To help you understand what makes a good photograph in terms of technical quality, light, composition, storytelling moments, captions and presentation.
  • To help you acquire and develop intellectual, technical and analytical skills to make photographs that communicate.
  • To help you understand the all-important contribution of the idea to the photograph
  • To learn to search for stories within your community
  • To learn digital workflow, using a digital camera, Photo Mechanic and Photoshop

TOPICS DISCUSSED

Camera mechanics • Idea generation • Caption writing • Depth of field • Light • Composition • Color • Portraits • Picture packages • Electronic Flash • Photography history • Photographing your community • Action/Motion • Features • Events • Ethical boundaries • Digital processing and workflow

  • JOSH MELTZER

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt

  • EDUCATOR

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua

    Read More What we do?
latest post image
Data Visualization

Learn to find and examine large sets of data to identify embedded trends and stories, and display this data visually.

popup-image

MISSION

I developed this course, which focuses to teach students the fundamentals of producing visual displays of information using charts, maps and diagrams. Data journalism is perhaps the fastest growing field in visual storytelling, and one that I strongly believe many of our students need to have a solid foundation in ethics, visual display of information and form vs. function as they enter a job market where managing, telling stories with and organizing data will continue to be paramount.

GOALS

  • Learn basics of using Adobe Illustrator to draw and produce charts and maps
  • Research skills to find an accurately analyze data
  • Critique existing infographics for accuracy and design flaws
  • Experiment with spacial and design layout of complex infographic information
  • Examine the benefits of different types of displays of information
  • Learn the basics of synthesizing data with Excel
  • Recognize the unethical use of inaccurate storytelling with data in journalism
  • Produce maps, charts and diagram to high design and journalism standards

ASSIGNMENTS

Charts and Maps

Create a statistical visual display based on data that you will research from a topic assigned in class. Your project must have several statistical graphics as well as at least one map.

Diagram Illustration

You will create a step-by-step illustration that tells a story or explains a phenomenon of a topic announced in class. You may be required to take photos of your topic from which to make illustrations.

Final Project

You will have to choose a topic of inquiry, research the data and present the data visually in the most appropriate form. You may use any of the techniques taught in class that are appropriate for this project. Your topic must be pre approved before you begin work.

latest post image

Photo by Nikki Boliaux

Intro to Multimedia

Narrative journalistic storytelling on the Web using photographs, words, audio, video, design, and interactivity.

Story by Nick Wagner

MISSION

Continues students’ education of visual storytelling with their still camera by adding the component of audio storytelling to their base. Introduction to other mediums of digital storytelling, including infographics and interactive web storytelling will be discussed but not practiced. Students will understand the basic foundations and building blocks for a story, including story structure, character development and story arc. Students will continue to work in the public sphere, finding powerful stories that can be told with audio and still images.

GOALS

  • To expose you to the theory, design and practice of using different forms of media gathering and computer technological advances to disseminate stories
  • To become comfortable recording audio in the field and making effective digital audio interviews with subjects
  • To critically analyze the components necessary to tell an effective and powerful linear story with audio and still photography
  • To analyze multimedia projects online and dissect their components, success and failures
  • To learn digital workflow, using digital camera, audio recorder and software to streamline time effectiveness

TOPICS DISCUSSED

Idea generation • Field Audio Recording • Microphone use • Capturing Natural Sound • Shooting still images for linear narratives • Editing Using Premiere CC(2014) • Publishing to the Web • Digital processing and workflow • Telling Stories with Sound • Evaluating Stories fit for online audiences told over time

latest post image

Photo by Dorothy Edwards

Picture Stories

Extensive use of the multiple-picture project to help students develop critical skills in visual storytelling, caption writing, and ethics.

popup-image

Photo by Dorothy Edwards

MISSION

This course allows students to delve much deeper into the search for visual stories based on topic provided every other week. Students will learn to find stories based on topics that have excellent visual storytelling possibilities and learn to edit these stories into effective series to communicate to audiences both in print and on the web. Students will continue to practice the use of audio in the storytelling reporting process.

GOALS

  • To develop the art of telling stories with photographs
  • To find, research and tell stories of diverse topics including those that foster understanding of issues and perspectives that are inclusive in terms of gen- der, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation
  • To use picture stories as a tool to develop and improve all aspects of your photography.
  • To recognize the importance of idea generation, brainstorming and search for the story within the story
  • To develop skills in establishing an effective relationship with your story subjects
  • To recognize the importance of preparation and organization in the picture story process (research and time management).
  • To review storytelling mediums from previous courses

ASSIGNMENT TOPICS

International Student/Nontraditional Student • Child in Need • Farmer/Migrant Worker • Coach/Teacher • Caregiver/Volunteer • Religious Leader/Community Leader • Veteran/Senior Citizen • Portrait Series • Death and Illness • Widow/Widower • Sports story

latest post image

Photo by Carrie Pratt

Intro to Interactive Media

Study and creation of interactive digital products and design. An introduction to coding with basic HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and jQuery. Includes collaborative assignment using content from other courses.

popup-image

Photo by Tyler Essary

MISSION

This introductory level course is designed to give students in the Journalism program a fundamental understanding of programming and interactivity for the web as we learn to build compelling websites with journalistic content. The course is not software specific, and you will be learning to hand code (frightening at first) websites to understand fundamentally how they work and function. Students will work with content generated concurrently in other multimedia courses for the final projects.

Programming and understanding web technology is critical in today’s online journalism environment if you want to create custom work that uses the full extent of the power of multimedia programming.

GOALS

  • Acquire HTML/CSS website skills
  • Learn how to use legal web typography effectively and creatively
  • Understand the process to use FTP and upload content online
  • Basic Javascript / jQuery including employing existing plugins
  • Understand and manually employ media queries, responsive design and mobile specific design.
  • To recognize the importance of preparation and organization in the picture story process (research and time management).
  • Work in small teams collaboratively with other courses to produce content online
  • Study effective User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) when designing with the user in mind
latest post image

Photo by Danny Guy

Short Form Documentary

Web-based narrative storytelling course involving weekly assignments using photography, audio, and video. Web ethics explored.

Video by Danny Guy

MISSION

This course will continue your studies from previous storytelling courses, such as Picture Stories and Introduction to Multimedia, to learn to better tell online narratives in linear forms. We will explore the benefits of different types of mediums, including animation, still images, audio, video and design as elements of multimedia journalism, and learn when video works best for certain types of stories. More importantly we will learn when video does not work well for your audiences.

GOALS

  • To find, research and tell stories of diverse topics including those that foster understanding of issues and perspectives that are inclusive in terms of gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation
  • Understand and put to use the classic narrative arc story structure into documentary visual and audio linear storytelling
  • Develop your story research skills to allow you to find compelling narratives that work in a linear storytelling medium
  • Learn to proficiently and efficiently operate an HDSLR camera as your primary storytelling tool to the point at which is doesn’t get in the way of your storytelling work
  • Develop your audio gathering techniques and study of sound journalism
  • Advanced knowledge of Premiere Pro CC (2014) editing techniques
  • Working in teams to tell a story
  • Writing accompanying text for your online video stories

THE MOUNTAIN WORKSHOPS

Students enrolled in this course are encouraged to participate in the video storytelling arm of The Mountain Workshops to work with an outside video coach on a story for one week during the semester.

latest post image

Photo by Ryan Stone

Photojournalism Projects

Capstone for Photojournalism major, emphasis on a long-term project and conceptual assignments. Ethics discussed. In addition to projects, each student will present a final portfolio to reflect mastery of skills. Guest lecturers from the photojournalism field enhance student learning.

Video by Ryan Stone

MISSION

This capstone course in the photojournalism sequence brings all of the lessons together. Each student will research, propose, report and produce a project of their choice that includes in depth visual reporting and producing on a topic that includes strong narrative structure powerful characters and creative visual storytelling. Students will submit a digital portfolio that is representative of their college career and prepares them to enter the job market. Professionals will view and critique the work of all students at the end of the semester.

GOALS

  • Proposal Writing (What are you going to do...sell it to me)
  • Research (where is your story, and what should it be about)
  • Review and Extension of all shooting skills (surprise yourself)
  • Production (Quality, quality, quality - Learn from every mistake you’ve made in this program so far)
  • Teamwork (we will divide up jobs for this project outside of your own story (design, programming, editing, producing, graphics, interactivity, team shooting/second camera)

SMALL CREATIVE PROJECTS

In addition to your long-term project, and to give you a mental and creative break from your semester project, I’ll assign you some short weekly creative projects. Some of those you may want to incorporate into your long-term project, and others you’ll do completely on the side. You’ll be assigned some of the following, but not all.

Alexia proposal • Plastic Camera • Adjective • Visual poem • One Frame • One Lens • Portrait Series • Written reports on textbook readings

latest post image
Memory of Struggles for Equality

Special topics reporting course on modern day equality, on the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement and 150th anniversary of Emancipation. Students work in various journalist mediums for reporting on a variety of related topics.

MISSION

Through reading, researching and producing our own documentary project, we will explore the struggle for equality in American history, from the Emancipation Proclamation to the modern Civil Rights Movement and struggles for free speech as part of the battle for equal justice. Students will work as a team collaborating to produce a mobile application that chronicles this struggle in Kentucky and students will narrow their focus to one particular story or a few stories to tell in multimedia platform, which will include writing, design, photography, video and infographics.

GOALS

  • Complete background readings and interviews with guest speaker to narrow our project focus to a manageable and medium appropriate topic for the semester project
  • Develop your story research skills to allow you to find compelling narratives that work in a linear storytelling medium
  • Develop new multimedia skills both within and outside of your expertise. This may include, writing, design, photography, video and user experience app development
  • Identify and pursue first sources that will be powerful characters for interview and storytelling
  • Examine and critique user experience (UX) of interactive and online projects
  • Use the latest tools in multimedia storytelling to appropriately tell the facets of our project
  • Work in a collaborative and team environment across disciplines

COLLABORATIVE TEACHING

This course was a one-time course taught with History Professor Patti Minter. We led discussions and critiques together each class period and broke the students up into groups by medium of focus for their final projects that would best utilize our diverse backgrounds. The course was offered as part of the Fleischaker-Greene Scholars Course series.

latest post image

Photo by Nick Wagner

Spain & Economic Crisis

Special topics reporting course and study abroad in Salamanca, Spain. Topics include reporting on youth unemployment as it relates to the economic crisis.

popup-image

MISSION

This course, taught concurrently with SPAN102 or SPAN306 will allow you to work immersively in Salamanca, Spain putting to practice the language and reporting skills you have acquired up to this point in a variety of mediums. The final goal of this course is to produce and publish a multi-platformed-based team project on issues related to the current economic crisis in Spain.

We will work as a team, which will both allow students to bring their strengths and expertise to the table, while simultaneously requiring each student to dive into a realm of journalism in which they are not as familiar or comfortable.

The project will use the latest technology available to multimedia journalists to tell the stories of the people who allow us to tell their powerful stories.

GOALS

  • Determine as a class the focus and direction of our project and identify stories that we will report and edit while in Spain. Students will be expected to go beyond what has been already reported, to find stories that represent how Spain’s diverse population and experience is affected by the crisis.
  • Students will use Spanish language in the field in reporting and editing, and will be expected to produce the site in Spanish and English.
  • Develop new multimedia skills both within and outside of your expertise. This may include, writing, design, photography, video and user experience app development
  • Define and outline the goals of the website. For whom are we reporting and how will we delivery those stories
  • Each member of the team will be expected to work closely with other team members to produce projects collaboratively, either through medium or within mediums
  • Brand and distribute the project to a wide audience, both in Spain and abroad.

VIEW STUDENT BLOG

VIEW COLLABORATIVE PROJECT (January, 2015)

ECUADOR, SUMMER 2015

This two-course study abroad (Journalism / Spanish) will be continued in the summer of 2015 and the summer of 2016 in Quito, Ecuador and Mexico respectively. The pairing reflects the university's efforts to increase the percentage of students who are studying abroad and encourage journalism students to become proficient or fluent in Spanish language.

latest post image

Photo by Savannah Neddo

Intro to Digital Photography

Introduces non-photojournalism majors to the processes and aesthetic values of digital photography, including light, composition, content and ethics. Concepts applied through hands-on projects.

popup-image

MISSION

This course is designed for both non-Photojournalism majors from within the School of Journalism & Broadcasting, such as writing majors, and for those outside of the school, including non-traditional students in the community who want to improve their photographic skills. It is taught with a journalistic angle, but many assignments look purely at the aesthetic parts of photography and do not require journalistic visual reporting. This is a required course for all writing journalism majors.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

  • To help you learn how to effectively use your digital camera.
  • To help you understand what makes a good photograph in terms of technical quality, light, composition, storytelling moments, captions and presentation
  • To help you acquire and develop intellectual, technical and analytical skills to make photographs that communicate
  • To help you understand the all-important contribution of the idea to the photograph; the critical element that separates the picture maker from the picture taker
  • To learn digital workflow, using a digital camera, Photo Mechanic, Photoshop and InDesign
  • To be creative, work hard and be successful.

TOPICS DISCUSSED

Camera mechanics • Idea generation • Caption writing • Depth of field • Light • Composition • Color • Portraits • Picture packages • Electronic Flash • Photography history • Photographing your community •Action/Motion • Features • Events • ethical boundaries • Digital processing and workflow

latest post image
Media Collaboration

Working in small collaborative teams, students produce digital content in a hands on storytelling course using photography, writing, video and audio

popup-image

Photo by Abbey Tanner

MISSION

I helped design this new core curriculum course which is required for all Journalism, Broadcasting, Photojournalism, Advertising and Public Relation majors in the school. Students proceed through modules in writing, still photography, audio, video, design and a collaborative cohesive project in small teams.

The course is part of series of three core curriciculum courses for all incoming students beginning in the Fall of 2014.

GOALS

course designed to introduce you to working in collaborative teams to produce digital content for distribution through various media channels including web, social, and mobile. This course will create an environment of engagement between students, the School of Journalism & Broadcasting and the local communities. You will be required to actively seek community interaction and content that reflects the diverse communities in and around Bowling Green, Kentucky. The course responds to current and projected trends in information gathering and distribution techniques in which organizations are working collaboratively to gather information and serve local communities.

CORE VALUES

  • Demonstrate an understanding of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and, as appropriate, other forms of diversity in domestic society in relation to mass communications.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of professional ethical principles and work ethically in pursuit of truth, accuracy, fairness and diversity
  • Think critically, creatively and independently
  • Conduct research and evaluate information by methods appropriate to the communications professions in which they work
  • Write correctly and clearly in forms and styles appropriate for the communications professions, audiences and purposes they serve
  • Critically evaluate their own work and that of others for accuracy and fairness, clarity, appropriate style and grammatical correctness
  • Apply tools and technologies appropriate for the communications professions in which they work, and to understand the digital world
latest post image
Digital Storytelling

Details the history and methods of storytelling practices by identifying and enforcing the fundamentals - finding the story, assembling the story, and sharing the story in the digital age. Discussion of ethics and diversity are key to this lecture course.

NEW CORE COURSE

I have been charged with leading the design of this new course which will be offered in the Spring, 2015. This is one of the new core curriculum courses that all new students are required to take in all sequences in the school. This lecture course will focus on the fundamentals of what makes some stories great and others not so great. In addition, students will learn how different mediums and technologies serve audiences best at different types of storytelling. Topics include interactive storytelling, including the use of social media and user generated content.

One third of this course will look at issues of diversity, both in terms of those who practice journalism and storytelling and the subjects who are part of our stories, and fundamentals of ethics in various mediums, including in advertising and public relations.

For a final project, students will work in small teams to plan large scale multimedia projects of journalistic inquiry

This course is one of three of the new core curriculum courses and is not a hands on content producing course, but rather a study of story construction and production as well as diversity and ethics.

Motion

latest post image
Internal Migration
Trailer

The northern border with the United States is not the only destination for Mexican migrants. For millions, the bustling cities, which offer hopes of better jobs and education lure many from their traditional rural, and often indigenous communities. What they find in the cities is a mix of hope and hardship.

VIEW FULL PROJECT
Roles: video, audio, photography, editing, development
latest post image
Because There is Hope

In the small town of Krupka, in northwest Czech Republic, on the border with Germany, lives Jožka Miker, a Roma activist who has taken it upon himself to mentor a group of teenage Roma boys, many from broken homes, who help him spread a message of acceptance through their rap and hip-hop music.

VIEW FULL PROJECT
Roles: video, audio, photography, editing, film team leadership
latest post image
Family Medicine in Haiti

Two Haitian-born doctors at the University of Miami Medical School have been instrumental in the development of two very different approaches to the improvement of health care within Haiti throughout their careers. Dr. Michel Dodard has been working tirelessly since the earthquake with Project Medishare in efforts to set up and fund a high level trauma center in central Port-au-Prince to deal with the non-stop demand for high level of emergency care throughout the city. On the other side of the island, in Haiti’s second largest city, Cap-Haitien, Dr. Andre Vulcain has set up Haiti’s first family practice medical school which has been training young medical students to practice preventative and non-emergency medicine.

Roles: video, audio, photography, editing
latest post image
Age of Uncertainty
Tommy & Linda

As her husband slips into dementia, a devoted wife confronts the question: Does love live in the heart or in the head?

The Age of Uncertainty Series explores issues of aging and those who cared for the elderly.

Roles: video, audio, photography, editing
latest post image
Age of Uncertainty
I Gave Everything I Had

Michelle Hammer thought she found happiness just over three years ago when she married for the second time to Michael, who is 24 years older than she. Within a year of their marriage, Michael suffered an aneurysm before work one morning. From that day, Michelle has been his full-time caregiver.

The Age of Uncertainty Series explores issues of aging and those who cared for the elderly.

Roles: video, audio, photography, editing
latest post image
Age of Uncertainty
Warrior for the Elderly

Though caring for the elderly is not what geriatrician Dr. Michael Camardi calls, "sexy medicine," he firmly believes it is one of the most important fields of medicine to understand our expanding aging population in the U.S.

The Age of Uncertainty Series explores issues of aging and those who cared for the elderly.

Roles: video, audio, photography, editing
latest post image
Age of Uncertainty
House Call Ministry

Doctors who make house calls are relatively rare; 1,400 in the country have house call-only practices. Dr. Alice Inouye is an even more singular breed: Equal parts ministry and medicine, her Jubilee Housecalls practice treats homebound patients who are nearing the end of life — and she often works without being paid.

The Age of Uncertainty Series explores issues of aging and those who cared for the elderly.

Roles: video, audio, photography, editing
latest post image
Homestead, Florida
Visual Postcard

While southern Florida is well-known for its non-Mexican Latin roots that originate from South America or Cuba, Homestead is home to one of Florida's largest Mexican migrant communities, who work in the large fruit and vegetable farms that supply much of the northern U.S.'s produce during the winter months.

Roles: video, audio, photography, editing
latest post image
Saving Our Homes

Robin Lee lives next door to her mother in the family's childhood home. When her mother needed help paying the bills, Robin took early retirement from the University of Miami and converted the home to a reverse mortgage to pay her mother's living expenses. What she didn't realize were the risks involved in reverse mortgages, and, something she could never have predicted, the economic downturn of 2007. Now both homes are in danger of foreclosure, and Robin, her adult children and siblings are doing everything in their power to keep them.

VIEW FULL PROJECT
Roles: video, audio, photography, editing
  • Internal Migration

    Though the migration across the Mexico-U.S. border is much more widely discussed in the news, millions of Mexicans, many of whom are from the nearly 70 different indigenous populations, move within the country, migrating from rural to urban centers. What they find there is a mix of benefits and hardship. This 27-part project explores the complexity of this issue with images, videos and infographics.

    Roles
    Photography ~Video ~Editing ~Design ~Development
  • Revolution Revisited

    In 1987 San Francisco Examiner staff photographer Kim Komenich won the Pulitzer Prize for his photographic reporting during the Philippine Revolution. In 2011, Komenich returned and located over a dozen people who appeared in his images nearly 25 years earlier. This project explores the then and now images and features video interviews with Komenich and the survivors of the Revolution.

    Roles
    Video ~Editing ~Design ~Development
  • Audacity of Beauty

    Photographer Maggie Steber walks visitors to this site through her 25+ year covering the Haitian people in happiness and hardship.

    Role
    Video Interviews
  • Visualizing Florida

    This project examines some of the biggest changes in the U.S. Census data from 2000 to 2010 in the state of Forida. Featuring nearly 20 stories, this site aims to put faces and human stories on these differences that came to light first as numbers. This project also includes nearly 20 infogrpahics which visually explain the difference in data.

    Roles
    Producer ~Video ~Audio ~Photography
  • Seeking Refuge

    Fleeing wars and warloads in trouble spots around the globe, they have arrive and settled in a Roanoke, Va. apartment complex known as the Terrace Apartments for nearly two decades. Welcome to the most diverse 9 acres in the city.

    Roles
    Photography ~Video ~Editing ~Production
  • The Liberators

    Bedford, Va. had the highest casualty rate of any other city in the country on DDay, when allied forces invaded the beaches of France during World War II. These are some of the stories of the survivors from that town and region.

    Roles
    Photography ~Audio ~Editing ~Design ~Development

Published Writing

truth
Video Journalism

Authored three chapters in Ken Kobre's textbook covering topics of finding stories, evaluating the merit of a story for a linear narrative format and producing a story.

truth
Nieman Reports

I ask myself what I should be teaching my students. How can I prepare them so they can find good jobs? Figuring this out is my daily challenge.

Creative Scholarship

migration
Migración Interna

Video, photographic, audio, design and web development project about issues surrounding the migration of indigenous peoples within the borders of Mexico.

roma
A Homeland for the Roma

Worked as one of five Central European coordinators and team leader of the Czech Team on this video documentary project about modern day issues facing the Roma populations. Lead video journalist and editor on the story from the Czech Republic. Produced by Rich Beckman/University of Miami and sponsored by the EU.

The Mountain Workshops

Story research for over 100 stories for the annual workshop (2009, 2013) ~ Video storytelling and web production/video editing with colleague Tim Broekema to produce stories and websites about each town that hosts the workshop (2009, 2010, 2013, 2014).

gallery
Gallery Exhibitions
Collaborative Project

in progress

Working with WKU professors of voice, sculpture, piano, dance, and mixed media to produce a collaborative installation and performance piece in Spring 2015 around a song cycle from George Crumb. I will show a series of photographs of Eugenics (forced sterilization) from Virginia taken previously and new ones from 2015.

Human Trafficking

in progress

Working with a second filmmaker on a short documentary project about human trafficking in Thailand for the NGO Friends of Thai Daughters. Filming in January 2015.

Send Me A Message
Message sent! Message not sent, please try again.