Media History & Archival Thinking: The Newspaper

The Newspaper Evolution Project is a multi-stage assignment designed by Dr. Noah Arceneaux for Journalism Media Studies (JMS) 472: Media Technology & Society.

The assignment promotes critical thinking about the format of the newspaper as media, especially the front page of the newspaper, and how that media changes over time. The assignment culminates in a 2-to-5-minute video presentation analysis of a newspaper’s evolution.

The assignment also serves as an introduction to digital tools, helping students gain comfort making videos with digital skills that can be easily used elsewhere. 

Lastly, the assignment allows students to practice archival thinking, to research and reflect upon the (often ephemeral) nature of the historical record.


  • Here is a website made (by Isaac Brambila) to introduce the assignment.
  • Here is a video explanation of the project’s goal (by Noah Arceneaux)
  • Here is a document containing a step-by-step tutorial on how to use Powerpoint + Zoom to create such videos (by Pam Lach)

Sample student projects:

Faculty point of contact: