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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "DJRN 221"
COURSE NAME: "Introduction to News Reporting and Writing"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2019
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Elizabeth Macias Gutierrez
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 3:00-4:15 PM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS: 3
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: EN 110 with a grade of C or above
OFFICE HOURS:

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
This course introduces writing and reporting techniques for the mass media. It focuses on the essential elements of writing for the print, online and broadcast media. The course also covers media criticism, ethics in media, and the formats and styles of public relations.
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:
This course introduces writing and reporting techniques for the mass media.
LEARNING OUTCOMES:
This course focuses on the essential elements of writing for the print, online and broadcast media. The course also covers media criticism, ethics in media, and the formats and styles of public relations.
TEXTBOOK:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Online Journalism: The Essential GuidePaul Lashmar and Steve Hill SAGE Publications Ltd.1446207358  
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
NONE

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
Assignments, Workshops, News Pitches, Participation 15%
Hard News Story News article with attribution, images and video.30%
Feature Story Feature piece with interviews, images and video.30%
Final Examination- Presentations Public Relations and Media Criticism Assessment. News stories presentation. 15%
AttendanceAttendance is crucial10%

-ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:
AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the course.
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

-ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS:
ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS AND EXAMINATION POLICY 

You cannot make-up a major exam (midterm or final) without the permission of the Dean’s Office. The Dean’s Office will grant such permission only when the absence was caused by a serious impediment, such as a documented illness, hospitalization or death in the immediate family (in which you must attend the funeral) or other situations of similar gravity. Absences due to other meaningful conflicts, such as job interviews, family celebrations, travel difficulties, student misunderstandings or personal convenience, will not be excused. Students who will be absent from a major exam must notify the Dean’s Office prior to that exam. Absences from class due to the observance of a religious holiday will normally be excused. Individual students who will have to miss class to observe a religious holiday should notify the instructor by the end of the Add/Drop period to make prior arrangements for making up any work that will be missed. The final exam period runs until December 7.

Students will not be penalized for three absences from classes meeting twice a week.

Participation grade will be deducted by 5 points for each additional absence beyond the three absences.

Three late arrivals count as one absence. A late arrival begins after one minute of the official class time.

 

 

ACADEMIC HONESTY
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
STUDENTS WITH LEARNING OR OTHER DISABILITIES
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.

SCHEDULE

 

Week

Session

Topic

Keyword

Reading

Activity

Assignment

ONE

#1

M

Sept. 2

#2

W

Sept. 4

Intro to Course

Ethics

Is Journalism dying or transforming?

Journalists' code of ethics and conduct

Qualities of a good journalist

Chapter 14: How the Internet Transformed Journalism pp. 256 - 271

Chapter 12: Ethics and Good Practice,

 pp. 217 – 234

Chapter 13: Law and Regulation,

pp. 236- 254

Lecture

Seminar

Get course book

Poynter Institute Ethics Course

https://www.poynter.org/shop/self-directed-course/594234/

Take photos of your quiz results and send email to:

[email protected]

TWO

#3

M

Sept. 9

#4

W

Sept.11

Media Criticism

Defamation, Privacy, Copyright

Types of biases and

fake news

News values, agenda and gatekeeping theories;

native advertising

Freedom of Speech/First Amendment/Censorship/
Self-censorship

A new objectivity vs.

the “truth”

Chapter 14 (cont’d)

 Chapter 2:

Understanding Your Users pp. 25- 43

Chapter 2

Participatory journalism, pp. 160 – 176

Chapter 8: Social Media Online Communities pp. 141 - 159

Lecture

Seminar

Reference: Take online course: Social Media Ethics at https://www.udemy.com/course/social-media-ethics/

Send course certificate/photo to [email protected]

Readings

THREE

#5

M

Sept.16

#6

W

Sept. 18

Online Journalism:

hope of the democratic digital turn?

News writing

Storytelling

Finding the story

Citizen journalism and social media

Newsbeats

Multimedia formats

Writing hard news, soft news (reportage, feature) (examples)

Finding the story: hard news, the feature,

Chapter 11

pp. 197 – 198; 216

Chapter 3: Multimedia Journalist Skills

Lecture

Seminar

Newsbeat pitches (worksheet presentation)

Guidelines to journalistic pieces: Research

Your Kind of Journalism worksheet

Prepare for news story pitches

FOUR

# 7

M

Sept. 23

Chapter 4,

Telling the Story with Images and Video

Newsroom Session- story pitches

Formats, semiotics

Images / captions / copyright/

licensing

Chapter 4- Images

pp. 65 - 82

Present list of tentative news stories (hard news and features) & pitch feedback

BBC Academy

#8
W

Sept.

25

Telling the Story with Video

 

Broadcast and

Mobile Journalism (Mojo)

Chapter 6- Video

pp. 102 - 118

BBC Academy

Complete Image/Video worksheet on MOODLE

FIVE

# 9
M

Sept. 30

                 

The Interview

Research and contacting sources

Final news story pitches + newsroom feedback (terrace)

Fieldwork Prep #1

#10
W      Oct. 2

Interview techniques

The art of interviewing

Lecture

Seminar

Fieldwork Prep #2- Research and preparation of interviews

Fieldwork Prep #2-

SIX

#11
M

Oct. 7                         

                 

Hard news

Anatomy

5Ws + H

 Inverted Pyramid

Chapter 3

Writing for the Web

pp.47 - 63

Fieldwork- Interview sources 

# 12

W

Oct. 9

Sources

Attribution

and quoting

Exercise

SEVEN

#13

M

Oct.14                        

                 

Associated Press Style

AP Style

AP Handouts

Workshop

Prepare for

AP Style

quiz

.



#14

W

Oct.16

AP Style 

(cont’d)

AP Style review

Quiz

Work on hard news

EIGHT

#15

M

Oct.21

News writing

Writing leads and summaries

MOODLE Handouts

hard news story workshop copywriting

Work on hard news


  #16     W  Oct.23

News writing

Writing headlines

MOODLE Handouts

Prepare for copywriting workshop

NINE

#17

M

Oct.28                        

Hard news story

copywriting

workshop

Workshop

Finish draft

#18

W

Oct.30      

Hard news story

copyediting

workshop

MOODLE copyediting symbols

Submission of news story by end of class

Prepare feature pitch (handout)

TEN

#19

M

Nov. 4

The Feature story

anatomy, formats, styles

investigative reporting

Fieldwork Prep- What’s the story/ Possible interviewees

Chapter 7, pp. 120-

Lecture

Read assigned features

#20      W      Nov. 6

The Feature story

(cont’d)

Strategy, research and the unexpected

Sensitive Interviewing: trauma, violence, abuse

Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma: online pdf booklet

Lecture

Read assigned features

ELEVEN

#21

M

Nov.11

Feature Interview

Preparing interview questions and follow ups

See MOODLE

Workshop

Work on feature

#22

W

Nov.13

Feature Writing

Creative storytelling and The New Journalism

See MOODLE

Seminar

Work on feature

TWELVE

#23

M

Nov.18     

Copywriting Session:

intro, structure, conclusion

See MOODLE

Seminar /Workshop

Work on feature

#24
W

Nov.20

Copyediting Session:

quotes and AP style

See MOODLE

Seminar /Workshop

Finish feature.

THIRTEEN

#25

M

Nov.25     

Public Relations (PR)

Overview

Communication

Professional use

Types

Chapter 10, “Freelancing and Entrepreneurial Journalism,” pp. 178-

Lecture

#26

W

Nov.27

PR

media relations

Handouts

Lecture

Review handouts

FOURTEEN

#27

M

Dec. 2                        

                 

PR

paid, earned owned, spin

Handouts

Lecture

Review handouts

#28
W

Dec. 4      

PR and Media Criticism

Examination Review

Seminar


Feature story submission. Due.

Study for Exam

FINALS WEEK

TBA

Exam