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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "DJRN 221"
COURSE NAME: "Introduction to News Reporting and Writing"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2020
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Elizabeth Macias Gutierrez
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 11:30-12:50 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 print and online media. The course also covers media criticism, ethics in media, and the formats and styles of public relations.
TEXTBOOK:
NONE
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
NONE

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
Assignments, Workshops, News Pitches, ParticipationParticipation is crucial15%
Hard News Story Newsbeat related35%
Soft News StoryFeature piece35%
Final Examination- Presentations Public Relations and Media Criticism Assessment. News stories presentation. 10%
AttendanceIn-class or remotely5%

-ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:
A:Work 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.
B:This 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.
C:This is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
D:This 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.
F:This 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 14.

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

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

Three late arrivals (or early dismisslas) count as one absence. 

Please refer to the JCU Student Handbook and Dean of Students communication emails for updates on COVID-19 protocol.

 

 

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

This Fall 2020, our course consists of 26 sessions in 12 weeks of approx. 80 minutes each. Moodle and MSTeams will be the main platforms of the course.  

 

Please refer to our Moodle course for a detailed and bi-weekly syllabus breakdown of each session, with resources, activities and assignments and other course material. Content will be uploaded and updated on a weekly basis. 

 

Each in-class session requires both preparation and follow up (homework).  Please check Moodle for assignments and activities.

Office hours available via MSTeams via our Moodle class board. For questions, comments or discussion with professor, see office hours or use our MSTeams class chat. 

 

Submissions

Hard news story: take-home writing assessment: W/ Nov. 4 – M/ Nov. 9 

Soft news story: take-home writing assessment: M/Nov. 30 - W/ Dec. 9

Course examination (final exam): TBA(Dec. 11 – Dec. 14)

 

See general view of semester below. For details, please see Moodle regularly.

Syllabus may be subject to change. 

 

Week

Session

Date

Topic

One

#1

M/Sept. 21

What’s news? Storytelling. Newsbeats. Qualities of a good journalist. Mapping journalism.

One

#2

W/Sept. 23

News values. Hard news. Soft news

Two

#3

M/Sept. 28

HARD NEWS. Anatomy. The 5 W’s + H

Two

#4

W/Sept. 30

Reportorial writing style

Two

#5

F/Oct. 2

AP style sessions begin

Three

#6

M/Oct. 5

Finding the story

Three

#7

W/Oct. 7

Pitching a story

Four

#8

M/Oct. 12

Background research and types of sources

Four

#9

W/Oct. 14

Contacting sources: protocol, tips and tricks

Five

#10

M/Oct. 19

Introduction to interviewing

Five

#11

W/Oct. 21

Interviewing for hard news

Six

#12

M/Oct. 26

Story organization

Six

#13

W/Oct. 28

Attribution and quoting

Seven

#14

M/Nov. 2

Leads and headlines

Seven

#15

W/Nov. 4

SOFT NEWS. Long-forms anatomy + pitching

Seven

#16

F/Nov. 6

Techniques: observation, emotion, description

Eight

#17

M/Nov. 9

Analysis (yes) vs. Opinion (no)

Eight

#18

W/Nov. 11

Background research and types of sources.

Nine

#19

M/Nov. 16

Interviewing sources

Nine

#20

W/Nov. 18

Attribution and quoting

Ten

#21

M/Nov. 23

Ethics. Journalistic code of conduct.

Ten

#22

W/Nov. 25

Ethics. Defamation, Privacy and Copyright.

Eleven

#23

M/Nov. 30

Public Relations

Eleven

#24

W/Dec. 2

Media Criticism

Twelve

#25

M/Dec. 7

Media Criticism

Twelve

#26

W/Dec. 9

Class conclusions-activity. Review for exam.

Exam

TBA

 

Have a good semester.

We can do it.