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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "DJRN 330"
COURSE NAME: "Writing for News Media "
SEMESTER & YEAR: Spring 2021
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Elizabeth Macias Gutierrez
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 1:30 PM 2:45 PM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS: 3
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: EN 110 with a grade of C or above, DJRN 221 or permission of the instructor
OFFICE HOURS: By Appointment

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
This course focuses more in-depth on the fundamentals of news reporting and writing, with an emphasis on the print, online, and broadcast media. Key skills to master include criteria for judging news, information gathering, and crafting different styles of news stories for print, broadcast and online media. The course also covers proper line-editing techniques, plus Web layout and publishing.
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:
This course is an advanced level of DJRN 221, heavily practice-based, so students can further develop news research skills, news writing, and learn copyediting skills.  
LEARNING OUTCOMES:

·    Solidify and develop  news writing skills according to beat reporting and news values criteria 

·    Apply advanced techniques of information gathering  and news research 

·    Practice interviewing skills

·     Learn and develop copy editing techniques in AP style

·     Familiarize with current web layout design publishing trends in the market 

·     Review up-to-date legal and ethical principles of writing for the media


TEXTBOOK:
NONE
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
NONE

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
Various Assignments, Workshops, Newsroom Sessions, News Pitches, etc.Completion of these is key to the development of assignments 10%
News Story DraftBeat reporting15%
Copyediting of News Story Final Submission20%
Broadcast news copyWriting of essential style elements20%
Broadcast fileRadio/video presentation15%
Ethics paper & presentationWriting and covering conflict and trauma10%
Participation and Attendance 10%

-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 TBA. 
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 1

M/Jan 20: News values + Finding the story

W/Jan 22: The language and format of news

Week 2
M/Jan 27: Research and triangulation

W/Jan 29: Information gathering  

 
Week 3
M/Feb. 3: Attribution and sources

W/Feb. 5: Different types of quoting

Week 4
M/Feb. 10- Interviewing skills + scenarios + email etiquette

W/Feb. 12- Ethical and legal considerations (defamation, privacy)

F/Feb. 14 (Make up day):  Newsroom session

Week 5
M/Feb. 17- Using images

W/Feb. 19- Captions 

Week 6
M/Feb. 24- AP style

W/Feb. 26- AP style

Week 7
M/March 2- News story writing workshop- bias assessment

W/March 4- News story writing workshop- anatomy feedback

SPRING BREAK

Week 8
M/March 16- Submit news stories/ Introduction to copyediting

W/March 18- Copyediting techniques

Week 9
M/March 23- Copyediting workshop

W/March 25- Submission of final copy /


Week 10
M/March 30- Web layout and copywriting

W/April 1-    Web Publishing

Week 11

M/April 6- Broadcast news situations and formats

W/April 8- Writing for broadcast

Choose an event for broadcast project


Week 12
M/April 13: Holiday (no class)

W/April 15: Writing and covering conflict / ethics paper

                       
Week 13

M/April 20- Writing workshop

W/April 22- Writing workshop

Week 14
M/April 27: Broadcast video presentation

W/April 29: Final broadcast feedback

Exam Session-  ethics paper submission and presentation