Wednesday, January 21, 2009

More syllabus highlights for your reading pleasure!

How to Measure Your Progress (Otherwise known as course requirements):

 Be prepared for quizzes on either the content of the front pages of The Washington Post and The New York Times (print or online) and/or the online journalism sites linked on the class blog.

 Be prepared to lead a short class discussion on a development within journalism, as found on the sites linked on the class blog.

 Most class sessions include reporting and/or writing. Weekly class assignments, whether completed in class or due the following week, will make up 30 percent of the grade. I cannot predict the number of assignments because often they are based on news events. All assignments must be double-spaced and no longer than four pages. All assignments must have the list of sources and contact information attached, or your grade will be lowered automatically.

 In addition, you are required to deliver three articles that will require planning and tight deadlines: one deadline “profile” story, one “meeting story” from a local agency meeting and one deadline story based on a campus news event. These three articles comprise 40 percent of your grade. The on-campus deadline story should be focused on an official meeting, panel, news conference or other on-campus event (these must be approved by me). It is due in class the first class after the event.

 The meeting stories are due by 5 p.m. the day following the scheduled meeting, with the agenda attached. Do NOT wait for the few days before; you will want to find a meeting long before then. Deadlines for the news feature idea will be announced.

 NOTE: I am mindful that you need some time to conduct your reporting (reaching people, having interviews); three classes are open for reporting needs; the first scheduled reporting time is soon – Mon., Jan. 19, for your profile story. That means you should set up interviews for that day; no class session will be held.

 As noted, there will be quizzes, potentially each class period. AP style and grammar will be graded. Tip: Bring your AP Stylebooks to class. Quizzes and class participation, including 10-minute discussions on journalism developments, make up 10 percent of the grade.

 The final project will be a multimedia news feature. This is 20 percent of your grade.

 You need to visit me in my office at least twice over the semester. This will count toward your participation grade.

 Due dates/deadlines for graded assignments are TBD.

General info:
You must meet all deadlines and attend class unless you have an excused absence. Any article delivered after deadline automatically drops down a grade level. (Review class dates and make travel arrangements now.) Missing more than two classes, unexcused, will automatically lower your grade. You may not interview friends, employers, current instructors, colleagues, roommates or relatives for articles. All article content must be accurate. Any misspelled names, titles or names of organizations automatically will lower your grade. You must submit a list of sources, phone numbers and e-mail addresses with every outside-the-classroom assignment.

Experts and journalists will speak to the class. You’re reporters! Come with questions! In some instances, you will write about their visits in a quick-turnaround article.

Check the class blog daily.

All assignments should follow AP style. Bring your Associated Press Stylebook to class. Or, you can use the online version:

* The syllabus may be subject to change. Most changes will be in YOUR favor; I also will modify as I review class strengths

Required Text/Equipment:

 Associated Press Stylebook (in hard copy or online)
 Flip Ultra video camera or comparable equipment

Recommended Texts:

 Reaching Audiences: A Guide to Media Writing, Jan Johnson Yopp & Katherine McAdams
 News Writing and Reporting for Today’s Media, Bruce Itule and Douglas Anderson
 The Elements of Journalism, Bill Kovach & Tom Rosenstiel (paperback)
 The Elements of Style, Strunk and White
 Journalism 2.0, Mark Briggs

Grades and Grading:

A 95-100
A- 90-94
B+ 86-89
B 83-85
B- 80-82
C+ 75-79
C 72-74
C- 70-71
D 69
F 68 or fewer points

Class assignments and participation 30 percent
Three deadline articles 40 percent
News quizzes/participation 10 percent
Final project 20 percent
Total 100 percent

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