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Journalism 107 Fall 2013 Syllabus

Journalism 107 Fall 2013 Syllabus

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Published by Brian Duggan
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Published by: Brian Duggan on Aug 27, 2013
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Journalism 107: Introduction to multimedia reporting
Fall 2013: Tuesday and Thursday, 8 a.m.-9:45 a.m.Brian Duggan, instructor 
E-mail:bpduggan@gmail.com(please put “J107” in the subject line)Twitter: @brianduggan (a good way to contact me, via Direct Message)Office hours by appointment. Generally available any time in the morning before 10 a.m. or after 7 p.m.Class website: journalism107.wordpress.com
Course Description:
Journalism 107 is an introductory journalism class where you will learn by doing the basics of newsgathering and writing. I run the class like a newsroom, and you are expected to work as if you werea reporter. You will publish your work for the entire world to read on a Wordpress blog. The class isdivided into three, five-week sections. Each section develops the theory that turning out a decentstory involves a good idea, reporting, research, writing and editing. Each five-week section digsdeeper into each one of those steps. This is not a lecture class. Instead, we will spend time inclass discussing the important ideas that build the foundation for journalism: Ethics, the First Amendment, the idea news and how it can differ, attention to detail, AP style and the trendsaffecting the media industry. You must enroll in the counterpart 108 class to take this class.
Learning objectives:
By the end of this course, you will be introduced to and demonstrate progress in doing the following:Write correctly clearly and concisely in forms and styles appropriate for thecommunications professions, audiences, and purposes they serve;Write with few, if any, spelling or grammatical errors;How to use styles and forms, appropriate to a variety of news stories;How to fashion stories that flow well using text, and images to engage audiences;Gather information through observation, the Internet, electronic databases, printeddocuments, public records and by interviewing human sources;Analyze information for its importance in achieving the purpose of the communication andmake good decisions about what should be included;Demonstrate an understanding of gender, race ethnicity, sexual orientation and, asappropriate, other forms of diversity in our society specifically as they relate to theassignments;Understand the First Amendment, its application to the freedom of speech and theinvestigation and production of news stories;Apply professional ethical principles to your work.
Other goals
Find and tell news stories
Write a coherent hard news lede and a coherent story on deadline.
Write a straight news story using multiple sources.
Identify what is newsworthy and why.
Conduct effective interviews, be able to research people, and use public records laws toaccomplish that.
Develop curiosity and skepticism. Have dedication to accuracy, fairness and balance.Develop news judgment.
Have an understanding of ethics, media law, libel and defamation.
What you need for this class:
 
Associated Press Stylebook and Libel manual.
Textbook: Writing and Reporting News: A Coaching Method (Seventh edition),
Staying consistently up-to-date with news sources: Reno Gazette-Journal, NevadaSagebrush, Reno News and Review, local TV stations, national media outlets such as theNew York Times, the Guardian, Gawker, NPR, etc... Your job is news. You must read it.Discussions and tests on current events will happen so be prepared.
Equipment: You must either have a cloud-based system for saving documents or bring aflash drive (8G or higher) to save your work. J-school computers will not save your work.
Assignments and grading:
3 Major Projects: (100 points each, 300 points total)
Three multi-source news stories will be required. Grading will be based on drafting process, qualityof research and reporting, clarity and strength of storytelling, grammar and spelling, and quality of accompanying elements. More explicit instructions will be given as we near the assignment duedates. Drafts will be required before the final project is turned in as well a list of sources withcontact numbers and a copy of any formal document used in your reporting. These projects will alsobe turned in to your Journalism 108 instructor for a technical grade.
The assignments:
1. A news story with photo. 600 words (Due: 8:01 a.m. Sept. 24)2. A news or feature story that includes audio and photography 900 words (Due: Oct. 29)3. A news or feature story incorporating audio and photographs 1,200 words (Due: Dec. 10)
How the grading works for the three major assignments:
1.
Participation in drafting process (25 points):
A hard copy draft of your story must bepresented to me, in class, before the assignment’s final due date. The draft must be anear-final version of what you intend to turn in for the final draft and include a source list.You will also need to bring a second copy for peer editing. This ensures you get the editingattention you need to succeed.2.
Quality of research and reporting (25 points):
Did you get three or more sources to tellyour story? Did you use a formal document to help tell your story? (Hint: You need all four or more). Are they the right sources? Did you conduct interviews with relevant andinteresting people? (Hint: No friends or family) You must also provide a list of source namesand their phone numbers and a copy of any formal document you used as a source.3.
Clarity and strength of writing (25 points):
Basically, is your piece an example of goodstorytelling? Is it well organized? Does it use its sources well? Enticing lead? Goodnutgraph? Good quotes? Is it interesting? Will I learn something from it?4.
Quality of accompanying elements (25 points):
Did you get a good photo to help tellyour story? Does the audio add to the idea you’re trying to get across? What about thevideo? Basically, does this multimedia element help tell the story I’m trying to tell?
***Getting it right: AP Style, grammar and spelling:
I expect your work to be free of any Associated Press Style, grammatical factual and spelling errors. Every spelling,grammatical, factual and style error results in
five
points off your final grade. Punctuationerrors are one point each.***
In-class quizzes: (5-10 points each; 100 points total)
Quizzes cannot be made up unless you’re absent for a pre-approved reason. Otherwise, you mustbe in class to get the points. Aside from extraordinary circumstances, no exceptions. This is whereattendance counts. Talk to me about any absences ASAP.
 
In-class and out-of-class writing assignments. (5-10 points each, 100 points total)
Regular writing assignments will be assigned. Grading will be based on clarity, accuracy (bothfactual and grammatical), organization (use of compelling lead, strong quotes, smooth transitions),adherence to AP style, relevancy and creativity. Some assignments will be graded based solely oncompletion.
Total points
: 500 A- to A: 450-500 pointsB- to B: 400-449C- to C: 350-399D- to D: 300-349Fail: 299 or fewer points(Hint: 200 points will largely come from just showing up and doing the quizzes and writingassignments)a
Class Schedule (I'll let you know if anything changes along theway)
Week 1: Introduction to news
 Aug. 27: Class syllabus, writing test and what is news? Set up Twitter account. Create WordPressblog. Aug. 29: Out-of-class assignment: Go out and talk to a total stranger on campus and report backwhat you find with a photo of your source. The question: “What issues concern you the most atUNR?” Discuss the three main assignments for semester.
Week 2: The Basics
Sept. 3: Discuss Chapters 1 and 2: “The Basic News Story”. What makes a news story a newsstory? Active vs. passive voice, leads and nutgraphs (oh my!). In class writing assignment. Storyideas...Sept. 5: Grammar and AP Style: How to use the style book. (Expect the first of many AP stylequizzes).Project 1: We will come up with story ideas together that relate to diversity on the UNR campus andassign stories for the first big project. Please make sure you’ve read Chapter 16: Multiculturalsensitivity.
Week 3: Sources, research and reporting
Sept. 10: Discussion on Chapters 5 and 6. Conducting interviews and finding credible sources.What is a credible source? (Hint: It’s not Wikipedia) The importance of using multiple sources.Sept. 12: Public records: There’s a vast world of publicly available information to help your reporting-- and most of it is on the Internet. Also, time to plan and work on Project 1.
Week 4: The parts of a story

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