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News Literacy

News Literacy

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Published by cressman
Syllabus for news literacy at BYU (based on Stonybrook Model).
Syllabus for news literacy at BYU (based on Stonybrook Model).

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Published by: cressman on Aug 27, 2011
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08/27/2011

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Fall Semester 2011
Section 2: 270 BRMB on Wednesdays at 04:00 pm - 06:30 pm
Website Address:http://byunewsliteracy.wordpress.com/  
Instructor
: Dale Cressman, PhD
Office
: 360ABRMB 
Office Hours
: Call receptionist (422-2997) for app't
Office Phone
: 422-1686
Email
:cressman@byu.edu 
Description
This special section of Media and their Audiences will study News Literacy. This course is designed fornon-journalism (print or broadcast) majors.Based on theStony Brook Model, this course is designed to teach students how to take skillfulpossession of their power as citizens by becoming perceptive news consumers. Armed with critical-thinking skills, a firm traps of relevant history, plus practical knowledge about the news media, studentswill learn how to find the reliable information they need to make decisions, take action, or make judgments. At a time when the digital revolution is spawning an unprecedented flood of information anddisinformation each day, the course will seek to help students recognize the differences between newsand propaganda, news and opinion, bias and fairness, assertion and verification, and evidence andinference.This syllabus is a good faith effort to play course activities. It is, however, subject to change and will beupdated on the course website, http://byunewsliteracy.wordpress.com
Prerequisites
Major or minor status. Non-journalism majors only.
Texts & Materials
Required
 
Vendor
 
Price(new)
 
Price(used)
 
Mediactive 
 By Dan GillmorISBN: 9780557789429BYU$18.70 $14.05 
Blur: How to Know What's True in the Age of Information Overload 
By Bill KovachISBN: 9781596915657Amazon$17.16
 
$11.99
 
New York Times 
The Department of Communications provides free copies ofthe
Times 
every week day of the semester. On thoseoccasions when we run out of the newspaper in the BrimhallBuilding, you may be able to get a free copy in the HRCB.
 
 
Learning Outcomes
 
Media message delive 
ryStudents will have an understanding of the conditions that influence and shape media distributionchannels.
 
Media message consumption 
 Students will have an understanding of the conditions that influence the consumption andinterpretation of media messages.
 
Elements of news 
 Students will analyze the key elements of a news account, including weight of evidence,credibility of sources and of context, to judge its reliability.
 
News vs opinion 
 Students will distinguish between news and opinion and analyze the logic/rhetoric employed inopinion journalism.
 
Bias 
 Students will identify and distinguish between news media bias and audience bias.
 
Writing 
 Students will blend personal scholarship and course materials to write forcefully about newsmedia standards and practices, as well as First Amendment issues and issues of fairness andbias.
 
Current events 
 Students will connect current news accounts to universal concepts of community and citizenship.
 
Digital environment 
 Students will assess the impact of digital information technologies and place them in theirhistorical context.
Classroom Procedures
All assignments are to be typed and double-spaced. Handwritten or single-spaced submissions may notbe accepted. Remember to include your name at the top of the first page and staple all pages together.You will be graded in part on how well you articulate an understanding of the course material and how youexpress your own ideas. Your grade may depend on your ability to write with clarity and logic.
Attendance Policy
While you are not being graded on attendance, per se, any absences or tardies may be reflected in quizscores or in-class activities. These cannot be "made up," even for excused absences.
Participation Policy
Your active participation is essential to your success and the success of your classmates. You shouldconsistently demonstrate that you have knowledge of the news and that you have completed theassigned readings.It is expected that you will arrive on time and remain for the entire class session, so as not to disrupt yourfellow students. Please turn off your cell phones, unless otherwise directed. Please refrain from usingsocial media, texting, email, or other outside communication activities during class.
Grading Scale
A
93-100
B-
80-82
D+
67-69
A-
90-92
C+
77-79
D
63-66
B+
87-89
C
73-76
D-
60-62
B
83-86
C-
70-72
E
59 and lower
 
Study Habits
You will need to keep up with news events everyday. Please take advantage of free newspapers andother news materials. Make a point of reading news sources that may not conform to your own point ofview.
Assignment Descriptions
Weekly quizzes: 
 
Weekly quizzes will cover current events and readings. These quizzes may be given in class oronline. These quizzes may not be "made up" in the case of absences (even excused absences)or tardiness.
Weekly assignments: 
 
Students will have weekly assignments, including assigned readings (from the required textbooksand online readings to be identified as the semester progresses), and short writing assignments(such as the news blackout).
News log: 
 
Students will keep a news log in which they examine specific broadcast news reports, newspaperarticles, and news websites. The format for the news log assignment will be distributed early inthe semester.
Midterm exam: 
 
A midterm exam will assess student learning through the first six weeks of the course. The examwill be given in the Testing Center and students will be provided with a study guide.
Final exam: 
 
A final exam will assess student learning through the last six weeks of the course. While it is notcomprehensive in nature, it will help students to understand the concepts covered in the first halfof the course. The final exam will be given in the Testing Center and students will be providedwith a study guide.
Final Essay: 
 
Students will write a final essay in which they apply critical thinking skills to deeply engage anissue covered in the news. More detail will be provided in the early part of the semester.
Point Breakdown
Assignments
PointsWeekly quizzes 20Weekly assignments 25News log 25Midterm exam 10Final exam 10Final essay 10
Total Points
 
100
 

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