EJA 4822 Performance and Presentation IV

Syllabus Spring 2015
Donna Smith, Assistant Professor
ACT- 110
Office Hours: by appointment
Course Description
This performance practicum is designed for visual and
editorial students in the EJA Convergence Portfolio courses
within the Vermont Center for Community Journalism. BiWeekly individual critiques and regular workshops will be
required as a means to keep a professional news team
performing at its best. Topics will include voice coaching,
make-up, and dress for the camera, and developing a
portfolio for the post graduate world.. EJA students in ENG
4910 Portfolio/Thesis for the publication option may take this
course or another course approved by the EJA faculty.
Meeting Days and Times
This class is scheduled to meet on Fridays from 9:3010:50am in ACT212.
Course Goals and Objectives
The goal of the course is to continue to build on the skills
introduced in EJA 3222, EJA 2843 and EJA 1221. In addition a
major focus will also be introducing new skills related to job
search. By the end of the semester the student should have
the following skills:
- Confidently be performing stand-ups and voice over,
and constantly working to improve these skills
- Strong understanding of live shots and ad-libbing
- Comfortably and confidently use the studio
- Be continually working on your on air “personality”
- Continue to build a broadcast acceptable/professional

- Have a good professional working with relationship with
VCCJ staff members.
- Understand your role as a journalist and how to best
work with the public to do your job effectively
Introduce new skills which include the following:
- Practice effect job interviewing skills
- Build a written resume
- Appropriately gathering material done through the VCCJ
practicums to include in a demo reel
- Build a professionally appropriate electronic portfolio
Course Requirements and Evaluation
Class Participation


Bi-Weekly Evaluations/Meetings- 25%
Each student is required to meet with the instructor once
every two weeks for one on one review. It is expected that
at each meeting the student will have a new piece of
material for review in these meetings. This material can be a
recording of a standup in the field, anchoring, voice
recording or written scripts. There should a mix of these
throughout the semester.
Students will be evaluated weekly as follows:
- If you show up for the scheduled meeting with material
for review you will receive a 100 for that week
- If you show up for the scheduled meeting but bring no
new material to review you will receive a 50 for that
- If you fail to show altogether for the meeting you will
receive a 0 for that week.

The meetings will be 20 minute in length. The weekly
score is not so much based on the quality of the work, but
rather the effort made to improve your skills. If you need
to reschedule your weekly meeting last minute, (or with
some advanced notice) this can be done but at the
instructor’s discretion. This will be done on a very limited
basis. I will not reschedule weekly meetings once the
original meeting time is missed. Bottom line; if you think
you’re going to miss the meeting let me know as soon as
possible and I will work with you to reschedule.
Weekly Standups/Assignments - 25%
Each week every student will be required to hand a recorded
standup. This standup can be done in the field while
gathering material for News7 or done on their own time with
reserved VIC equipment. Best dress and on air practices
should be utilized. There are a total of 12 standups expected
to be completed. This is a pass/fail assignment, complete
the assignment on time and receive 100%, don’t complete it
and receive 0%. NO LATE standups will be accepted.
Standups are due by the end of the week at 3pm. There will
be folder on the Annex computer for the student to place
their standup in. Students are responsible for getting their
standup off the News7 or other editing software. Standups
begin the week of February 6th.
In addition, there will be other assignments as deemed
appropriate by the professor.
Class Participation- 20%
You are expected to take part in discussions, ask questions
and be an active member of the class. On occasion we will
critique one another’s work and the work of real
professionals. I expect you to provide thoughtful, insightful
input. Students will be evaluated weekly.
Final- 30%
At the end of the semester the student will be required to
have completed their electronic portfolio. Details to follow.

Laptop/Cell Phone Use:
Laptop use will not be allowed in class unless special
arrangements are made with me ahead of time. If you
require one to take notes, please see me and we can discuss
your situation. Cell phones must be turned off during
class; texting and ringing phones will not be tolerated. If
your phone rings during class, or you are seen texting, you
will be asked to leave and receive and absence for the day.
Attendance Policy:
This class meets formally, just once a week so attendance is
crucial. You are allowed 2 unexcused absences during the
semester. Any absences beyond 2 will result in an automatic
“F” for the class. Sickness will only be an excused absence if
you have a doctor’s note. Being on time is just as important
as being here at all. Being late equals one unexcused tardy.
Have 3 or more unexcused tardiness days and that results in
one unexcused absence for the semester.
IN ADDITION- if you are currently in the News7 Anchor
rotation and miss a Friday morning class for an unexcused
ROTATION for at least one week or however long is deemed
appropriate by the instructor.
Email Use:
You have been provided with an official Lyndon State College
email address and this is the only email address I will use. I
recommend checking it regularly (if not daily) for course
information. I will not consider using any alternative email
address, so please don’t ask.
You are required to dress professionally during ALL your
working shifts at the Vermont Center for Community
Journalism. Details are contained in the VCCJ Dress Code
document. Instruction, assistance and/or advice is available
in these areas, please ask.

Warning: You are prohibited from using VCCJ equipment
and facilities for anything other than course assignments.
You must adhere to rules for temporary parking outside LSCTV/NewsLINC studios.
Students will now be charged for lost or damaged equipment
and supplies:
• For items less that $100 students will pay for the item
in full.
• For items between $100 and $400 students will
contribute 50% of the replacement costs.
• For all items above $500 students will pay the
insurance deductible.
Non-compliance with course rules may result in immediate
dismissal from the course with a failing grade.
Your Public Persona
Participation in a VCCJ practicum makes you a “public”
person whether you are behind or in front of the camera.
This is part of an electronic journalist's job. The public looks
to you for responsible, reliable information to lead their lives,
and the organization you represent (in this case the
Electronic Journalism Arts Department and Lyndon State
College) requires you set a positive example for that public.
Future employers will check your background to determine
your ability to drive safely and act responsibly.
This review has forced some recent graduates initially hired
to be public representatives of a company to only work at
the station and not in the field (both photographers and
reporters!) Some companies require pre-employment blood
and urine screening. Once hired poor choices by you as a
“public” person will have consequences.
For example, Time-Warner tells employees that if they
commit an act that is an offense or crime under federal,
state or local laws, or which could bring the employee under

ridicule or public disrepute, or something that might reflect
negatively on the company itself, then the company has the
right to terminate the employee. Also, if the employee is
involved with the sale, distribution, purchase, possession or
use of an illegal drug, the company has the right to
terminate the employee. For smaller lapses of judgment,
there are different levels of discipline depending on what
those lapses are, ranging from warning to suspension.
To make the VCCJ practicum accurately reflect current
practices within the profession, practicum students cited by
authorities to appear before a judicial tribunal for lapses in
judgment relating to illegal substances, motor vehicle
operation or other community laws will now face sanctions in
the newsroom. These will include the loss of on-air position,
the ability to report from the field, and other potential steps
until the offense in question has been adjudicated and/or
Student with Disabilities:
Students with disabilities who request accommodations are
asked to provide a certification letter as soon as possible.
Students should contact the Academic Support office (Vail
325) to arrange for the appropriate letter to be sent.
This syllabus is subject to change. The instructor of this
course has the right to change any part if it, if the need
arises. When changes occur they will be vocalized in class so
you are aware of the change.