Winter Semester 2012

Room 240 BRMB on T-Th at 01:00 pm - 02:15 pm Course Website Address: Newsroom Lab
Instructor: Dale Cressman, PhD Office: 360A BRMB Office Hours: Call receptionist for app't Office Phone: 422-1686 Email: Lab instructor: Rich Johnson Email: Phone: 422-7212 Location: Newsroom TA: Marty Twelves (Digital Editor) Email: Location: Newsroom

Learning Outcomes
• • •
Newsgathering Students will use consumer or prosumer grade digital technology to gather video, audio, and still images. Editing & Producing While in the field, students will write news and edit video, audio and still images. Social media Students will use social media to gather and disseminate stories

Texts & Materials
Required Vendor Price (new) Price (used)







Equipment Needed
Camera (or mobile device with camera) capable of capturing still and moving images. This may be the same device or it may be two separate devices. Audio recorder (or mobile device with audio recording capabilities).
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Prices for these devices vary. Please consult the Backpack Journalist’s Equipment Wishlist at:

Grading Scale
A AB+ B 93-100 90-92 87-89 83-86 BC+ C C80-82 77-79 73-76 70-72 D+ D DE 67-69 63-66 60-62 59 and lower

Teaching Philosophy
I'm excited to introduce you to this still-developing area of journalism. I am passionate about journalism and a love learning new ways of practicing it. I will work and learn alongside you, sharing what I've learned. I invite you to do likewise as we build a learning environment in which you will work with classmates--sometimes helping someone else, other times asking a colleague for assistance. You will not leave this class knowing everything you need to know. Our goal is to get you started, give you confidence, spark your interest, and (most of all) learn how to learn and problem solve. You should leave this class with some significant competence and confidence, as well as with the tools you'll need to adapt to a continually changing field.

Mobile media production, including field reporting, editing, and distributing news for multiple platforms. (3 credit hours).   This course trains students to report directly from the field to multiple digital platforms, as the news story warrants. Backpack journalists work independent of a crew and often employ small, light-weight consumer or prosumer equipment to capture digital audio, video, and photography. A backpack journalist is a sort of broadcast reporter for the web, capable of rich storytelling or quick reporting of breaking news.   Students in this class will report for the online Universe.

Comms 321 or 322

Classroom Procedures
We are working in a classroom with computers. We will use part of our time in lecture or demonstration mode; other times we will be working directly on the computers.

Attendance Policy
While you are not being graded on attendance, per se, any absences or tardies may be reflected in quiz scores 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 should consistently demonstrate that you have knowledge of the news and that you have completed the assigned readings.   It is expected that you will arrive on time and remain for the entire class session, so as not to disrupt your fellow students. Please turn off your cell phones, unless otherwise directed. Please refrain from using social media, texting, email, or other outside communication activities during class.

Grading Policies
Lab assignments will be graded by the lab instructor (Rich Johnson) and the TA / Digital Editor (Marty Twelves). All other work will be evaluated by the course instructor. Because of the nature of journalism, it is expected that all work will meet deadlines. In the event that stories will not make deadline, you are expected to give editors as much advance notice as possible.

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Note: Assignments, grading schema and course schedule may be changed in order to enhance student learning. Any changes will be discussed in class and posted on the course website,

Point Breakdown
Assignments Lab assignments Web site & blogging Social media Final online portfolio Class work Total Points Points 40 15 10 25 10 100

Assignment Descriptions
Lab assignments: You'll have story assignments nearly every week. Due dates and assignment specifics will be established with the lab instructor (Rich Johnson) and the TA / Digital Editor (Marty Twelves), who will also grade your weekly work. Note: At least one of your lab stories needs to be of breaking news. Web site & blogging: You will be expected to design a personal website and maintain a personal blog to which you will post all your work for this class. You will be expected to blog at least twice every week the class meets. Your blog should be focused on a particular area chosen in consultation with the instructor.   Note: If you already have a suitable website it may be modified to accommodate this class (ask the instructor for clarification and approval). Social media: You will be expected to be active on Twitter--following, posting, retweeting, and responding. There is no pointbreak-down for this category. Thus, grading will of necessity be somewhat subjective. Essentially, the more active and substantive your Twitter stream, the better your grade.   Note: As you participate in social media you should be thinking of how this material may be viewed when seeking employment. Final online portfolio: Your best work should be assembled and organized onto a page on your website and should include (but need not be limited to) the following items: 1. Slideshow with captions 2. Slideshow with audio 3. Video story 4. Video story that includes still images You will be asked to present this work in class toward the end of the semester.   Note: The stories included in this portfolio may be those you've submitted for weekly assignments or otherwise produced for this class.

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Class work: This category includes any work you're asked to do for class, such as: 1. Quizzes & exams (on New York Times and assigned readings) 2. Papers 3. Presentations 4. Images, audio, or video captured for in-class work.

BYU Honor Code
In keeping with the principles of the BYU Honor Code, students are expected to be honest in all of their academic work. Academic honesty means, most fundamentally, that any work you present as your own must in fact be your own work and not that of another. Violations of this principle may result in a failing grade in the course and additional disciplinary action by the university. Students are also expected to adhere to the Dress and Grooming Standards. Adherence demonstrates respect for yourself and others and ensures an effective learning and working environment. It is the university's expectation, and my own expectation in class, that each student will abide by all Honor Code standards. Please call the Honor Code Office at 422-2847 if you have questions about those standards.

Preventing Sexual Discrimination and Harassment
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination against any participant in an educational program or activity that receives federal funds. The act is intended to eliminate sex discrimination in education. Title IX covers discrimination in programs, admissions, activities, and student-to-student sexual harassment. BYU's policy against sexual harassment extends not only to employees of the university, but to students as well. If you encounter unlawful sexual harassment or gender-based discrimination, please talk to your professor; contact the Equal Employment Office at 422-5895 or 367-5689 (24-hours); or contact the Honor Code Office at 422-2847.

Students with Disabilities
Brigham Young University is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere that reasonably accommodates qualified persons with disabilities. If you have any disability which may impair your ability to complete this course successfully, please contact the Services for Students with Disabilities Office (422-2767). Reasonable academic accommodations are reviewed for all students who have qualified, documented disabilities. Services are coordinated with the student and instructor by the SSD Office. If you need assistance or if you feel you have been unlawfully discriminated against on the basis of disability, you may seek resolution through established grievance policy and procedures by contacting the Equal Employment Office at 422-5895, D-285 ASB.

Academic Honesty Policy
The first injunction of the BYU Honor Code is the call to be honest. Students come to the university not only to improve their minds, gain knowledge, and develop skills that will assist them in their life's work, but also to build character. President David O. McKay taught that 'character is the highest aim of education' (The Aims of a BYU Education, p. 6). It is the purpose of the BYU Academic Honesty Policy to assist in fulfilling that aim. BYU students should seek to be totally honest in their dealings with others. They should complete their own work and be evaluated based upon that work. They should avoid academic dishonesty and misconduct in all its forms, including but not limited to plagiarism, fabrication or falsification, cheating, and other academic misconduct.

Plagiarism Policy
Writing submitted for credit at BYU must consist of the student's own ideas presented in sentences and paragraphs of his or her own construction. The work of other writers or speakers may be included when appropriate (as in a research paper or book review), but such material must support the student's own work (not substitute for it) and must be clearly identified by appropriate introduction and punctuation and by footnoting or other standard referencing.

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Respectful Environment Policy
"Sadly, from time to time, we do hear reports of those who are at best insensitive and at worst insulting in their comments to and about others... We hear derogatory and sometimes even defamatory comments about those with different political, athletic, or ethnic views or experiences. Such behavior is completely out of place at BYU, and I enlist the aid of all to monitor carefully and, if necessary, correct any such that might occur here, however inadvertent or unintentional." "I worry particularly about demeaning comments made about the career or major choices of women or men either directly or about members of the BYU community generally. We must remember that personal agency is a fundamental principle and that none of us has the right or option to criticize the lawful choices of another." President Cecil O. Samuelson, Annual University Conference, August 24, 2010 "Occasionally, we ... hear reports that our female faculty feel disrespected, especially by students, for choosing to work at BYU, even though each one has been approved by the BYU Board of Trustees. Brothers and sisters, these things ought not to be. Not here. Not at a university that shares a constitution with the School of the Prophets." Vice President John S. Tanner, Annual University Conference, August 24, 2010

Devotional and Forum Attendance Policy
Brigham Young University's devotional and forum assemblies are an important part of your BYU experience. As Elder Dallin H. Oaks stated, 'You neglect your education and fail to use a unique resource of this university if you miss a single one' (from the address 'Challenges for the Year Ahead', 6 September, 1973). Your attendance at each forum and devotional is strongly encouraged.

Department Professionalism Policy
A key mission of our department is to prepare students for their eventual workplace experiences. Whether a Communications graduate pursues a career in journalism, advertising, public relations, law, business or any other field, he/she will be evaluated, in part, on professionalism. Because we feel our responsibility strongly – and because it is essential to the career growth of our graduates – the Department of Communications instituted a Professionalism policy effective at the beginning of Fall Semester 2004. This policy applies both to students who have been admitted to one of our five emphases and to precommunications students. Some key features: • Any major found in violation of the university Honor Code, especially with regard to cheating and plagiarism, will receive a zero for the assignment involved, may receive an E in the course and will be referred to the Honor Code office. Execution of this policy will be at the instructor’s discretion. In addition, the offending student’s case will be reviewed by the department chair and/or associate chair for undergraduate studies. If the offense is sufficiently serious, the student may be removed from his/her major – no matter how close graduation may be. A second violation of academic honesty, whether done concurrently or subsequently, will automatically result in dismissal from the major. • Any pre-communications student found cheating will be denied the opportunity to apply to any of our five emphases. This decision rests with the department chair and associate chair for undergraduate studies. • Students who demonstrate consistently unprofessional behavior in class may also be dropped from his/ her major or not allowed to apply in the first place. Examples of unprofessional behavior include – but are not limited to – excessive absences, disruptive behavior, sleeping in class, chronic tardiness, reading non-course material during class, playing computer games and/or checking e-mail during class, use of cell phone or text- messaging, and regularly leaving class early without making arrangements with the instructor.

Policy Enforcement

If an instructor feels he or she has a student in violation of this policy, the following should be followed: • First warning: This will come from the instructor. A meeting between the instructor and the student will be conducted to resolve the issues of unprofessional behavior. If the violation is excessive enough, the department can be involved (cases of cheating and plagiarism). Following this consultation, the professor and student will sign a letter that describes the problem and subsequent resolution. The department will keep this letter in the student’s file. • Second warning: This will come from the department (either the Chair or Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies). At this time, the student will be reviewed for removal from the department. Both sides of the case will be presented to a review committee composed of faculty from the student’s
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emphasis, and a decision will follow a deliberation. A letter explaining the decision must be signed by the members of the committee and will be placed in the student’s file. Appeal: The first appeal will be to the Undergraduate Committee. Second appeal will be to the Department Chair. Final appeal will be to the College.

Why a policy on Professionalism?

It begins with the demand for entrance into our emphases and the fact that some students are being turned away. However, some who are successful in their pursuit of a particular major then demonstrate unprofessional behavior. We have decided we would rather take a student who has a less-impressive academic record but will work diligently than a higher ranking student who treats the major casually and without respect. A second factor is the tendency of some majors to “coast” once in an emphasis. This behavior is potentially serious to a student, who is unlikely to suddenly develop professionalism if hired by an agency, newspaper or television station, nonprofit organization or other employer. This, in turn, reflects on the reputation of the university, our department and the degree conferred. Our new policy is consistent with those already in effect elsewhere in the university. With thousands of young people desiring to attend BYU – many with an interest in Communications – we feel an obligation to admit and retain the students who demonstrate the kind of work ethic and behavior that will enhance our collective academic and professional performance.

About your instructor
Dr. Cressman has worked as a television news producer in South Bend, Indiana (WSBT); as an Executive Producer in Waco, Texas (KWTX) and Salt Lake City (KUTV); as a Managing Editor in Green Bay, Wisconsin (WBAY); and as a line-up editor at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He was a chief liaison officer for the Host Broadcaster during the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympic Games. In 1995, Dr. Cressman won an Emmy for writing and producing the public television documentary “Russia: Hidden Memory.” He has also worked as a newspaper reporter at the Star-Phoenix in Saskatchewan, Canada. Before first coming to BYU in 1993, he was an assistant professor and news director at Lyndon State College in Vermont. He was an assistant professor at Brigham Young University and news director of KBYU TV and FM between 1993 and 1996. He left BYU to work on a PhD, which he completed in 2003. Before returning to BYU in 2000, he taught at Utah State University for three years. Dr. Cressman currently serves as the Department of Communication’s Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies. His research is on broadcast news history and he has published in the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, Journalism History, American Journalism. He has also published in theJournal of Children and Media and his research has been highlighted in the Columbia Journalism Review. He is working on  a biography for the University of Missouri Press of Elmer W. Lower, best known as President of ABC News. He has served as a division chair for the Broadcast Education Association, is currently Historian of the American Journalism Historians Association, and serves as a contributing editor for three academic journals. He and his wife Rebecca (she’s also a broadcaster; you can hear her middays on FM100 in Salt Lake City) are raising three active boys in Spanish Fork.]

Comms 328 Winter 2012


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