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JOURNALISM · COMM 3333· SPRING 2011

Professor: Barbara B. Nixon, Ph.D. (ABD)


Office: MOD 6
Office Hours: Mondays & Wednesdays 9:30-2:30 or by appointment
Phone: 863-667-5052 or barbara.b.nixon on Skype
Blog: http://publicrelationsmatters.com
Twitter: BarbaraNixon
E-mail: bbnixon@seuniversity.edu

UNIVERSITY MISSION STATEMENT:

Southeastern, a dynamic, Christ-centered university, fosters student success by integrating personal


faith and higher learning. Within our loving Pentecostal community, we challenge students to a lifetime
of good work and of preparing professionally so they can creatively serve their generation in the Spirit
of Christ.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course is intended to introduce to the student the world of journalism,
including newspapers, radio, photojournalism, television news, and new media. It is also intended to
provide a hands-on approach to interviewing and writing news and features stories for publication.

PREREQUISITES: ENGL 1133 English Composition I & ENGL 1233 English Composition II

REQUIRED RESOURCES:

• Rich, C. (2010). Writing and reporting news: A coaching method (6th ed.). Boston: Wadsworth.

• A recent Associated Press Style Book, preferably 45th edition (it says 2010 on the cover)

• A (free) account at Poynter’s NewsU – we will use several NewsU courses in lieu of an
additional textbook for this class

• Consistently reliable Internet access.

INTENDED LEARNING OUTCOMES:

This course seeks to:


• Develop an understanding of Christian journalism and its place in today’s media.
• Provide an overview of contemporary journalism.
• Development of the ability to write journalistically sound articles in a variety of formats.
• Develop an understanding of journalistic ethics and professionalism.
• Provide an opportunity to work with campus publications.
• Provide an opportunity for creativity through writing and editing.

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KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS:

As a result of the activities and study in this course, the student should be able to:
• write well-researched news and feature stories.
• demonstrate the ability to interview and utilize those sources for stories.
• discuss the various issues surrounding journalism.
• find story ideas and use narrative journalism to tell a story in a feature article.
• discuss various story structures and components of news and feature stories.
• be familiar with narrative journalism, including storytelling and feature stories.
• learn various research and interviewing techniques for accurate sources.

COURSE TOPICS:

These topics will be covered in class:


• journalistic issues, including bias, accuracy, and fairness
• narrative journalism
• interviewing techniques
• finding story ideas
• submitting stories or articles to publications
• research techniques and public documents
• story structures and components
• media convergence

INSTRUCTIONAL METHODS:

These methods will be used to deliver instruction:


• online discussion (discussion of theory from reading; discussion and assessment of articles)
• media presentations (theory and practical instruction)
• article examples
• instructor critiques (using rubric, instructor grades articles for assessing student-written articles,
and students get practice writing news and feature formats)
• Associated Press Style Book quizzes and final exam

LEARNING METHODS:
You will demonstrate your leaning in this course through:
• participation in online discussion on assigned reading
• research of public records, interviews, and other sources
• college-level journalistic writing of news and feature article
• group participation in online peer critiques of articles

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SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY AND WEB RESOURCES:

Poynter Online: http://www.poynter.org/

Today’s Front Pages: http://www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages/

Journalism Resource Links: http://www.poynter.org/content/content_view.asp?id=896

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Course Chart
Course Name: COMM 3333 Journalism
Abbreviations:
PPP: PowerPoint Presentations
DB: Discussion Board
CP: Counts toward class participation (20%)
th
Text: All chapter numbers refer to Rich, C. (2010). Writing and reporting news: A coaching method (6 ed.). Boston:
Wadsworth – unless noted otherwise
Note: Content, sequence, & outline subject to change at the instructor’s discretion.

DATES WK ASSIGNMENTS
Mon. 1/3 0 • Purchase Textbook.
to • Sign up for a free account at NewsU.
Sun. 1/9 • Class Introductions – Post in first discussion board before or by 1/9 introducing yourself.
Mon. 1/10 1 Theory
to • Read:
Sun. 1/16 • CH 1: Changing Concepts of News
• CH 3: The Basic News Story
• CH 5: Curiosity and Story Ideas
• View:
• PPP: Interviewing Techniques
• PPP: Leads
• Link: Flagging Your 2010 AP Stylebook
• Handout: Six Rules for Writing Straight News Leads
• Handout: Instructions for News Stories (assignments 1 and 2)
• Handout: What Makes Something Newsworthy
• Handout: Finding Story Ideas
• Handout: Journalism Grading Rubric
Practice
• DB: Post response in Week 1- list four possible story ideas for the first news article by
Wednesday at 11:59 p.m., and respond to at least five others by Friday at 11:59 p.m.
• Begin working on your first hard news article, 400 words, by interviewing sources, writing, and
revising.
• CP: Complete NewsU course: News Sense: The Building Blocks of News. Send Course Report to
bbnixon@seuniversity.edu by Sunday at 11:59 p.m. (To submit a Course Report, see the short
video at Public Relations Matters.)

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DATES WK ASSIGNMENTS
Mon. 1/17 2 Theory
to • Read:
Sun. 1/23 • CH 7: Interviewing Techniques
• CH 8: Leads and Nut Graphs
• CH 9: Story Organization
• CH 10: Story Forms
• View:
• PPP: Common Mistakes
• PPP: Qualities of Good Writing
• PPP: Quotations and Attributions
• PPP: Six Writing Tools
• Handout: Copy Editing (to know standard copy editing marks, even though the AP Style
Guide Quizzes are online in this section of the class)
Practice
• Continue working on your first article
• DB: Respond to other students’ first articles in posts.
• CP: Complete NewsU course: The Lead Lab. Send Course Report to bbnixon@seuniversity.edu
by Sunday at 11:59 p.m. (To submit a Course Report, see the short video at Public Relations
Matters.)
Assessment
• Complete: AP Style Quiz on Addresses by Sunday at 11:59 p.m.
• DB: Post your first article as a Word document to the discussion board for Week 2 by
Wednesday at 11:59 p.m., and reply to others by Friday at 11:59 p.m.
• Submit your revised/edited story as an Assignment Sunday at 11:59 p.m. (Stories that appear in
the Discussion Board area but are not submitted as Assignments will not be graded. It is when
you submit your story as an Assignment that I will know you ready for me to grade it.)

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DATES WK ASSIGNMENTS
Mon. 1/24 3 Theory
to • Read:
Sun. 1/30 • CH 6: Sources and Online Research
• CH 11: Storytelling and Feature Techniques
• CH 18: Profiles and Obituaries
• View:
• PPP: Sources and Online Research
• PPP: Feature Writing
• PPP: Special Leads
• Handout: Five More Writing Tools
Practice
• DB: Respond to other students’ posts for second article.
• Continue working on second article
• Complete Concise Writing exercise by Sunday at 11:59 p.m.
• CP: Complete NewsU course: Beyond the Inverted Pyramid: Creating Alternative Story Forms.
Send Course Report to bbnixon@seuniversity.edu by Sunday at 11:59 p.m. (To submit a Course
Report, see the short video at Public Relations Matters.)
Assessment
• DB: In a new thread in Week 3 discussion board, post your second news story as a Word
document by Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. and post responses to at least five other students by
Friday at 11:59 p.m.
• Submit your revised/edited story as an Assignment Sunday at 11:59 p.m. (Stories that appear in
the Discussion Board area but are not submitted as Assignments will not be graded. It is when
you submit your story as an Assignment that I will know you ready for me to grade it.)
• Complete: AP Style Quiz on Dates & Numbers by Sunday at 11:59 p.m.
Mon. 1/31 4 Theory
to • View:
Sun. 2/6 • PPP: Introduction to Literary Journalism
• Handout: Instructions for Feature Stories (assignments 3,4, and 5)
Practice
• DB: Post six feature story ideas for the remaining articles in the designated discussion board for
critique/development/approval by Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. and post responses to at least five
other students by Friday at 11:59 p.m.
• DB: Post response to the questions on discussion board by Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. Copy and
paste questions in a new thread, and type answers after questions. Type a paragraph or two for
each answer. Complete response should be about one or two pages double-spaced. Respond to
at least three others by Friday at 11:59 p.m.
• CP: Complete NewsU course: Cleaning Your Copy: Grammar, Style and More. Send Course
Report to bbnixon@seuniversity.edu by Sunday at 11:59 p.m. (To submit a Course Report, see
the short video at Public Relations Matters.)
Assessment
• Complete: AP Style Quiz on Punctuation by Sunday at 11:59 p.m.

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DATES WK ASSIGNMENTS
Mon. 2/7 5 Theory
to • Read:
Sun. 2/13 • CH 15: Media Law
• CH 16: Media Ethics
• CH 17: Multicultural Sensitivity
Practice
• DB: In a new thread, post response to questions on discussion board by Wednesday at 11:59
p.m. and respond to at least five others by Friday at 11:59 p.m.
• CP: Complete NewsU course: Introduction to Ethical Decision Making. Send Course Report to
bbnixon@seuniversity.edu by Sunday at 11:59 p.m. (To submit a Course Report, see the short
video at Public Relations Matters.)
Assessment
• DB: In a new thread, post first feature story (third article, 800 words) by Wednesday at 11:59
p.m. and respond to at least five other posts by Friday at 11:59 p.m.
• Submit your revised/edited story as an Assignment Sunday at 11:59 p.m. (Stories that appear in
the Discussion Board area but are not submitted as Assignments will not be graded. It is when
you submit your story as an Assignment that I will know you ready for me to grade it.)
• Complete: AP Style Quiz on Titles by Sunday at 11:59 p.m.

Mon. 2/14 6 Theory


to • View: PPP: Journalism of Attachment
Sun. 2/20 Practice
• DB: Post response to questions on discussion board by Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. and respond
to at least five others by Friday at 11:59 p.m.
• CP: Complete NewsU course: Anatomy of a Newspaper: Understanding the Business. Send
Course Report to bbnixon@seuniversity.edu by Sunday at 11:59 p.m. (To submit a Course
Report, see the short video at Public Relations Matters.)
Assessment
• DB: Post story four (800 words) by Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. and post responses to at least five
other students by Friday at 11:59 p.m.
• Submit your revised/edited story as an Assignment Sunday at 11:59 p.m. (Stories that appear in
the Discussion Board area but are not submitted as Assignments will not be graded. It is when
you submit your story as an Assignment that I will know you ready for me to grade it.)
• Complete: AP Style Quiz on Confusing Words by Sunday at 11:59 p.m.
Mon. 2/21 7 Theory
to • Read:
Sun. 2/27 • CH 12: Broadcast News Writing
• View:
• PPP: Writing for Broadcast
• Broadcast Journalism video sample
Practice
• DB: Complete writing for broadcast exercise by Wednesday at 11:59 p.m.
• CP: Complete NewsU course: Writing for the Ear. Send Course Report to
bbnixon@seuniversity.edu by Sunday at 11:59 p.m. (To submit a Course Report, see the short
video at Public Relations Matters.)

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DATES WK ASSIGNMENTS
Mon. 2/28 8 Assessment
to • DB: Post final story (1000 words) as Word document OR if video, post as YouTube link by
Sun. 3/6 Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. Respond and critique to posts by Friday at 11:59 p.m.
• Submit your revised/edited story as an Assignment FRIDAY at 11:59 p.m. (Stories that appear in
the Discussion Board area but are not submitted as Assignments will not be graded. It is when
you submit your story as an Assignment that I will know you ready for me to grade it.)
• Complete: Final Exam by 3/6 at 11:59 p.m.

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