JOURN 300: NEWSWRITING and REPORTING, FALL 2014-- T/TH 4-6 p.m. – Integrative Learning Center S413
Journalism 300 is a hands-on, nuts-and-bolts news writing and reporting class in which we learn and discuss:
• What is news
• How to identify and pitch a good story
• How to report and conduct interviews
• The news story "formula," especially leads and nutgraphs
• Kinds of stories and how to tell them
• The journalistic principles of fairness, accuracy, telling the truth and serving the public good
Email me anytime at MARY CAREY email@example.com, 413-588-4274 (cell)
Class blog: Journ300.blogspot.com
REQUIRED TEXT: Melvin Mencher, News Reporting and Writing (latest edition)
ADDITIONAL REQUIRED READING
AP Style Guide online
Daily newspapers and news magazines. Try to scan online and in print at least one of the local newspapers including the Collegian, Daily Hampshire Gazette or Springfield Republican every day. Also be aware of what’s on the front page of, for instance, the Boston Globe and New York Times. Each class, one or more students will bring in a newspaper article and comment on some aspect of the news, news coverage, style, choice of stories or contrast between coverage. Being conversant with what is in the news is essential to writing it.
Grades are based on timely and thoughtful completion of in-class and out-of-class writing assignments and quizzes, multi-media blog, attendance and in-class participation. Writing criteria include news judgment, clarity of writing, grammar, accuracy, organization, spelling, conciseness, use of AP style, and meeting deadlines. Although the big picture things like news judgment and solid reporting are important, misspelling names and other seemingly minor shortcomings can ruin a story and your reputation, so they will count. Numerical equivalent of grades: A=95, A-=92, A-/B+ =90, B+88 etc.
Not making appointments or missing the action will also undermine your career and the class. You MUST tell me BEFORE class if you are going to be absent and it has to be a legitimate excuse. (I read my e-mail regularly and have a phone message machine at home.) Otherwise you will receive zeroes for the day’s assignments. Please do not be late or leave early. More than three absences and/or repeatedly being late or leaving early will result in a significantly lowered final grade, with the grade being lowered by a full half grade for each absence over three.
CELL PHONE RINGERS MUST BE TURNED OFF. NO TAPING WITHOUT PERMISSION – IT'S ILLEGAL. NO READING FACEBOOK, UMASS MEMES etc ONLINE DURING CLASS!
In-class writing assignments usually won’t be longer than 2-3 (500-750 words) typewritten pages. Most major assignments are 1,000 words or 4 pages. First drafts must be in turned in on-time for credit. Not turning in a first draft or turning in an insufficiently complete first draft will result in a significantly lower final draft grade. Among your assignments are a profile (counts for 10 percent of final grade), feature (15 percent), coverage of a speech (10 percent), issue piece (15 percent) analysis on deadline (10 percent), blog (5 percent), deadline assignments and quizzes. See schedule for complete breakdown of how the final grade is calculated.
Any instance of plagiarism or any other form of cheating is cause for course failure.