10824 MCOM 1243 News Writing & Reporting I TR 11 a.m. - 12:20 p.m. FA B124
10833 MCOM 1243 News Writing & Reporting I Lab M 2 - 3:50 p.m. FA B124
To introduce you to journalistic writing and principles of good journalism. Upon successful completion of the class you should be able:
This schedule may change with little or no notice.
Jan. 14 Lab: Scavenger Hunt; classes begin
Jan. 15 Introduction, class format, review fundamentals of news, news criteria
Jan. 17 Fundamentals of reporting, interviewing fundamentals
Jan. 21 NO CLASS (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day)
Jan. 22 Interviewing skills and attribution
Jan. 24 Story ideas; the story process
Jan. 28 Lab: Classmate profile, story angles/ideas
Jan. 29 Writing photo captions like mini news stories
Jan. 31 Lead writing
Feb. 4 Lab: Caption competition, peer editing of story drafts
Feb. 5 Covering speech stories intro.; AP style (National Weatherman’s Day)
Feb. 7 NO CLASS
Feb. 11 Lab: AP style, leads, work on stories, news brief due
Feb. 12 Alternative story forms
Feb. 14 The English language, a review of common problems including passive voice (Valentine’s Day)
Feb. 18 Lab: Major story 1 due at end of lab (President’s Day)
Feb. 19 Covering science and tech; generate five science and tech story ideas
Feb. 21 Editing. Evaluating. Review major stories: What did we learn?
Feb. 25 Lab: story angles/ideas, news/sports brief due
Feb. 26 Covering spot news; working with police, fire, EMS; the crime beat
Feb. 28 Covering spot news part II
March 4 Lab: Mid-term, work on stories
March 5 Covering business and economics
March 7 Alternative story forms
March 11-15 NO CLASS (Spring Break)
March 18 Lab: peer editing of stories; speech brief due (last day to drop with a W)
March 19 Math for journalists
March 21 Working with PR folks; writing a press release
March 25 Lab: Major story 2 due at end of lab
March 26 Review PR; critique press releases
March 28 NO CLASS (Easter break)
April 1 Lab: Work on stories; press release due (April Fool’s Day)
April 2 Writing sports
April 4 Writing sports II (TIPA conference)
April 8 Lab: Work on stories
April 9 Review: grammar, spelling, punctuation, style
April 11 Investigative reporting: an introduction
April 15 Lab: Work on stories; news/sports brief due (Income Tax Day)
April 16 The legal side of news coverage, FOI
April 18 Writing brights — the lighter side of news (National High Five Day)
April 22 Lab: Major story 3 due at end of lab (Earth Day)
April 23 Media law / ethics review. Credibility.
April 25 NO CLASS
April 29 Lab: Ethical dilemmas
April 30 Media law / ethics review II
May 2 Review
May 3 Last day of classes
May 7 Final exam, 1 -3 p.m.
Unless otherwise indicated, material is due at the beginning of class. Late work receives a grade of zero.
Students are expected to be in class each and every time the class meets. Students will not be able to make up unannounced quizzes given in classes they miss. E-mail Dr. Wilson prior to the absence as a courtesy. Students are responsible for making up any work missed on their own time, working with classmates.
If you need to miss class due to University-sponsored events such as field trips or athletics, please see me as far in advance as possible. You will be required to complete the assigned work on or before the due date, and you will be required to submit an official form from the University before your absence.
Students with excused absences — as determined by the Office of the Dean of Students or other appropriate University departments — may make up major exams on a schedule mutually agreeable with the instructor and the student. Projects and stories with advance deadlines will not be accepted late. Plan ahead.
Any student can be dropped from the class after the fourth absence in accordance with University policy.
As the instructor of record for this course, I reserve the right to change any part of this syllabus for any reason. The most current version of the syllabus will be maintained online. I reserve the right to drop — with an F — any students who have excessive absences, who miss assignments, who engage in disruptive behavior, have a poor attitude or who are not taking the class seriously.
All students seeking a bachelor’s degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they’ve 1) passed English 1113 and English 1123 and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you’ve earned more than 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at http://academics.mwsu.edu/wpr.
Neither plagiarism, the use of someone else’s thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation, nor copyright violation in any form will be tolerated whether intentional or not. Both plagiarism and copyright violation involve the theft of intellectual property and will be considered not only a violation of the Student Honor Creed as well as University policy and applicable laws. To avoid any instances of plagiarism or copyright violation, credit the sources of all information appropriately and obtain written permission for the use of copyrighted works when necessary.
Cheating and collusion are also unacceptable. Cheating includes, but is not limited to: (1) use of any unauthorized assistance in taking quizzes, tests, or examinations; (2) dependence upon the aid of sources beyond those authorized by the instructor in writing papers, preparing reports, solving problems, or carrying out other assignments; or (3) the acquisition, without permission, of tests or other academic material belonging to a member of the university faculty or staff. The term “plagiarism” includes, but is not limited to, the use, by paraphrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment. It also includes the unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling of term papers or other academic materials. The term “collusion” means collaboration with another person in preparing work offered for credit of that collaboration is not authorized by the faculty member in charge.
STUDENT HONOR CREED
“As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so.”
As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception. Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters. We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one’s own, work or ideas which are not entirely one’s own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student. We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed. | Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.
STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES / SPECIAL NEEDS
The Americans with Disabilities Act is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.
Students that need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, that need to share emergency medical information, or students that require special accommodations in the event of an emergency should contact Dr. Wilson as soon as practical.
STUDENT PRIVACY STATEMENT
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act prohibits me from releasing information about students to certain parties outside of the university without the signed consent of the student. Thus, in almost all cases I will not discuss your academic progress or other
matters with your parents or any other party. Please do not have them call me. Regardless of these important legal considerations, it is my general policy to communicate with the students, not their parents, even when a student has signed a consent form. For more information on FERPA, visit http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/
Classroom behavior that interferes with either the instructor’s ability to conduct the class or the ability of other students to profit from the instruction will result in the removal of that student from class. Such students may be referred to the appropriate university departments including, but not limited to, the University Police, Office of the Dean of Students, Vinson Health Center or the Counseling Center.
Moreover, social justice is one of Midwestern State University’s stated core values. The professor considers this classroom to be a place where everyone will be treated with respect as a human being — regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor’s expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.
Grading is on a scale of:
Semester grading follows the same scale. Grading will be determined from specific assignments, projects, written exams, quizzes, a final exam, and class attendance. Take home assignments are due when announced and will not be accepted late. Any assignment turned in after the deadline receives a grade of zero. Written exams will include material covered in the class and may include, but may not be limited to, multiple choice, short answer, and essay questions.
The instructor reserves the right to add, adjust, or cancel assignments as the course progresses. The method of obtaining the final grade will remain essentially the same: the total points achieved will be divided by the total points possible to obtain a percentage, and a grade will be assigned according to a percentage