Electronic News Gathering

Course Details

Course Number: MCOM 3313  Section Number: 001

Spring 2013

Location: Fain Fine Arts Center

Classroom Number: B105

Days & Times:

11:00-12:20  T R


Office Hours:


MWF                          8:30-Noon

TUE /THUR              8:30-9:30            

Course Attachments


MSU Faculty Member
James A.  Gorham   
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Course Objectives


 This course serves as an introduction to broadcast news writing and production.

Specific areas covered include proper broadcast form, story construction, news selection, and the application of ethical standards in the broadcast medium.   Evaluations are based on style, form, content, and creativity.  Basic videography and editing skills will also be introduced.










Course Expectations


Course Requirements: Students are expected to be in attendance and on time for all class sessions.

After the fourth absence, the professor may drop the student from the course. Teamwork is absolutely essential in this class and in the field of broadcasting.  Your peers are counting on you to be in class and to be an active member of the group. Get involved, do not expect others to do your work for you.


Course Activities:  This class will consist of lectures, numerous writing assignments, presentations, quizzes, exams, and two production exercises.  Students are expected to come to class having already read and completed the writing exercise for that day.  Class discussion is an essential component of this course.

Grading Standards

Class Assignments       40%

Final Exam                       15%

Midterm Exam                 15%

Newsbrief One                10%

Newsbrief Two                20%

Submission Format PolicyNote: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Plagiarism Policy Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

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 The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 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.

Safe Zones Statement The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you 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.

Contacting your Instructor All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

After the fourth absence, the professor may drop the student from the course. Teamwork is absolutely essential in the broadcasting field. Lateness on two occasions is equal to one absence.

Other Policies





Plagiarism comes from the Latin word plagiarius, which means kidnapper.  Webster’s Dictionary defines plagiarize as to take (ideas, writings, etc.) from (another) and pass them off as one’s own-plagiarizer.


Plagiarism includes deliberate as well as inadvertent failure to properly attribute: 1) material taken directly from a source (including work done by other students or Lisa Moore); 2) paraphrasing of a source; 3) use of the same or very similar organizations of source material; 4) any submission that contains the thoughts or work of others. Copying of a substantial portion of material without acknowledgment is plagiarism and a violation of copyright law. Plagiarism applies to print sources, electronic/digital sources, and materials obtained through the internet. Any type of shooting, editing, etc. that is not the work of you or your group members is plagiarism.  Students in this course are expected to adhere to the MSU Student Honor Code.  






Privacy: Federal Privacy Law prohibits me from releasing information about students to certain parties outside the university. Thus, in almost all cases I will only discuss your grades and other academic matters with you. Do not have your parents call me! You’re college students and will be treated as such. Also, I will only correspond with you via email if your name is in the email address.


Disability Support: Please inform me if you are a student with a disability and need accommodation in this class. Students with a disability must be registered with Disability Support Services before classroom accommodation can be provided. MSU provides students with documented disabilities academic accommodation (Disability Support Services, Clark Student Center, Room 168).



Final Caveat: The professor reserves the right to change any part of this syllabus for any reason.

Sufficient notice will be given to students if changes to the syllabus are deemed necessary.

Writing Proficiency Requirement 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 over 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, or call 397-4131.