Journalism - Fall 2017
Mount Angel Seminary
St. Benedict, Oregon

Put it before them briefly so they will read it, clearly so they will appreciate it, picturesquely so they will remember it and, above all, accurately so they will be guided by its light. 
- Joseph Pulitzer

When one looks back over three hundred years, and even three thousand, it is impossible to separate news from community, and over time more specifically from democratic community. - Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel

Course Description:
This course introduces students to the field of journalism and trains them to write for the Mount Angel Seminary journalism blog, the Mount Angel Seminary website, the Mount Angel Letter, and other publications.  Students will learn to recognize and analyze different types of news stories and gain experience with journalistic writing and newsgathering techniques.  They will also discuss the major principles of journalism ethics.

Course Goals and Outcomes:

A successful student in Mount Angel Seminary's journalism course will: 1) be able to research and compose a short news story with a clear lead, 2) understand and apply the elements of a good photograph, and 3) understand basic journalism ethics.

Class Texts:
Our texts will be the Mount Angel Seminary Journalism Style Guide and handouts based on The Elements of Journalism by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel and News Reporting and Writing by the Missouri Group.  Additional readings and handouts will be given throughout the semester.

Assignments: All work is due at the beginning of class on the assigned due date and must be submitted by email or flash drive.  Late work is not accepted.

Reporter's Prep: You will complete a reporter's prep at the beginning of the semester

Hilltop Profile:
Your first assignment is a 750-word profile.  Missing first drafts result in one grade lower for the interview's final grade.

News Briefs: 
You are required to submit two 300-word news briefs.  First drafts of each news brief are due on the assigned due date.  Missing first drafts result in one grade lower for the story's final grade.


The hilltop profile and the two news briefs may be revised once for a higher grade.  The due date for revisions will be announced when your work is returned.

Story Photographs:
You will submit a set of photos of the people featured in your hilltop profile and 10-15 photos to accompany one of your news briefs.

Elements of Journalism Exam:
You will take an exam in which you explain and apply the elements of journalism to your work as a reporter and photographer.

Unfamiliar Genre Project:
You will complete the Unfamiliar Genre Project with a focus on a genre from journalism.  

Reporter's Prep: 10 points
Hilltop Profile:     10 points
News Briefs:       20 points
Photographs:      10 points
Exam:                 10 points
UGP:                   40 points

Class Schedule:
As I learn more about your needs and interests, we will make the appropriate adjustments. We will also do various writing exercises in class throughout the semester.

The date listed indicates the week during which the readings, assignments, and activities listed beneath it will take place.

Syllabus and Introductions

Setup and Materials

Unfamiliar Genre Project Proposal Due
Interviewing and Writing for the Web

Reporter's Prep Due
Interviewing Practice #1 and Writing for Public Relations 


First Draft of Hilltop Profile Due
Analysis of Genre Samples

Final Hilltop Profile Due

Story Patterns
The Elements of Journalism, 1-4

Interview Practice #2

Photo Workshop

First Draft of News Brief #1 Due

Guest Interviewee - Dr. Jodi Kilcup

Final News Brief #1 Due

Draft of Annotated Bibliography Due


Second Draft of Annotated Bibliography Due

The Elements of Journalism, 5-7
Draft of Final Centerpiece Due 


Draft of Final Centerpiece Due
First Draft of News Brief #2 Due
The Elements of Journalism, 8-9


Final News Brief #2 Due
Second Draft of Final Centerpiece Due

Theological Symposium


The Elements of Journalism, 10-11
Film: TBD 
Final Centerpiece Due


Final Unfamiliar Genre Project Due
Elements of Journalism Exam