Journalism Course

Journalism - Fall 2013 
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 of the seminary.  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.

Required Texts:
Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel - The Elements of Journalism, revised ed.

Brian Horton - The Associated Press Guide to Photojournalism
Additional handouts and materials given in class


Assignments: All work is due by 11 a.m. 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.  You will receive a separate sheet concerning this initial assignment.


Classmate Interview:
Your first assignment is a 500-word interview with one of your journalism classmates.  The first draft of your interview is due to Sister Hilda and Daniel Miller on the assigned due date.  Missing first drafts result in one grade lower for the interview's final grade.

News Stories: 
You are required to submit two 500-word news stories.  First drafts of each story are due to Sister Hilda and Daniel Miller on the assigned due date.  Missing first drafts result in one grade lower for the story's final grade.

Revisions: 
The classmate interview and the three news stories may be revised once for a higher grade.  The due date for revisions will be announced when Sister Hilda returns your stories.

Photo Essay and Story Photographs:

You are required to submit photos to accompany at least two of your news stories and to submit a photo essay.  You will receive a separate sheet concerning the photo essay.

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.


Grades:
New Stories: 30%

Exam: 20%
Photo Essay: 20%
Classmate Interview: 10%
Reporter's Prep: 10%
Participation: 10%

The quality of your participation grade is determined by your completion of the online course The Language of the Image, your preparation for and engagement during our press conferences, your viewing of Shattered Glass, and your contributions to our other class presentations and activities.


Class Schedule:
As I learn more about your needs and interests, we will make the appropriate adjustments.  Additional handouts and readings will be given on various dates, and we will do various writing exercises in class throughout the semester.  We will also make adjustments to accommodate some guest speakers.

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

8/26:
Syllabus and Introductions


9/2:
Interviewing / Writing for the Web


9/9:
Reporter's Prep Due

Interviewing Continued / Preparation for Press Conference
Press Conference #1

9/16:

First Draft of Classmate Interview Due
Writing for Public Relations; Guest Speaker - Dr. Jodi Kilcup

9/23:
Classmate Interview Due
Story Patterns

The Elements of Journalism Discussion #1: Chapters 1-4

9/30:
First Draft of News Story #1 Due

Story Workshop #1
Completion of The Language of the Image Due

Guide to Photojournalism Chapters 2-3
Photo Workshop #1

10/7:
Final News Story #1 Due

Beat Reporting / Preparation for Press Conference
Press Conference #2

10/14:
Guest Speaker - Steve Ritchie

Elements of Journalism Discussion #2: Chapters 5-7

10/21:

Preparation for Pres Conference #3
Press Conference #3

10/28:
First Draft of News Story #2 Due

Story Workshop #2

11/4:

Final News Story #2 Due
Obituaries
Elements of Journalism Discussion #3: Chapters 8-9

11/11:
First Draft of Photo Essay Due

Guide to Photojournalism Chapter 4
Photo Workshop #2
Elements of Journalism Discussion #5: Chapters 10-11

11/18:
Film - Shattered Glass

11/25:

Photo Essay Due
Theological Symposium and Thanksgiving

12/2:

Final Elements of Journalism Discussion
Elements of Journalism Exam

12/9:
Reading Roundtable and Closing Thoughts