CA201 Reporting I

for F2J 2006

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Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


CA 201 Reporting I


F2J 2006 PV


Valcarcel, Mindy N.


Adjunct Instructor

Office Hours

Before and after class and by appointment


Semester Dates

October 23-December 17, 2006

Class Days


Class Time

5:30 - 9:50 PM



Credit Hours



Associated Press Style Book, AP, Basic Books, 39 Ed. ISBN 0465004881.

2004 Best Newspaper Writing, Poynter Institute for Media Studies, Bonus Books, 2004. ISBN 1566252342.

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information

Course Description:
This course focuses on the fundamentals of reporting. It discusses techniques of fact gathering and news writing and provides opportunities to develop those skills through practical application. 3:0:3

Reporting I is a core course in communication arts, usually the first reporting course a student takes. The course is designed to develop writing skills, provide the basic techniques of reporting, familiarize the student with the profession of journalism, begin the discussion of ethics and purpose, and provide a vehicle for self-expression.

Mission of the university and the department:

The Park University education is designed to nuture literate, articulate, creative thinkers who appreciate the arts, are open-minded, and possess a strong lifelong commitment to doing good in their professions and communities.

A graduate in journalism is a thinking practitioner who exhibits excellence of craft and is dedicated to improving communities through the arts of communications.

Reporting I is primarily a skills course, designed to develop writing craft, begin the discussion of fact gathering, and provide a sense of what excellent reporting is. It will also engage you in discussion of ethical behavior in the profession.

Educational Philosophy:

The teacher serves as a guide to students, facilitating discussion about key concepts in reporting.

Note on contacting me by e-mail: Please type "CA 201" plus your name in the subject line. You can also speak with me before or after class.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  2. My conception of this course is that when you complete it successfully you will be able to function adequately in a newsroom or a public relations setting.  In other words, my benchmark for this course is that if you can succeed in it, you can succeed in not getting fired your first week at a newspaper or in a public relations department.   In this course you will:
  3. adopt the "stance" of the reporter.
  4. question he “stance” of the reporter.
  5. develop strong lead writing technique.
  6. write to Associated Press style.
  7. employ professional news gathering techniques as you report stories for class.
  8. question professional news gathering techniques.
  9. attend a presidential campaign or local campaign meeting and write a story.
  10. cover a speech .
  11. develop a journalistic style of writing.
  12. practice the art of journalism by writing news and feature stories.
  13. Writing skills we will master:
  14. Economy
  15. Clarity
  16. Lively words
  17. Appropriate words
  18. Honesty
  19. Logical structure
  20. Speed

Core Assessment:


All given equal weight--

1.      Six week exam – news story about a peer

2.      Midterm – News story from a speech 

3.      Three/quarter exam – News story from an event

4.      * Final exam –Breaking news story from a mock press conference

5.      A portion of the final grade will be determined by the cumulative score on 10 news stories due weekly throughout the semester, beginning at the close of the 3rd week.  Make two copies of every story; one for your file, and one for me to evaluate.  Save the evaluated copy of each story in a notebook, you will turn in on the last day of class.  Each story will be worth 10 points and I will add a point to every story you improve by rewriting (maximum 10).

6.      Each student will also keep a daily journal of one paragraph observations. The words "like" or "as" will not appear in the entries.  The journal will be evaluated on completion and quality of effort.

Class Assessment:

1. Three-week exam--Cover a speech

2. Six-week exam--Cover a speech

3. Final exam--Breaking news story from a mock press conference

4. Three articles to be assigned in class--two feature articles and one news article

5. Daily journal of one-paragraph observations. The words "like" or "as" will not appear in the entries. The journal will be evaluated on completion and quality of effort.


Three-week exam = 100 points

Six-week exam = 150 points

Final exam = 200 points

Three articles (two feature, one news) = 150 points each

Daily journal entries = 100

Grading scale:

A = 900 to 1,000 points

B = 800 to 899 points

C = 700 to 799 points

D = 600 to 699 points

F= 599 points or fewer

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Late assignments must be turned in the week after their original due date to be considered for a maximum of a "C" grade. After that date, no assignments will be accepted.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:


I expect all students to behave professionally in this class. If you miss a class, you are still responsible for the information that we covered. I will not tolerate disruptive behavior, including phone use, talking during lectures, and antagonizing classmates or the instructor.


This is critical: All the articles you write in class have the potential to appear in the Stylus or the Narva. Do not tell a source the story is "just for class." Tell them the story is for either the Stylus or the Narva. If I discover you have made up any portion of an article you turn in, you will receive an "F" for that article.

In addition to lecture and discussion, we will read the work of award-winning journalists, dissecting each for insight into the writer's mind and process. We will read a variety of the best nonfiction writing as we determine for ourselves the nature of excellent journalism.

If you are having difficultly in this class, the best antidote is to read. Reading the newspaper every day throughout the semester will improve your work dramatically.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:
Roughly, the course will track through these skills:

--The objective stance


--Writing the feature lead

--Organization of the rest of the piece

--Gathering and writing the feature story

--Self-editing, using AP Style

--Writing the news lead

--Writing the news story on deadline

Note on form: All stories will be written in a specific format: Write the title, date, publication, and name single-spaced at the top left; drop down halfway through the first page, and then start writing; do not leave space between paragraphs, but always indent; type "more" at the bottom of each page and "-30-" at the end of the article. Double-space the article, but set up the margins to leave a 3-inch margin on the right side. Use 12 pt Times Roman.

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-89

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "W".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89-90

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .

Additional Information:


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Last Updated:10/2/2006 3:18:41 PM