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CA 201 Reporting I
Lofflin, John


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.

Course

CA 201 Reporting I

Semester

FA 2009 HO

Faculty

Lofflin, John

Title

Professor of journalism

Office Location

Copley 2-South

Office Hours

Posted

Daytime Phone

816-584-6327

E-Mail

john.lofflin@park.edu

Semester Dates

Fall 2009

Class Days

-M-W---

Class Time

12:00 - 1:15 PM

Credit Hours

3


Textbook:
None

Additional Resources:
 

·         Writing to Deadline by Donald Murray
 

·         A variety of references in journalism and non-fiction, from news and feature articles to journal articles and other discussions of news will be provided during the semester.

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.
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Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.


Course Description:
CA201 Reporting I: The 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

Educational Philosophy:
 

Engagement with the ideas of the course is the essential prerequisite for higher level learning. The teacher serves as a guide to the construction of meaning, the development of skills and dispositions, the recognition of what constitutes excellence, and the consideration of ethical issues. Reading and writing are essential tools to achieve depth of understanding and criticism.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. WHAT ATTITUDES AND SKILLS YOU WILL DEVELOP IN THE COURSE (OBJECTIVES):
  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:


EVALUATION:


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:
 

          All given equal weight--

1.        Six week exam or project

2.        Midterm exam or project

3.        Three/quarter exam or project

4.        Final exam

5.        A portion of the final grade will be determined by the cumulative score on several news stories due periodically across the semester, beginning at the close of the second week. Make three copies of every story; one for your file, and one for me to evaluate and one to share. Save the evaluated copy of each story in a notebook you will turn in on the last day of class. The entire set of stories will be worth 100 points. I will add points for revision, at my discretion.

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.

Grading:

EVALUATION:


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.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:
 

Roughly, the course will track through these skills:

·         The objective stance -- the nature of observational writing

·         Interviewing

·         Writing the feature lead

·         Gathering and writing the feature story

·         Self editing / style

·         Writing the news lead

·         Writing the news story on deadline

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 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

Plagiarism:
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 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

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 "F".
  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 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95

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: http://www.park.edu/disability .

Additional Information:
 

NOTE ON FORM: All stories will be written in a specific form with several copies presented: Slug, date, publication and name singled spaced at top left; drop down halfway through first page then start writing,; no space between graphs but always indent; “more” at the bottom of each page then -30- at the end. Double space, but set up margins to leave 3 inch margin on the right side. Use 12pt Times Roman.


We will begin with the self-interview, just to get our feet wet. Then we will write a feature profile on a politically active student. We will cover a political speech. We will write feature stories on a variety of topics, from unsung heroes to the cultures of certain buildings on campus. We will cover election night -- reserve the time now. From election night we will produce a feature story and, later, a hard news story.


We will discuss ethics all the time, but I plan to spend two week during the semester dedicated to a classical ethical concept relevant to journalism.

 

 

ATTENDANCE:


             It is not possible to do well in this course without regular attendance. All of the information for this course will only be discussed in class because the course has no comprehensive textbook. Interaction of students with the material in class is vital to learning and performance. Learning to write is a gradual, sequential process; it requires practice and feedback in a nurturing environment. I cannot emphasize the value of quality attendance enough in Reporting I. The instructor will keep attendance. The attendance policy of the college requires students who miss more than two weeks, six consecutive sessions, be dropped. The instructor will adhere to that policy.


             In addition, the instructor may elect to give spur-of-the-moment quizzes to determine preparation and help center minds on the day’s particular discussion.

 

 

METHOD:


          The course is arranged to provide individual attention to student writing problems and support for writing improvement. The format will be part lecture, part discussion, part workshop.


          Students will be given five to 10 news writing assignments. The stories generated by those assignments will be critiqued in a group setting, fostering self-editing skills and an appreciation for the sound of good writing.


          This is critical: These stories may 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 Narva. If I discover you have made up any portion of a story you turn in, you will receive an F for the entire portion of your final grade based on the news stories.


          In addition to lecture and discussion, students read the work of journalists who won the National Society of Newspaper Editors' awards competition from 1982 to the present, and many others, dissecting each for insight into the writer's mind and process. We will read a variety of the best non-fiction writing as we determine for ourselves the nature of excellent journalism.


          A suggestion: If you are having difficulty in this class, the best antidote is to read. Reading the newspaper daily throughout the semester will improve your work dramatically.


          Examinations and projects will emulate life in the world of professional journalism.


Copyright:

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Last Updated:8/18/2009 3:05:05 PM