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CA 450L Seminar: SpecTop in Journalism
Youngblood, Steven

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 450 Seminar: SpecTop in Journalism


SP 2008 HO


Youngblood, Steven


Asst prof communication arts



Office Location

205 Copley

Office Hours

m-f 8:30-11; t-th 2-3

Other Phone



Semester Dates

jan-may, 2008

Class Days


Class Time

1:00 - 2:15 PM



Credit Hours




None.However, reading of handouts, newspapers, etc. will be a requirement of the class. You are also required to read The Hot House - Life Inside Leavenworth Prison, by Journalist Pete Earley, Mass Market Paperback, August, 1995.

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 is an advanced level, interdisciplinary course wherein students will learn about the relationship between the media and various elements of the criminal justice system. It is team-taught by experts in communication arts and criminal justice.

Educational Philosophy:

We believe that students in this course will learn by freely participating in class discussions with an open mind, and by critically analyzing what they learn in class as well as what they observe from the media and the world around them.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes

  1. • Analyze how the criminal justice system sees, utilizes, and reacts to the news media
Class Assessment:

Reading: You must read The Hot House and all other materials handed to you in class and be prepared to discuss these materials when indicated on the syllaus


Tests: A take-home final exam. This exam will be based on materials handed out and on discussion during classes. 


Papers: You will write four reaction papers.   With each paper you should be prepared to lead a discussion of your findings and reaction to the question. Detail about the reaction papers will be forthcoming once the class has begun.

Class Exercises: You are expected to bring in newspaper articles relating to the topics of this class. You should be prepared to lead discussions about the topic in the article and the press coverage of this topic. You will also be asked to watch a television show, a movie, and so on. Depending on current news, you may be given a specific assignment.

Core Assessment

Every course at Park University requires a core assessment. This is one major project or test, given during the last part of the class, which measures 75% of the course’s learning objectives.

For this course, the core assessment is the final exam. It will be graded according to a rubric that will be provided later in the semester. It measures all three learning objectives spelled out above.


Four reaction papers (100 points or 10% each)                                               40%                 400

Attendance and general class participation                                                    20%                 200

Take home final exam                                                                                     30%                 300

Two current news articles to class and lead discussion on actual and implicit content

                                                                                                                        05%                 50

Presentation on topic of your choice- 10 – 15 minutes                                   05%                  50                                                                                          

                                                                                                TOTAL         100%              1000 points

Late Submission of Course Materials:

We will not accept late work. This applies to all daily work, papers, and so on. The only exception to this is if there is some extenuating circumstance, and you contact either professor in advance to get an extension. If you have a problem that precludes you from turning a work in on time, call or e-mail either professor in advance of the due date, let us know what’s going on, and we can make arrangements.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

Students will treat each other with courtesy and respect at all times. In our classroom, everyone's opinion is valued

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:





(SY) and (CG)

Jan 15

Introduction to Course – presentations by Youngblood (SY) and Getty (CG)


Be prepared to answer the following questions with some specificity. You should write your responses, although they will not be collected. 

·         What do you know about the criminal justice system and how do you know it?

·         What do you know about the media?

·         How do you know what you know, and how do you know it?


(SY) and (CG)


Newspapers and Crime - Bring an article of news and be prepared to discuss the actual and implicit meaning


Newspapers and Crime


(SY) and (CG)



Come to class with a definition of terrorism



Terrorism-GITMO and media

4 (SY)

Feb 05

TV and Crime


TV and Crime
First reaction paper on media and terrorism is due

5 (SY)


TV News and Crime – watch a ½ hour news program and divide the program into segments such as real news, including crime stories, sports, weather, “happy talk”


TV News and Crime – guest speaker

6 (SY) and (CG)


The Internet and the Media; the Internet and Criminal Justice


Blogs and Crime and New Media

7 (SY)


Law Enforcement and the Media – watch a one hour crime show and be able to discuss how law enforcement is pictured



Guest speaker

8 (CG) and (SY)

Mar 04

Courts and the Media



Relevant Law and Media Rights
Second reaction paper on differences between violence and violence as portrayed in the media

11 and 13

Spring recess

9 (CG)


Movies and Crime


Corrections and the Media

10 (CG)


Trip to a prison



Current Issues Surrounding CJ including international perspective -

11 (SY)

Apr 01

Current Issues Surrounding Media including international perspective



Current issues about juveniles
Third reaction paper comparing the trip to the prison with The Hot House

12 (SY)


Media as a Cause of Crime


Media’s Role in Creating and Presenting Criminals

13 (CG)


Media as a Cure for Crime



Music : Rap, crime and media

14 (CG) and (SY)


Current issues - Bring an article of news and be prepared to discuss the actual and implicit meaning



Media as an Agenda-Setter for the Criminal Justice System
Fourth reaction paper is due – subject to be announced

15 (CP) and (SY)


Presentations on topics of your choice

(SY) and (CP)

May 01

Presentations on topics of your choice


May 06

A take home final exam will be due in one or both professor’s office(s) by Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at noon

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 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-86

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 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85

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.
  3. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  4. 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".
  5. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-88

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: .


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Last Updated:12/16/2007 9:44:16 AM