JOU 3100 Newspaper Reporting by 836ctO


									JOU 2100 Newspaper Reporting
Instructor: Gary Ghioto, 184 Communication Arts
Office phone: 850-857-6276
Office hours: By appointment and 10-11 a.m. Thursdays

Course Description
This three credit course covers the principles and procedures used to report and write
hard news, profiles and feature articles for newspapers and online news sites.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will have the opportunity to learn a variety of skills covering news, including
writing summary and soft leads, developing news judgment, and learning interview and
research techniques.

Although the course stresses writing and reporting skills, students will be introduced to
journalism issues such as ethics, libel law and Associated Press style. Students will learn
to write on deadline, interview sources and develop an understanding of the workings of
a newspaper and online news site.

Assessment of student writing last year indicated a need to give additional attention to
avoiding editorializing in news writing and providing key information earlier in an
article. Therefore, those two elements of news writing will be emphasized in this course.

Course topics
The course will cover reporting, research and interview techniques used to write hard
news, profile and feature stories. How editors and reporters make decisions about news
coverage will be discussed. Issues in journalism will be explored.

In addition, beat reporting, story idea generation, ethical source development and Internet
research for stories will be covered.

Itule, D. Bruce and Anderson, A. Douglas, News Writing and Reporting for Today’s
Media. 6th or 7th edition.

Associated Press Style Book and Libel Manual
Homework Web site

All homework assignments are located at

How it works: Go to the site and the chapter assigned. Follow directions and e-mail your
homework to by deadline. Please do not send your assignments
to my UWF e-mail account.

Class Web site
Each week go to the interactive class Web site for postings, information and assignments.
The web address for this site is:

Required readings
Assigned reading from the text, AP Style Book and handouts. You will also be required
to read selections from The Voyager each week and selected stories from

Regular attendance and participation is required. For each missed class period beyond
one (1), your final grade will be reduced by one step (e.g. B to B-).

Excused absences include documented illness, university and jury duty. You must notify
the instructor via telephone 24 hours before your absence.

Grades will be determined from scores on homework exercises and quizzes. In addition,
there will be story assignments and a Web site presentation.

Graded in-class and homework writing exercises, AP Style/current events/lecture quizzes
= 50 percent of your grade.

Issues in Journalism presentation, end-of-semester journalism test and 2-4 writing
assignments = 50 percent.

Weekly quiz

Each week expect a quiz on AP Style, current events from your newspaper readings, class
lecture topics and assigned reading.

The quiz will be e-mailed to you and also posted on the class Web site. For non-online
courses, the quiz may also be taken in class.
There is no make-up for a missed quiz unless you have a written medical excuse or
documentation from the university excusing your absence. You must notify me before the
quiz by phone if you have a valid excuse for missing deadline.

“Issues in Journalism” presentations

Students will post a presentation on the class Web site highlighting various issues in
journalism. This presentation will require research, at least one handout and a 300-word
written report. For on-site classes at UWF, students will make their presentation in class.

Students may use Powerpoint or show videos to illustrate their findings. Students are
required to document all sources in a bibliography accompanying the written report.
Students must also provide the class with one handout. The topic will be assigned by the

Deadlines and commitments
Do not bother to ask to take a missed quiz due to an unexcused absence. Do not bother to
ask for an extension to turn in assigned homework or writing assignments after deadline.

There are no retakes in daily journalism. Deadlines are sacred.

Finally, since your homework is assigned far in advance, there is NO excuse for missed
homework. Turn it what you have completed and take the hit. It’s better than a zero. Late
homework assignments that are turned in for some reason after deadline will be returned
to you with a zero grade.

Grading of news stories
Errors in the lead = Up to 20 points off; factual error or organizational error = 10 points
off; spelling, AP style or grammatical error = up to 5 points off; libel = 50 points off;
plagiarism = zero and possible expulsion from this class and UWF.

Grades will be based on a percentage of points earned:
   A (94-100)
   A- (90-93)
   B+ (87-89)
   B (84-86)
   B- (80-83)
   C+ (77-79)
   C (74-76)
   C- (70-73)
   D+ (67-69)
   D (64-66)
   D- (60-63)
   F (below 59)
It is strongly recommended that you retain all graded homework, quizzes and story
assignments for your records and to assist you in calculating your grade at the end of the
semester. Keeping graded work is also necessary in the event you challenge my
calculation of your grade.

Plagiarism policy

(The University of West Florida maintains a license for Turnitin, a web-based program for
analyzing students' written assignments to evaluate the originality of the work. I utilize this

About your instructor
I have worked as a reporter, bureau chief, editor and correspondent for daily newspapers
including The Boston Globe and the Arizona Daily Sun. On the wire service side, I have
been employed by United Press International and Reuters as a news editor and reporter.

I am currently a content editor at the Pensacola News Journal.

My broadcast experience includes three years as news director at New Hampshire Public
Radio and two years as a reporter for commercial and public television stations.

I covered the presidential campaigns of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and also
reported extensively on national and New Hampshire politics.

One of my favorite jobs was covering the environment for a daily newspaper in northern
Arizona. Based in Flagstaff, I covered forest fires, the California condor and Mexican
gray wolf reintroduction programs, and issues involving the Colorado River and Grand
Canyon National Park. My beat also included coverage of the Hopi Tribe and the Navajo

My freelance reporting credits include the New York Times, National Public Radio, E
Environmental Magazine, Richmond Times Dispatch, Pensacola News Journal and the
Rothenberg Political Report.

I came to UWF in 2003 after teaching for two years at Northern Arizona University. I
received a bachelor’s degree in English literature in 1976 and a master’s degree in 2002.

 Assistance: Students with special needs who require specific examination-related or other course-related
accommodations should contact Barbara Fitzpatrick, Director of Disabled Student Services (DSS),, (850) 474-2387. DSS will provide the student with a letter for the instructor that will specify
any recommended accommodations.
This course supports the following Academic Learning Compact for the journalism
track, particularly the portions in bold type.

Department of Communication Arts

Mission statement: The journalism track prepares students for media careers in which
they will be expected to practice critical thinking, factual accuracy and clear
communication. We emphasize hands-on reporting and editing experience, ethical and
legal frameworks, and an awareness of how the mass media operate and how they serve

The graduate of the UWF journalism program will be able to:

*Demonstrate the distinction between hard news reporting and feature writing.
*Write in accordance with Associated Press style rules.
*Identify the key principles of good layout and design practices for newspapers.
*Describe historical controversies related to the practice of journalism.
*Identify career options in journalism

*Exercise news judgment, factual accuracy and proper sourcing in news articles.
*Generate ideas worthy of journalistic treatment.
* Synthesize diverse ideas to produce coherent news coverage.

*Demonstrate mastery of the rules of grammar and English usage.
*Demonstrate engaging and effective interviewing techniques.
*Practice aesthetically pleasing graphic design techniques.
*Use information technology effectively and efficiently to conduct research.

*Describe and adhere to ethical principles in journalism:
   - protection of sources
   - balance
   - avoidance of plagiarism

*Develop and write news articles in accordance with occupational constraints.
* Design and lay out newspaper pages.
* Collaborate effectively with news colleagues and news sources.

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