Syllabus for JOU-352
News Writing is an overview of journalistic techniques such as news gathering, interviewing, feature writing, editorial writing, and writing for print and broadcast. Students will gain understanding of the differences in methods of presenting these styles through a consideration of the ethical and legal implications.
After completing this course, you should be able to:
CO1 Demonstrate an ability to write in a variety of journalistic styles, including news writing, feature writing, editorial writing, and writing for print and broadcast.
CO2 Write a basic news story for print and broadcast.
CO3 Demonstrate an ability to edit and revise your own or another's writing.
CO4 Generate a summary lead.
CO5 Generate effective interview questions and then integrate and attribute source material after conducting the interview.
CO6 Demonstrate an ability to write in the journalistic style, using concise language.
CO7 Demonstrate an understanding of legal and ethical principles that guide responsible media
You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the University's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.
- Rich, Carole. (2016). Writing and Reporting News: A Coaching Method, 8th ed., Cengage Learning.
- Each module contains one video to watch. Simply click on the video directly embedded within the corresponding module of the course website.
News Writing is a three-credit online course, consisting of six modules. Modules include learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.
- Module 1: Understanding News Writing
- Module 2: Story Development
- Module 3: Quotes and Sources; Obituaries
- Module 4: Broadcast News; Public Relations
- Module 5: Feature Writing; Crime and Punishment
- Module 6: Law and Ethics; Disasters and Tragedies
For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums (including video discussion forums), complete written assignments, complete blog entries, create a podcast, and take two proctored examinations—a midterm and a final. See below for more details.
Consult the Course Calendar for assignment due dates.
You are required to participate in four discussion forums. Communication with the mentor and among students is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online discussions involves two distinct activities: an initial response to a discussion question and at least two subsequent comments on classmates' responses. Meaningful participation is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation.
Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate, the reading, or your mentor, state and support your agreement or disagreement. You will be evaluated on the quality and quantity of your participation. Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful.
Video Discussion Forums
You are required to participate in two video discussion forums. In the Video Discussion Forum, you will upload your video response to the discussion question. Then, you will view, listen, and reply via comments to at least two classmates’ videos by the date indicated in the Course Calendar. Please reference Module 2 and Module 4 for full details and requirements.
You are required to complete six written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules.
You are required to complete three blog entries. Blogging is a fundamental digital media practice and a significant means by which people communicate about particular issues, establish credibility, and construct online identities. These blog entries provide you the opportunity to practice and refine your blogging skills and offer another platform to engage in discussions of course topics. Everyone is encouraged to read their classmates’ blog entries and comment on them.
Note: The blog in this course is a collection of individual blog entries. As such, you will receive one grade for all required blog entries at the end of the course. Consult the Course Calendar for due dates.
You are required to create one podcast, using the instructions provided in Module 4. Podcasts are a product of digital media, a reinvention of traditional media. As they proliferate and grow in popularity, it is important to be able to utilize this form of media. You will learn to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the format, and communicate through this form of digital media.
Please reference Module 4 of the course Web site for full details and requirements. Consult the Course Calendar for due dates.
Note: For a list of key concepts that may appear on your exam, refer to the study guide available in the Examinations section of the course website.
You are required to take two proctored online examinations: a midterm exam and a final exam. Both exams require that you use the Online Proctor Service (OPS). Please refer to the "Examinations and Proctors" section of the Online Student Handbook (see General Information area of the course Web site) for further information about scheduling and taking online exams and for all exam policies and procedures. You are strongly advised to schedule your exam within the first week of the semester.
Online exams are administered through the course website. Consult the Course Calendar for the official dates of exam weeks.
The midterm is a closed-book, proctored online exam. It is two (2) hours long. The midterm covers material in Modules 1 through 3 and the accompanying text readings. The exam consists of three equally weighted writing assignments.
The final is a closed-book, proctored online exam. It is two (2) hours long. The final exam covers material in Modules 4 through 6 and the accompanying text readings. The exam consists of three equally weighted writing assignments.
Statement about Cheating
You are on your honor not to cheat during an exam. Cheating means:
- Looking up any answer or part of an answer in an unauthorized textbook or on the Internet, or using any other source to find an answer.
- Copying and pasting or, in any way copying responses or parts of responses from any other source into your exams. This includes but is not limited to copying and pasting from other documents or spreadsheets, whether written by yourself or anyone else.
- Plagiarizing answers.
- Asking anyone else to assist you by whatever means available while you take an exam.
- Copying any part of an exam to share with other students.
- Telling your mentor that you need another attempt at an exam because your connection to the Internet was interrupted when that is not true.
If there is evidence that you have cheated or plagiarized in an exam, the exam will be declared invalid, and you will fail the course.
GRADING AND EVALUATION
Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:
- Online discussions forums (4)—10 percent
- Video discussion forums (2)—5 percent
- Written assignments (6)—30 percent
- Blog Entries (3)— 5 percent
- Podcast (1)—10 percent
- Midterm exam (proctored online, modules 1–3)—20 percent
- Final exam (proctored online, modules 4–6)—20 percent
All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:
To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a course not in your area of study), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).
STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS
First Steps to Success
To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:
- Read carefully the entire Syllabus, making sure that all aspects of the course are clear to you and that you have all the materials required for the course.
- Take time to read the entire Online Student Handbook. The Handbook answers many questions about how to proceed through the course, how to schedule exams, and how to get the most from your educational experience at Thomas Edison State University.
- Arrange to take your examination(s) by following the instructions in this Syllabus and the Online Student Handbook.
- Familiarize yourself with the learning management systems environment—how to navigate it and what the various course areas contain. If you know what to expect as you navigate the course, you can better pace yourself and complete the work on time.
- If you are not familiar with web-based learning be sure to review the processes for posting responses online and submitting assignments before class begins.
Consider the following study tips for success:
- To stay on track throughout the course, begin each week by consulting the Course Calendar. The Course Calendar provides an overview of the course and indicates due dates for submitting assignments, posting discussions, and scheduling and taking examinations.
- Check Announcements regularly for new course information.
Thomas Edison State University is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The University expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.
Students at Thomas Edison State University are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.
All members of the University community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at www.tesu.edu.
Thomas Edison State University expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the University insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:
- Gaining or providing unauthorized access to examinations or using unauthorized materials during exam administration
- Submitting credentials that are false or altered in any way
- Plagiarizing (including copying and pasting from the Internet without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources)
- Forgery, fabricating information or citations, or falsifying documents
- Submitting the work of another person in whole or in part as your own (including work obtained through document sharing sites, tutoring schools, term paper companies, or other sources)
- Submitting your own previously used assignments without prior permission from the mentor
- Facilitating acts of dishonesty by others (including making tests, papers, and other course assignments available to other students, either directly or through document sharing sites, tutoring schools, term paper companies, or other sources)
- Tampering with the academic work of other students
Thomas Edison State University is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The University takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.
If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > Citing Sources.)
Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.
Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.
Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.
For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.
Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism
When to Quote and When to Paraphrase
Writing Assistance at Smarthinking
Originality Report Checking at Turnitin
Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism
Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.
If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.
If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.
Possible sanctions include:
- Lower or failing grade for an assignment
- Lower or failing grade for the course
- Rescinding credits
- Rescinding certificates or degrees
- Recording academic sanctions on the transcript
- Suspension from the University
- Dismissal from the University
Copyright © 2017 by Thomas Edison State University. All rights reserved.