Purpose: To help students learn to use language correctly; to recognize news; to work under and respect deadlines; and to gather news and assemble it into accurate, readable stories.
This introductory course in media writing examines a variety of techniques and formats with an emphasis on news and telling the story. Emphasis is on improving writing, self-editing, and telling stories across different platforms, with the primary focus on learning to write in an accurate, compelling and precise manner.
It will introduce you to news writing and to the world of nonfiction story telling. This course provides an essential foundation for students interested in print, online and broadcast journalism, public relations, sports information careers, as well as for those interested as communication directors for ministries, nonprofits, business, industry and political office holders.
Through this course, students will:
- Use correct newspaper writing style, as spelled out in The Associated Press Stylebook.
- Develop news judgment by recognizing essential news values.
- Learn about legal and ethical issues in reporting.
- How a newspaper operates, produces the “daily wonder.”
- Learn how to gather information through observation, interviewing and documents.
- Organize information effectively and clearly for new stories.
- Demonstrate accuracy in handling information; use attribution, direct and indirect quotation.
- Learn news, human interest and opinion forms of writing.
- Learn how to do research on a story assignment prior to the interview.
- Learn how to combine listening and question asking skills on a story interview assignment.
- Introduction to basic skills of telling stories electronically via the use of mini-video cameras with audio.
This course consists of 10 stories, 8 quizzes, 12 news article summaries, 13 lede re-writes and chapter summaries, and a final exam.
The assignments range from 15 to 100 points each. Of the final grade, the stories are worth 50%, quizzes 10%, news article summaries 10%, lede re-writes and chapter summaries 10%, and the final exam 20%.
Dr. Alan Blanchard
- PhD, Michigan State University (2014)
- BA, Eastern New Mexico University (1988)