- Our goals in this class are to assess the current state of journalism in the United States, to learn "classic" copy editing skills (grammar, headline writing, content editing), to be introduced to basic layout and design concepts and to study the philosophy of ethics in editing. You will also report a substantive news or news feature story: Editors need to understand the news reporting enterprise from the ground up. The course will prepare you to be an informed reader of the news, as well as equip you with some basic copy editing skills. More broadly, but no less importantly, the course aims to stimulate thinking about the roles of journalism in sustaining an informed public and in sustaining democracy.
- Class Policies: Scroll to the page bottom.
- Journalism Ethics: A Philosophical Approach, ed. Christopher Meyers
- The Associated Press Stylebook, ed. Norman Goldstein (you can use any edition including and since the 2004 edition)
- Modern News Editing, 5th edition, Mark D. Ludwig and Gene Gilmore
- The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution That Will Begin the World Again, Robert W. McChesney and John Nichols
- online readings as assigned
• 3-newspaper packet (handout) Keep this throughout the semester.
- EVERYONE READS:
- You are expected to read newspapers and blogs daily and be versed on the big stories of the day, local, state and national.
- All typed work is set in 12 point New Courier, double-spaced
All hand-written work in blue or black ink, on one side only
25%Weekly in-class and/or take-home essays on reading due in class and/or current news stories
- Brief essays (250-500 words) that critically examine specific topics, to include unannounced in-class writing on the reading due that day in class and take-home assignments in which you apply what we learn in class to a current news story (stories). You will critique, analyze and apply theoretical and practical ethics, regarding the practice of journalism.
- 50%Reporting a substantive news or news feature story
/ Editing a classmates' reported story
- NOTE: The class will be workshopping the reporting and copyediting of your individual reported stories on Weeks 8, 9 and 10.
- √Part 1: Reporting Your Story—Due Week 11 (Nov. 3): 25%
- In this part of the assignment, you are graded on how well you get out and report a story. No previous experience is necessary. You'll get what you need for the assignment in class. You will need to allow time for several face-to-face interviews, time for research and time for drafting and revising. On Nov. 3, one copy of your story will come to me for a grade and critique and one copy will go to a classmate, who will edit your story for part two of this assignment. Your classmate's comments on your story will have no impact whatsoever on your grade.
Report a substantive news story / news feature (1,000 - 1,250 words) drawn from the campus or the Newport News community, using face-to-face interviews with several subjects and research. Begin the reporting early in the semester. In a folder, turn in all drafts of your story and all of your notes, with a 500-word essay analyzing your reporting and writing experience, presented in an ethical framework. Cite specific insights of ethics authors, using page numbers.
Checklist—in a paper folder labeled NEWS STORY / YOUR NAME turn in:
• Interview notes
• Research notes
• 500-word essay
• All drafts of your story
• Two copies of your final story
√ Part 2: Editing a classmates' reported story—Due Week 13 (Nov. 17): 25%
In this part of the assignment, you are graded on how well and thoroughly your editing and coach's notes engage the writing, reporting and ethics of the classmate's story that you edit. (You are not graded on how well that classmate reports or writes.)
Use copy editing symbols (Ludwig 73) to mark up two drafts of the story, adding a "coach's note" at the end of each. Turn in both drafts and the final copy, with headline, in a folder with a 750-word essay that exhaustively lists with bullet points all ethical considerations / questions that you think come into play in the story; an analytical essay that focuses on the key strengths and/or weaknesses of the story—both for its reporting and for its ethics; a discussion of why you made the suggestions and/or changes that you did. You'll need to cite our authors in the Meyers text, and to interview the reporter about his or her reporting.
Checklist—in a paper folder labeled EDIT OF ________'S STORY BY YOUR NAME turn in:
• two marked-up drafts of the story with comprehensive coach's notes at end of the drafts
• use editing symbols
• 750-word essay
√ Your final draft of the reported story—Due Week 15 (Dec. 1)
Checklist—in your original NEWS STORY folder:
• turn in original contents of your NEWS STORY folder (now with marked-up / edited drafts and grade)
one copy of your final draft of the story
• a brief memo, on a separate sheet, updating successes and / or problems with the reporting and writing
- 25%—Final Exam: Comprehensive
- • Two essays (there will be a limited choice of topics)—500-words each
• Short-answer, copyediting symbols, AP style and term definition
- All class assignments work must be turned in by last day of class to receive a passing grade.
- RECOMMENDED FOR BROWSING DAILY:
- Poynter Institute, a journalism powerhouse that responds daily to the news of the world, helping journalists to understand and report the news. Read it as you have time and interest.
- The Newseum's "Today's Front Pages"
• Online newspapers from around the world: Onlinenewspapers.com
- Online study aids / resources:
- Grammar & Usage Instruction and Inateractive Quizzes: http://grammar.uoregon.edu/toc.html
- American Press Institute: http://www.americanpressinstitute.org/content/3696.cfm
- Copydesk.orga range of topic-driven copyediting tests: http://www.copydesk.org/quizzes.htm
- New York Times' "CyberNavigator": http://tech.nytimes.com/top/news/technology/cybertimesnavigator/index.html/
- Columbia Journalism resources: http://journalismjobs.com/style.cfm
- Journalism.org / Pew Trust News Media Study: http://www.stateofthenewsmedia.org/2006/
- Week 1
- * Introduction—overviews and previews
• The Death and Life of American Journalism, McChesney & Nichols—"Preface," "Introduction" and Chapter 1, "American Crisis; American Opportunity" (ix-56)
• Discussion: Jon Stewart; outsourcing copyediting; Afghanistan war WikiLeak; government support for the press; failures of news organizations and audience;
- * Ethics
- • Ludwig, Modern News Editing Chapter 14, "Editing & Ethics"
• Meyers, Journalism Ethics, Part 1, "Ethics Theory & Decision Making" (pp. 3-8)
• Meyers, Journalism Ethics, Chapter 1, "An Explanation and a Method for the Ethics of Journalism"
- Jack Kelley (USA Today; March 19, 2004):
- Online story: http://www.usatoday.com/news/2004-03-18-2004-03-18_kelleymain_x.htm
- Print edition: http://faculty.users.cnu.edu/tlee/k.pdf ; http://faculty.users.cnu.edu/tlee/k2.pdf
- Jayson Blair
- New York Times Editor's Note on Blair (May 11, 2003): http://faculty.users.cnu.edu/tlee/Blai rEditor'sNote.html.
- The New York Times on its coverage of build up to war on Iraq: http://nytimes.com/ref/international/middleeast/20040526CRITIQUE.html
- • New York Times Code of Ethics
The Washington Post on its coverage of build up to war on Iraq:
•Discussion: autonomy, desires vs. needs, matters of safety, abuses of power—need for information
- Week 3
- * Ethics & National Security & Leaks
• Meyers, Chapter 19, "The Ethical Obligations of News Consumers," Wendy Wyatt
• Meyers, Chapter 2, "Moral Development & Journalism," Renita Coleman
•Discussion: WMD & Iraq War; SWIFT & patriotism; Shirley Sherrod; fear and the ends justifying the means; Obama and news leaks; WikiLeak's Assange
- Week 4
- Web logs—news blogs
- • McChesney & Nichols, Chapter 2, "Flawed Choices, False Hopes"
• Meyers, Chapter 3, "Press Freedom & Responsibility," Stephanie Craft
• Huff Post's Get Off the Bus
• Voice of San Diego
Talking Points Memo, Josh Micah Marshall "Bloggers Sans Pajamas" NYTimes
The Daily Kos, Markok Moulitsas Zúniga
The Daily Caller
The Huffington Post
• Discussion: formerly known as the audience; anyone can be a reporter; biggovernment.com; talkingpointsmemo.com; importance of the blogosphere; loss of the physical newspaper; the public good; "externalities"
- Week 5
- Online Journalism / A Free and Open Press
- • Meyers, Chapter 7, "Who is a Journalist?"
* McChesney & Nichols, Chapter 3, "Why the State"
- * "Bloggers vs. Journalists Is Over," Jay Rosen
- * "How Realistic is NewAssignment.Net?" Jay Rosen
- * "The Wayward Press: Amateur Hour," Nicholas Lemann
- * "NuJournalism," Mitch Ratcliffe
- * Backfence.com (WPost on its creation)
• "State cuts time spent in foster care system"
• Discussion: people formerly known as audience; web reporter burnout; Clinton / Lewinsky in 1998; algorithms or human editors
- Week 6
- The Story—Creditability & Harm / Reporting
- • Meyers, Chapter 20, "The Ethos of Getting the Story," Patrick Lee Plaisance
• Ludwig, Chapters 1 & 2, "Editing in the Age of Convergence" and "Deciding What's News"
• Kim Lenz / Amber Lester
- Week 7
- • The Newsroom and Objectivity?
- • Ludwig, Chapters 3 & 4, "Editing in the Newsroom" and "Editors as Managers"
• Meyers, Chapter 9, "Inventing Objectivity: New Philosophical Foundations," Stephen Ward
• Meyers, Chapter 10, "Is Objective News Possible?" Carri Figdor
- Week 8
- • Reporting, then Working with Stories
- Ludwig, Chapter 5, "Working With Stories"
- Week 9
- • Guest lecturer: Mr. Frank LoMonte, director, Student Press Law Center—Class meets 4-5:30 p.m.
- Week 10
- •Copy editing / wordsmithing
- Ludwig, Chapters 6 & 7, "Wording Watching" and "Writing Headlines"
• Grammar study guide—view
- Week 11
- • Layout & design
- Ludwig, Chapter 8, "Editors and Design"
• Reported story due—bring in two copies to turn in
- • Layout & design
- Ludwig, Chapter 9, "Editing Photos and Graphics"
• Meyers, Chapter 22, "Visual Ethics," Newton and Williams
• Reuters image from Beirut
• Brian Walski's Basra civilians
• Martha Stewart on Newsweek
Creative layout, design and editing
- • Ludwig, Chapters 11 & 12, "Imaginaton in News Editing" and "When News Breaks"
• Classmate's edited story due
- • Jack Rosenthal: What Belongs on the Front Page of the NY Times
• Ad & News pressures at the New York Times
• Why the New York Times redesigned
• How the Daily Press analyzes its design
• Boston Herald remake
• Newseum front pages
• College Front Page
• NYTimes Web portal pages
- Week 14
- Week 15
- Ludwig, Chapter 13, "Editing and the Law"
• Final draft of reported story due in class
• Lt. James J Cathey and his wife, Katherine
- Monday, 12/6Final exam / Comprehensive assessment 5-6:30
- General Course Policies
- Cell phones
Cell phones must be turned off and out of sight at all times in class.
Laptops may not be used in class without the instructor's permission.
Leaving the Classroom during Class
Leaving the classroom, then returning, during class is distracting and disruptive—and is prohibited.
My door is always open, and I am happy to see you during my office hours, as well as other times that I'm in my officedrop by or call or e-mail to see if I'm in. You are welcome anytime to come by and talk about your class work in general, or about a specific reading or essay draft on which you are working.
- Learning Disabilities
- If you believe that you have a disability, you should make an appointment to see me to discuss your needs. In order to receive an accommodation, your disability must be on record in the Dean of Students Office, 3rd Floor David Student Union/DSU (telephone 594-7160)
- CNU Success Policy
- We want you to succeed at CNU; therefore I may notify the Academic Advising Center if you seem to be having problems with this course. Someone may contact you to help you determine what help you need to succeed. You will be sent a copy of the referral form. I invite you to see me at any time that I can be of assistance in helping your with the course material.
- Feel free to check in with questions about any aspect of the class. Dr. Terry Lee
- My office phone: 594-7686. (In most cases, you can reach me faster by e-mail.)
- Not Attending Class Can Result in Failure of Course
- You may miss one week of class without any penalty or consequence. You are responsible for the material covered, of course, and I draw my exam questions from material covered in class, class discussion and lecture, as well as from our texts.
- Additional absences will result in reduction of your final course grade. That means that a "B" in all of your coursework can become a "C," if you have excessive absences. It also means that a passing grade for the course can become a failing grade for the course.
- In the case of an emergency, contact me as soon as possible. Emergency absences can be excused, and I may ask for documentation.
- In general, let me know what's up if you're not in class.
- Tardiness counts as absence, as does leaving class early. If you have specific reason for arriving late or leaving early, please check with me. If this will be a recurring problem, please see me at the beginning of the semester.
- Late Work
- I will not accept late work in this class.
- Complete All Work
- You must complete all work by the last day of class to receive a passing grade.
- Given only in extraordinary circumstances. Plan to complete work by last day of class. Not completing the work results in an "F," not an "I."
If you are assigned a grade of "Incomplete," it is your responsibility to complete work in a timely manner in accordance with regulations in the Undergraduate catalog.