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Journalism A

Course Description

Journalism A is the first of a two part series that introduces secondary school students to the world of journalism. They will see how their strengths and interests compare with those associated with careers in journalism. In this course, students will gain a basic knowledge of journalism, its early history, and its importance in our culture. Students will be introduced to different types of news stories and learn about the reporting and writing skills involved with each.

Course Organization

Modules. The Modules are practice assignments. Each Module is a non-graded exercise that allows you to build your knowledge and identify your strengths and weaknesses.
Graded Assignments. Graded Assignments are the tasks you will submit to your instructor for a grade. Each assignment contains specific information about how your work will be assessed and how credit will be given for your responses. The average of your assignments will count for 75 percent of your course grade.

Course Objectives

Upon completing of this course, you will be able to:

  • apply a basic understanding of the media and its importance in a democratic society;
  • remember and discuss how laws and ethics affect the practice of journalism;
  • understand the components of a productive interview and how to use interviews in news writing;
  • analyze and create an assortment of news stories, to include in-depth reporting, feature stories, sports stories, reviews, photo journalism, and advertisements; and
  • understand the scope of careers in journalism.

Final Examination

The final examination is comprehensive; it covers the material from all of the units. To pass the course, you must receive a grade of 70 percent or better. You can apply to take the Final Exam after 100 percent of your graded assignments have been submitted, and at least 70 percent have been graded and returned to you.
Format: Objective
Time Allowed: 3 hours

Course Outline

Total Number of Units: 10
Total Number of Activities: 60
Total Number of Graded Assignments: 41

Unit 1: Introduction to Journalism
Module 1: History of Journalism
Module 2: The First Amendment and other Freedoms
Module 3: Functions of a Journalist
Module 4: Laws and Ethics
Module 5: Careers in Journalism
Module 6: The Function of the News
Graded Assignment 1: History of Journalism
Graded Assignment 2: Ethics in Journalism
Graded Assignment 3: Careers and the News
Graded Assignment 4: Introduction to Journalism Unit Test

Unit 2: What is News?
Module 1: Defining News
Module 2: Hard News and Soft News
Module 3: Making Facts Interesting
Module 4: Generating Ideas
Module 5: Researching a Story
Module 6: The Newspaper Staff
Graded Assignment 1: Types of News
Graded Assignment 2: Facts and Ideas
Graded Assignment 3: Newspaper Staff and Stories
Graded Assignment 4: What is News? Unit Test

Unit 3: Gathering and Writing the News
Module 1: What is Newsworthy?
Module 2: Writing the News Lead
Module 3: The Inverted Pyramid
Module 4: Five Ws and an H
Module 5: Sentence Structure
Module 6: Using Correct Grammar
Graded Assignment 1: The News Lead
Graded Assignment 2: Building a News Story
Graded Assignment 3: Grammar in the News Story
Graded Assignment 4:Write a News Story
Graded Assignment 5: Gathering and Writing the News Unit Test

Unit 4: A Good News Story
Module 1: Planning the Story
Module 2: The Single-Feature Story
Module 3: Multi-Feature Story
Module 4: Appropriate Language
Module 5: Direct Quotes, Partial Quotes, Paraphrasing
Module 6: Attributing Quotes
Graded Assignment 1: Planning the Story
Graded Assignment 2: Feature Stories
Graded Assignment 3: Choosing Language
Graded Assignment 4: Using Quotations
Graded Assignment 5: A Good News Story Unit Test

Unit 5:
Module 1: Why Interview?
Module 2: Preparing for the Interview
Module 3: Formulating Questions
Module 4: Conducting an Interview
Module 5: Taking Notes
Module 6: Writing It Out
Graded Assignment 1: Preparing to Interview
Graded Assignment 2: Interview Questions
Graded Assignment 3: Getting the Story
Graded Assignment 4: Conduct an Interview
Graded Assignment 5: Interviewing Basics Unit Test

Journalism A Midterm Exam
This Midterm Exam counts as a graded assignment and does not need to be taken at a testing center.

Unit 6: Feature Stories
Module 1: The Feature Story
Module 2: Human Interest Story
Module 3: Personal Experience Story
Module 4: Follow-up Story
Module 5: Personality Sketch
Module 6: Other Feature Stories
Graded Assignment 1: Characteristics of the Feature
Graded Assignment 2: Distinguishing Types of Features
Graded Assignment 3: Feature Stories Unit Test

Unit 7: Sports Stories
Module 1: The Importance of Sports Stories
Module 2: An Advance Sports Story
Module 3: Follow-Up to an Advance Story
Module 4: The Sports Feature Story
Module 5: Sidebars
Module 6: Evergreen Sports Stories
Graded Assignment 1: Why Sports Stories?
Graded Assignment 2: Advance Sports Stories
Graded Assignment 3: Characteristics of Sports Stories
Graded Assignment 4: Sports Stories Unit Test

Unit 8: Headlines
Module 1: Functions of Headlines
Module 2: Analyzing Headlines
Module 3: Types of Headlines
Module 4: Writing a News Headline
Module 5: Writing a Feature Story Headline
Module 6: Making it Fit
Graded Assignment 1: Headlines
Graded Assignment 2: Writing a Headline
Graded Assignment 3: Headlines Unit Test

Unit 9: In-Depth Reporting
Module 1: Overview of In-Depth Reporting
Module 2: The Necessity of In-Depth Reporting
Module 3: Analyzing In-Depth Reporting
Module 4: Planning an In-Depth Story
Module 5: Researching the In-Depth Story
Module 6: Writing the In-Depth Story
Graded Assignment 1: In-Depth Reporting
Graded Assignment 2: Elements of the In-Depth Story
Graded Assignment 3: Writing the In-Depth Story
Graded Assignment 4: In-Depth Reporting Unit Test

Unit 10: Other Journalistic Writing
Module 1: What is a Review?
Module 2: Analyzing Reviews
Module 3: Writing Movie Reviews
Module 4: Writing Book Reviews
Module 5: Writing Restaurant Reviews
Module 6: Writing a Column
Graded Assignment 1: Elements of Reviews
Graded Assignment 2: Writing the Review
Graded Assignment 3: Write a Review
Graded Assignment 4: Other Journalistic Writing Unit Test

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