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JRN 315 - Advanced Media Writing

This guide is designed to provide resources for JRN 315.

Course Assignment

Course Assignment

Description of Assignment

Here is an overview of the assignments for JRN 315.

If you need any assistance with projects, common academic assignments are covered under the "Guide" page of this course guide. 

You will find information on how to write a Literature Review, as well as other research tips to make your research quicker and better.

In Class Session

In Class Session

in class session

Goals for this session are:

  • Discuss and expand knowledge of journalism/media sources: what they are, their purpose and how to evaluate them.
  • Where to find information. Understanding the tools and resources that are available to you for the JRN 315 assignment--in-depth news stories. What are the sources to mine that are most useful.
  • How to use tools available to you in the most effective manner. Advanced search strategies: Further practice in Boolean searching and Subject Searching.
  • What is the deep web and how to locate resources that are not available through a normal Google search.

Assignment Details

Course Assignment

The Assignment

• Inverted Pyramid News Story: 50 points

• Profile Feature: 100 points
• Opinion/Editorial Piece: 100 points
• 6 In-depth Checkpoints: 20 points each

One-on-one meeting with Lana Wilson (*This is required to earn all 60 points for the previous checkpoints; failure to meet will result in a 50% reduction of total checkpoint grade. *)
• In-depth News Story: 200 points
• Multimedia Elements/Broadcast or online version of In-depth News Story: 100 points
• Query Letter: 25 points
• 5 Reaction Papers: 20 points each
• 5 Journals: 20 points each
• 9 OWW Thoughts: 20 points each
• 2 Outside Article Submissions: 50 points each
• Participation: 50 points
• Final Exam: 375 points (see details below)
Total points possible: 1,600


Inverted Pyramid News Story: 50 points

*Due dates given in the syllabus

Select a “newsworthy” campus event or meeting that will occur between the dates given in the syllabus. Write an original hard news story accurately and thoroughly covering the event. Include a solid lead, facts and properly attributed quotes. Construct your copy in inverted pyramid format. Employ the news writing techniques learned in Intro to Media Writing.

Use AP style, double space, 1” margins, 12-point font. Include news story format: name, date, slugline, page numbers, end marks. A rough draft is due in class for a peer editing day.
 



Profile Feature: 100 Points

*Due dates given in the syllabus
Write an accurate and compelling feature that profiles a person who has accomplished a significant feat OR has made an impact on others. (Do not write about a family member or close friend.) Apply the styles discussed in class, as well as solid feature-writing techniques. Include facts,
quoteand details that enhance a well-selected story structure.

Use AP style, double space, 1” margins, 12-point font. Include news story format: name, date, slugline, page numbers, end marks. A rough draft is due in class for a peer editing day.
 



Opinion Piece: 100 Points

*Due dates given in the syllabus
Write an original opinion piece that addresses your stance on a specific current topic (local, national or international). Support your opinion with historical cases, examples, data and/or quotes that build your case. You will be graded on the content of the writing (how clearly you support your stance) and the form (the structure and style you use.)

Use AP style, double space, 1” margins, 12-point font. Include news story format: name, date, slugline, page numbers, end marks. A rough draft is due in class for a peer editing day.
 



5 Reaction Papers: 20 Points each

*Due dates given in the syllabus
You will read various assigned (fairly recent, most award-winning) works of journalism. Analyze these stories. Cover what you believe makes them effective stories – or what you consider to be lacking in the copy. Take into account the intended audience, the publication, and the style of the articles. Also read the “Behind the Story” sections that follow the articles. You may write in an informal style, but support your points with examples from the text. (Correct grammar and punctuation are still required.) Give yourself enough time to enjoy reading the stories and to process their effectiveness. We will discuss the assigned stories on the designated days. Take notes while you read. This will make writing your assessment easier and more accurate.

Use double space, 12-point font and 1” margins. Submit on Bb and bring a hard copy to class.


9 OWW Reports: 20 points each

*Due dates given in the syllabus
Choose five pieces of writing advice from each reading assignment, explaining why you chose them and how you will apply them. Submit on Bb and bring a hard copy to class. 


5 Journals: 20 Points each

*Due dates given in the syllabus
Each journal topic coincides with the material in the corresponding chapters of The Elements of Journalism. Journal entries should highlight your reaction to the reading. Please address the proposed questions (listed below), but do not feel you must limit your discussion to those issues. Comment or expand on any of the elements discussed in the assigned chapters. Prepare to discuss your reactions to the reading on designated days. Support your points with examples from the EJ text or from applicable current issues. Submit to Bb and bring a hard copy to class.

  • Journal 1 (Ch 1-2) What role does journalism play in a society? Why do journalists struggle to define truth? How is technology affecting the role of the journalist and the audience? How can journalistic truth be seen as a ‘process’?
  • Journal 2 (Ch 3-4) When journalism is viewed as a business, what is the problem with its ‘product’? How do you find or discern truth about world/national/state/local occurrences? How is technology possibly making journalists more passive?
  • Journal 3 (Ch 5-6) Is it possible for journalists to be completely impartial? How can a conflict of interest potentially affect a journalist’s writing? Do you believe journalism is the way to offer a voice to the voiceless? If not, in what other ways can the voiceless find a voice? If so, do you think journalists are doing an adequate job of this? Support your position.
  • Journal 4 (ch 7-8) In what ways do you see journalism functioning as a public forum? How can journalists become more engaging and relevant to all demographic groups in society? Should these changes occur within the newsroom’s own demographic or by another method?
  • Journal 5 (Ch 9-10) How well do you believe journalists are keeping news comprehensive and proportional? Are all groups represented in news you have observed? In what ways do journalists need to demonstrate a responsibility to conscience? Should newscasters always remain without emotion when reporting stories?


 

In-depth Checkpoints: 120 points

*Due dates given in the syllabus
You must complete each checkpoint as indicated above. A one-on-one meeting with Linda Lambert is required to earn all 60 points Failure to meet with her will result in a 50% reduction of your total checkpoint grade. Completed in class.


In-depth News Story: 200 Points 

*Due dates given in the syllabus (Final Exam Grade*)
Write an in-depth
newsarticle over the topic of your choice. For this semester-long project, we will follow the ‘in-depth’ progress assignments as noted in the syllabus. Our discussions will coincide with the techniques required to complete each stage of the writing process. On some weeks, you will turn in specific elements of your writing progress (as noted in the syllabus). The goal is for you to apply the notions of creativity and form to a relevant piece of your writing. We will not only concentrate on the finished product, but will spend time examining the writing process itself. You are also required to meet with Linda Lambert from the library to go over your sources. To benefit most from the writing process and discussion, complete the ‘in-depth’ suggestions before class. Do not put off writing this until the end of the semester! I am available – just call or email. You will be scored on form, content and AP style. The final paper will count as your exam grade.

Use double space, 1” margins, 12-pt. font. Include news story format: name, date, slugline, page numbers, end marks.




Multimedia Elements/Broadcast or Online Version of In-depth News Story: 100 Points

Submit with Final In-depth News Story *Due dates given in the syllabus (Final Exam Grade*)
With your in-depth news story, you will submit an appropriate multimedia presentation that includes FOUR of the following: embedded video, embedded audio, embedded photos, social media posts, interactive elements, a broadcast script and/or a functional web design.


Query Letter: 25 Points
Submit with Final In-Depth News Story *Due dates given in the syllabus (Final Exam Grade*)
You will write a query letter for your in-depth story. Select an appropriate publication and address the letter accordingly.


AP Drills:
Each Thursday, you will be given an AP quiz. Points will accumulate as extra credit and will be added to your final score for the semester.


Outside Article Submission: 50 Points (100 total)

*Due dates given in the syllabus
You are required to submit two articles to reputable community publications. Being published is not required, but you must follow the chosen outlet’s publication requirements. Approved
outletsare: WBAT (Hoosier AM/FM), Marion; The Chronicle-Tribune, Marion; The News Herald (Grant County); GrantCOnnected.net (Grant County). Other outlets must be approved prior to submission. Personal blogs and websites do not count. Proof of submission must be submitted..

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