Online Class: Journalism 101

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Course Description


This online course offers the student an introduction to the profession of journalism as a whole. It begins with a brief overview of journalism, acquainting students with the foundation of writing for the news industry. There is a lesson on the history of journalism that takes the students back to the first news ever collected and made public. The development of the newspaper, particularly as it relates to the colonies and the United States after the Revolutionary War is explained. What follows next is fundamental newsgathering and writing skills needed to become competent practicing journalists working in print journalism, with some focus on other media writing as well. The student is given the opportunity to review their grammar and punctuation skills, and asked to think about the ethics and legalities of the profession of journalism. All aspects of journalism will be discussed and examples are provided to help the student understand such concepts as notetaking, and using the tools of the trade such as the inverted pyramid. Students will learn what is newsworthy and what is not is included along with ideas for ferreting out news stories. One of the final lessons focuses on the special skill of in depth and investigative writing with examples of proper subject matter for this writing format. The student is then reminded of the obligations of the journalist to their craft and the public, and the types of stories they should pursue.





Course Requirements

This course will not require you to have previous experience in any particular area but you should have a high school reading level. No books will be required.

Course Topics

  1. Introduction to Journalism
  2. Journalism and ethics
  3. Journalism and the law
  4. What is news? What is not?
  5. Ferreting out newsworthy stories in the real world
  6. Research skills and fact checking
  7. Basic skills of reporting – listening and observing
  8. Basic skills of reporting – interviewing and note-taking
  9. Grammar and Style Rules of News Writing
  10. Structuring & Crafting the News Story – Part I
  11. Structuring & Crafting the News Story – Part II
  12. Expository Writing
  13. Writing for Broadcast News
  14. Writing for Online Resources
  15. Writing about Specific Issues of Import 

Course Materials

All course materials is provided in this class. There is no need to buy additional resources.

Grading Policy

Several lessons will be accompanied by a written assignment and a brief quiz  . Students will successfully complete this course by mastering all learning outcomes with 70% or higher overall grade.

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Describe the history of journalism.
  • Define what journalism means.
  • Describe journalism and ethics.
  • Describe journalism and the law.
  • Determine what is news what is not news.
  • Describe methods for ferreting out newsworthy stories in the real world.
  • Determine research skills and fact checking.
  • Describe basic skills of reporting - listening and observing.
  • Describe basic skills of reporting - interviewing and note taking.
  • Describe grammar and style rules of news writing.
  • Demonstrate structuring and crafting the news story.
  • Demonstrate expository writing.
  • Describe writing for broadcast news and online resources, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Assessment Guide

Assessment Points
An Introduction1
Lesson 1 Assignment25
Exam 19
Why is Journalistic Writing Different - Lesson 2 Assignment20
Exam 210
My Ethical Stance in Journalism - Lesson 3 Assignment20
Exam 310
Journalism and the Law - Lesson 4 Assignment20
Exam 410
A Newsworth Story - Lesson 5 Assignment50
Exam 510
A Personal Story - Lesson 6 Assignment50
Exam 610
Lesson 7 Assignment15
Exam 79
Lesson 8 Assignment15
Exam 810
Preparing for Your First Interview - Lesson 9 Assignment20
Exam 910
Exam 1010
Lesson 11 Assignment20
Exam 1110
Crafting a News Story - Lesson 12 Assignment35
Exam 1210
Expository Writing - Lesson 13 Assignment50
Exam 1310
Broadcast News Writing - Lesson 14 Assignment50
Exam 1410
Exam 1510
The Final Exam35
Total Points:613

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