Journalism, Extensions and Honors Level
This class explores the major areas of mass media: newspaper, magazines, television and the Internet. This course is intended for students who like to write. The emphasis is on news writing for print and broadcast media. Students study ethics in the media, Associated Press style and interviewing techniques. Exercises include editorial and feature writing, advertising and sports writing. Students also read, analyze and discuss newspapers and magazines.
At the minimum you will need a notebook and writing implement for every class.
Honors Level – Honors-level classes are challenging courses of study, which require extensive independent work outside of the classroom. Students who select honors classes should demonstrate highly developed critical thinking, reading, writing, listening, speaking, reasoning and study skills. In many courses, students will be required to carry out extensive independent research and produce research papers and projects.
Extension Level – Extension-level classes will challenge the student in the classroom and require independent study outside of the classroom. In many extensions courses, students will be required to carry out independent research and produce a research paper or project. Students who select extension courses should demonstrate well-developed critical thinking, reading, writing, listening, speaking, reasoning and study skills.
Students will write effectively for a variety of purposes and audiences.
Students will listen to and view a variety of media related to news and journalism.
Students will utilize effective vocabulary and rhetorical skills in their reading, writing and oral communication regarding journalism.
Students will demonstrate effective skills for locating, evaluating, organizing, interpreting, and presenting information in a variety of formats.
Students will demonstrate self-management skills through conduct, class preparation and timely assignment follow through.
Scholastic dishonesty, which includes, but is not limited to, cheating on a test, plagiarism from any source, use of work done for another class, or unauthorized collaboration with another person to prepare written work, will result in a student(s) receiving no credit for the assignment, possibly and/or, depending on the circumstances, suspension from school.
In addition, academic dishonesty will result in an immediate dismissal from the National Honor Society, Class Officer or Leadership position.
Journalism Class Expectations:
At the bare minimum you will need a notebook and writing implement for every class. It would behoove you to have a folder or binder in which to collect class handouts, and a G-mail (Yes, specifically G-mail.) account. Also useful would be a Flash drive and a voice recorder of some kind.
In this class you will be learning how to research, conduct interviews, and then present what you find. You will study journalism ethics and apply them in real time. You will learn the roles of journalism and explore various models. In short, ladies and gentlemen, during the days and weeks of this course, you will be a working member of the press, with all the rights and legal responsibilities that entails.
Mondays and Fridays will be, by and large, instructional days during which students will be introduced to new concepts and skills. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are work days wherein students will be writing, interviewing and revising with an eye toward producing one or more news story or report (500-800 words) each deadline cycle (week). Additional assignments will be given as homework. In general, students will be working in teams of two.
Some student work will be offered to Panther Prints, the Nashua High School South student newspaper, for publication. Students also will be creating various publications and writing to fill them. A large portion of the second-quarter’s classes will be devoted to a practicum unit.
Students will be required to take part in an independent-reading unit.
There is a lot of reading and writing in this course; be prepared. I expect you to work and contribute to the class to the best of your abilities. I expect you to conduct yourself as intelligent, responsible, courteous, ethical and interesting human beings.
Quizzes: There will be a quiz nearly every Friday.
Big Projects: As part of the unit on broadcasting, students will be required, in small groups, to record and produce a 30-minute feature podcast. You will be blogging. Students will learn to design a basic Web site. If time and tech allows, there also will be opportunities to produce and practice television news reporting and gathering, as well as documentary filmmaking.
Various other projects and presentations will be assigned throughout the semester, including a many-word story written in the “New Journalism” style.
The final assessment will be the creation of a “clip file” and cover letter showcasing your work and experience.
You make the decisions, you accept the consequences; it’s as simple as that. If you conduct yourself professionally, you shouldn’t have any problems. If you cannot manage yourself, I’ll be forced to assist you via the school’s disciplinary process.
Attendance: If you are absent from class, for any reason, it is your responsibility to seek out and complete any missed assignments, lecture notes, tests, quizzes, etc. Make-up sessions are held in room C2024, after school every Tuesday or by appointment. There will be no make-up time during school hours. Regardless of the reason behind your absence, you have five days to make up the work. Students who miss class must get the day’s assignments via SoylentGreene.us, the class Twitter site, or Facebook group. Barring catastrophic Internet failure, there is no excuse for being oblivious about what went on in your absence.
If you are not in class by the time the final bell rings—both feet in the door, you are late and will be marked as such. If an administrator or another teacher makes you late, get them to write you a pass. If you are late because you splashed water on yourself in the bathroom or got your arm caught in a locker, tell me and we’ll talk.
Assignments: Assignments are expected in class on the day they are due, neat and complete. Late assignments will lose points every day they are late, and that includes weekends.
Homework due the day after it is assigned does not have to be typed. I understand students may have difficulty accessing computers with short notice, so neatly completed, hand-written (cursive) assignments are acceptable. If I can’t read it, I can’t—and won’t—grade it. Typed work is at all times preferable.
Long-term assignments, for which the deadline spans more than an overnight, MUST be typed. Problems with computers, disks, Internet connections, printers, copiers, monitors, flying monkeys, etc., are not acceptable excuses for missing or late work. Students must plan accordingly and get their work in for the deadline. If there is a real problem, like a family emergency, get me in the loop as fast as you can and we’ll talk.
The acceptable format for a typed assignment is Times New Roman font, at size 12, double-spaced. If I see more than three typos, syntax or style errors, or spelling mistakes on the first page, I will not accept the work. Instead, I will hand it back to you and you will make any needed corrections at home and turn the assignment back in the next day, at which time it will be marked late.
Participation: Students are required to participate, to the best of their ability, in each and every class. Your attendance will factor into this, as you cannot participate if you are not here. Miss a block? Find a way to make up the time.
Respect: I will not tolerate a demonstrated lack of respect toward me or any student. We are here to learn from each other and, for that, we need a safe space in which to work. Comments, items, people and ideas are not to be described as “gay” or “retarded.” Words have specific meanings; choose the ones you use carefully.
Grading: I use a system called “category total points.” Essentially each assignment has an assigned point value, and assignments that require more work count more. The sum of points earned divided by the sum of points possible is your assignment average. The final assessment will be factored in as 25 percent of the whole.
Assignments, based on scope and complexity, may take a considerable amount of time to evaluate. Therefore, your patience will be necessary regarding the returning and posting of grades.
Restroom Pass: The restroom pass can only be used once per student per class. If you need it, get up quietly, grab the pass, sign out on the log and head to the nearest restroom. Put the pass back in its place, do whatever the pass policy instructs, and return to your seat. Only one student is allowed out of the room at a time.
Computers: Computers, Wi-Fi and the LAN in this room may not be used for anything other than legitimate classwork. Inappropriate use can result in a detention and loss of computer privileges. Computers will be taken care of and loved as if they were your own. Use of the computer lab for this class is a hard-fought privilege, which can be revoked. Do not switch mice, unplug peripherals, etc., without permission. Online dictionaries and thesauri are on the bad list; don’t use them.
Furniture: The chairs are not rides; do not use them as such. Keep your feet off the desks and chairs.
General neatness: Leave the room at least as pretty and clean as you found it.
Technology and food: School-wide policies apply in here, too. Learn to love them.
Recommended Web sites include:
Films used in this class may include:
“All the President’s Men”
“Goodnight and Good Luck”
“Dying to Tell the Story”