Journalism Online Single Semester

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Students are introduced to the historical importance of journalism in America. They study the basic principles of print and online journalism as they examine the role of printed news media in our society. They learn investigative skills, responsible reporting, and journalistic writing techniques as they read, respond to, and write their own news and feature articles. Students conduct interviews, research, write, and design their own publications.

Unit 1: News Then and Now

Students learn about the function of an independent press in a free society; review important people and events in journalistic history; and learn new technologies that affect how news is disseminated. They explore career opportunities in journalism and the required training or education for those careers.

  • Course Introduction
  • Students will write a summary about the events of the last year using attribution, quotations, and paraphrases.
  • The Value of News—Then and Now
  • Medium and Message

Unit 2: Ethics and the Law

Students learn the essentials of journalistic ethics; the consequences of plagiarism; and the impact of ethical guidelines on standards for professional and student organizations. They learn how to apply legal and ethical journalistic standards to all journalism activities.

  • The Media and the Law
  • Truth or Consequences
  • Freedom and Fairness

Unit 3: Interviewing and Research Skills

Students learn to find story ideas; identify and evaluate sources of information; and use approved conventions to cite sources. They learn interviewing techniques and procedures; and practice appropriate listening and speaking skills.

  • Where Reporter's Find Their Stories
  • Follow the Money
  • What Makes a Good Question?
  • Journalism 2.0

Unit 4: Story Structure

Students learn to organize and structure a story.

  • Organizing Parts of a Story
  • Introduction to Structure
  • On the Trail
  • Correspondent's Column
  • That's a Wrap

Unit 5: AP Style, Editing, and Proofreading

Students learn how a newsroom is organized; the flow of work in both print and broadcast newsrooms; and how newsroom staffers work collaboratively to produce the news. They learn about the use of visual media to enhance storytelling; common layout and design principles; and typical copyediting symbols. They review common errors in punctuation and grammar and learn to proofread and edit their own work.

  • Deadline Drama
  • A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words
  • Back To the Drawing Board
  • Teamwork in the Newsroom
  • Back To the Drawing Board

Unit 6: Multimedia and Web Essentials

Students look at the effects of technology on journalism. They learn and experiment with various delivery models of news through new media; learn how appropriate styles of writing are determined by the medium; evaluate how technology has changed both the editorial and business side of the media; and learn about various types of advertising.

  • Cruising the Blogosphere
  • The Adaptable Writer

Unit 7: Hard News

Students learn how reporters develop and maintain sources; how news is organized within a media outlet; how beats are organized, assigned, and monitored; and the differences between local, national and international news.

  • Covering the Globe
  • And the Beat Goes On
  • On the Trail
  • Correspondent's Column
  • A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words
  • Back To the Drawing Board
  • That's a Wrap

Unit 8: Soft News

Students learn the differences between hard and soft news; the characteristics of features, profiles, reviews, and sports stories; and the appropriate styles of leads and story structures for each of these types of stories. They learn how to express their creativity through appropriate writing flourishes with soft news genres and how to fairly critique an artistic work such as a film or book.

  • Genres of Journalism

Unit 9: Opinion News

Students learn when it is appropriate to include personal opinions and reactions in a piece of journalism. They explore the use of satire and its relationship to the news; techniques of successful opinion columnists; and persuasive language and rhetorical strategies. They learn to evaluate opinion writing for its effectiveness and sense of fairness.

  • Tell Me What You Really Think
  • Tricks of the Trade

Unit 10: Final Project

  • Students complete a final project.
  • Making a Difference
  • On the Trail
  • Correspondent's Column
  • A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words
  • Back To the Drawing Board
  • That's a Wrap

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