Introduction to News Gathering and Writing
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  I: Administrative Information   II: Course Details   III: Topical Outline(s)  Printable Version
Section I: Administrative Information
  Total hours: 56.0
Credit Value: 4.0
Credit Value Notes: N/A
Effective: Fall 2010
Prerequisites: N/A
Corequisites: N/A
Pre/Co/Equiv Notes: N/A

Program(s): Journalism-New Media
Program Coordinator(s): Sherine Mansour
Course Leader or Contact: Tba
Status: Approved (APPR)

Section I Notes: N/A

Section II: Course Details

Detailed Description
Students prepare for the pursuit, preparation and packaging of news for multiple media platforms. Basic news gathering principles will be examined as students learn the basic journalistic skills associated with news judgment, researching, interviewing, verifying of sources, writing and packaging for print, broadcast and online mediums.

Program Context

Journalism-New Media Program Coordinator: Sherine Mansour
This course is a basic, necessary and fundamental course in the training of journalism students that prepares them for the industry by focusing on the cornerstone skills of research, interviewing, writing and packaging of news and information.

Course Critical Performance and Learning Outcomes

 By the end of this course, students will have demonstrated the ability
to identify, research, gather, verify, write and package news for
print, broadcast and Internet mediums. 

Learning Outcomes

To achieve the critical performance, students will have demonstrated
the ability to:

1. apply good news judgment in the news gathering process 
2. select and interview appropriate individuals when gathering news
3. construct and research news stories through various modes 
   available to journalists  
4. examine and search through newswires
5. write print, web and broadcast style news stories 
6. validate and nurture news sources
7. use newsroom software in the packaging of news stories 
8. appraise and self-edit news stories 
9. understand all legal and ethical rules governing responsible journalism

Evaluation Plan
Students demonstrate their learning in the following ways:

All assignments must be submitted by the assignment deadline.  Each
day an assignment is late will result in the loss of one mark deducted
from the total value of the assignment.  In-class activities must be
done in-class. 
Exceptions may be made with a medical note or at the instructor¿s
Plagiarism is a serious offense and the policy as stated on the
College website in the student handbook will be strictly enforced. 
Penalties range from an automatic 0 to suspension when a student is
caught plagiarizing.

Students demonstrate their learning in the following ways: 

Evaluation Plan established by Ken Wolff (Tuesday's class)

Assignments - Ken Wolff
Blog - 10% 
Interview Assignment - 10% 
Print Story Pitch - 5% 
Web Story Pitch - 5% 
Web Story Assignment - 10% 

Total: 50% 

Evaluation Plan established by Sherine Mansour (Friday's class)
Assignments - Sherine Mansour
TV Scripts - Various - 20%
In Class Radio/Podcasting Assignment - 10%
Grammar Exam - 20% 

Total: 50%
Provincial Context
The course meets the following Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development requirements:


Essential Employability Skills
Essential Employability Skills emphasized in the course:

X Communication X Critical Thinking & Problem Solving X Interpersonal
  Numeracy X Information Management X Personal

Notes: N/A

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition
PLAR Contact (if course is PLAR-eligible) : Office of the Registrar

Students may apply to receive credit by demonstrating achievement of the course learning outcomes through previous relevant work/life experience, service, self-study and training on the job. This course is eligible for challenge through the following method(s):

Challenge Exam Portfolio Interview Other Not Eligible for PLAR
X X X    

Notes: N/A

Section III: Topical Outline
Some details of this outline may change as a result of circumstances such as weather cancellations, College and student activities, and class timetabling.
Effective term: Fall 2010
Professor: Tba

Applicable student group(s): Students of Journalism New Media
Course Details:
JOUR55586  Topical Outline for Ken Wolff - Tuesday¿s Class 
Some details of this outline may change as a result of circumstances
such as weather cancellations, college and student activities, and
class timetabling. 
Instructor: Ken Wolff / Sherine Mansour
Applicable student group(s): Students of Journalism New Media 
Course Details (Weeks 1-14):


Week 1:	Course Overview 
-introduction to the class
-survival information to get through the semester
-discuss course outline
-Ken online and print marking
-Sherine broadcast
-we are following the same path, sometimes work will duplicate,
sometimes go in separate directions, will end up at the same place
-discuss marking scheme
-introductions to each other
-significant group work
-current affairs quiz
-short writing assignment

Week 2: Being a Journalist
-what it means to be a journalist
-Samuel Freedman On Being a Journalist
-the theory and the practicality 
-has social media changed the basics of journalism?
-practical examples and lots of discussion

Week 3: Basic principles of Research 
-getting it right
-verifying facts
-credibility of sources
-trusting Wikipedia, blogs tweets
-rumours versus news
-the consequences of making a mistake
-where do you find the story
-how do you know it is a story
-introduce the journalistic blog, to be followed with practical info

Week 4: The Interview
-the various forms of interviews
-the interview for research
-the interview for quotes
-the print interview
-the web interview
-where do you do the interviews?
-what are the right questions?
-doing the interview (assign interview to be marked next week)

Week 5: More of the interview
-testing what you have learned
-exercise in class involving research and the interview
-in-class interview for marking
-how do you take the information you have gathered and turn it into a
story for print?

Week 6: What news is and once you know that, how do you come up with
your idea?
-review blogs in regards to the definition of news
-what is your story about?
-is it the right story
-how do you order your facts?
-making sure you are the observer, not the participant
-picking a story to write
-following week hand in story idea

Week 7:	 Writing the news story
-present story idea (5 marks) 
-once you have the idea, how do you write it 
-active writing
-picking the right word
-your place in the story
-assign story

Week 8:  The art of writing news
-writing short
-editing, editing editing
-finding your voice
-creating scenes
-different types of stories
-hand in story assigned in previous week

Week 9: More than one draft
-in class editing of the story
-in class re-write the story
-hand in for 10%

Week 10: Web vs Print
-how does the web vary from print?
-how are your blogs different from print writing?
-how does Twitter and text messaging change writing for print
-is writing for the web as journalistically the same as writing for
the web?

Week 11: Writing for the Web
-writing that you can scan
-point forms
-bullet points
-sub headings
-is there a place for literate writing?
-submit story idea for the web

Week 12: How you make it work
-Presenting story idea for the web
-submit idea for marking 5%
-making the idea come to life on the web

Week 13: Getting practical about online journalism
-present personal blogs
-analysis of them as traditional journalism
-analysis of them as new journalism
-provide written web presentation of what you think worked and what
did not work(10%)
-work on final web story (presented in a web form)

Week 14: General overview
-hand in final web story (10%)
-review on moving into semester two


Week 1: Sept. 10
Introduction and class overview for the semester
What are the cardinal rules of broadcast writing? 
What's the story?  Where do TV scripts come from?  
Types of scripts in television news writing
Types of leads in television news writing 
Writing for the ear (and the mouth!)

Week 2: Sept. 17
Wire Services and news feeds - INTRO TO ENPS SOFTWARE
The Basics of Writing to video 
Writing Styles - not everyone writes the same but there are some rules
(Style Guide) 
Writing Tense
In class writing exercise 
***Assign voiceover story to correspond with Editing class 

Week 3: Sept. 24
Attribution and Integrity 
Lose the Hyperbole, temper the sensationalism 
Rewriting news wire stories - practice
Rewriting from newspaper stories 
***In - class writing exercise - due in class Week 4 

Week 4: Oct. 1	
Due - In Class writing exercise for evaluation 
Writing stories from raw video and interviews - practice  
Telling the Story from the desk versus from the field
Writing Breaking News for television
***In Class writing exercise - due in class week 5 

Week 5: Oct.8	
Due - In Class writing exercise for evaluation   
ENPS Software Training 
News lineups and the role of the writers  

Week 6:  Oct. 15	
Writing bumpers, teasers and other show elements 
Writing for dual anchors 
Writing anchor thros to reporter packages 
Week 7: Oct. 22	
Writing to Video Lab - Full Class 
TV Scripts Assignment Distributed 

Week 8 -  Nov 5	
TV Scripts Assignment Due Beginning of Class - 20%
Formatting of TV scripts 
Show Lineup exercise  - Lab

Week 9: Nov 12
Show Lineup Exercise Cont.  

Week 10: Nov 19	
Lab - Writing for Radio and podcasting 
In class activity 

Week 11: Nov. 26	
Lab - Writing for Radio and podcasting
In Class Assignment - 10%   DUE IN CLASS

Week 12: Dec 3
Grammar Seminar - Nail it down!

Week 13: Dec 10	
In class Grammar Exam 

Week 14 - 17
Final grammar marks distributed 
Semester Wrap up - planning for semester two

Sheridan Policies

All Sheridan policies can be viewed on the Sheridan policy website.

Academic Integrity: The principle of academic integrity requires that all work submitted for evaluation and course credit be the original, unassisted work of the student. Cheating or plagiarism including borrowing, copying, purchasing or collaborating on work, except for group projects arranged and approved by the professor, or otherwise submitting work that is not the student's own, violates this principle and will not be tolerated. Students who have any questions regarding whether or not specific circumstances involve a breach of academic integrity are advised to review the Academic Integrity Policy and procedure and/or discuss them with the professor.

Copyright: A majority of the course lectures and materials provided in class and posted in SLATE are protected by copyright. Use of these materials must comply with the Acceptable Use Policy, Use of Copyright Protected Work Policy and Student Code of Conduct. Students may use, copy and share these materials for learning and/or research purposes provided that the use complies with fair dealing or an exception in the Copyright Act. Permission from the rights holder would be necessary otherwise. Please note that it is prohibited to reproduce and/or post a work that is not your own on third-party commercial websites including but not limited to Course Hero or OneNote. It is also prohibited to reproduce and/or post a work that is not your own or your own work with the intent to assist others in cheating on third-party commercial websites including but not limited to Course Hero or OneNote.

Intellectual Property: Sheridan's Intellectual Property Policy generally applies such that students own their own work. Please be advised that students working with external research and/or industry collaborators may be asked to sign agreements that waive or modify their IP rights. Please refer to Sheridan's IP Policy and Procedure.

Respectful Behaviour: Sheridan is committed to provide a learning environment that supports academic achievement by respecting the dignity, self-esteem and fair treatment of every person engaged in the learning process. Behaviour which is inconsistent with this principle will not be tolerated. Details of Sheridan's policy on Harassment and Discrimination, Academic Integrity and other academic policies are available on the Sheridan policy website.

Accessible Learning: Accessible Learning coordinates academic accommodations for students with disabilities. For more information or to register, please see the Accessible Learning website (Statement added September 2016)

Course Outline Changes: The information contained in this Course Outline including but not limited to faculty and program information and course description is subject to change without notice. Any changes to course curriculum and/or assessment shall adhere to approved Sheridan protocol. Nothing in this Course Outline should be viewed as a representation, offer and/or warranty. Students are responsible for reading the Important Notice and Disclaimer which applies to Programs and Courses.

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