Advanced Journalism & Media Literacy
2013-2014 Course Syllabus
Ms. Mary Donnelly firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @msdon9
The Bull’s Eye Production Team: weekly meetings to be scheduled.
Extra Help/Office Hours: I’m always available to help you! Kindly give me 24 hours’ notice.
This is a full-year elective course designed to stimulate and challenge you. You will have the opportunity to write and edit stories for print or website publication and produce video packages for MSG Varsity. The class functions primarily as a workshop to produce multimedia content and the school newspaper, The Bull’s Eye. In order to be successful in this class, you must have a passion for writing and a strong interest in newspapers, broadcast journalism, current events, and photography. You will be taught the skills of story selection, news writing and delivery, along with the television production skills of lighting, shooting, audio mixing, editing, graphics production, and directing. You must be able to work independently or in teams to gather information, generate stories, take photos and video, cover events outside of the regular school day, and receive direct training in how to use production software such as Microsoft Photo Editor, InDesign, iMovie, and/or Final Cut Express. The course will cover interviewing techniques, research procedures, career opportunities, and freedom of the press, as well as the production, editing, and social skills associated with broadcasting.
The Advanced Class: This course was designed for serious journalism students who have been successful in at least one other journalism course at Smithtown High School West. You will continue to be trained to think critically about what you read, watch and hear. As students who already have experience in journalism, you will continue your work on multimedia projects and The Bull’s Eye by assuming leadership roles and further hone your skills and talents in both print and broadcast journalism.
EDITORS and SENIOR WRITERS – In addition to the above expectations, editors and returning reporters (advanced class) are expected to be leaders, mentors and peer coaches to the beginning students in the class who have less experience. Editors are expected to work productively and positively with students who are producing material for their sections. Editors are also ultimately responsible for the content, photos, captions, headlines, design, copy editing and proofreading of their sections – that is, everything! – and they should clearly go above and beyond the level of beginning students in their efforts to help put out the best paper possible! We are the voice of Smithtown West!
Since any good print or video production is the result of a team effort, it is absolutely essential that mutual respect, a good work ethic, and a strong focus on teamwork are present in each and every class; an impressive, high-quality production and an award-winning school newspaper can only be produced by a strong production team. Grading for this class is based on BOTH individual performance and the overall quality of productions. In addition, this class is an outstanding opportunity to build a portfolio of productions which can be used in college and for job interviews.
The Routine – This course is a mixture of instruction and practice; after you have a chance to quickly learn about the basics of a particular journalistic skill, for example, you will have the opportunity to put it to use on a story or topic of your choice, or sometimes the choice of the editors or even me. Eventually, after a brief period of instruction and guided practice in the basic areas of newspaper journalism – the lead, the hard news story, the soft news story, the feature, the sports story, editorials/opinions/columns, photography, layout and design – you will spend most of your time working mostly