Fall Semester - 2004
Instructor: Stan Swofford
Phone: 373.7351 (w) 273.1408 (h)
Class Site: McIver 231
Time: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. - Tuesdays
August 7 Introduction; Newswriting
August 14 Summary Leads; ch. 1, 2, 3, 4
August 31 Summary Leads cont.; Special Leads; ch. 5
September 7 Story organization and development; ch. 6, 7
September 14 Quotations and attribution; ch. 8
September 21 Art of the interview; Features; ch. 10, 9
September 28 Feature Writing cont.; ch. 9
October 5 Speeches, Press Conferences, Releases; ch. 15
October 19 Beat Reporting; Cops and Courts, Government
Politics; ch. 18, 19, 20, 21
October 26 Beat Reporting cont.; campus cop station tour
November 2 Election Day Coverage
November 9 Weather & Disasters; ch. 16
November 16 Enterprise Reporting; ch. 23
November 23 Newsroom Tour
November 30 First Amendment and the Press, Libel Law; ch. 25
TEXT: “News Writing and Reporting for Today’s Media” (6th Edition)
Attendance Policy: You are expected to attend class and hand in assignments when they are due. Unexcused absences will lower your grade.
Late Papers: They will lower your grade. Reporters have deadlines, and so
1. At the completion of this course, the student will be able to:
2. Write clear, succinct and thorough newspaper stories, including spot or breaking news, features, and in-depth, explanatory articles.
3. Collect and develop information by a mastery of reporting techniques and the art of the interview.
4. Appreciate and understand the importance of a free, vigorous, and vigilant press in a democratic society.
1. This is a writing intensive course in which students will be required to
write almost every class period as they learn how to identify, focus and build
on the key elements of a story. You may be asked to write on- or two-paragraph “briefs,” and
to produce in class a quick six-to-eight-paragraph story about an on-campus
mugging or a robbery of the local convenience store. You will be assigned more
lengthy stories to report and write outside class. You may be asked to research
and write on a local political race and/or to write a profile on a campus leader,
professor or administrator. You’ll write about serious issues and lighthearted
slices of life.
2. Numerical grades will be given for these and other writing assignments, and for occasional quizzes on lecture and textbook material. You will be graded on your mastery of various styles of news writing, such as the inverted pyramid and the narrative, and your ability to write clearly and succinctly with attention to detail. Your final grade will reflect the improvement in your writing and reporting.