SYLLABUS, English 319, News Editing, Spring, 2003. Instructor, Cline
Student Learning Goals
At the completion of this course, the student will be able to:
· Demonstrate the ability to write clearly, coherently and effectively about a particular discipline
· Adapt modes of communication to the audience
Incorporate constructive feedback from readers to improve the written work
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course is designed to give basic
instruction in the process of newspaper editing. Editing, for purposes of this
class, involves the preparation of copy for publication and packaging for a
daily newspaper. Class instruction will include detailed discussions on the
basics of grammar, art of copy editing, headline writing, news evaluation as
well as limited discussion on photo selection and cropping, layout and design.
Additional instruction will also include and put emphasis on journalistic
ethics rules (including videos) and libel laws of newspapering
in particular and overall newsroom activities in general. Journalism ethics
will be a major foundation of the course. There will also be video classroom
discussion on how television newsrooms perform (or at least should). Focus on
this part of the class will be a PBS series on one TV newsroom in
This is not intended to be merely a lecture class. Rather, it is intended to be a participatory discussion with open and spirited dialogues and exchanges between instructor and students. Let's make it a team effort. Classes are designed riot to tell you what or how to think, but merely to cause you to think.
Regular reading of a daily newspaper
Bledsoe, Jerry, Death By Journalism?
Strunk & White, The Elements of Style
Associated Press Stylebook
Course Groundrules: Attendance‑‑be here and be on time. Assignments missed because of class absences are your responsibility.
Course Outline: The first portion of the semester will be used for discussing and reviewing basics of spelling and grammar. There will be regular assignments for purposes of determining grades. The remainder of the semester will be used to discuss videos on ethics and the television news approach to editing, page layout and design, photos, ethics, libel, and editorials. Class instruction will be a mixture of lectures and open discussion, preferably (for you and me) more of the latter and less of the former. There will be five or six assignments during the semester for grading. There will not be a midterm exam, but there will be a final exam. Class participation is voluntary, but strongly encouraged. All other things being equal, good class discussion and debate from you will add bonus points. The more you participate and challenge in class, the better you both appreciate and understand the discussions and reasons for recommendations on the editing processes.
Students should come away from the semester with a better understanding of and (hopefully) greater appreciation for newspaper editing. If the course helps convince you that journalism in general and editing in particular are your career preferences, wonderful. If the course convinces you this is not the career path you prefer, that's acceptable, although not preferred. Either way, we will have `succeeded. What I want and what you should expect is no less than a better focus on where you go from here. This is just one. small step in the process of lifelong learning. Let's make the most of it together.