REPORTING (Spring 2001)
112.10 Advanced Reporting (Spring, 2001)
a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Monday & Wednesday
Address: MPA 417
Hours: 2-4 pm, Monday
in a New Century by Jerry Lanson and Barbara Croll Fought (Lanson)
Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual
Told Me by Rick Bragg
Reporting Web Research Page - Gelman
librarians have built a special web page to assist students in this course.
Post - Students
are expected to keep abreast of the news, and current articles in the Post
often will be discussed in class. Students should become daily readers
of the national and metropolitan news.
of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics -
ethics will be explored in-depth late in the semester, students from the
outset of the course should familiarize themselves with the basic code
of ethical conduct for journalists.
Technology Services - Students
in this course will need competency in Word and in Excel. Basic classes
are offered through the university's ITS. Follow this link to learn more.
111; Restricted to journalism majors
develop news gathering and writing skills and to apply those skills to
the coverage of public affairs. Through hands-on experience, readings,
discussions and classroom drills, students will learn reporting techniques
in covering breaking news and in grappling with complex topics in depth.
Through in-class exercises and outside assignments, students will hone
the writing skills needed to bring clarity, context, and objectivity to
news in a world of converging media. Students will also explore and debate
journalism values and ethics.
course blends lectures and readings with hands-on exercises and other practical
applications. Students will be introduced to a spectrum of reporting
techniques from the traditional notepad to the latest computer aid. As
in a modern newsroom, computer literacy will be expected along with writing
competency. Unless otherwise specified by the instructor, all
outside class assignments will be posted as Prometheus files in a word
processing format that can be edited by the instructor. Students will use
Word in the lab and should be familiar with it. Later in the semester,
students will use Excel spreadsheets as reporting tools. Students who are
unfamiliar with either of these programs should enroll in short courses
offered by GW's Information Technology Services. See above link to ITS.
There will be no midterm. The final examination will test deadline
writing and knowledge of reporting techniques.
Assignments: Writing and reporting exercises and quizzes will occur periodically.
The Lanson text and the AP stylebook should be brought to each class meeting.
Each student will select a local government body as a beat, which will
be used to generate outside writing assignments. All beat selections must
be approved by the instructor. Students should also check their own schedules
to avoid conflicts with regularly scheduled meetings on their beats. The
beat should be a major arm of local government in the Washington metropolitan
area, such as a city, county or school district. State and federal agencies
are excluded. The beat coverage will include the production of a
beat memo and four stories, which will constitute 50 percent of the final
grade. All stories must be double-spaced with standard margins and type
size. Reporter notes are subject to request. Students are encouraged to
read local news media coverage of their beat but any use of such material
in stories must follow the rules of attribution. Plagiarism will
not be tolerated, and students should be familiar with university's Code
of Academic Integrity and journalism's generally accepted ethical rules.
A copy of the Society of Professional Journalist's code is linked above.
Unless otherwise specified, deadlines are the start of class on the designated
date. No late papers will be accepted after the last day of regular classes.
will be graded on content, writing and newsworthiness. Grades will be applied
as though stories were presented in a newsroom. To receive an A, a story
should be of publishable quality or near publishable quality, requiring
only modest editing. A story receiving a B would be one sufficiently developed
that it could be published in the current news cycle with more reporting
and some rewriting. A story that requires more reworking than can be accomplished
in the current news cycle would receive a C. A story receiving a D would
fail to meet minimum reporting and writing standards, requiring a complete
overhaul. A story that shows disregard of those standards and contains
factual errors would receive an F. Grades will be lowered for errors
in fact, AP style, grammar, word usage and spelling. The grade for stories
that contain a misspelled name will be lowered a notch, automatically.
Missed deadlines will also result in grade reductions and the reductions
will become increasingly extreme with repeat behavior.
With the exception of the Beat Memo, rewriting will be allowed for Stories
1-4. Stories that receive an A may be rewritten for practice, but will
not be graded again. Stories that receive a grade of A- to
C- may be rewritten for regrading but it will result in no more than one
letter improvement. Stories that receive a D or F must be rewritten
but they will receive a final grade of no more than a C. Failure to rewrite
in these cases will result in an F. All rewrites will be due
at the next session of class, unless specified differently by the instructor.
Punctuality in attending class will be expected. Unexcused absences will
count against the final grade, even if no written assignments are required
in class. Students should be prepared to discuss their writing during class
and critique the work of others during class discussions. Attention in
class will be expected, and e-mailing and other non-instructional uses
of the computers during a lecture are prohibited.
Memo - 5%
1 - 10%
2 - 10%
3 - 10%
4 - 15%
Assignments - 25%
Exam - 15%
29 - Beat choices
5 - Beat Memo
14 - Story 1
28 - Story 2
4 - Story 3
11 - Story 4 Synopsis
25 - Story 4
- Final Exam