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COM206 Schedule


Aug. 26 Introductions, syllabus, text, knowledge assessment; course blog, NewsCentral. Read Chapter 1 “Nature of News”
28 What is news; current events quiz; Newseum front pages; NewsU course: News Sense: The building blocks of news (sign up at; VideoCentral “Newspapers Now: Balancing Citizen Journalism and Investigative Reporting”
Sept . 2 The profession; see Pyramid of Competence (on Main Page), The Internet; Chapter 2 “Convergence”; VideoCentral “User Generated Content” and “Convergence and Essential Skills”; Writing Assignment #1: The State of News (see Pew’s State of the News Media and People and the Press)
4 Discuss Pyramid of Competence; Read McManus: “Objectivity: It’s Time to Say Goodbye”; VideoCentral “The Objectivity Myth”; Current events and NewsU quiz
Sept.  9 AP style tips (handout); Appendix 2; NewsCentral; Clay Shirky on the “end of the printed newspaper  Due: Writing #1
11 Grammar, common errors, Appendix 3; meeting with Collegian editor; Discussion #1;
Sept. 16 AP Style homework (handout); Writing Assignment #2: Collegian story pitches;  Finding story ideas; VideoCentral “Investigative Reporting”; Word Crimes;
18 MSWord editing, and practice file; Chapter 4 “Gathering Info”; Google; Verification cases 1 and 2; UCBerkeley guide, CARDS, ; Current events quiz; new SPJ ethics code  Due: AP Style
Sept. 23 Data (cont.) a better Public Records site; Basic story structure, Chapter 6 “Inverted Pyramid”;
25 Discussion #2; Writing Assignment #3:  Hurling rewrite (begin in-class)  Due: Writing #2
Sept. 30 Verification handbook Case Study Boston Bombing; VideoCentral “Fake News/Real News: A Fine Line”; Beats, Chapter 11 “Covering a Beat”; VideoCentral “Agenda-Setting and Gatekeeping”
Oct. 2 Current events quiz; Gathering data  Due: Writing #3
Oct. 7 (also News Engagement Day) Basic stories; Writing Assignment #4: Ledes;
9 Discussion #3; catch-up,
Oct. 14 Test prep; Should all journalists be on Twitter?  Due: Writing #4
16 Mid-term with current events
23 Chapter 13 “Writing Common Types”; Discussion #4
Oct. 28 Interviewing, quotes; Chapter 3 “Interviewing”; 10 source types; PBS’s Art of the Interview; Profiles; Chapter 7 “Beyond the Inverted”; Writing Assignment #5: Profile assignment; My news-feature writing tips
30 Photos, Photoshop; Content Management Systems (WordPress); your blog Editor account; Current events quiz
Nov. 4 Smartphone journalism (ITV video); Chapter 8 “Writing for Digital”; VideoCentral “Going Viral”;
6 Data-driven journalism; Chapter 5 “Reporting with Numbers”; VideoCentral “Computer Assisted Reporting”; Data exercises; Discussion #5  Due: Writing #5
Nov. 11 Excel, data sources; Excel lab, Writing Assignment #6: Interviewing Hurricane Sandy data; (Dropped: Speeches, conferences, Chapter 12 “Speeches”);
13 Writing for other media, social media guidelines (Facebook, Twitter for journalists); speaker prep: Jim Brady of BillyPenn; Project Thunderdome lessons; BillyPenn itself; Current events quiz;
Nov. 18 Guest speaker (Chris Krewson of BillyPenn); Writing Assignment #7: Krewson
20 Guest speaker writing lab; Discussion #6; continue Excel assignment (Writing #6)
Nov. 25 Legal issues, Chapter 14 “Law” VideoCentral “Bloggers & Legal Rights” and “Shield Laws and Non-traditional Journalists”; guest speaker Dr. Kathleen Olson, Lehigh University;  Due: Writing #6
Dec. 2 Ethics, Chapter 15 “Ethics”; VideoCentral “Journalism Ethics” and  “The Power of Images”; prepublication checks; (Writing Assignment #8 on law, ethics)  Due: Writing #7
4 Current events quiz; summary discussion
Dec.  11  Final Exam, 2 p.m.  Due: Writing #8
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