MC106 Class Syllabus

MC 106 – 5Q: Newswriting and Reporting I (34645)

Credit: 3 Hours

Location: Thursdays, 2-4:40 p.m., Heritage Hall Room 420

Instructor: Bill Neville

Office & Hours: Hill University Center, Room 135; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday

Contact: 934-6691,


Catalog says: Newswriting and Reporting I—Recognizing news, interviewing, reporting, and writing news for print.

Instructor says: Contemporary reporters and newswriters are no longer bound by the limitations of publishing their stories and words for print. However, the building blocks for learning the skill set necessary in learning the craft of journalism are the same regardless of whether the content developed is intended to be published, broadcast of distributed electronically on the internet. Reporting is reporting, no matter the medium that is used for its distribution. This is an introductory course in newswriting and reporting. We will write news stories, review grammar, style, punctuation, and diction, and become familiar with news values, judgment, ethics, legal standards, and basic building blocks of a story.

Text/Resources: You must OWN the required text. The course relies on an integrated approach that uses the text and online resources. Failure to have the text will be to your detriment.

 Required: Inside Reporting: A Practical Guide to the Craft of Journalism, First edition, by Tim Harrower, ISBN-13 9780073526140 (2007)

 Software: Microsoft Word (Standard Word Processing Software) to be provided in class. Access to a computer and to internet for outside work and homework.

 Various online resources will be provided by the instructor

 Optional Text: Associated Press Stylebook ISBN: 0-465-00488-1

Course Objectives:

• To develop the basic skills required for reporters, to learn elements of the craft of newswriting, and to deploy those skills by demonstrating the ability to prepare standard news stories;

To recognize news values and to develop a logical approach to sound news judgment based on a strong foundation of ethical decision-making;

• To review and practice fundamentals of writing in a journalistic style using proper grammar, style, punctuation, and to become acquainted with the basic elements of Associated Press style;

• To explore new methods of distributing journalistic content, including the craft of writing for online distribution and developing content by regular posting of individual web logs (blogs).

• To survey associated forms of media writing for broadcast and public relations, and to learn the similarities and differences between these special purpose crafts and standard forms of reporting and writing

Organization: The class will be divided roughly into three 45 minute segments that address (1) course content as outlined in the text (history, overview of the industry, newswriting, reporting, coverage, law, ethics and related forms of writing), (2) class discussion and review (strategies, methods and techniques used in newsgathering and distribution), and (3) hands-on laboratory practice in the application of these newswriting and reporting techniques under simulated deadlines.

Grading: Quizzes (5 quizzes – No Make-Ups — low grade to be dropped) 10%
Class Participation (Based in part on Attendance) 10%
Mid-Term Exam 15%
In-Class Writing, Online Exercises and Blogging Project 40%
Individual news or feature writing assignment 10%
Final Exam 15%

Enterprise assignments up to 5%

Enterprise: Enterprise assignments typically are self-created assignments. Journalists often engage in enterprise work due to their own interests. The instructor will consider work that is related to the objectives of the class, generated and performed by the student IN ADDITION to classroom assignments for extra credit up to five percent of their accumulated grade. Examples of Enterprise work might include writing stories or completing assignments in Student Media at UAB, the creation of various printing pieces – club or organization flyers, newsletters, handbills and so on – and other self-generated assignments that serve a practical or applied purpose. Students who desire must submit a portfolio that describes and shows examples of their enterprise work.

Attendance: No penalty for missed classes will be assessed, but no makeup is allowed for a missed in-class assignment or quiz. (Class members should keep in mind that 40 percent of their grade comes from projects and in-class exercises so excessive absences will have a detrimental effect on the final grade.) No makeup of work is allowed when an unexcused absence occurs. Class assignments completed after deadline are subject to a grading penalty


One Response to “MC106 Class Syllabus”

  1. finestbro06 Says:

    I love it! Self explanatory!

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