September 24, 2007 Archives

Key Concept:

RRRR Sequence

Starting with next week's readings, EL200 will begin following the RRRR sequence. Most of you will already be familiar with this sequence. I will be happy to meet with anyone who would like more details.

  • Read any assigned text
  • React by posting to your own blog, at least 24 hours before class starts, an agenda item -- a brief quotation and a statement of what you would talk about if called on in class. (You don't actually have to be finished with the readings when you post your agenda item.)
  • Respond by posting 2-4 comments on your classmates' agenda items, before class time.
  • Reflect by writing a half-page response paper that mentions by name a classmate whose agenda item helped you to see something new about the day's readings. (I encourage you to post your reflection on your blog, and link to the agenda item you found inspiring; but you may instead just bring the agenda item as a printed page.)
If you have more than one assigned reading for a given day, I am asking for more than one agenda item, more than one set of comments, and more than one reflection paper.
In class on 10 Sep I said that the only homework would be helping to produce The Setonian, so this assignment (which was originally scheduled for 17 Sep) is now due on 24 Sep.
Rescheduled from Sep 17. Submit along with Portfolio 1.

Draw on the assigned course materials and your own experience to make a significant point about cultural stereotypes regarding journalists. In old movies, newspaper reporters sweat and smoke and call women "broads" or "dames."  They seem more likely to get in a fistfight than to look up whether the alcoholic haze in which they live is making their career "founder" or "flounder." TV journalists have become TV personalities, with the function of the journalist blurring with talk show hosts like Oprah Winfrey and Jay Leno, and comedians like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. If I said, "And I, for one, welcome our new ____ overlords," would you get the reference? What does all this say about the future of journalism as a profession?

Tonight! on Channel 5 Action News!... Verbs.... disappearing from the vocabulary of news anchors! Our Slick Goodhair, live with linguists investigating an explosion of participles, cluttering the speech of newscasters. Verbs in TV news... a vanishing breed? 

But first, footage of Action NewsTeam's Perky McWideteeth going undercover at a local TV news station... that wants to abuse your trust by wasting your time!  What does she find about how TV news manipulates your emotions in order to sell your time to advertisers?  About getting audience members riled up and offended, and then suddenly cutting away to a commercial, leaving them hanging?  That and more, after the break.

Write a 2-page informal essay, quoting brief passages from assigned readings and/or materials you find online, that addresses a single, specific point about forces that have shaped and continue to shape journalism.

You need not address the TV news example I gave above... but feel free to do something creative in this essay. You may write a conventional short essay, poetry, or a "fake news" story (see The Onion, "Actual Expert too Boring for TV," "Unspeakable Happens in Area Town," or "Amazing New Hyperbolic Chamber Greatest Invention In The History Of Mankind Ever" for inspiration).
Due Today:

Portfolio 1

Revised, as described in class on 17 Sep

Upload to

1) A Lab Report (a 400-word news article) (50%)
    • Cover your contributions to the production of The Setonian (other than writing or photography)
    • Include direct quotes from your supervisors and co-workers.
    • Write it in the third person, following all the principles of good journalism. (Thus, on first reference you are "Firstname Lastname, a freshman at Seton Hill University," and on subsequent references you are "Lastname.")
2) Reading and Course Material Reflection (1-2 pages, 25%)
    • Collect your thoughts on the readings and other class activities.
    • Rather than summarizing what you have read, demonstrate your ability to apply those readings to your real-world work on the Setonian or your term project.
    • Rather than respond generally, quote specific passages and supply specific reactions/applications.
    • You may simply submit this to, but I encourage you to post it on your blog as well. (If you do, please include the URL in the file you submit to
3) Term Project "action item" (25%)
  • Commit to one of the class projects.
  • Very briefly, sketch out where you feel you should be by the time you write your next portfolio.
  • If you have actually started substantial work towards your project, include it here for my feedback.
  • For the first portfolio, your action item may simply be a proposal and a rough timeline. For the next portfolio, possible action items might include
    • A complete timeline.
    • A one-page handout for the "New Media Journalism" website.
    • A draft of a letter to publicize a journalism contest, and a list of addresses for mailing.
    • A list of URLs that link to pages you have "webbified" (adding links and formatting for the online reader) on the Setonian Online.
4) In, there is a separate slot for Exercise 1

Recent Comments

Jeremy Barrick on Portfolio 1 (23 Sep, 22:25h)
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