4. Course Objectives
As a student in this course, you receive my guidance and feedback, in order to help you reach these specific objectives.
- Learn the basics of news gathering and news writing.
- Develop an appreciation for how the news educates the public (which includes you).
- Demonstrate the ability to read, comprehend, and analyze current events (as reported in the news).
- Examine the role of the journalist in a democratic society.
- Identify and embrace depth, balance, transparency, and accountability in news coverage.
- Identify and reject shallowness, bias, opacity, and elitism in news coverage.
- Demonstrate the ability to follow the grammatical and stylistic conventions of the Associated Press Stylebook.
- Meet deadlines while producing quality work for a general readership.
To achieve these objectives, you will develop your ability to write fair and balanced accounts of important issues, while at the same time cultivating a healthy skepticism of the material widely published as "news".The course is intended to help you achieve the following outcomes:
- demonstrate a thorough familiarity with the conventions of journalism (as presented via reputable publications, as spoofed in The Onion, and as presented in your own work)
- speak and write knowledgeably about important issues in journalism and how they interact with the culture at large
- accurately assess the credibility of a potential source (such as a web page, a press release, or an anonymous tip)
- exhibit communications skills and research methods which adhere to the standards and conventions of contemporary journalistic practice
English Program Objectives
While you do not need to be an English major in order to take this course, EL227 has been designed to fit into the English program, which pursues seven shared goals. The journalism and creative writing programs each have an additional eighth goal.
- Examine a wide range of genres, styles and cultural literatures.
- Examine the traditional canon and innovative nontraditional writers and writing.
- Demonstrate analytical skills of reading literature.
- Demonstrate a high level of research and writing skills.
- Write and speak in a wide range of formats appropriate to major emphasis: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, critical essay, oral presentation.
- Speak and write about issues in the discipline and how they interact with the culture at large.
- Articulate the ongoing relation between personal habits of reading and writing and the evolving study of English.
- Specific to:
- Creative writing: Produce one or more market-ready manuscripts.
- New media journalism: Exhibit proficient skills in both public communication and research methods which adhere to the standards and conventions of contemporary journalistic practice.
English majors: Save papers from this class for your senior graduation portfolio. They will be particularly helpful when you search for evidence that you have met educational outcome goals 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.