August 2009 Archives
TV news is completely ratings driven.
You'll learn the secrets of how they have redefined what news is--and it isn't news anymore!
are performers--not journalists.
We are being told they are something they really are not. You'll find out what they are.
We will divide the class up into groups that will be ready to discuss the following sections:
- Local stations don't cover your community-- they won't spend the money to do it. They're filling time between commercials.
- Image nearly always overtakes substance--so if you're looking for facts, you'll be disappointed. You'll learn how they play your emotions.
- TV won't cover many stories--there's an unholy alliance between the news people, their sources, and their advertisers.
- What You can do to fix TV News --tips on making your views known, plus some free advice for broadcasters
"Dog bites man" is snoozeworthy because it happens all the time, but "man bites dog" is less common, so it is more newsworthy.
A Newsworthy Story
- is uncommon (rather than common)
- affects many people (rather than few) people
- has significant impact (rather than trivial)
- happens nearby (rather than far away)
- involves prominent people (rather than ordinary people)
Keep a log of how the show uses its time. (Theme music? Anchors chatting? Promotion of stories that are "coming up after the break"?)
- During a 30 minute TV news program, how much time is spent on actual news?
- Of that actual news content, how much was created by the WTAE reporters here in the Pittsburgh area?
- What is happening during the rest of the time?
- Compare this WTAE job description with the characteristics of a "journalist" from The News Manual.
The story about the lonely zebra in another state that escapes from the zoo and is recaptured when it takes an interest in a police officer's horse? Definitely soft news, unless, for instance the chase for the zebra causes a traffic snarl that leads to a violent road rage incident. (See "If it bleeds, it leads.")
In class, we will be focusing on the newspaper as a physical object, and specifically on the layout of the front page.
- What is the function of the various parts of the front page?
- How do those parts work together to communicate the relative importance of the news items?
- How does the front page differ from the Tribune-Review home page?
It's my understanding that, over the summer, the bookstore was initially expected to handle the ordering process for those students who asked them to do so in advance, but apparently students found out it was much cheaper to order the devices themselves.
The ordering instructions are available on GriffinGate. The link below should take you directly to a PDF that explains all the details. (Note that option 1, order from the bookstore, is the one that students say is not viable anymore. So you'll need to try option 2.)
2009 Ordering Instructions for XRC-01 ResponseCard XR
If that link doesn't work, log in to GriffinGate, and look for the box "GriffinGate Home" on the left side. In that box, click on "GriffinGate Help Guides - Downloadable Resources". The ordering instructions are in the "GriffinGate Step-By-Step Guides" section.
Several students have asked me whether they can purchase other models, or whether they can purchase used models. I honestly do not have the answer, and since this is the first semester SHU is using these cards, if you do buy a used model, please double-check that there's a return policy.
Part 2: How do I use my blog for class? (7 minutes)
There are many reason for becoming a journalist and many type of journalists to become. It is a career with many challenges and rewards.
- Have an interest in the world around them.
- Love language.
- Have an alert and ordered mind.
- Be able to approach and question people.
- Be polite but persistent.
- Be friendly and reliable.
Welcome to EL 227, "News Writing."
The course website is located at http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL227. I will update the online syllabus periodically, adding chapters in our textbooks or links to reporting on current events, as our progress in the course dictates. The printout I give on the first day of classes is only part of the information available online.