Unit Assignments

Assignments should be completed and ready to discuss in class by the beginning of classes each day. The course requirements break down to three main areas:

1. Thoughtful discussion of assigned readings. A minimum 250-word, well-reasoned response is required for assigned readings (due in class on the day of the lecture, usually the class day immediately following when reading was assigned). Submitted as Microsoft Word or RTF format in email attachment to with JOUR 3200 in subject line.

2. A weekly online journal of observations about the role of news media. You may use any of several platforms upon which to develop your online journal site (including blogger, blogspot, wordpress, etc.). Email the web-address of your news critique blogsite to by the end of the first week of class.

Each day you will need to follow the coverage of major news stories at BOTH the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal to compare and contrast in writing on your blogs and to discuss in class.

Starting the second week of class, you will use your online blog/journal to critique the news.  You must cover 12 weeks of news on your online blog for a total of 24 entries (a week’s coverage is equal to a minimum of two blog entries from two separate news days). 400-word minimum per entry.

As a guide, use the elements of journalistic ethics and values that we cover in the course. Look for, and write about:

  • Evidence of story’s impact on citizens
  • Evidence of monitoring power and offering voice to the voiceless
  • What’s missing in the story or article?
  • How does the information differ between various media?
  • Include how much time/space is devoted to story
  • Evidence of independence from factions (or dependence on factions)
  • Can you find the truth of the story? What is it?

3. At the end of the semester, you will write a 1500 word (minimum) essay summarizing what you learned about the state of journalism from your blog entries.

4. Three news articles written for The Inkwell, Armstrong’s student newspaper.

Don’t forget to mark calanders for the 2015 Inkwell Journalism Bootcamp. Information about submitting articles for The Inkwell can be found at here.

Tools for writing news articles:

Writing Ledes
Other Tools
Editing and Proofing