Communication Studies 311A
To help students become more aware of current issues in the news generally and in journalism specifically, students in Editing and Design will track news coverage of issues in The New York Times and in a variety of online news services that cover issues of concern to journalists:
This part of the assignment is easy: Select a story on a current issue in the news from the pages of The New York Times. At least 48 hours before you are scheduled to speak on your issue, notify the instructor and fellow class members of the story you're going to be covering. You can do this by sending an email to the class listserv: firstname.lastname@example.org. (All class members are automatically subscribed to the listserv, so don't worry about missing out by not getting properly subscribed.) In that email, tell your fellow students and the instructor the headline on the story you'll be covering and the date and page on which the story can be found. Then, in class, simply talk about the story and how it's helped inform your understanding of that particular issue. Your fellow students will be expected to read and be ready to discuss the same story.
Important point: When you pick up copies of the Times at the Brenton Student Center, make sure you keep back copies for a couple of weeks so that you can reference the stories that students will be discussing in class. Make sure you bring your copy of the discussed issue in the Times to class with you.
You'll also be required to occasionally update the class on a current issue in the journalism profession. Occasionally, such stories appear in the general-circulation press. More commonly, you can find better information by going to a number of online news services that specialize in these issues. Some of these services are:
- Jim Romanesko's Media News: From the Poynter Institute, the leading post-graduate journalism education program in the country.
- I Want Media: One-stop shopping for daily updates on all the big stories in media and journalism.
- Online Journalism Review: Covering the emerging field of new-media journalism.
- Howard Kurtz: The Washington Post's media critic and reporter who also hosts CNN's weekly series Reliable Sources, on media issues.
- The Project for Excellence in Journalism: A non-profit, nonpartisan organization made up of journalists and academics seeking to improve the performance of journalism within a democratic culture.
- The Pew Center for the People and the Press: An independent opinion research group, sponsored by The Pew Charitable Trusts, that studies public attitudes toward the press, politics and public policy issues. The Center's main purpose is to serve as a forum for ideas on the media and public policy through its research.
- Media Whores Online: Not a porn site, but a service that offers insight and criticism on media practices.
- The Electronic Journalist: A Web site mounted by the Society for Professional Journalists.
- Columbia Journalism Review: One of the leading watchdog publications of the news industry.
- American Journalism Review: Similar in focus and tone to CJR.
- Fairness and Accuracy in Media: A liberal watchdog organization that sets out to document the conservative bias of the news media.
- Accuracy in Media: A conservative watchdog organization that sets out to document the (you guessed it) liberal bias of the news media.
Just like with the general issues in the news, the drill here will be the same. Select a story on a current issue in journalism from one of these sources. At least 48 hours before you are scheduled to speak on your issue, notify the instructor and fellow class members of the story you're going to be covering. You can do this by sending an email to the class listserv: email@example.com. In that email, tell your fellow students and the instructor the headline on the story you'll be covering and the URL at which the story can be found on the Web. Then, in class, simply talk about the story and how it's helped inform your understanding of that particular issue
Here are the dates on which students will be responsible speaking class. Remember you need to post your selection to the class listserv at least 48 hours in advance of the date on which you will be speaking:
Date General Journalism Sept. 10 Albright Neppl Sept. 12 Carson O'Brien Sept. 17 Davis Perkins Sept. 19 Jacobsen Pfister Sept. 24 McDonald Sonderman Sept. 26 McElmuray Spiess Oct. 1 Mitchell Spree Oct. 3 Neppl Trease Oct. 8 O'Brien Albright Oct. 10 Perkins Carson Oct. 15 Pfister Davis Oct. 17 Sonderman Jacobsen Oct. 22 Spiess McDonald Oct. 31 Spree McElmuray Nov. 5 Trease Mitchell Nov. 7 Albright & Carson Neppl & O'Brien Nov. 12 Davis Perkins & Pfister Nov. 14 Jacobsen & McDonald Sonderman Nov. 19 McElmuray Spiess & Spree Nov. 26 Mitchell & Neppl Trease Nov. 26 O'Brien & Perkins Albright & Carson Nov. 28 Pfister & Sonderman Davis Dec. 3 Spiess Jacobsen & McDonald Dec. 5 Spree & Trease McElmuray & Mitchell