USSH (CIE) / Deakin University: News Reporting and Writing, Spring 2021

Working course outline News Reporting and Writing 1

As students strive to develop their media writing skills, they must be informed about local, state, national and international events. Students should keep up with major local, national and international news (via newspaper, television, radio or web sites).

This course is an introduction to news writing. Students will analyze, critique and write stories for multimedia platforms. Contemporary issues in journalism are discussed and debated. Students also learn techniques of news gathering within a socially responsible and ethical framework.

Students will be able to:

  • Organize and structure news stories and other journalistic pieces coherently and effectively
  • Acquire information competently and responsibly
  • Write information with clarity, objectivity, accuracy, and thoroughness
  • Present news articles with clarity and substantiation
  • Write News Briefs: Quote, paraphrase, and summarize accurately and appropriately
  • Learn AP Style: Present copy in accordance with current style criteria
  • Start writing everyday: start a blog, news site or informative site free of bias and opinion
  • Know basic story structures and how to organize information
  • Learn headline writing, captions and rules of pull quotes
  • Write compelling leads, narrative style, straight news and develop their own reporting style

ASSIGNMENTS: Students are responsible for completing three articles of between 300 and 800 words— a report from the field, a news, event, speech, meeting, feature story or profile. Students will treat every assignment as though it will be published  – real events, real people, real interviews. You will use facts from documents, proper grammar, appropriate news format, and correct spelling of first and last names of interviewees, ect.

Story Structure and Reporting Foundation

  • Week 1, March 3, Inverted Pyramid and Introductions Lesson

Week 1 online due to Covid:

  • We introduced ourselves, defined journalism and said why we wanted to be a journalist.
  • We selected the top stories of the day and presented our news briefs.
  • Our listening practice included the seven news values, journalistic beats and the 5’ws.
  • Students read aloud the purpose of the inverted pyramid and why it is used.
  • Students read two different types of leads aloud and noted the different styles of leads.
  • Students rewrote a narrative lead.  
  • We deconstructed a story and identified the type of news structure              
    • Week 2, March 13, Inverted Pyramid and Leads (cont.) Lesson
    • Week 3 , March 19, Newsworthy Lesson
    • Week 4 , March 26, Advocacy Journalism and Confirmation Bias Lesson
  • Types of Reporting

    • Week 5 April 2 Reporting Basics Lesson
    • WEEK 6 April 9 BEAT Reporting Lesson
    • Week 7, April 16 Features Lesson
    • WEEK 8, April 23, Writing The Story Lesson
  • Planning Stories and Covering Meetings, Events, Speeches

    • Week 9, April 30, Covering Events Lesson
    • Week 10 , May 7, The News Pitch Lesson
    • Week 11, May 14, Intro to Final Project , Story Options and Grading Rubric Lesson
  • Advocacy Journalism, Ethics, Copyright and Final News Reports

    • Week 12, May 21, Journalism issues Lesson
    • Week 13, May 28, Codes of Conduct, Copyright and Fair Use Lesson
    • Week 14, June 4 , Final Report Presentations Lesson
    • Week 15 June 11 Course review, Grades and TBA Lesson


Author: Two Franks

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