Syllabus for #J361 and #J361NN, Winter 2013

Our trusty Reporting 1 textbook

Our trusty Reporting 1 textbook

Winter 2013 Reporting One

Instructor: Suzi Steffen
Contact info: @reporting1suzi ; text<redacted for internet>; email ssteffen at uoregon dot edu

Class times/places: #J361 2 p.m. MW; #J361NN 6 p.m. TTh; 303 Allen Hall. You will also be reporting on neighborhoods throughout Eugene and Springfield and in other spots on campus; and you may be writing stories centered in Salem, Portland or other cities/towns to which you have regular access.

Course Purpose: To get you ready to research and report news and feature stories for U.S. papers and online publications, and to encourage the constant evaluation and reevaluation of what our jobs are as journalists in the 21st century.

Required Books:
Tim Harrower, Inside Reporting, any edition
Associated Press Style Book – 2011, 2012 or 2013 edition
Best Newspaper Writing, any year 2005-2009 or Best AltWeekly Writing 2009-2010
Other requirements:
Twitter account and regular, professional use thereof
WordPress account and regular, professional use of class news sites
Handwritten journal – notebook, 3-ring-binder, folder, etc.
Access to news sites (and possibly newspapers)
Appropriate weather gear and note-taking gear and camera

General Reporting One info:
• You can’t pass this class without coming to class. If you’re sick, please contact Suzi via text or Twitter as soon as you know you won’t be in class, and back that up with an email. Make buddies of your group members and be sure to share info with each other if you are sick or have another excused absence. Don’t ever ask any professor, “Did I miss anything?”

• Watch the @reporting1suzi Twitter feed. If you’re in the MW class, tweets for you will be labeled #J361, and if you’re in the TTh class, tweets for you will be labeled #J361NN. I’d suggest getting those Tweets as texts (that feature is easy to turn off if it proves too onerous).

• You’ll have current events quizzes on the first day of class during the first half of the term, and AP Style Book quizzes on the second day of class during Weeks 2-4. Bring your AP Book with you to the AP quizzes (and to the midterm).

• Schedules change, but major due dates will not. Midterm is the second day of Week 5; profile is due early in Week 8; enterprise story draft is due at the beginning of Week 10, & final draft is due Finals Week. Journals are due the second day of class Weeks 3, 6 and 10.

• You will have many assignments that are due online. Don’t embarrass yourselves: Make sure you’ve proofread your writing, and that you’ve included a headline, images that you took yourselves or have explicit permission to use, tags (not categories), and a byline on each written assignment on our class sites.

• Pay attention to me and to your classmates during class. Should I have to ask you several times to do so, I may, and probably will, ask you to leave the classroom and meet with me and Associate Dean Julianne Newton before you’re allowed back in.

• Turn your phone to vibrate or silent for this class. I do not ban phones, but a good rule of thumb is that if I can see you looking at or typing on your phone, I’d better be also seeing your class-related Tweets on my stream. Yes, you can and should Tweet about things you learn during class. When we have guest speakers, most of them will be up for being Tweeted as well. If they’re not, make sure your phone is face-down on the table in front of you and that you don’t open it or do something else – write email, check Facebook, etc. – while the speaker is in the room.

• For the love of all that’s holy, DO NOT PLAGIARIZE ANYTHING OR ANYONE. If you do, I will give you a zero on the plagiarized assignment and, if it’s serious, possibly an F in the class – and the info will go into your permanent files. Yes, I know you’re very stressed-out people. But you will have both the tools and the time to do this right. Plagiarizing includes not using quotation marks or attributions; not linking to a source; using someone else’s words or photos as your own; and (quite obviously) copying from any other source, including another web site or news story.

More specific to journalism: If you make up a source or an interview or a quote, you will flunk this class, and you may be kicked out of the School of Journalism and Communication and possibly expelled. Additional information about plagiarism is available here.

• If you have a documented disability and need accommodations, please see me in private ASAP so we can figure out how to make things work.

Participation 5 percent
Quizzes 10 percent
Journals 15 percent
Twitter/Class site 15 percent
Midterm 15 percent
Profile 15 percent
Enterprise 25 percent

Grades are the usual – 0-65 percent is an F, 65-69 percent a D, 70-72 percent a C-, 73-77 percent a C (the usual grade in Reporting 1), 78-79 percent a C+, and so forth.

Rough Class Calendar

Week One
Take quiz on Current Events
Read Harrower, Chapter 1; start reading Best Newspaper Writing or
Best AltWeekly Writing
Join Twitter and WordPress
Write tweets, news story, class introduction
Consider beat ideas and journal entries
Over the weekend, read the Associated Press Style Guide, letters A-
C (yes, seriously!) and Harrower, Ch. 2.

Week Two
Take Current Events, AP Style quizzes
Read Harrower, Chapters 2 and 3; continue BNW/BAWW
Write Neighborhood post, beat post, news stories
Join Storify, LinkedIn (the latter is optional)
Consider writing two-three journal entries this week (due in week 3)
Over the weekend, read AP Style Guide, letters D-M, and Harrower
Ch. 4

Week Three
Take Current Events, AP Style quizzes (#J361 – both will be on
Wednesday; Martin Luther King Day is Monday, so no class)
Read Harrower, Ch. 3 & 4
Write Neighborhood post, beat post, news stories
Journal due on second day of class (W #J361 Th #J361NN)
Over the weekend, read AP Style Guide, letters N-S, and Harrower
Ch. 5

Week Four
Take Current Events, AP Style quizzes
Read Harrower Ch. 4 & 5
Write Neighborhood post, beat post, news stories
Consider reading more of BNW/BAWW and writing a couple of
journal entries
Over the weekend, read the rest of the AP Style Guide and Harrower, Ch. 6

Week Five
Take Current Events quiz, Midterm
Read Sites I suggest you study for midterm
Write Midterm post
Consider writing a journal entry or two about the midterm
Over the weekend, continue reading BNW/BAWW; start making
profile plans

Week Six
Write Profile plans and final beat post
Read Profiles I give you in class or online
Profile pitch due first day of class
Journal due second day of class
Enterprise story assignment handed out. Start work on it!

Week Seven
No class on first day; profile draft due by 11:59 over email to Suzi
by the night before second day of class (#J361, that’s Tuesday night;
#J361NN that’s Wednesday night).
Second day: one on one meetings; Enterprise pitch due at meeting
Over the weekend, perfect the profile, probably start working on
journal #3, and get that enterprise story in gear.

Week Eight
Profile due first day of class. Details TK on assignment.
Read Enterprise stories I hand out
Final day of group class on the second day. Don’t miss it!

Week Nine
No class. Spend class time on interviews and research for enterprise
stories. Make appointments to talk to me if you need to. Work your
rear ends off on the enterprise draft. Finish your final journal.

Week Ten
Enterprise draft due the night before first day of Week 10’s class
(#J361 11:59 p.m. Sunday, March 10; #J361NN 11:59 p.m. Monday,
March 11)
One on one meetings – no group class. All journals due on the
second day of class (OK to bring on first day if your meeting is that

Finals Week

Enterprise story due online; source list due over email (NOT online)

About Suzi Steffen

Suzi Steffen teaches, writes, edits, reviews and rides (her adult tricycle named Momo) in Eugene, Oregon. For many years, she taught as an adjunct instructor at the University of Oregon's School of Journalism and Communication. As of fall 2015, she's teaching at Linn-Benton Community College, and as of fall 2017, she's also teaching at Wenatchee Valley College in Washington State. Suzi edited Lane Monthly and works as an arts journalist across the state and country. You can find her at jprofsuzi on Twitter or email her at jprofsuzi at gmail dot com.
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