Journ 205 Newswriting

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University of Hawai'i

COURSE OUTLINE (Form: 8/25/01)

JOURN 205 Newswriting

1. COURSE DESCRIPTION: (6/14/2002)

JOURN 205 Newswriting (3)

3 hours lecture per week

Prerequisite(s): A grade of "B" or higher in ENG 100, or consent of instructor.
JOURN 205 focuses on the basic principles of writing for media: understanding audience and purpose, developing a focus, gathering information efficiently, writing basic news story formats with speed and accuracy, using the Associated Press style sheet, and applying ethical and legal standards.


Upon successful completion of JOURN 205, the student should be able to:

. . . Identify the basic characteristics of news.

. . . Identify audience and purpose for any given news story.

. . . Identify hard and soft news story formats and their purposes.

. . . Develop story ideas from a variety of sources, including interview, observation, appropriate spin-offs from world and national headline news, statistical data, and the Internet.

. . . Interview a subject using appropriate questions and strategies, including email.

. . . Use several note-taking strategies, including tape recorder.

. . . Gather information by networking and through observation, Internet, library sources, city and telephone directories and electronic databases.

. . . Use the library’s Voyager and other electronic databases efficiently.

. . . Write hard and soft news leads, including breaking news, second day, delayed ID, quote, contrast, impact and soft leads.

. . . Develop a story using summary, paraphrase, quotation, description, narration, analogy.

. . . Write news stories using the following formats: inverted pyramid, hourglass, list, Wall St. Journal, narrative, speech/meeting advance and follow-up, obituaries, press releases, and short personality profiles.

. . . Use the Associated Press Style.

. . . Understand and apply legal guidelines such as libel, fair comment and criticism, qualified privilege, privacy, copyright, obscenity.

. . . Apply the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics to all news coverage.

. . . Demonstrate an awareness of the rights, interests, and sensitivities of minorities.

. . . Write articles acceptable for publication in the school newspaper, both print and Web versions.

JOURN 205 is an elective course in the Liberal Arts curriculum. It is a core requirement for all journalism majors. The course is designed to teach students to write for particular audiences with speed, efficiency and accuracy.
A prerequisite of B in ENG 100 is the guideline established by the faculty who teach this course, To do well in this class, students need to have mastered the skills taught in ENG 100.
This course supports the following college competency areas:
• Computation and communication abilities

• Values for living

• Quality of life as affected by technology and science

• Awareness of the dynamics in contemporary issues

• Problem-solving and decision-making abilities

• Responsiveness to the arts and humanities

• Career choices and life-long learning

• Study in a selected program

This course also satisfies the following Associate in Arts degree, and/or Associate in Science degree competencies:
AA -Critical Thinking:

Critical thinking, an analytical and creative process, is essential to every content area and discipline. It is an integral part of information retrieval and technology, oral communication, quantitative reasoning, and written communication. Upon completion of an A.A. degree, the student should be able to:

• Identify and state problems, issues, arguments, and questions contained in a body of information.

• Identify and analyze assumptions and underlying points of view relating to an issue or problem.

• Formulate research questions that require descriptive and explanatory analyses.

• Recognize and understand multiple modes of inquiry, including investigative methods based on observation and analysis.

• Evaluate a problem, distinguishing between relevant and irrelevant facts, opinions, assumptions, issues, values, and biases through the use of appropriate evidence.

• Apply problem-solving techniques and skills, including the rules of logic and logical sequence.

• Synthesize information from various sources, drawing appropriate conclusions.

• Reflect upon and evaluate their thought processes, value systems, and worldviews in comparison to those of others.


AA- Information Retrieval and Technology:

Information retrieval and technology are integral parts of every content area and discipline. Upon completion of an A.A. degree, the student should be able to:

• Use print and electronic information technology ethically and responsibly.

• Demonstrate knowledge of basic vocabulary, concepts, and operations of information retrieval and technology.

• Recognize, identify, and define an information need.

• Access and retrieve information through print and electronic media, evaluating the accuracy and authenticity of that information.

• Create, manage, organize, and communicate information through electronic media.

• Recognize changing technologies and make informed choices about their appropriateness and use.
AA -Oral Communication:

Oral communication is an integral part of every content area and discipline. Upon completion of an A.A. degree, the student should be able to:

• Identify and analyze the audience and purpose of any intended communication.

• Gather, evaluate, select, and organize information for the communication.

• Use language, techniques, and strategies appropriate to the audience and occasion.

• Summarize, analyze, and evaluate oral communications and ask coherent questions as needed.

• Use competent oral expression to initiate and sustain discussions.
AA -Quantitative Reasoning:

Quantitative reasoning can have applications in all content areas and disciplines. Upon completion of an A.A. degree, the student should be able to:

• Apply numeric, graphic, and symbolic skills and other forms of quantitative reasoning accurately and appropriately.

• Communicate clearly and concisely the methods and results of quantitative problem solving.

AA -Written Communication:

Written communication is an integral part of every content area and discipline. Upon completion of an A.A. degree, the student should be able to:

• Use writing to discover and articulate ideas.

• Identify and analyze the audience and purpose for any intended communication.

Choose language, style, and organization appropriate to particular purposes and audiences.

• Gather information and document sources appropriately

• Express a main idea as a thesis, hypothesis, or other appropriate statement.

• Develop a main idea clearly and concisely with appropriate content.

Demonstrate mastery of the conventions of writing, including grammar, spelling, and mechanics.

• Demonstrate proficiency in revision and editing.

• Develop a personal voice in written communication.


AA-Understanding Self and Community:

Kapi`olani Community College emphasizes an understanding of one's self and one's relationship to the community, the region, and the world. Upon completion of an A.A. degree, the student should be able to:

• Examine critically and appreciate the values and beliefs of their own culture and those of other cultures separated in time or space from their own.

• Communicate effectively and acknowledge opposing viewpoints.

• Use the study of a second language as a window to cultural understanding.

• Demonstrate an understanding of ethical, civic, and social issues relevant to Hawaii's and the world's past, present, and future.


Employ skills and understanding in language and mathematics essential to fulfill program requirements. Understand attitudes and values of various cultures and examine their potential for improving the quality of life and meaningfulness in work.

• Recognize effects of technology and science on the natural and human environments.

• Understand contemporary issues and problems and respond to the impact of current conditions.

• Develop insights into human experience and apply them to personal, occupational, and social relationships.

• Recognize relevance of career choices to life-long learning.

JOURN 205 satisfies the following departmental competencies:

Language Arts Competencies:

• Demonstrate clear, constructive, critical thinking through writing and speaking.

• Define and develop a thesis statement in an expository essay, term paper, or speech demonstrating audience awareness and the ability to handle a variety of formal conventions, vary diction appropriately, and gather, select, and organize information.

• Identify, evaluate, and interpret thesis statements in various types of written and oral presentations.

• Identify value judgments, inferences, and factual statements in various types of written and spoken materials.

• Demonstrate a growing confidence in one’s own writing and speaking.

• Read and appropriately respond to a variety of college-level materials.


Each unit will take approximately one week unless otherwise noted. As this is a skills class, items b through c will be worked into all assignments throughout the semester.

The Associated Press Style and media law will be introduced when appropriate to the assignment.

a. Newsroom schedules, procedures, and tools: telephone, computers, email, Web, MS Word.
b. Definition of “news” and its effect on the reader and the story structure.

Traditional perceptions of “news” and their impact upon readers' perceptions of society.

Public service journalism.

Hard news, soft news or features, commentary.

News of a personal, embarrassing, or hurtful nature.

Ethical, moral judgments in presenting news.

  1. Information gathering:

Techniques for telephone, email, and face-to-face interviews:

Sequencing questions.

Soliciting quotations and anecdotes.

Understanding conventions (for the record, for background only).

Note-taking strategies.

Observation skills.

Research strategies: library Voyager and other databases, Internet, networking, beats.

Court and police coverage: Legal terminology, police and court

procedures, privacy, contempt, and other pertinent legal issues.

Gender and multi-ethnic sensitivity.

d. The basic hard news story (2 weeks)

Hard and soft leads.

Quotations and attributions:

What to quote, what and how to attribute.

Appropriate verb tenses.

Summary and paraphrase.

Transition techniques.

Techniques for controlling the flow of the story: pacing, repetition, parallel structure, dialogue, anecdote, recognizing difference between print and Web versions.

Endings: Summaries, quotes, kickers.

e. Elements of the feature story (1 week)




Leads and endings.

f. Story structures and related writing skills: (1/2 to 1 week per story format)

Multi-incident story and roundups: List technique, parallel structure.



Speech and meeting stories: summary, paraphrase, quotation..

Wall St. Journal.format: storytelling techniques: description, narration, kicker endings.

Hourglass: More story-telling techniques: description, narration, dialog, foreshadowing, pacing, tone.

Personality profiles: description, quotation, dialogue.

g. Writing for Web. (1 week)

Writing with an eye to visuals.

Breaking out information for side stories.

  1. Tests of story formats: (1 week)

Multi-incident story with list technique

Speech story


Brooks, Brian S., George Kennedy, Daryl R. Moen and Don Ranly. Telling the Story: Writing for Print, Broadcast and Online Media. New York: Bedford/St. Martins, 2000.

Goldstein, Norm, Editor. The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law. Cambridge, Mass: Perseus Publishing, 2000.
Itule, Bruce D., Douglas A. Anderson. News Writing and Reporting for Today's Media, 5th Ed. New York: McGraw Hill Companies, Inc., 1999.
Missouri Group. News Reporting and Writing, 6th ed. New York: St. Martin’s Press,1999,
Rich, Carol. Writing and Reporting News: A Coaching Method. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing, 2000.
Computer diskette


Bunton, Kristie, et. al. Writing Across the Media. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2000.

Chance, Jean and William McKeen, eds. Literary Journalism: A Reader. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2000.
Clark, Roy Peter. The American Conversation and the Language of Journalism. Poynter Paper: No. 5, St.Petersburg: Poynter Institute, 1994.
Titles listed below are available in the classroom.
Metzler, Ken. Creative Interviewing. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, Inc. 1997.
Biagi, Shirley. Interviews that Work. Belmont: Wadsworth Publishing Co., 1992.
Kessler, Lauren and Duncan McDonald. The Search. Belmont: Wadsworth Publishing Co., 1992.
Fry, Don, ed. Best Newspaper Writing, Winners: American Society of Newspaper Editors Competition. St. Petersburg: The Poynter Institute for Media Communications, annual editions, 1980 - present.


Web sites:

Society of Professional Journalists, //

Pulitzer Prize Archive,

Columbia Journalism Review,

Chicago Tribune,

The Philadelphia Inquirer,

Library Web site, Voyager and other reference materials,

Speakers: practicing journalists, others with newsworthy experiences


Reading models of good writing from newspapers, periodicals and Web; practical exercises in observation, interview; revision; small group and partner coaching; in-class writing; assignments involving email, Web research; speakers. Writing requirement: in addition to in-class writing, students will complete 14 polished articles, at least half of which are publishable in Kapi‘o.

14 polished articles accompanied by interview notes 70%

and revisions

Participation in class discussions, projects and exercises 25%

Final Exam 5%


Publishable as written and on time: A

Content is interesting, complete; structure is sound,

style sheet is correct.

Publishable with minor revision or paper is late but usable: B

Paper missing some content; structure or style needs work.

Publishable with considerable work. C

Paper missing some content, and/or with numerous

grammatical and style errors.

Only portions usable because of major errors in content. D

Paper turned in after the deadline or article is not understandable. F
90 – 100% A

80 - 89% B

70 - 79% C

60 - 69% D

less than 60% F
The instructor reserves the right to make necessary and reasonable adjustments to the evaluation policy listed above.
Course is not repeatable for credit.

A. Newspapers are now better named digital media. Research methods now include new technologies. This class now recognizes extensive use of the Web for research and publication in assignments and reference materials.

B. This is not an experimental course.
C. This course will not increase or decrease the number of hours needed for a certificate or degree.
A. This proposal will not require a change in staff, equipment, facilities, or other resources.

B. This course has no impact on other departments, for example, in the areas of prerequisites, program support, or space requirements. The class will be taught in the journalism lab which has adequate numbers of computers.

C, One section of 20 students will be offered during the spring or fall semesters. Maximum enrollment of 20 students per class section.


A. Similar courses at other UH colleges:

Journ 205 is taught at UH Manoa, Windward, Leeward and Maui community colleges
B. This course is not appropriate for articulation with UHM General Education Core Requirements.

JOURN 205 page

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