Internet Explorer 7, 8, and 9 are no longer supported. Please use a newer browser.
Concourse works best with JavaScript enabled.
Liberty University logo

Online · School of Communication & the Arts · Digital Media & Journalism

Media Writing
JOUR-225

  • CG
  • Section 8WK
  • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020
  • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

This course provides a survey of mass communication media formats and writing techniques from news for print and broadcast, to advertising and public relations. The course is designed to enhance the appreciation of the mass communication professional as well as provide an understanding of the basic techniques used by the professional to inform and/or persuade audiences. Students will write news stories, produce copy for broadcast news, create an advertising package, and develop a public service announcement.

Requisites

Prerequisite

ENGL 101

Rationale

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Use the Associated Press Stylebook rules in the editing process for print, web, and public relations.
  2. Compare and contrast the commonalities and differences of print, broadcast, interactive media, advertising, and public relations.
  3. Create pieces for mediated channels of communication using professional writing techniques.
  4. Capture new techniques of emerging technologies in news, information, and entertainment.
  5. Apply biblical and professional guidelines to conceptual real-world work scenarios that involve ethical/moral situations.

Course Resources

Required Resource

The resource below is provided in the course at no cost to the student.

Rich, Carole. Writing and Reporting News, 8th edition. Cengage, 2016.

Disclaimer: The above resource provides information consistent with the latest research regarding the subject area. Liberty University does not necessarily endorse specific personal, religious, philosophical, or political positions found in this resource.

Additional Materials for Learning 

  1. Computer with basic audio/video output equipment
  2. Internet access (broadband recommended)
  3. Blackboard recommended browsers
  4. Smart phone capable of basic audio/visual recording or camera with editing software
  5. Microsoft Word

Course Assignments

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Class Video Introductions

The student will record a short video of introduction to classmates and upload it to the forum. Then, the student will submit written responses of at least 150 words each to at least two classmates’ video introductions.

Discussion Board Forums (3)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student will post a thread of at least 250 words to each Discussion Board Forum. Discussions will be based on presentations and reading material. The student must reply to 1 classmate’s thread in at least 150 words.

Interview Assignment

The student will interview a friend or family member on his/her 9/11 experiences using 10 prepared and researched questions. After the interview, the student will write a 250-word feature story using the information. The student will learn to gather information and develop research skills through the interview process and then take that information to compose a story. After the interview is complete, the student will turn in the 10 questions, the notes taken during the interview, and the written story. The assignment must be 3–4 pages and typed in a word document.

News Story

Student will write a 300-word news story using the Inverted Pyramid from a provided fact sheet. Students will also create a hashtag and Twitter post to promote the story.

Video Package

Student will create a 30–45 second video package that includes a lead in, sound bite and voice-over. This can be created using a smart phone with a simple (free) editing software such as KineMaster.

News Release for Web

Using the scenario that the student is working in the Public Relations department for a company, he/she will write a news release for the company website that must include: headline, contact information, release time, a body consisting of 275 words (with direct and indirect quotes), word count, and the use of current AP style and grammar rules throughout.

Final Project

For the final project, students will prepare an online portfolio to submit for a Communication Specialist position. Portfolio will include:

  • Cover Letter
  • Video package from this course (does not need to be revised)
  • News Story with Social Media Post (from this course, revised)
  • News Release for Web (from this course, revised)

Quizzes (3)

All quizzes will be open-book/open-notes and 20 questions, containing both multiple choice and true/false format. Quiz 1 has a time limit of 30 minutes and will cover Grammar Usage. Quiz 2 has a time limit of 40 minutes and will cover Chapters 14–15. Quiz 3 has a time limit of 30 minutes and will cover Grammar Usage.

Exams (3)

All exams will be open-book/open-notes, with multiple-choice and true/false questions. There are study guides located in the Study Hub section of the online textbook. Exam 1 covers Chapters 1–6. Exam 2 covers Chapters 7–13. The Final Exam covers Chapters 14–16, 18–19, and 22.

Course Grading

Course Requirements Checklist

10

Class Introduction (Video)

50

Discussion Board Forums (3 at 40 pts ea)

120

Interview Assignment

80

News Story

80

Video Package

80

News Release for Web

80

Final Project

200

Quizzes (3 at 20 pts ea)

60

Exams (2 at 75 pts, 1 at 100 pts)

250

Total

1010

Policies

Late Assignment Policy

Course Assignments, including discussion boards, exams, and other graded assignments, should be submitted on time.

If the student is unable to complete an assignment on time, then he or she must contact the instructor immediately by email.

Assignments that are submitted after the due date without prior approval from the instructor will receive the following deductions:

  1. Late assignments submitted within one week after the due date will receive up to a 10% deduction.
  2. Assignments submitted more than one week and less than 2 weeks late will receive up to a 20% deduction.
  3. Assignments submitted two weeks late or after the final date of the course will not be accepted outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.
  4. Group projects, including group discussion board threads and/or replies, and assignments will not be accepted after the due date outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.

Disability Assistance

Students with a disability and those with medical conditions associated with pregnancy may contact Liberty University’s Online Office of Disability Accommodation Support (ODAS) at [email protected] for accommodations.  Such accommodations require appropriate documentation of your condition.   For more information about ODAS and the accommodations process, including how to request an accommodation, please visit https://www.liberty.edu/online/online-disability-accommodation-support/. Requests for accommodations not related to disabilities or pregnancy must be directed to the Registrar’s Office, which generally handles medical needs support.

If you have a complaint related to disability discrimination or an accommodation that was not provided, you may contact ODAS or the Office of Equity and Compliance by phone at (434) 592-4999 or by email at [email protected].  Click to see a full copy of Liberty’s Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy or the Student Disability Grievance Policy and Procedures.

Course Attendance

In an effort to comply with U.S. Department of Education policies, attendance is measured by physical class attendance or any submission of a required assignment within the enrollment dates of the course (such as examinations, written papers or projects, any discussion board posts, etc.) or initiating any communication with one’s professor regarding an academic subject. More information regarding the attendance policy can be found in the Academic Course Catalogs. Regular attendance in online courses is expected throughout the length of the term. Students who do not attend within the first week of a sub-term by submitting a required academic assignment (such as the Course Requirements Checklist, an examination, written paper or project, discussion board post, or other academic activity) will be dropped from the course. Students who wish to re-engage in the course are encouraged to contact Academic Advising to discuss their enrollment options. Students who begin an online course, but at some point in the semester cease attending, and do not provide official notification to withdraw, will be assigned a grade of “FN” (Failure for Non-Attendance). Students wishing to withdraw from courses after the official start date should familiarize themselves with the withdrawal policy.

Grading Scale

A B C D F
900-1010 800-899 700-799 600-699 0-599

For courses with a Pass/NP final grade, please refer to the Course Grading section of this syllabus for the assignment requirements and/or point value required to earn a Passing final grade.

Add/Drop Policy

The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory.

Honor Code

Liberty University comprises a network of students, Alumni, faculty, staff and supporters that together form a Christian community based upon the truth of the Bible. This truth defines our foundational principles, from our Doctrinal Statement to the Code of Honor. These principles irrevocably align Liberty University’s operational procedures with the long tradition of university culture, which remains distinctively Christian, designed to preserve and advance truth. Our desire is to create a safe, comfortable environment within our community of learning, and we extend our academic and spiritual resources to all of our students with the goal of fostering academic maturity, spiritual growth and character development.

Communities are predicated on shared values and goals. The Code of Honor, an expression of the values from which our Doctrinal Statement was born, defines the fundamental principles by which our community exists. At the core of this code lie two essential concepts: a belief in the significance of all individuals, and a reliance on the existence of objective truth.

While we acknowledge that some may disagree with various elements of the Code of Honor, we maintain the expectation that our students will commit to respect and uphold the Code while enrolled at Liberty University.

Adherence to the principles and concepts established within facilitates the success of our students and strengthens the Liberty community.

The Code of Honor can be viewed in its entirety at http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=19155.

Schedule

JOUR 225

Textbooks: Rich, Writing and Reporting News (2016).

Module/Week

Reading & Study

Assignments

Points

1

Rich: ch. 1–3

1 presentation

1 video

Course Requirements Checklist

Class Video Introductions

10

50

2

Rich: ch. 4–6, Appendix

1 presentation

1 video

DB Forum 1

Interview Assignment

Exam 1

40

80

75

3

Rich: ch. 7–9

1 presentation

1 video

DB Forum 2

News Story

40

80

4

Rich ch. 10–11

1 presentation

1 video

Video Package

Quiz 1

80

20

5

Rich ch. 12–13

1 presentation

2 videos

News Release for Web

Exam 2

80

75

6

Rich ch. 14–16

1 presentation

DB Forum 3

Quiz 2

40

20

7

Rich ch. 22

1 presentation

1 video

Final Project

Quiz 3

200

20

8

Rich ch. 18–19

1 presentation

Final Exam

100

Total

1010

DB = Discussion Board

 

NOTE: Each course module/week (except Module/Week 1) begins on Tuesday morning at 12:00 a.m. (ET) and ends on Monday night at 11:59 p.m. (ET). The final module/week ends at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday.