Course Description

What is journalism? Most people understand that journalism has something to do with news, investigation, and opinion as presented through the mediums of newspapers, magazines, and television. But the modern conception of journalism has begun to shift, especially as websites, weblogs and podcasts have become more common. In this course, you will learn about and practice digital journalism by writing articles in a variety of styles and publishing them online.

Classes will include discussions, workshops, group and individual meetings, writing, revising, and online publishing. Periodically you will read and discuss recently published articles that have appeared in print or online. 

Meanwhile, the practice of journalism should keep you pretty busy. You may find yourself with several days to accomplish any number of things before a deadline: conducting an interview outside of class, editing a draft of an article you’ve written, submitting a draft for online publication, researching your next story, and so forth. Students are expected to make use of the class time for journalism projects only. If you find yourself “done,” you should move on to a new project, help others in the class with their stories, or conference with me. 

If you wish, you can find a particular niche within the wide field of journalism and spend time directing your energy toward your area of interest. For example, you may be more interested in photojournalism than in feature writing, or editorials than sports writing. Editors will generate ideas, assign articles to student journalists, and prepare articles for publication online. While you are expected to build a diverse portfolio, if you happen to love a particular aspect of media publication— interviewing people, or writing reviews of student performances—you can apply your talent in that direction.

Finally: above all, we must conduct ourselves with integrity at all times to earn the trust and respect of our school community. Our publication can be a powerful tool to promote positive and thoughtful discussion at Menlo-Atherton High School and among its community members. Respect the power that comes with being a published journalist and work at perfecting your craft and developing a new perspective. 

Requirements:

It is your responsibility to meet deadlines and due dates. I will only make extensions on article deadlines after conferencing with the copy editors. As such, advance notice and serious reasoning is necessary.

1.      carry a notebook or moleskin with them at all times

2.      carry a phone that is equipped with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

3.      participate in a site sponsored blog

4.      complete a diverse story portfolio in a timely manner

5.      complete assigned readings and participate in class discussions on topics of interest

6.      pass the AP Style and Grammar Quizzes

7.      make an effort to promote reading and using the site

8.      be willing to commute to your story if necessary


Grading:

Grading outline/handout is available in class.