Module 1: Getting Started

Get ready for an exciting semester as a news reporter! This week, you’ll become acquainted with the class and each other. I’m looking forward to working with you once again or for the first time!

start the journey

As discussed in the syllabus, you will write a beat story for the Tiger Media Network (TMN) every other week. In the past, students have covered, among other things, FHSU Faculty-Senate, Hays City Commission, and the Ellis County Board of Education. With this first virtual semester, you get to choose your beat and where it is located.

Hays and other western Kansas stories will probably work best for TMN, but if you want to cover a government agency in your area, no matter where it is in the world, that can work too. However, before you cover your beat, you must understand it. This week will help you do that. Enjoy!

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify and be able to use the different features of the online learning space
  • Identify the Course Policies & Goals
  • Begin thinking about the news
  • Begin defining your beats

Assigned Reading: 

  1. Review the course navigation in Blackboard and the Blog
  2. Read the course syllabus
  3. Read 3 Things Journalism Writing Can Teach Students
  4. Watch Colbert’s Me Reports video below

5. Compare two newscasts for the same day:

    • What a Day  (Casual newscast from Crooked Media)
    • Up First (Traditional newscast from NPR)

6. Poynter Self-Directed Course, Lesson 1 & 5: Introduction to Beat Reporting

    • Lesson 1: Focus Your Reporting
    • Lesson 5: 10 Typical Beats (examine at least two beats that interest you)


  1. [Syllabus quiz]: Complete the quiz [insert Bb link here]. It covers the syllabus, the TurnItIn article on 3 Things, and Colbert’s Me Reports story.
  2. [Blog Post] Introduce yourself to your classmates and share your take on the podcasts
  3. [Blog Post] Post your Beat Description, post two replies to help at least two  classmates develop additional ideas for their beats, and be sure to acknowledge or respond to any replies you get.
  4. [Survey & Meeting] Introduce yourself to me and schedule a brief “hello.” If my office hours do not suit your schedule, just email me ( with a time that will work for you.

When you are done with all that, feel free to move on to Module 2.

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