Module 3: What is Journalism?

Welcome to Module 3. You’ll have your second beat story to complete, we’ll start working on your knowledge paper, and we’ll return to the text.

For the first beat story, I think the module deadline and just getting started was a bit of a hurdle for many. No worries! Just take the leap! We’ll teach you along the way. Added bonus — if you get comfortable learning as you go now, you will be that much more valued an employee as you continue in life!

In the meantime, let Nick, Russell, and me know whenever you post your story.  We can provide you with suggestions before the final deadline to ensure the article is something you can be proud of.

So, once your first beat story is published and you’ve gotten feedback, consider what we told you. If we encouraged you to focus on something specific, try to do that. Or, leave a reply or email on what you want to focus on instead. We can tell you if that can also be an efficient way to quickly improve.

The knowledge paper is a three-part assignment that helps you learn more about current events and practice critical thinking and fact-checking skills.

When we started this semester, I asked you to reflect on your thoughts about the news. In our last module, you learned more about the profession and its place in American history. Before you continue, you may want to step back and consider, “What do you think journalism is?” Then, compare your definition of journalism to the definitions they provide in this chapter. How do they compare? I’d love to see your replies to that question too. 😀

Learning Objectives:

  • Discuss the importance and unique nature of journalism.
  • Recognize the various ways in which the traditional journalistic culture is challenged by changing distribution platforms and the broader media culture.
  • Explain the competing visions of journalism as evidenced by the variety of definitions offered for it.
  • Continue to practice covering and reporting on your beat.
  • Identify and organize information on a topic that is new to you and frequently covered in the news.

Assigned Reading:

  1. [Textbook Reading]: Chapter 2 text (Email me if you need the pdf.)
  2. [Reading/Video]: Guest blog post and/or video
  3. [Research]: Gather information for 2nd beat story
  4. [Reading]: Knowledge Paper Draft assignment, instructions, & rubric
  5. [Research]: Select Knowledge Paper (KP) topic and begin research
  6. Optional: Chapter 2 Online Resources

Assignments (Due by 9 am CT on 9/29):

  1. [Blog Post 5] Create a blog post addressing ONE module objective.
    • A. Your blog post must stand on its own, discuss what you did, and support your findings. and tell us what you did to complete the activity. Virtual students can choose whichever activity they like to focus on. Hybrid students are assigned specific activities.
      • Activity 2: Module Objective – Discuss the importance and unique nature of journalism.
        • Kerisa & Haomiao
      • Activity 4: Module Objective – Recognize the various ways in which the traditional journalistic culture is challenged by changing distribution platforms and the broader media culture.
        • Jace & Jeanne
      • Activity 5: Module Objective – Explain the competing visions of journalism as evidenced by the variety of definitions offered for it.
        • Jordan & David
    • B. Respond to a classmate’s post on the two other activities. If you need to complete your response before anyone else posts,  create a shorter post inspired by that activity.
  2. [Guest Questions 1] Provide at least two questions per guest. Please comment on the guest speaker’s post.
  3. [Bb Quiz 3] Complete the Chapter 2 quiz in Blackboard.
  4. [Biweekly Article 2] Second beat story – Use the category of “2nd Beat Story” to make your post.
  5. [KP Draft-1] Write your 1st Knowledge Paper Draft. Please post it to the blog and select the category of “KP Draft 1”. You also need to submit the draft to Blackboard.
  6. [Survey] The Initial Class Survey was posted just before the module began. It will be available through Saturday, September 26. Please share your opinion for one-half point of extra credit. Participate in all extra credit opportunities to accumulate two and a half extra points of credit for your final grade.

In-Class

  • 9/15 Reviewed Module and discussed possible KP topics
  • 9/17 Live discussion with guests
  • 9/22 Discuss beat stories and KP Topics (work Q&A time)
  • 9/24 Present/critique stories, exchange KPs, & set mid-term meetings
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