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Course Syllabus

Course: COMM 1130

Division: Fine Arts, Comm, and New Media
Department: Communications
Title: Media Writing

Semester Approved: Spring 2024
Five-Year Review Semester: Fall 2028
End Semester: Fall 2029

Catalog Description: In this course, students will be introduced to the fundamentals of writing for the media, which will prepare them for further studies in public relations, marketing, business, and technical writing. The course will cover the necessary skills needed for processing complex information, verifying it, and effectively communicating it in both digital and print formats. Students will also learn about digital media and how to maintain the Snowdrift website.

Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Credit/Time Requirement: Credit: 3; Lecture: 3; Lab: 0

Justification: Writing for Communications encourages students to read, discuss, and write about current events, trends, and happenings on the Snow College campus in Utah, Nationally, and Internationally. This course is designed specifically to highlight digital media and to introduce students to career options in journalism, to help them become better writers for many aspects of Communications, and to prepare them to meet transfer requirements. Most of the other colleges in the state offer a similar course.

Student Learning Outcomes:
The course primarily consists of digital media content and writing assignments, supplemented by in-class work, homework, and news quizzes. Some stories are finished outside of class, while others are completed within a set timeframe during class. Assignment feedback will come in the form of written comments by the instructor, in-class oral critiques, and peer evaluations in class.

Students will create a blog to demonstrate an understanding of writing for varies media outlets.  Students will demonstrate their ability to write and create their blog through their blog sharing, class discussions, short answer and essay exams.

Students will gather information for news stories by conducting interviews, data mining, and accessing both printed and electronic data. They will evaluate information for validity, accuracy, and applicability before incorporating it into their news stories. Students will demonstrate their writing and research skills through various assessments, including written assignments, class discussions, projects, and exams.

This course will cover the following topics: digital media basics, understanding the ethical foundations of journalism and its values, including the importance of diverse ideas. The students will be introduced to the basic elements of digital storytelling and will learn to meet deadlines. They will be taught to understand and apply the AP style to news stories. Additionally, they will learn to find appropriate and diverse news sources, interview sources, and conduct research necessary for strong news stories.

Key Performance Indicators:
Classroom assignments and participation 10 to 20%

Writing assignments 20 to 40%

Quizzes and tests 20 to 30%

Blog 20 to 30%

Projects and presentations 10 to 30%

Representative Text and/or Supplies:
Writing and Reporting News: A Coaching Method (Current Edition). Author-Carole Rich

Pedagogy Statement:
Content will be taught through lecture, demonstration, and practical application of writing for Communications. Through practical application, assignments, exams, projects, presentations, and blog creation, students will learn about numerous aspects of writing for the media. Effort will be made to help students of all backgrounds find relevance to assigned material.

Instructional Mediums:


Maximum Class Size: 20
Optimum Class Size: 18