COURSE OUTLINE

Journalism 2023
Introduction to Journalistic Writing

2003-2004

Tuesdays 2:30 - 5:30
JDH 108

Philip Lee
plee@stu.ca


Course Description

Journalism is the art of storytelling, the creation of literature on the run. This course will introduce you to the world of non-fiction, journalistic writing. The course is writing intensive. You will write news stories and feature stories, developing stories from the generation of ideas through the research and writing process. Classes will include lectures, field assignments, group discussions and group writing critiques both in the classroom and in online discussion forums. You will be encouraged to read your writing to the class. Your goal is to tell compelling stories in clear, clean language.

Required Texts

Zinsser, William Knowlton. On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction

Globe and Mail Style Book: Guide to Language and Usage

William Strunk and E.B. White. The Elements of Style

Course Requirements/Evaluation

Writing portfolio, including journal and online critiques 50%
Final News Story 20%
Final Feature Story 20%
Participation 10%

Writing assignments/Online discussion forum

During the semester, you will be asked to complete informal writing assignments and post them on an online discussion forum. These assignments will include drafts of stories that you work on over a number of weeks. During the semester you will also be asked to keep a daily journal in journalistic style. This journal is not a personal diary, but a creative exercise in recording observations in a journalistic style.

Writing Portfolio

A complete portfolio of your writing during the semester must be submitted at the end of term. The portfolio will include your journal entries and all drafts of your work.

Final stories

You will be asked to submit one final news story and one final feature story that will be developed during the semester. These stories will require field work and research.

Attendance, deadlines and participation

Attendance is required. Deadlines are mandatory. Journalists must meet deadlines; late work will not be accepted. Participation involves taking part in group discussions and writing critiques and presenting your work to the class. The consequences of missing classes and deadlines will be discussed at our first meeting.

SCHEDULE

September 9

Introduction and Organization
The art of story telling
Introduction to writing non-fiction: The observer

September 16

WRITING DEADLINE:
1. Autobiography
2. Observations

Introduction to interviewing: The listener

September 23

WRITING DEADLINE:
1. Interview

Introduction to research: The investigator
Developing Story Ideas

September 30

WRITING DEADLINE:
1. Profile
2. Story Idea

The news story: Getting started

October 7

WRITING DEADLINE:
1. Revised story idea, notes and outline

The news story: Clutter

October 14

WRITING DEADLINE:
1. News story Draft One

The news story: Organization

October 28

WRITING DEADLINE
1. News Story Draft Two

The news story: Rewriting

November 4

WRITING DEADLINE:
1. Final Draft of News Story
2. Feature Story Idea, Notes, Outline

The news feature: Story structure
The news feature: Setting the scene

November 11

REMEMBRANCE DAY - CLASS CANCELLED - UNIVERSITY CLOSED

November 18

WRITING DEADLINE:
1. First Draft of Feature Story

The news feature: Rewriting

November 25

WRITING DEADLINE:
1. Final Draft of Features

The Art of Fact: Non-fiction reconsidered

December 2

WRITING DEADLINE:
1. Writing Portfolio Submitted

The Art of Story Telling