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Hawaii Pacific University
JOUR 1100: Writing for the Media Section _____
Semester and meeeting times
Instructor: Name, contact information and other relevant information about the instructor.
Course description: Journalism 1100 provides an introduction to the skills needed to be a critical
reader and writer of modern news sources. It emphasizes analysis and practice of a variety of new
writing styles and distribution methods that are dominating public discourse today. By looking closely at
and producing the various writing styles, students will develop critical thinking, research, analysis,
ethical and communication skills that can be used throughout their academic and professional careers,
no matter what their field. The course includes a brief historical survey of journalism, a look at the
changing field of journalism today, and writing for new and changing media, including newspapers,
television, web sites, and blogs.
Course prerequisites: An appropriate score on a placement test
General Education Requirement: This course is classified under the Communication Skills theme and
meets the requirement for a course in Communication Skills A: Writing and Critical Thinking. The
course must be passed with a grade of C- or better to meet the prerequiste for the second requried
writing course in Research and Epistemology A.
General Education Student Learning Outcomes and the Five Themes: HPU’s general education
curriculum is focused around five themes. This course emphasizes the Communication Skills theme and
provides students with opportunities to achieve the following related general education student
learning outcomes:
Students will understand the effects of communication technology on individuals, society, government,
and industry (CS 2).
Journalism is a key link between government, business and an informed citizenry. People are
bombarded daily with information from newspapers, radio and television, cable networks,
magazines, Internet sites, blogs and much more. This course will offer a brief history of
journalism in the United States and show how it plays an important role as the “Fourth Estate,”
keeping the population informed and entertained. You will learn to distinguish the various types
of news sources, evaluate them properly, and better understand how to use this information in
your daily life.
Students will demonstrate critical reasoning in organizing thoughts, feelings, concepts, and information
for effective, clear, and accurate written communication.
Accuracy, objectivity, clearness, conciseness, and organization are hallmarks of journalistic
writing. By closely reading and analyzing many examples of good journalism, students will learn
to identity these features in their own writing as well as those of others. By studying basic
journalistic forms (inverted pyramid, hour-glass, narrative, who-what-when-where and how)
students will learn models of clear, concise and well-organized writings that will be useful in all
their academic and professional careers. During the course of the semester, each student will be
required to produce samples of different types of journalism stories.
Students will demonstrate appropriate uses of verbal, visual, dramatic, numeric and graphic modes of
presentation in various combinations (CS 6).
Visual and numeric communication is an integral part of modern-day media communications.
The courses will not only look at traditional styles of newspaper stories, but study the way
photography, charts, infographics, video and other ways of presenting information are used in
combination with words to produce quality journalism.
Students will develop the information literacy needed to determine the validity of information sources
and apply these skills in communication environments. (CS 5)
An important issue in modern-day journalism is credibility. Traditional, professional forms of
objective news reporting are rapidly being supplanted by far more subjective, less professional
“citizen journalists” who apply much lower standards of information literacy to their work on
web sites, globs, ezines and other publications. An important part of this course will be learning
the tools to recognize the difference between these two standards and understanding why the
professional approach must remain a key part of journalism for both writers and readers. You
will learn to recognize trusted media sources and to question those with less than full validity
through regular reading of top-rated news sources, talking with professionals active in the field,
and writing responses to various articles.
(Descriptions of how the general education outcome is applied in the course, shown in blue may be
rephrased by the instructor of a particular section but the outcomes themselves must be included as
written —delete this note once the syllabus is complete)
Optional: Discuss below how your course addresses five themes other than by delivering the general
education outcomes mentioned above. See the example below: delete this note once the syllabus is
Although JOUR 1100 emphasizes communication skills, the course is also relevant to the themes of
values and choices and research and epistemology.
Values and choices: Writing for news media outlets involves making ethical decisions on an almost daily
basis. We will study the values and ethics of traditional journalism, how some rules still apply today and
how others are rapidly changing throughout the field.
Research and epistemology: Good journalistic writing begins with great reporting. We will study where
news comes from, learning basic interviewing techniques and practice how that information is turned
into “news.” As noted under communication skills we will also discuss evaluating the credibility of
sources, and basic library and internet research techniques will be introduced.
Note: Purple text shows places where specific course information must be filled in. Red text contains
explanatory notes to the instructor which should be deleted before using the syllabus. Blue
explanations above should be rephrased by the individual instructor to reflect the specific approach in
that section of the course.
Course Specific Student Learning Outcomes for JOUR 1100
Students who successfully complete JOUR 1100 will be able to:
• Recognize and analyze the differences between various types of new and changing media, and make
critical judgments about the uses and efficacies of each.
• Recognize the differences between and employ a variety of journalistic writing styles, including news,
features, and opinion.
• Demonstrate critical reasoning skills needed to produce clear, effective, and accurate written
communication in a variety of journalistic formats.
• Produce clearly written , error-free communication for print, broadcast, and on-line publications.
• Practice successfully the entire writing process, including gathering (or reporting) information, writing,
editing and publishing. (Each story a student works will likely be reworked and rewritten several times
before it appears in an acceptable form).
• Evaluate the validity of various information sources and know when it’s appropriate to cite them in
written communication.
• Demonstrate awareness of current events throughout Hawaii, the rest of America and the world.
• Understand the concept and practice of situational ethics as they apply to journalism, business and
personal communication.
For the rest of these required syllabus items see the details in the faculty handbook. Delete this note
once the syllabus is complete. For online courses there are some additional requirements given at this
Texts List textbooks with ISBN’s and include this language as well
All textbook information (pricing, ISBN #, and e-books) for this course can be found on the HPU
Bookstore website:
If you have any questions regarding textbooks, please contact the HPU Bookstore at:
Or e-mail:
Assignments and mode of evaluation
Summary of important dates and deadlines (if the schedule is a separate document and due dates are
not given with the description of the assignments).
Class rules and policies (including regarding attendance, late work and academic dishonesty)
Schedule of events (may be attached separately)