Classroom sessions every Monday and Wednesday 4-6:05 p.m.
Online sessions every Tuesday and Thursday
This is a hybrid course, meaning you are responsible for online lectures, exercises and quizzes before meeting in class on our assigned days. Failure to complete these lectures and assignments means you will have an incredibly difficult time passing this class.
Instructor: Dale Blasingame, M.A.
Temporary Office: Old Main 230Z
Office Hours: Wednesdays and Thursdays 2-4 p.m. or by appointment. If my door is open, feel free to stop in.
E: email@example.com | T: @daleblasingame | W: daleblasingame.net
The study and practice of writing copy for the electronic media, including the composition of commercials, news stories, public service announcements, promotions and documentaries. Prerequisites: Full major status, MC 1313 (WI)
This class will combine lecture and a writing lab. Students will learn the basics of how to write copy for the electronic media (TV, radio and the Web), how to conduct interviews and how to produce scripts.
Dotson, Bob (2016). Make it memorable: Writing and packaging visual news with style. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield. ISBN: 978-1-4422-5611-8
AP Stylebook (The online version is suitable for this class.)
Tompkins, Al (2012). Aim for the heart: Write, shoot, report and produce for TV and multimedia. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press. ISBN: 978-1-60871-674-6
Other Required Materials
You will need a digital voice recorder (smart phones usually work). It also helps to have a flash drive to store your files and work.
This course will utilize the TRACS system for assignments and grading. Most course handouts, presentations and assignments will also be posted on TRACS, as well as my website.
Attendance Policy/Class Behavior
I treat this class like a newsroom. You are the reporters, and I am the news director. Therefore, you are expected to attend class, participate and complete assignments on deadline. School of Journalism and Mass Communication policy permits faculty members to lower a student’s grade for absences or tardiness. Graded work frequently will be performed in class during the semester. This work cannot be made up unless you have arranged an excused absence prior to class, as per university policy. Current events quizzes are also given during class time. These cannot be made up if missed. Your lowest current events quiz grade is dropped at the end of the semester. If you miss class, it is your responsibility to cover the material discussed in class on your own.
Perfect attendance will afford you the chance to make up your lowest story grade at the end of the semester.
There will be times in class where it is required to use your phone. Outside of those times, phones will be put away and silent. You will be asked to leave the room if there is a disruption in this policy.
Evidence of your work in this class is required for your School of Journalism and Mass Communication senior portfolio.
Grades are available via the TRACS Gradebook. All categories, assignments and weights of grades are visible in the Gradebook. Missed assignments will result in a zero. Late work is not accepted in this class and will also result in a zero.Story Assignments – 40%
Mass communication is a deadline-driven business, and so is this course. Late assignments will NOT be accepted. If you must miss class on the day an assignment is due, you must submit your assignment by the deadline (via email or TRACS Drop Box) or it will not be accepted.
Story of the Day
Each session, one student will be responsible for the Story of the Day. The story must be from radio, television or Internet news sources and have some sort of video/audio element. We will spend a few minutes discussing why this story was interesting (whether it’s the production, content, story style, writing or visuals). The goal here is for you to begin to notice storytelling elements you like or find appealing. The schedule will be provided on the class calendar.
You MUST have a Texas State email account. The grading program I use and the TRACS system utilize the Texas State email system. Check your Texas State email account regularly because I often send notices concerning class.
Use of School-Owned Camera Equipment
This class may utilize the School of Journalism and Mass Communication Equipment Checkout Room. Use of equipment is a privilege earned through your respect of and cooperation with the checkout rules. If you are late returning a camera to the Equipment Checkout Room, you lose all checkout privileges. In addition, a return that is two days late may result in up to a letter deduction on your grade. If equipment is kept five days past the due date, it is considered stolen.
The School of Journalism and Mass Communication commits itself to the preparation of ethical mass media professionals and scholars. Such a mission demands the highest standard of academic honesty and integrity. Violations of academic honesty, including but not limited to plagiarism, unauthorized collaboration, collusion, deception, conflict of interest and theft are not tolerated and can lead to severe penalties. Disciplinary actions are outlined in the Texas State Academic Honesty Statement, printed each year in the Texas State Student Handbook.
The policy is also available here: http://www.txstate.edu/effective/upps/upps-07-10-01.html or http://www.txstate.edu/swtexan/apolices.html
Falsifying sources or other information and copying material without proper attribution are acts of academic dishonesty that will not be tolerated in this class. They will result in a failing grade on an assignment and potentially a failing grade in the course.
Students with Special Needs
If you are a student with a disability certified by ODS and you require accommodation in my class, it is your responsibility to tell me at the beginning of the semester so accommodations can be provided promptly. You must notify me by the second week of class if you need accommodation. If your status is pending with ODS, notify me as soon as possible. Contact the ODS office if you have questions 245.3451. It is my desire to accommodate students to the best of my ability. ODS certifications assist in this endeavor.
You can drop this or any course by March 29, 2016, and receive an automatic W. After that date, you cannot drop a single course. Instead, you must withdraw from all courses. Please review PPS 4.09 at this Web site: http://www.txstate.edu/academicaffairs/pps/pps4/4-09.html