Maricopa Community Colleges  JRN201   20006-99999 

Official Course Description: MCCCD Approval: 5-23-2000

JRN201 2000 Fall 2011 Summer II

L+L 3.0 Credit(s) 5.0 Period(s) 4.4 Load Occ

News Writing

Writing news for the print media. Composing at the computer keyboard. Associated Press editing style, writing skills, and organizational structure for news.

Prerequisites: ENG101, ENG107, or equivalent.

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MCCCD Official Course Competencies:


JRN201 2000 Fall 2011 Summer II

News Writing



Demonstrate the ability to apply AP style while editing news stories. (I)


Use an Associated Press Stylebook. (I)


Demonstrate an ability to write news stories designed for a mass audience, employing traditional journalistic style patterns. (I)


Write professional news copy, demonstrating a command of appropriate word choices, grammar, and punctuation. (II)


Describe the basic elements which determine what is news. (III)


Write professional news copy, demonstrating a high degree of fairness, accuracy, and balance. (IV)


Describe the importance of a lead and the elements that make a good lead. (IV, VII)


Write a lead to a single-element and multi-element story. (IV, VIII)


Write well organized news and feature stories, based on facts which are provided as well as from information gathered by reporter. (V, VIII, IX)


Demonstrate an ability to communicate information from various sources through the efficient use of quotations and appropriate identification. (VI)


Demonstrate the ability to use the library and computer databases to gather information. (VII)


Describe and use basic techniques of interviewing and gathering of news. (VII)


Describe the essentials that make up an advance and follow-up story. (IX)


Describe the laws and guidelines which govern journalists in respect to libel, ethics, and privacy. (X)

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MCCCD Official Course Outline:


JRN201 2000 Fall 2011 Summer II

News Writing


I. Style

A. Associated Press

B. News writing differences

II. Qualities of good writing

A. Word usage

B. Spelling

C. Redundancies

D. Cliches

E. Journalese

F. Grammar and punctuation

III. What makes news

A. The elements of news

B. Fairness, accuracy, balance

IV. The lead

A. Summary

B. Alternatives

V. Story organization

A. Inverted pyramid

B. Hourglass

C. Single/multi element

D. Transitional movements

VI. Attribution/quotes

A. Identification of sources

B. Selecting quotes

C. Kinds of quotes

D. Mechanics of quotes

VII. Gathering news

A. Interviewing

B. Notetaking

C. Library

D. Database searches

E. Press conferences

VIII. Features

A. Definition

B. Leads

C. Organization

IX. Basic news stories

A. Advance

B. Follows/second day

C. Speeches, meetings, news conferences

D. Roundup

E. Other

X. Ethics/legal considerations

A. Definition of libel

B. Libel defenses

C. Definition of privacy

D. Privacy defenses

E. Times vs Sullivan

F. Ethical considerations


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