J 216: News Reporting and Writing

Credits 4
Course Adoption Date
Course Revision Date
Audit Available

Introduces basics of reporting and journalistic writing, including news style, grammar and story structure. Students also study journalism history, literature, ethics, law and critical thinking as applied to information gathering. Through the creation of original works, students will explore culture and diversity. Examples may include learning how to cover violence and race in a traditional inverted pyramid story format or learning fairness in coverage of sexual harassment and gender issues in the American workplace. Focuses on style and story structure for print, online and social media publication and discusses the rights and responsibilities of the public communicator. Emphasizes journalistic style and format, accuracy and clarity in writing. Emphasizes understanding media bias and avoiding it in their own work.

Course Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Understand media artifacts as an informational art form and the messages and meanings they convey whether static (newsprint, broadcast) or dynamic (web, social media) in the context of modern society.
  • Employ basic journalism skills such as interviewing, research and gathering facts to identify, report on and author new and original media artifacts about news subjects and events.
  • Understand, evaluate and analyze the rights and responsibilities of a journalist in providing information to the public, including style, slander, libel, and an examination of the friction between the First and Fifth amendments.
  • Use the development and creation of media artifacts to explore societal issues and representation of facets of modern society including such topics as race, class, gender, sexuality and more.
  • Use social media platforms such as Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/LinkedIn to distribute and promote original news stories.
Prerequisite Courses
Grading Options
Letter Grades
Additional Information

This course fulfills the following GE requirements: Arts and Letters/AAS, Arts and Letters/AGS, Arts and Letters/AS, Arts and Letters/AAOT, Arts and Letters/ASOT-B.