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Teaching a Journalism Class

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by clever_username, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. Hi.

    Looks like I'll be teaching a class at a(n extremely) large university this fall as an adjunct instructor.

    It's "Sports and Media," technically, but it's a class that allows non-majors and is mostly about ethics and issues through the prism of sports media. It's a topic about which I'm pretty passionate as I believe the standards of the profession have been eroded somewhat over the years (for a variety of reasons we don't need to go into).

    Some of the topics that have been covered in previous semesters in this class (this will be the first time I've taught it) have included "The meaning of sports in our society," "Ethics, Truth and Accuracy," "Loyalties - who are we going to upset and how do we sort that out?" "Steroids, talk radio and harm," "Anonymous sources," "conflicts of interest," "race," "future of the business," that sort of thing.

    I'm wondering if I could tap into the expertise of the long-timers here for just a couple of things:

    1 - Are there any big issues that you particularly think are relevant today and should definitely be included in the discussion?
    2 - There is no textbook for the class, but the asst. dean told me they might be able to get one if there was one I was "in love with" and if I acted quickly. So if anybody has suggestions for a book that might be relevant, I'm open to them.

    I'm not looking for everybody else to do my work for me - I've taught similar courses before and have to do all the work anyway. I just wondered if I could ask the brother/sisterhood for some input in hopes of ensuring I haven't overlooked anything. If I've overstepped boundaries, my apologies.

  2. Jersey_Guy

    Jersey_Guy Active Member

    Topic one: Buyouts - jump at the first offer or wait for the second round?
  3. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    At the end of your first lecture give the class two pieces of homework for the next day:

    1. Walk down to the registrars' office.

    2. Request a change of major form.

    But seriously, you don't need a textbook. The best JO classes don't use one.
  4. That's what I was thinking, I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing one.

    And this course is for majors and non-majors, so there's still time to save the non-majors. :)
  5. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    How about the Internet and sports media? That seems to be a pretty salient topic these days.
  6. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Careful with that. Last guy here who did that was dismissed from his academic post. While he used his real name on this board and discussed it openly, you'll also be fucked if they find out.

    Use PMs if you must.
  7. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    Journalism 101: Coming Up With Another Career
  8. friend of the friendless

    friend of the friendless Active Member

    Mr Username,

    Memories of teaching: I've never done anything so time-absorbing with so little reward. 'Course it was a two-year community college. I would have done better with a reasonably bright and relatively eager high school class.

    Best wishes and condolences, etc
  9. rpmmutant

    rpmmutant Member

    Teach them how to blog. and shoot video, edit video, upload video and post it on the website. Then tell them when they've finished all that work, they will be expected to edit, design, write and produce a printed product of all the same stuff that was just posted on the Net. Then explain to them why we charge for the printed version, but give it away for free on the Web and wonder why no one buys the paper anymore. Then let them know they can go home, sleep for a couple hours, maybe grab a quick bite to eat and come back to do it all over again. on weekends, and holidays and birthdays, weddings, reunions. Oh, and expect the appreciation and gratitude for all that work to be minimal. In fact, be prepared to be blamed for all the ills of society.
    Good luck.
  10. I've done it before. Yes, I know it's time-intensive and if you get a bad class, it's mind-numbing. I prefer to look at it optimistically and hope that they're going to be into it and it'll be a positive experience. If not, then that'll be that.

    And it's more of a theory class than a skills (hands on) class, as it's been explained to me. The last class I taught was hands-on, but it was such a small school that the quality of equipment the students could actually put their hands on was very poor - worse, in fact, than what I had in college twenty years prior.

    I've sketched out all but about five or six classes, so I'm getting there. Doesn't start until the end of August.
  11. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Moddy is teaching a grad course, and I there is a pretty good thread here when he posed this exact same question.

  12. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Clever, I think the immediacy of internet news has changed everything. The race to be the first to break the story and the subsequent errors that go wish rushing a story are fascinating.

    Show them pre-ESPN then ESPN but pre-internet.

    Then the internet, but dial up and pre-high speed and podcasts and RSS feeds.

    That is what would interest me.
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