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Teaching journalism

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by ChollyTrippi, Aug 4, 2006.

  1. MGoBlue

    MGoBlue Member

    Oh, and Slappy ... so, where are you teaching now? :)
  2. What's the problem with failing an assignment if there's a fact error? It's a good way to learn that fact errors aren't acceptable. Even if, in the real world, there are fact errors a-plenty.
  3. Mudbone

    Mudbone New Member

    You guys must be trying to scare the kids out of the business?

    Come to think of it, that would probably wouldn't be a bad lesson.
  4. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    The thought of going back into a classroom makes me physically ill.
  5. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    Because the people get into the real world, realize there are few consequences for fucking up, and then they sink to the lowest common denominator.
  6. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Just for the record, since I brought up at least half of it, I'm not suggesting you fail the CLASS if you miss a deadline. And given that they're high school kids, I'm also for given extensions where reasonable.

    But I'm saying if you have an assignment deadline, you don't check with the teacher to see if you can have an extension and you just fail to show up with it on the appointed day and time, you get a severe penalty on that particular assignment.

    But understand the flip side of what I'm saying. If you DO get in your assignments and on time, and with the names spelled correctly (I like that idea, too)...your baseline grade will probably be no worse than a C...that's the incentive on the other end.
  7. n8wilk

    n8wilk Guest

    If you need a "textbook" for the class, I'd recommend Stephen King's On Writing, William Zinser's Writing Well (I think that's the title) or E.B. White's The Elements of Style. All three offer some good advice, with King's focused a little more toward fiction.
  8. RedCanuck

    RedCanuck Active Member

    That actually was the marking scheme we had through school. If it's readable with minor editing, it's a C story...then you could earn more based on merit. Factual errors and spelling errors knocked you down a letter grade.
  9. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Another thing ... with very sophisticated spellchecking and the Internet to check facts -- with care, of course -- it's easier than ever before to get it right if you know how to use the tools.
  10. ChollyTrippi

    ChollyTrippi New Member

    Just want to thank everybody for the suggestions and private messages; I haven't settled on a textbook yet, but am hoping not to rely too heavily on a book anyway; I always believed the practical experience I got outside the classroom proved far more helpful than any lecture.
  11. Lester Bangs

    Lester Bangs Active Member

    I've taught for two years at a university now and the practical experience is far more important than the text book ... as is the stylebook and just about anything else you bring into class. The guys here saying they should fail the assignment or whatever for booted names and facts are on the right track. I do the three-strikes thing ... first and second offense is a one-grade drop on the assignment ... after that it's a zero. The thing I try to stress is the effort, as work ethic seems to be particularly lacking in most kids. You can miss as many of my classes as you want, but there is no makeup without a note from the doc or proof of death in the family. I drop two assignments a semester, so I tell them those are their built-in hangover days and they can use them as they please. If they skip twice early, they better be in class everyday from that point on.

    I have garnered a reputation as something of a hardass. In my evaluations last semester, I had one student comment that the workload in my class was heavy to the point of being unfair. But most said they loved the class and would feel comfortable walking into a professional newsroom. Now, how many would be ready for an actual newsroom is hard to say, but they don't want you to be their buddy. They really do want you to treat them like you would another professional. They really want to rise to the challenge.
  12. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    Keep a copy of Tim Harrower's "Newspaper Designers Handbook" around the newspaper office, in case anybody wants to look for ideas. Maybe you'll uncover somebody who can put together a nice page.

    But if you do that, don't hand it out without making it clear that the news comes before the design. It would be easy for a teen-ager to go too far one way.
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