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LAJ401: Journalism (2011-2012)

CURRICULUM PROGRAM: English Language Arts
COURSE TITLE: Journalism
CALENDAR YEAR: 2011-2012
GRADE LEVEL: 9-12
CODE: LAJ401
TYPE: EL
CREDITS: 1.00
COURSE LENGTH: 18-36 weeks

Major Concepts/Content: The journalism course encourages student responsibility for the development of personal and staff management skills, for the production of a publishable product, and for adherence to ethical values affecting journalists, while helping students at the same time to refine and put to practical use their thinking, writing, and critiquing skills. The study of journalism will also introduce students to the problems and opportunities present in mass media today. The content includes, but is not limited to, choosing and using appropriate writing techniques in preparing publishable material (applying the conventions of English usage, using effective words, sentences, and paragraphs, using effective techniques in preparing for interviews and conducting effective interviews, writing publishable newspaper stories); utilizing accepted techniques in the preparation of journalistic material (applying ethical methods of obtaining information for use in writing, rewriting, editing, and proofreading material, writing headlines, identifying material appropriate for school publication, creating an aesthetic page layout, demonstrating balanced writing on controversial issues, differentiating between fact and opinion, and practicing assigned staff responsibilities in an efficient manner); recognizing ethical issues in the practice of journalism [recognizing situational factors affecting publication of material, checking sources to ensure reliability, displaying good taste, and avoiding plagiarism); and demonstrating personal development congruent with journalistic practices and career goals, demonstrating the ability to follow journalistic work schedules and deadlines, using managerial and supervisory skills, functioning without supervision, and analyzing journalistic materials based upon accepted standards.

Major Instructional Activities: Instructional activities will be Provided in a general classroom setting, and in the school and community environment. Student activities will include, but will not be limited to, reporting, interviewing, writing, rewriting, editing, proofreading, selecting content suitable for a school newspaper preparing page layouts, photographing, selecting photographs, performing assigned staff responsibilities, making judgments about acceptable and legal journalistic practices, typing/reproducing materials, and managing/supervising staff members.

Major Evaluative Techniques: Students will be evaluated on the performance of the tasks assigned them, the quality and the timeliness of the product, the written products, and the demonstration of the understanding of the ethical issues inherent in the practice of journalism.

Course Objectives: Upon completion of the journalism course, students should be able to:

  • Describe various ways a story can be written and communicated.
  • Distinguish between fact and opinion.
  • Identify the role of a free press in a democracy and describe laws affecting journalism.
  • Use editing skills, copy reading, page make up, and photo editing.
  • Review and practice the journalistic skills and essentials of mass communication required to write and edit.

This course can be used to partially satisfy the requirements for an endorsement in the following pathways.

Cluster | Pathway | Required/Recommended/Related
Arts, A/V Technology and Communications | Journalism & Broadcasting | Required
Arts, A/V Technology and Communications | Journalism & Broadcasting | Recommended
Information Technology | Interactive Media | Recommended