• Journalism I Syllabus
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    Text: Lynch, Lorrie. Exploring Journalism and the Media. Mason, OH: South-western Cengage Learning, 2009.

    Course Description
Throughout modern history, people have depended on the mass media to spread the word about events and people of interest to the general public. Journalism introduces students to the exciting world of print and online media. Law, ethics, and the history of journalism will complement the major units of study: reporting, writing, editing, photography, advertising, design, management and teamwork. (from the Texas Association of Journalism Educators, adapted)

    Classroom Expectations

    1. Be Prompt: Please be in your seat when the bell rings.

    2. Be Respectful: Please treat your peers, teacher and the classroom with the respect. No food, drink or gum in the classroom.

    3. Be Prepared: Please come to class with all necessary supplies. Please do not expect to leave the classroom once the bell has rung, unless in case of emergency.

    4. Be Honest: Student journalists and photojournalists are expected to have integrity in all they do! There should not be a situation where your integrity comes into question. 

    5. Be Positive: Being positive is a choice. There’s no harm in smiling and making class a pleasant place to be.


    1. Materials for note taking and keeping up with assignments: pen, paper, notebook, folder, spiral, etc. How you take notes and stay organized is up to you, but know that grades will be issued no matter how organized you may or may not be.

    2. Ear phones/ear buds: you will want to have these! We do a lot of projects where editing is involved and the sound of your peers’ work may drive you crazy J! Plus, I just might let you listen to music from time to time.

    3. Two pieces of poster board, to be used later in the year (standard size, WHITE). I will store them in the classroom for you. Please write your name on it IN PENCIL ONLY prior to turning in.

    4. Cameras: We will do assignments on photography and broadcast  journalism. This means that a camera or video camera will be used at times. Does this mean you need to go out and purchase a camera? NO.

    If you have a DSLR camera, great! If not, no big deal.  Please note that printing photos will not be allowed at school.

    5. Smart Phones: We will incorporate mobile journalism techniques whenever possible into our lessons. THIS DOES NOT MEAN YOU NEED TO PURCHASE A SMART PHONE.

    Journalism Grading Policy:







    Disagree with your grade?

    I am happy to discuss your grade with you. When I pass back an assignment, project or test, please simply write down your concern on a piece of paper, attach it to the assignment and turn it back in. I will review your concern and give you feedback.

    Late Work Policy

    Journalists are expected to make deadlines. Because it’s expected that you will meet all of your deadlines, there should be no late work. In the event that you come to class without your assignment, the following late policy will be enacted:

       Daily Grades:

       One day late: starting grade of 70.
If it is more than one day late, it will not be accepted and a zero will be entered for the grade.

       Project Grades:

       One day late: starting grade of 70. If it is more than one day late, it will not be accepted and a zero will be entered for the grade. You will have a minimum of two weeks to complete a project. There should be NO late projects.


    Make-up Work: Take Initiative

    For student absences (due to illness or school-related events such as U.I.L. activities or field trips), it will be your responsibility to seek out the assignment(s) missed while you were away. I will not prompt you to take care of this work. YOU are the responsible party. In college, your professors will not ask you to turn in late work – you will have to do it on your own! Let’s prepare for this now. Take initiative and find out what assignments (extra tutoring, etc.) you need to do without having to be asked. If not, your grade might reflect your lack of initiative in a negative way!

    Ethical decision-making

    Journalists make ethical decisions daily. Newspapers have codes of ethics to guide their employees. The SHS Journalism Department is no different – our publications and student journalists will behave, work and communicate in ethical ways.


    The SHS Journalism Department will abide by the SISD Acceptable Use Policy. 

    ·         Journalism Department Internet Policy
Access to the District's electronic communications system, including the Internet, shall be made available to students primarily for class use.  It is designed for research and information purposes for class assignments.  Inappropriate use includes playing games, watching videos, and updating or communicating on personal web sites for non-educational purposes.  Consequences for violation of this policy could include notification of parents, detention, discipline referral or loss of points on daily grade.


    ·         Tech equipment (computers, camera, etc.) will be used with extreme care. Students are responsible for school cameras if using. (You break, you buy.)


    Computer stations should be kept clean and logged out upon completion of use. The COW (Computers on Wheels) station will be used in our class regularly. Please do not remove chargers and place laptops in their correct "parking spots." To turn in a laptop, you must:

    1. Log out.

    2. Shut down.

    3. Wait for the screen to go black.

    4. Close the laptop.

    5. Park the laptop in it's correct spot.

    6. Plug it in to its coordinating charger.


    ·         Cell phone usage: Do not use your cell phone in my classroom, unless otherwise directed by me. We will use cell phones, but for only for educational purposes. This includes listening to music.



    ·         Photo manipulation is unacceptable. Fair representation of photo subjects will is required.

    ·          Photography from the SHS Journalism Department (candids taken at school events, games, class portraits, etc.) will not be used for any other purpose other than for school use.  You may not post any photos taken for school use on any social networking sites whatsoever.


    Other Items


    Plagiarism will not be tolerated and will be dealt with according to the SHS Handbook/SISD Code of Conduct.


    “Creating” sources for a story is unacceptable. Stories that you write for our publications will have multiple sources in which you will interview; this is how good stories are developed. Your sources will be authentic and should have a trail of back up – either paper or digital. Stories will be balanced and fair.


    Be honest and fair – I will always be honest and fair with you. Your classmates and I expect the same in return.


    As a student journalist, you must protect and work to strengthen your credibility at all times. Reporting in an ethical manner is a clear path to a strong credibility.



    I have read and understand the Journalism I Syllabus and Course Information. You may bypass printing and signing the Statement of Understanding.


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