News School Graduate Writers Boot-Camp Syllabus
Class Days and Time: Monday through Thursday 10:00 a.m. PT
This course is a prerequisite for Journalism Newspaper Editing 0227 – Lab.
Instructor: Cathy Milne; Assistant Director of Education
Office: Skype: cathymbiz
Phone: +1-971-207-6289 (Pacific Time Zone)
Web Site: https://libertyvoiceinstitute.webex.com
▭ Monday through Friday 12-2:00 p.m. PT on Skype Or by appointment
▭ You may message me on Skype between 9 a.m. – 9 p.m., each day except Thursdays before 6 p.m. PT.
Assistant Instructor: Jeanette Smith
Office: Skype: jeanette_755
Phone: +1-502-303-4786 (Eastern Time Zone)
▭ Jeanette’s day off is on Monday. Otherwise, available on Skype or via text.
Additional Contact Information
Frackle Media CEO DiMarkco Chandler firstname.lastname@example.org
Human Resources Cherese Jackson email@example.com
Should a grievance occur, please attempt to resolve the problem by contacting the person with whom you are having problems. Email that person, and carbon copy (CC) firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. The grievance procedure is available upon request from the Assistant Director of Education Cathy Milne.
As a TNS certified journalist, you will be a highly sought after writer. Graduates will:
- Master the elemental tools of writing and editing – spelling, grammar, punctuation, word usage, and style (in this case, AP).
- Have an understanding of SEO and its function.
- Be able to write a viral article.
- Interlarded with all of this will be consideration of news judgment, law and ethics, taste, and sensibility.
TEXTS and CLASS MATERIALS:
- Any and all documents, text, films, etc. will be made available by the instructors.
- Associated Press Stylebook. Use the AP Online Service
- An online version of Webster’s New World College Dictionary.
- Desktop folder on your computer. You will need to label it for this training program.
- A Gmail account is required.
- Download the documents received to Google Docs.
- Students must have Skype and add the instructors as contacts.
- A Twitter account must be set up.
- Chrome is the best server to use with our classroom and WordPress.
Boot-camp is held using WebEx. Attendance is necessary. Students are allowed two unexcused absences. If you must miss class, notification needs to take place BEFORE class time. Send Cathy and Jeanette a notification. The easiest way to let us know you will not be in class is to use Skype.
GRADING and COURSE REQUIRMENTS:
- Your course grade is averaged from daily assignments, exercises, and quizzes. Each assignment and quiz is worth 100 points. (See Grading Standards Rubric below.)
- Weeks 1-6: There are 32 full-length (FL) and 10 breaking news (BN) articles due, as assigned. There will be weekly quizzes and occasional exercises.
- The requirements for moving forward after the 5th week are, (1) Average GPA 76 percent, and (2) successful completion of the Grad Week readiness test.
- Weeks 7 & 8, referred to as Grad Week/Hell Weekend, are the final steps toward ceritfication.
- Grad Week is Sunday through Wednesday midnight PT. There are 6 full-length and 3 breaking news articles required. Average GPA 80 percent.
- Hell Weekend is Friday through Sunday midnight PT. There are 4 full-length and 2 breaking news articles required. Average GPA 80 percent.
- Final exam is due Tuesday with a final grade of 90 percent.
- Extra credit articles are accepted, each FL or BN will replace the lowest grade respectively. Please notify an instructor if you wish to do extra credit.
- While you will not be notified beforehand, not everything you do will receive a grade. Corrected versions of non-graded assignments are available for review during my office hours.
Grade Scale in Boot-Camp
|A = 90-100||B+ = 87-89||B = 80-86||C+ = 77-79||C = 70-76|
|D+ = 67-69||D = 60-66||Lowest 60|
GRADING STANDARDS RUBRIC:
Please note that the grading in this class will be tough. This is a simulation class. The assignments and standards they are measured against are intended to contribute to its realism and, at the same time, make you tough, careful writers.
- Attribution Errors: -3 points for first error and –1 point each additional error. Your sources are verified and the in-text attributions must be accurate. Names of people and news sources must be 100 percent accurate.
- Clarity: -5 points Clarity can be subjective and may change from Editor to Editor. For that reason, there is only one deduction per article for any and all changes made to clarify sentences and ideas.
- Contractions -3 points each. Writers use apostrophes in contractions to show a missing letter, as in “don’t” for “do not.” When it comes to writing for the GLV newsroom, you are your own worst enemy, especially if you are one of the writers who continually shows that they are lacking in the area of paying attention to detail. (Contractions are only allowed in direct quotes.)
- First/Second-Person Voice: -3 points each.
- Ineffective Sentence: -10 points for first sentence and -5 points each additional sentence.
Ineffective sentences are awkward and awkward sentences are ineffective. Sentences are ineffective when they have no subject or no verb. This is not to be confused with clarity, which are complete sentences that need to be reworked in order to be much clearer.
- Misspelled Words/Typos -1 point each.
- Missing/Incorrect/Extraneous Punctuation or Spaces: -1 point each.
- Style Errors: -1 point each. There are two common errors in style: sentence fragments and faulty parallelism. There will be times where your Publisher will institute several new policies.
- Verb Tense Errors: -3 points first error and -2 points each additional error.
- Missing or Extraneous Words: -2 points each.
- Vocabulary Words: -3 points if an vocabulary word from the list is not used in a FL article. The word must be used in its proper context.
NOTE: No sutdent will receive a grade lower than 60 percent.
After attending class the first time, you will receive an email with links that provide information about The News School Writing Style, and other grammatical topics.
ARTICLE GRADING PROCEDURES:
- Full-length: An editor will review the article for protocol compliance. This includes SEO, categories, tags, images, byline, source citations, and image attributions. Copyscape will be run, must be 10 percent or less. The lede paragraph will be edited for grammar and style issues. It all are correct then the article will be edited, graded, and published.
- ▭ If any of the above are not satisfied, the first paragraph is marked with necessary edits and notes are made in the comment area, then the article is returned. An automatic email is sent to the writer, which includes the comments made by the editor.
- Breaking News: During the first five weeks, BN articles are not returned to writers. Instead, it will be completely edited, graded, and published. Protocol errors are -10 for the first and -5 for each additional.
- ▭ If news in more than an hour old
▭ If Copyscape is greater than 10 percent.
- ▭ If a student is having continued problems with protocol errors.
- When a BN is sent back for the above issues, another will be assigned.
QUIZZES, WORKSHEETS, AND EDITOR’S CHECKLIST
- Associated Press Style/ Punctuation / Grammar / Spelling, Etc. Quizzes: These are scheduled to begin during the second week of the first bootcamp. Questions will come from the AP book, information covered in class, protocol, and journalistic ethics. All assignments, quizzes, and exercises are open book. (Final exams are also open book.)
- Personal Editor’s Checklist: You will create and keep an editing checklist that must be updated weekly. The objective is to create a list that includes the notes sent to you by editors.
- Vocabulary: A vocabulary list will be provided to you. One word from the list must be used in each full-length article, beginning with the third article. Variants of the words may be used as long as they are used appropriately.
- Meet with an instructor for one-on-one meetings to discuss your progress, problem areas in your writing, and anything else you want to bring up.
- Good Academic Conduct: Commit yourself to honesty and integrity if you have not already.
- Collaboration: View this training like a newsroom where peers consult one another.
- Notify me of any accommodations you need: Please let me know immediately if you have any kind of problem or disability that would hinder your work in this training program. I will do my best to help you.
WEEK ONE [Assignments due 11:59 p.m. PT. 7 days a week.]
|MONDAY||Introduction to Staff, WordPress, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), The Public Slate, Google News and WUBTESSH categories, PKT (Primary Keyword Trending), Tags,
Introduce Frackle Media, Media Kit, Bootcamp Manual
|TUESDAY||Vocabulary, Recording Articles, Where to find images and attribution, Image rules and how to add to article, TinEye|
|WEDNESDAY||Ledes, Associate Press (AP), Reliable sources, Review links from into email.|
|THURSDAY||Set up TweetDeck to prepare for writing BN|
Total articles completed 7 FL by Sunday at 11:59 p.m. PT.
WEEK TWO [This is the first week you may be called upon to share a completed article for in-class editing.]
|MONDAY||Using TweetDeck for BN, Setting up new post, BN category, different byline, choosing a time zone.|
|TUESDAY||Quiz due before class. Title workshop, Google Analytics and helpful extensions. Pingbacks. Google own Name. All students assigned same PKT – how to make sure each is different. Personal Editor’s Checklist.|
|WEDNESDAY||Evergreen stories. Discuss quiz results. Subheadings, quote boxes, lists. Multiple images. Transition words,|
|THURSDAY||Begin Journalistic standards with the First Amendment and FOIA. Talk about Yellow Journalism|
Total articles completed 12 FL and 2 BN by Sunday at 11:59 p.m. PT
|MONDAY||Reading Aloud assignment. Insert videos into articles. Begin writing BN on GLV.|
|TUESDAY||Quiz due before class. Sub-headings, Lists, Links, Positionality|
|WEDNESDAY||Interview techniques and how to write the story. Mock interviews.|
|THURSDAY||Continue Journalistic standards. Writing about special groups – GLAAD, NAMI, Cannabis, Asian Sernames, etc.|
Total articles completed 17 FL and 4 BN by Sunday at 11:59 p.m. PT
|MONDAY||Boldy Inclusive assignment and Opinion News|
|TUESDAY||Quiz due before class. Editing in Class|
|WEDNESDAY||Editing in Class|
|THURSDAY||Continue Journalistic standards|
Total articles completed 22 FL and 6 BN by Sunday at 11:59 p.m. PT
WEEK FIVE [This week students will be choosing their own PKT]
|MONDAY||Discuss “Truth” story and type of article to write. Short class. Assignment is to view the film outside or class. Link will be provided.|
|TUESDAY||Quiz due before class. Group discussion about the film|
|WEDNESDAY||Announce Grad-Week Readiness Assessment due Sunday|
|THURSDAY||Continue Journalist standards|
Total articles completed 27 FL and 8 BN by Sunday at 11:59 p.m. PT
|MONDAY||Discuss “Kill the Messenger” story and type of article to write. Short class. Assignment is to view the film outside or class. Link will be provided.|
|TUESDAY||Quiz due before class. Group discussion about the film.|
|THURSDAY||Finish Journalist standards|
Total articles completed 32 and 10 BN by Sunday at noon PT. [This is the requirment to qualify for GradWeek]
WEEK SEVEN/ GRAD WEEK BEGINS SUNDAY MIDNIGHT PT
|MONDAY||Due 1 FL article (On GLV) and 1 BN|
|TUESDAY||Due 1 FL article (On TPS) and 1 BN|
|WEDNESDAY||Due 1 FL article (On GLV) and 1 BN|
|THURSDAY||Due 1 FL article (On TPS) and 1 BN|
|FRIDAY||REST BECUASE YOU HAVE COME THIS FAR!!!!|
WEEK EIGHT/ HELL WEEKEND BEGINS FRIDAY MIDNIGHT PT
|SATURDAY||Due 2 FL articles (1 on GLV and 1 on TPS) and 1 BN|
|SUNDAY||Due 2 FL articles (1 on GLV and 1 on TPS) and 1 BN|
|THURSDAY||Submit Personal Editor’s Checklist, Personal Testimony, Physical mailing address, and Passport-type photo or headshot for press pass. Schedule meeting with DiMarkco for finalizing certification and contract discussion.|
Congratualtions, you finished Boot-Camp! On to your next writing adventure!