• J1000 News Media in a Democratic Society

    Section 1, FALL 2010

    Missouri School of Journalism

    MWF 1-1:50 p.m.,  Engineering Bldg West, Room 102


    Professor Lynda Kraxberger, 001C Reynolds Journalism Institute

    kraxbergerl@missouri.edu, 882-6633

    Associate Prof. Karen Mitchell, 001D Reynolds Journalism Institute

    mitchellkk@missouri.edu, 882-9407

    Hours available: Highly variable. E-mail for appointments.


    This course will offer insight and discussion of major trends and issues in all forms of journalism, including the impact of new communication technologies, the economic challenges facing the news media and the important role of journalism in the democracy. In an age when statistics show fewer people are turning to traditional news sources for information – and when many are choosing not to consume news at all – it’s important to gain an understanding of how journalism differs from other forms of information and how journalists might redefine their work to adapt to a rapidly changing media landscape. Throughout the semester, we also hope to emphasize the important role the public plays in determining what news is available and how it is reported, and to help you become more discerning and productive citizens and news consumers.


    * All readings for this class are available online or through the Journalism library on e-Reserve.

    Directions for using e-Reserve at the Missouri School of Journalism Library can be found here: http://eres.missouri.edu/eres/default.aspx

    * You’ll find readings for each week listed at the top of its section.  You should complete the week’s readings before class each Monday so that you can come prepared with questions or for discussion.

    * You can expect quiz questions from the previous week’s lectures, readings or current events.

    * at least once a day, you should check headlines in the Columbia Missourian http://www.columbiamissourian.com/

    * at least once a day, you should scan the news on MSNBC.com

    Readings from the Columbia Missourian and MSNBC may be used for current events questions on your quizzes.  Quizzes are open “book” but are timed, so if you are familiar with the news of the day by keeping up with daily readings, you’ll be able to answer the questions more quickly than if you go into a quiz “cold.”



    You will not be allowed to make up in-class assignments or exams unless you suffer a death in your family or have a doctor’s note stating that you were too ill to attend class.


    You are expected to attend and be prepared to participate. Please complete the assigned reading before the lecture so you can ask informed questions and initiate discussion. Also, you should be aware that exams are based on the assumption that you have been to class, done the reading, and absorbed the material. You are free, of course, to borrow notes from fellow students. You will not, however, be able to get notes from the instructors. Also, please do not try to use email as a substitute for attendance (by asking the professor what you missed) or your own record keeping (by asking about due dates.)


    Please use your laptop or mobile devices respectfully.  Be aware that other students may be distracted by images or surfing on your computer screen. Please be considerate and mute your electronic devices, laptops, phones, iPods, iPads, etc. If you find it difficult to retain information while multitasking, we suggest you refrain from texting, tweeting, emailing or posting status updates during class. You must be courteous to speakers and instructors. Casual conversation with classmates while instructors or speakers are talking is strictly prohibited.

    Course website

    If you are reading this syllabus, it means you’ve either accessed the course website or persuaded a friendly classmate to do so. Either way, you’ll find that the site contains lots of things vital to your success in this class. You’ll come to the web to take assigned quizzes, to find readings, and to turn in assignments.  You can also use the course website find your test grades, and more. Get used to checking it regularly.

    Professionalism and courtesy

    Yes, this is primarily a lecture class, but we intend to promote as much discussion as possible. We may discuss thorny issues from time to time. Because reasonable people can and do disagree about many aspects of journalism’s role and function in society, it is imperative that we follow one important guideline for discussion: Everyone must respect the rights of others to speak. You are encouraged to comment, question, or critique an idea but you are not to attack an individual.

    Also, when you attend lecture you are agreeing to adhere to four steadfast rules:

    1) Get to class on time

    2) Pack up your bags to leave only when you are instructed to do so

    3) Turn OFF your cell phone before class begins.

    4) Laptops should be used ONLY for taking notes.

    Ringing phones, rustling of backpacks and early departures are disruptive to the lecturer and fellow students (not to mention rude) and will not be tolerated.


    Academic honesty is fundamental to the activities and principles of a university. All members of the academic community must be confident that each person’s work has been responsibly and honorably acquired, developed and presented. Any effort to gain an advantage not given to all students is dishonest whether or not the effort is successful.

    Academic misconduct includes but is not limited to the following:

    ·       Use of materials from another author without citation or attribution.

    ·       Use of verbatim materials from another author without citation or attribution.

    ·       Extensive use of materials from past assignments without permission of your instructor.

    ·       Extensive use of materials from assignments in other classes without permission of your instructor.

    When in doubt about plagiarism, paraphrasing, quoting or collaboration, consult with your instructor. For closed-book exams and exercises, academic misconduct includes conferring with other class members, copying or reading someone else’s test and using notes and materials without prior permission of the instructor. For open-book exams and exercises, academic misconduct includes copying or reading someone else’s work.

    Classroom Misconduct

    Classroom misconduct includes forgery of class attendance; obstruction or disruption of teaching, including late arrival or early departure; failure to turn off cellular telephones leading to disruption of teaching; playing games or surfing the Internet on laptop computers unless instructed to do so; physical abuse or safety threats; theft; property damage; disruptive, lewd or obscene conduct; abuse of computer time; repeated failure to attend class when attendance is required; and repeated failure to participate or respond in class when class participation is required.

    IMPORTANT: Entering a classroom late or leaving a classroom before the end of the period can be extremely disruptive behavior. Students are asked to arrive for class on time and to avoid early departures. This is particularly true of large lectures, where late arrivals and early departures can be most disruptive. Instructors have the right to deny students access to the classroom if they arrive late and have the right to dismiss a student from the class for early departures that result in disruptions.

    Under MU policy, your instructor has the right to ask for your removal from the course for misconduct, disruptive behavior or excessive absences. The instructor then has the right to issue a grade of withdraw, withdraw failing or F. The instructor alone is responsible for assigning the grade in such circumstances.

    Dishonesty and Misconduct Reporting Procedures

    MU faculty are required to report all instances of academic or classroom misconduct to the appropriate campus officials. Allegations of classroom misconduct will be forwarded immediately to MU’s Vice Chancellor for Student Services. Allegations of academic misconduct will be forwarded immediately to MU’s Office of the Provost. In cases of academic misconduct, the student will receive at least a zero for the assignment in question.

    Professional Standards and Ethics

    The School of Journalism is committed to the highest standards of academic and professional ethics and expects its students to adhere to those standards. Students should be familiar with the Code of Ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists and adhere to its restrictions. Students are expected to observe strict honesty in academic programs and as representatives of school-related media. Should any student be guilty of plagiarism, falsification, misrepresentation or other forms of dishonesty in any assigned work, that student may be subject to a failing grade from the instructor and such disciplinary action as may be necessary under University regulations.



    This class will incorporate the plus-minus grading scale used in nearly all courses at the University of Missouri-Columbia, according to the following breakdown. Your final course grade will be figured using the following approximate weight distribution:

    ·    98-100 percent of possible points earned………………………A+

    ·    94-97 percent of possible points earned………………………..A

    ·    90-93 percent of possible points earned………………………..A-

    ·    88-89 percent of possible points earned………………………..B+

    ·    84-87 percent of possible points earned………………………..B

    ·    80-83 percent of possible points earned………………………..B-

    ·    78-79 percent of possible points earned………………………..C+

    ·    74-77 percent of possible points earned………………………..C

    ·    70-73 percent of possible points earned………………………..C-

    ·    68-69 percent of possible points earned………………………..D+

    ·    64-67 percent of possible points earned………………………..D

    ·    63-60 percent of possible points earned………………………..D-

    ·    59 percent or less of possible points earned……………………F


    You will have four online quizzes on the readings, lectures and current events. These quizzes will be available from 7 p.m. Monday until 9 p.m. Tuesday on the J1000 Student Exam and Resource Site on Blackboard, https://blackboard.missouri.edu/. Those who fail to complete the quizzes during that time will not be allowed to make them up. They account for 20 percent of your grade. If you have trouble with your personal computer, go to a campus computer lab to complete the quiz. Computer glitches will not be excused.  The quizzes are designed and journal assignments are both designed to get you to read course material and attend classes.  Both quizzes and journal assignments are useful in preparing for your tests.


    Speaking of journal assignments.  You will have four journal assignments (on weeks that you don’t have quizzes or exams) that will be worth 15% of your grade.  You’ll turn in journal assignments using the dropbox on Blackboard.  Journal assignments will give you a question or several questions to answer in response to readings and lecture material.  Journal assignments give you a chance to “think out loud” as you question what you’ve read and heard.  Each journal assignment is limited to 300 words.


    There will be three tests in this class at roughly five-week intervals. The day-by-day syllabus will give you specific dates. These exams will be multiple-choice tests that will be graded by the Assessment Resource Center. You must bring a No. 2 pencil to class on test days, and you must be here on time.


    Your grade will be assessed according to the following distribution:

    · Tests (3) = 65%

    • Quizzes (4) = 20%

    · Journal assignments (4 @ 300 words) = 15%



    The Blackboard website established for this class, available at https://blackboard.missouri.edu/, should allow you to take quizzes and to access important announcements, event and assignment reminders, a discussion board, course documents and readings, plus grades on individual assignments that will allow you to monitor your progress.


    The University of Missouri system is an equal-opportunity/affirmative action institution and is nondiscriminatory relative to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability or status as a Vietnam-era veteran. Any person having inquiries concerning the University of Missouri-Columbia’s compliance with implementing Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 or other civil rights laws should contact the Assistant Vice Chancellor, Human Resource Services, University of Missouri-Columbia, 130 Heinkel Building, Columbia, Mo., 65211, (573) 882-4256, or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education.


    If you have special needs as addressed by the Americans with Disabilities Act and you need assistance, please immediately notify me, along with the Office of Disability Services at (573) 882-4696. Complete information is available online. The school will make reasonable efforts to accommodate you.


    Students are excused for significant religious holidays that require suspension of normal activities. Please let me know in advance if you have a conflict.


    MU welcomes intellectual diversity and respects student rights. Students who have questions concerning the quality of instruction in this class can address concerns to the departmental chair, the divisional leader or the director of the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities (http://osrr.missouri.edu). All students will have the opportunity to submit an anonymous evaluation of the instructors at the end of the course.


    Following is a weekly schedule of planned activities, lectures, assignments and exams for the semester. The schedule is subject to change. Complete reading assignments each week before class. Lectures are intended to complement, not regurgitate, the readings.

    TEST DATES (3):  Wed., Sept. 22, Wed. Oct. 27, Wed.Dec. 8

    QUIZ DATES (4): Mon., Aug. 30, Mon. Sept. 13, Mon. Oct. 4, Mon., Nov. 8

    JOURNAL DUE DATES (4): Wed. Sept. 8, Wed. Sept. 29, Wed. Oct. 13, Wed. Nov. 17

    WEEK 1 (Aug. 22-28) WELCOME TO J1000

    Readings: e-Res

    Elements of Journalism: Introduction, Chapter 1, “What is Journalism?”

    Journalism Next, Forward xiv – xxii and Chapter 1 – pp. 1- 8

    Monday, Aug. 23: Review of syllabus, value of class, course expectations, grading, Blackboard site. Journal assignment, quizzes.

    Journal assignment: Who do you trust for news information? Why? Do you trust just one report or do you need/want secondary confirmation of news information? on readings due. 400 words, turned in to drop box on Blackboard. (P/F).

    Wed., Aug. 25: What is news?  (Show examples) Invite students to ask questions for future lectures.

    Friday, Aug. 27:  KAREN Young Adults and Media Use (Pew Research Center findings on teen media use, your media food pyramid.) Why you cause me sleepless nights

    WEEK 2 (Aug. 29 – Sept. 4) WHAT IS JOURNALISM?

    Readings: Elements of Journalism: Chapter 2, “Truth, the First and Most Confusing Principle;” and Chapter 4, “Journalism of Verification;”

    Monday, Aug. 30: QUIZ. Bias, objectivity, fairness and balance

    Wednesday, Sept. 1:  Attribution and fact-checking – When Journalists get it WRONG!

    Friday, Sept. 3: Guest speaker: Dr. Charles Davis/Former Executive Director for the National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC)(confirmed)

    WEEK 3 (Sept. 5-11) THE MEDIA AND YOU

    Readings: Elements: Chapter 11, The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizens and Be The Media: Rebooting the American Dream

    Monday, Sept. 6: LABOR DAY – No class

    Wed., Sept. 8: JOURNAL DUE. (Who do you trust for news information? Why? Do you trust just one report or do you need/want secondary confirmation of news information? on readings due. 400 words, turned in to drop box on Blackboard. (P/F))

    Lesson: Rights and Responsibilities of Citizens (Karen)

    Friday, Sept. 10: We ARE the Media (Lynda)


    Readings: MC: Chap 8, only pages 268-272. Paper cuts FAQ http://newspaperlayoffs.com/about/

    Monday, Sept. 13: QUIZ. The Business of Journalism: Corporate structure and changes

    Wed., Sept. 15:  The Business of Journalism: Pt. 2 (participation?)

    Friday, Sept. 17: Guest Speaker: KOMU Interactive Director Jen Reeves “The Social Media Revolution” (confirmed)


    Readings: “The Great Picture Hunt” by David LaBelle (available through library E-res system)

    David Snider’s Street pictures

    Monday, Sept. 20: Making (not taking) a good photograph

    (the best camera is the one you have with you)

    Wednesday, Sept. 22: TEST

    Friday, Sept. 24:  Guest speaker: Associate Professor Kent Collins, chair of the broadcast faculty at the Missouri School of Journalism. (confirmed)

    WEEK 6 (Sept. 26 – Oct. 2) THE STATE OF TV NEWS

    Readings: Pew Study on American trust in television news (also p. 154 – 155 TV news history in Media and Culture); pp. 450-455 in Media and Culture;

    Monday, Sept. 27: What does TV News do best (and worst) (ANCHORMAN)

    Wednesday, Sept. 29: JOURNAL DUE. The Daily Show and the Colbert Report: Is this news?

    Friday, Oct. 1:  Pictures that Lie

    WEEK 7 (Oct. 3-9) THE NEWS ABOUT SPORTS (Karen)

    Readings: ESPN Sports and Stories p. 196 Media and Culture an Introduction to Mass Communications; Renee Gork Reading for E-res

    Monday, Oct. 4: QUIZ. Renee Gork

    Wednesday, Oct. 6: Day in the life of a sports journalist (photo, writer, Victoria Lim)

    Friday, Oct. 8: ESPN: The real story behind what it takes to be a sports anchorman Guest Presenter: John Anderson (confirmed)


    Readings: KR: Chapter 6, “Monitor Power and Offer Voice to the Voiceless;” Chapter 10, “Journalists Have a Responsibility to Conscience;” MC: Chapter 16, “Legal Controls and Freedom of Expression;” review Chapters 14 and 15 on the culture of journalism and media effects

    Monday, Oct. 11: Guest speaker: Professor Lee Wilkins on Media Ethics 101 (confirmed)

    Wed., Oct. 13: JOURNAL DUE. Famous Frauds: Case studies in journalism failures

    Friday, Oct. 15: Shattered Glass: (the movie!) The true story of a young journalist who fell from grace when it was found he had fabricated over half of his articles.


    Readings: MC: Chapter 9, “Magazines in the Age of Specialization” p289, 292, 293, 294, 295. p.302 Online magazines and Media Convergence

    Monday, Oct. 18: Guest speaker: Meredith Endowed Chair John Fennell on the evolution of magazine journalism (confirmed)

    Wed., Oct. 20: The ease of niche publications from free tabloids, to the minority press to today’s blogs

    Friday, Oct. 22: iPad – Game Changer in American Magazine Publication or Not?  RJI Fellow and Futurist Will Sullivan


    Readings: Pull a chapter from the Culture of Fear;

    Monday, Oct. 25:   The Culture of Fear – KOMU-8 News Director Stacey Woelfel

    Wed., Oct. 27: TEST

    Friday, Oct. 29: IRE Executive Director, Mark Horvit: Why watchdog journalism is essential to a democratic society (confirmed)

    WEEK 11 (Oct. 31 – Nov. 6) NEWS THAT MATTERS (THE SEQUEL)

    Readings and Viewings: Chapter 6 – Elements of Journalism: Monitor Power and Offer Voice to the Voiceless; The Deadly Choices at Memorial http://www.pulitzer.org/works/2010-Investigative-Reporting-Group2

    Monday, Nov. 1: Journalism that changed the world – Pulitzer Prize winning investigations

    Wednesday, Nov. 3: Crime as a public health issue: Katherine Reed

    Friday, Nov. 5: The need to be first v. the need to be right

    WEEK 12 (Nov. 7-13) Potpourri

    Readings: Background information: http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/17853/sort/oldest/lebron-james-decision-the-transcript

    Monday, Nov. 8: QUIZ.  Why diversity matters.. Karen Mitchell

    Wednesday, Nov. 10:  Guest speaker: Professor Debra Mason, director of the Center on Religion and the Professions (Confirmed)

    Friday, Nov. 12: Guest Lecture: Amy Simons: Case Study: The LeBron James decision and announcement. The ethics, why ESPN, ENTERTAINMENT and Sports Programming Network.

    (Changed — reconfirm with Amy)

    WEEK 13 (Nov. 14-20) Potpourri

    Monday, Nov. 15: Photo case studies: Falling Man, Iowo Jima (staged) whether to show death,

    Wednesday, Nov. 17: JOURNAL DUE Guest speaker: RJI Fellow Ann Derryberry talks about her project

    Friday, Nov. 19: (EXTRA CREDIT) Movie day/documentary


    WEEK 15 (Nov. 28 – Dec. 4) THE FUTURE OF NEWS

    Readings: Mark Glaser, “Your Guide to Hyper-Local News,” PBS Mediashift column, December 13, 2007

    Will Bunch, “Is Local News the Answer? Forgetting Why Reporters Choose the Work They Do,” Nieman Reports, Winter 2007

    Monday, Nov. 29: Guest Speaker: Mike McKean Mobile Journalism (confirmed)

    Wed., Dec. 1: Hyperlocal News: A shift in journalism thinking

    Friday, Dec. 3: The future of journalism. Where are we headed, and how will we get there?

    WEEK 16 (Dec. 5 – 8) FINISHING UP

    Monday, Dec. 6: Test review and Course evaluations.

    Wed., Dec. 8: LAST DAY OF CLASS. TEST.



    ----------Posted on August 23, 2010 by in Courses

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