Syllabus: Fall 2017 / JOUR 310 — Writing, Reporting & Ethics III

California State University, Northridge

Engagement and narrative techniques to report on a social issue

Wednesday (#dhg310) OR Thursday (#csun310)
Professor Daniela Gerson/ Email: Twitter: @dhgerson
Office Hours: 9am — 12pm Thursdays, MZ 332 (come visit!)

Submit your assignments on Canvas.

Class Schedule:
Week 1: 8.30 (Wed. class)/ 8.31 (Thurs. class)

Overview of platforms and skills you will learn, subject themes for class, creating a map and analysis with Census Reporter.


-Class Google doc — Wednesday/ Thursday)
-Google Drive (note, do not use your CSUN gmail to sign in).
- Creative Commons image search
-Class Map
-Fair use for images

Week 2: 9.6 (Wed. class)/ 9.7 (Thurs. class)
Assignments due:
- Read What is Medium and How to use Medium
- Read Echo Park: immigration and gentrification
- Submit Community Data assignment on Canvas

Class topics:
- Following a beat
- Identifying a nut graph of a story
- Breaking down a story by its elements
- Analyzing community data
- Twitter reporting
- Covering social issues and sensitive topics

Links for class:
- To read:
Trump’s DACA Action (Daily News)
Trump Moves to End DACA (NYT)
- Faces of DACA (NYT)
- Google news and alerts
- Searching Twitter keywords

Week 3: 9.13/9.14
Assignment due: Medium Community Introduction (Detailed assignment description on Canvas)

Going deeper with Medium
- Editing your peers
- Identifying a story within a community
- Break into teams to go out and report
- Introducing audio reporting basics
- Selecting which weeks each team will select a story for
- Applying public sphere theories to engagement story vs. traditional reporting

Links for class:

(Break down story on this Google doc — Wednesday/ Thursday)

Week 4: 9.20 and 9.21
No class (Professor Gerson will be out for the Jewish New Year). Even though class does not meet there will be work due and reporting to be done.

Assignments due:
- Submit revised Medium Community Intro post taking into account peer editing by 9am due of class.
- Use class time to do reporting in your assigned community.

Week 5: 9.27 and 9.28
Assignments due:
Submit audio sample and tweet questions to KCRW.
— Submit profiles from three Experts on your Community.

- Audio with class visit from KCRW reporters
- Reviewing experiences with experts, and preparing your engagement projects.
- Data and survey creation.

Links for class:

(Break down story on this Google doc — Wednesday/ Thursday)

How to engage your audience using 5 key steps (American Press Institute)
- Read: 5 Things We Learned Collecting 3,352 Stories About Agent Orange Exposure (ProPublica)

Week 6: 10.4 and 10.5
Guest speaker from LA Times engagement team (tentative)

Assignments due:
- Submit Engagement Project Plan.

- Workshop engagement plans, how to find community and university data sets, how to analyze them.

- Publish surveys and work on outreach together.
- Present to class projects.
- Building skills for man-on-the street interviews.
- Reviewing quoting people: Paraphrase vs. direct quote.

Links for class:

-Class Google doc — Wednesday/ Thursday)

Week 7: 10.11 and 10.12
Assignments due:
- Submit Engagement Project Survey & Visual Element for Call Out

-Class Google doc — Wednesday/ Thursday)

- Format for telling voxpop/ man-on-the street/ engagement project stories.
- Troubleshooting engagement projects.
- Finding the story topic for your reported story.
- Presentation guidelines.


Week 8: 10.18 and 10.19
Assignments due:
Present Engagement Projects

Presentation of projects
- Evaluations
- Introduction of final project

Week 9: 10.25 and 10.26
Break down Wednesday/Thursday

Read:-My neighborhood makes it easier to get pregnant than to go to college / Shanice Joseph /

- Close reading in reviewing first-person stories.
- Finding a story topic and elements of a pitch.
- Work together to refine pitches.

Week 10: 11.1 and 11.2
Assignment due:
Submit Medium Post Pitch for your final project story. (250 words)

- Finding the right experts for your stories
- Crafting inquiry letters
- Peer editing pitches/ testing them out on class.
- Visualizing and data in your stories

Doc for feedback to stories

Week 11: 11.8 and 11.9
Assignments Due:
Submit Revised Pitch
Submit a source list, including takeaways from two completed interviews.
- Submit data sources you’re using and any data questions.

Topics in class:
First-person journalism/ Data techniques

Links for class
- Data sets to help your stories

Week 12: 11.15 and 11.16
Assignments due:
Submit Outline for Enterprise Story

- Visual storytelling: Rapid intro to tools to try Timeline JS, YouTube, Infogram — tools you can use to illustrate your story
-Story editing and individual help on multimedia tools

Links for class:

Week 13: 11.22 and 11.23
Assignments due:
Resubmit your outline based on guidelines. Make sure you have done enough interviews to create a quality lede anecdote and nut graph.

Embed on your outline a Juxtapose, StoryMap or Timeline.


Links for class:

Story editing and individual help on multimedia tools

Week 14: 12.6 and 12.7
TBD based upon state of stories.

Week 15: 12.13 and 12.14
Final stories due and presentations

No final exam

Ass’t Prof @CSUNJournalism and Co-creator #MigratoryNotes. Subscribe for free: @dhgerson

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