Syllabus: Spring 2018 / JOUR 310 — Writing, Reporting & Ethics III

California State University, Northridge
Engagement and narrative techniques to report on a social issue

Monday (#dhg310) OR Wednesday (#csun310)
Professor Daniela Gerson/ Email: Twitter: @dhgerson
Office Hours: 10am — 12:30pm Wednesday, MZ 332 (come visit!)

Submit your assignments on Canvas.
Monday class: Assignments are due the Friday before class at 10am

Class Schedule:
Week 1: 1.22 (Mon. class)

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

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

Week 2: 1.29 (Mon. class)/ 1.31 (Wed. 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:
- Class Google doc — Monday)
- Google news and alerts
- Searching Twitter keywords

Week 3: 2.5/2.7
Assignment due: Medium Community Introduction (Detailed assignment description on Canvas)

- Editing your peers
- Identifying a story within a community
- Break into teams to go out and report
- Introducing audio reporting basics

Links for class:

(Break down story on this Google doc — Monday)

Week 4: 2.12

Guest speaker: KCRW

Assignments due:
- For extra credit: submit revised Medium Community Intro post taking into account peer editing by 9am due of class.
- Audio profile of community.
- Two questions about issues.

Links for class

(Break down story on this Google doc — Monday)

Week 5: 2.19/2.21

Assignments due:
— Submit profiles from three Experts on your Community.

- Reviewing experiences with experts, and preparing your engagement projects.
- Data and survey creation.

Links for class:

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

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: 2.26/ 2.28
Guest speaker: Annie Yu, Engagement Team LA Times

- 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:

Week 7: 3.5/ 3.7

Assignments due:
- Submit Engagement Project Plan & Engagement Project Survey.

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

-Class Google doc —Monday/ Wednesday)

- 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: 3.12
Assignments due:
Present Engagement Projects

Presentation of projects
- Evaluations
- Introduction of final project


Break down Monday

Week 9: 3.26
No class — work on your final project pitches
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: 4.2
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


Break down story

Week 11: 4.9/ 4.11
Assignments Due:
Submit Revised Pitch

Topics in class:

  • Interviewing techniques
  • Finding sources
  • First-person journalism
  • Data

Links for class

Break down pitch

- Data sets to help your stories

Week 12: 4.16/ 4.18
Assignments due:
Submit Outline for Enterprise Story

- Submit a source list, including takeaways from two completed interviews.
- Submit data sources you’re using and any data questions.

- 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

Break down story

Week 13: 4.23/ 4.25
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.


Adjectives, topic sentences, structure

Links for class:

Break down on Google doc

Story editing and individual help on multimedia tools

Week 14: 4.30/ 5.2
Optional: Submit rough drafts for review
Presentations 1


google sheet

Week 15: 5.7/ 5.9
Presentations 2

No final exam

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

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