CMMN A250 will introduce you to the writing of news stories--what the elements of news are, when to emphasize the most important elements, how to organize the story, whether a hard news story or a soft news story, and how to use language that is colorful and compelling. The course covers the preparation of news stories for newspapers, for radio and television, and for public relations.


Lorenz, Alfred Lawrence and John Vivian. News: Reporting and Writing. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

The Associated Press Libel and Style Manual (ed. By Norman Goldstein). New York: The Associated Press.

The course will cover chapters 1-13 of the textbook, and students are expected to keep up with the reading. A new chapter is to be read by the beginning of each week.

Students are expected to learn the style detailed in the stylebook and to use it.


The course is composed of a balance of writing and reporting assignments and examinations.

All written work, whether done in class or outside, must be typed.

All written work is to be turned in by the deadline assigned.


At the beginning of each class period for which a textbook chapter is assigned students will be given a quiz on the material in the chapter.

A quiz based on news events during the preceding week will be given at the beginning of each Thursday class. Most news quizzes will be based on the content of the Times-Picayune. Some, however, will be made up of material found in other newspapers and magazines. Students will be told ahead of time if they are to read a publication other than the Times-Picayune.

Four exams covering material in the textbook will be given prior to the final exam. Each will include a quiz on the stylebook. Dates are shown on the calendar.

The final exam will cover factual material and the stylebook, and include one or more exercises.


Beginning Reporting is an essential base for all of the practical courses that come after it insofar as it will provide provide you with a knowledge and understanding of the work of the journalist and essential reporting and newswriting skills. That being so, and because the in-class work and quizzes will have a strong effect on your grade, you are expected to attend every class. If you must miss classes, be advised that more than three cuts will result in an F for the course.


Grades will be based on style quizzes (5%), chapter quizzes (15%), news quizzes (15%), tests (20%) and written assignments (45%).

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