20 Sep

A little note as you get rolling on your IS projects…

Hello J202ers,

A little note as some of you get rolling on your IS projects…

Of course you will need to use experts as sources, but also keep in mind that experts won’t necessarily bring your story to life (or give it color, as they’d say in a newsroom).

Try to think about your topic from the ground up.

Who are the people most impacted by your topic and how can you tell their stories?

What does your story say about the culture of the time, place, and people you’re writing about?

It’s easy to lose sight of the storytelling aspect of telling the news, but think about what you enjoy when you consume media. It probably won’t be a list of facts, stats, historical data, or something that reads like a report. It probably will be stories about people.

Newswriting is about sharing information, but it’s also a cultural expression and a chance to tell people’s stories. It isn’t an academic report, it is a folk report.

The job of experts, stats, and information in your story is typically going to be to provide context, to offer verifiable facts, to maintain accuracy, but they won’t tell a compelling story alone. You need live sources. People telling stories about the impact of your topic on their actual lives. That is what will make your IS great – and far more fun to complete.

Happy reporting!

14 Sep

Examples From Week Two Work

Hello J202ers,

What a start of the semester it’s been! Great job in these first couple labs. We know a lot of students would like to see how their work compares to what the TAs are looking for, so we’re posting some of the TA guides here for you to look over. These include examples and tips from all the assignments you did this week so they are well worth checking out.

A quick additional note, the start of the semester can be tough – or any part of the semester for that matter. If you are struggling with your workload, getting your footing in 202, things in your personal life, or anything at all, know that we (your lab TAs, Jesse, and Katy) are here to help – please reach out.

Have a great weekend!



03 Sep

Welcome to J202!

Hi J202ers. Welcome to the J-School and to the excitement of our 6-credit adventure together. It’s going to feel like a thrill ride at times, but I’ll do my best to keep it from turning into a House of Horrors.

I have spent a lot of time gathering input from the students who have come before you. I’ve distilled them into a recipe for J202 success, using their advice. If you take a few minutes to watch this video, you’ll do better in this class. If you don’t take the time, that’s your choice, but I definitely don’t want to hear you complain about grades or missing deadlines.

You will have your second lab of the first week of classes. Before you come to that, please:

  1. Watch the video below.
  2. Read the syllabus. It’s linked in the top nav above.
  3. Check out the schedule for the semester, also above.
  4. Do all of the assignments for Week 1 on the Assignments page. (Guess where?)
  5. Read the Individual Story page above and all the subpages linked below it.
  6. You can ignore the Final Project pages for a while.
  7. Look at the Admin tab too, so you know where to find Lecture Notes, Extra Credit info and other good stuff.
  8. Fill out the student information form.
  9. Join our Facebook group.

Intro to Course and Advice from Past Students