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English 193 – Fundamentals of Journalism

Please click here to see when ENG 193 is offered during the year.

Instructor: Jody Biehl and Andrew Galarneau
Office: Clemens 433

This course will teach students to think, act and write like a journalist. Students will learn to see stories everywhere – and learn to separate good story ideas from bad ones. They will learn to conduct interviews, use quotes, write in AP style and start and end stories with pizzazz. Students will have weekly writing exercises, short at the start, longer at the end, designed to help them master the fundamentals of reporting and news writing. The course is a prerequisite for the Journalism Certificate program and will teach students to research, report and write basic hard news and feature stories for print, broadcast and the web. Students will also learn the tools of blogging and creating effective podcasts.

Journalists care about the world around them and read widely. For this class, in addition to a textbook, students will read the front sections of The New York Times (online or print) and the front and city sections of The Buffalo News (online or print) every day. They will also be encouraged to read other news sources and compare coverage. In each class, one or two students will lead "Newscheck," a discussion of a front-page story from The New York Times or The Buffalo News. Everyone must participate in the discussion. Then, students will vote on the day’s top news stories and put those stories onto the front page of the JC website.

Students will also study media trends, learn about the rise and current troubles of print media and brainstorm for ideas on the future of journalism. The course looks at the First Amendment and ways journalists have invoked it to protect themselves and their right to print stories. Students also study ethics and the basic laws governing what journalists can and can’t do.

Be prepared: The course uses Buffalo and UB as a backdrop; students will come up with their own story ideas and report them on campus and in the city. If a big story breaks, we will cover it on deadline.

The Journalism Certificate Program