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English 399 – Journalism II


Journalism II, Eng 399
Instructor: Andrew Galarneau

"Features" is the grab-bag term for newspaper and magazine stories that are deeper and more human than hard news stories, which are limited to what happened yesterday. 

Features come in lots of flavors.  Profiles give readers a chance to acquaint themselves with someone they might be interested in, or whose story evokes the lives and struggles of many.  Issue stories explore a subject of community discussion through conversations with local people and institutions.  Real life stories recreate the awful and the wonderful in people’s lives for all to read through the hands of the writer.

Done right, feature stories can be the most eloquent, best-read parts in any newspaper, magazine or online site. Writing features is also similar to writing blogs, which we study and write in this class.  

This advanced journalism course taught by an award-winning Buffalo News writer helps reporters hone in on the right people to talk to for a story, and how to interview them effectively. The class is a boot camp of sorts.  It aims to compress years of field experience into a short, intense, and sometimes stressful course.  It is probably more work than any other three-credit English class, but the rewards are commensurate. 

If you cannot spend time during business hours (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) chasing people for interviews – because you have other classes, a daytime job, obligations to a sports team, et cetera – do not take this course.  Because this isn’t just another English class.  This is real journalism.

Students must take ENG 193 before signing up for this course.


Journalism II, Eng 399
Instructor: Mike Vogel

This version of 399 focuses on Opinion Writing in its various forms. Opinion writing abounds today, particularly online.  This course will teach students the difference between reasoned arguments and the value and power of carefully researched opinion. We will discuss the responsibility of opinion writers and bloggers to their readers and how to identify issues that matter. We will discuss the in-depth reporting necessary for producing balanced opinion and examine the issue of bias. We will also focus on grammar and the tools writers need to produce commentary that burns and reverberates – be it online or in print.  Course work will include several assigned editorials (400-600 words) and regular blog entries.

The instructor is the editorial page editor at The Buffalo News and the course can be used to satisfy a journalism certificate requirement.  This is an advanced journalism class.

Students must take ENG 193 before signing up for this course. 


Journalism II, Eng 399 – Editing for the Conscientious Writer
Instructor: Charles Anzalone

Behind every great book or article lies a great editor. This advanced writing course is for students who have demonstrated proficiency in writing and with the basics of journalism. The course will teach students to transform flawed copy into a memorable piece. It will teach them to understand the strengths of a particular writer and use that strength to advance the story. As they work to improve other writers’ drafts, students will find their own writing improves dramatically.

In the course, we will discuss what helps lift writing beyond the mundane and the nuances of working on, rather over, someone else’s copy. We will talk about how to talk to reporters, how to ask pertinent questions, what to listen for and the value of well-placed praise. We will become familiar with basic copyediting symbols, and learn how this shorthand can speed up basic editing communication and avoid common mistakes. We will look at how editing online differs from editing in print and study ways of keeping a readers’ attention.

Students will take turns writing stories and having their classmates edit their articles; they will alternate each role throughout the semester. Students will also keep a regular blog and they will study published pieces and discuss how editors helped or hurt copy. 

The Journalism Certificate Program