Media Production for Journalists

  • Term:             Fall 2021
  • Location:      SVERDRUP 205
  • Time:             Monday 2-4:50


Mary Cox

Class site:

Course Description:

Student learns basic aesthetic and technical requirements in the capturing of sound, still images and motion media for delivery to diverse media outlets. Through a series of assigned projects, student becomes proficient in utilizing equipment for acquiring sound, stills and motion media.  In post-production, student learns to edit and prepare content for delivery and publishing to media outlets, such as radio, phones, podcasts, web, etc. (3 credits)

Learning Outcomes:

  • Student knows basic aesthetic and technical concepts in producing various media and can apply those concepts to assigned projects.
  • Student is technically proficient with equipment.
  • Student is technically proficient in preparing content for delivery and publishing to various media outlets.


  • Aesthetic theory and technical knowledge will be assessed through tests.
  • Proficiency in the use of equipment and software will be assessed through practical tests.
  • Finalized projects will be graded based on meeting professional standards of production for each given situation.


This class introduces students to equipment, technical and aesthetic requirements necessary for the production of news media.

Class will consist of lectures on the theoretical/aesthetic aspects of media production, instruction on equipment and software for today’s journalist, and production of assigned projects to help the student master concepts and equipment covered in class.


Textbook:  Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual (ISBN: 978-0-917360-54-1)


  • Cell phone or camera that shoots HD video
  • Portable hard drive (at least 500 G)
  • Selfie stick/phone tripod


  • Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual (ISBN: 978-1541-6998-92)
  • Digital Audio Voice Recorder with USB Connection Port that creates MP3 files or microphone for smartphone, or lavalier microphone for smartphone.

Course Policies

Attendance/Timeliness —

Students need to attend every class, and be on time but please don’t come to school sick. One class period is not worth jeopardizing your health or that of your classmates.  See the University’s Health and Safety Guidelines below.

If you must miss class, please notify the instructor before the absence.

Attendance is taken at the beginning of class. You get points for showing up and being on time.  You lose points if you are late.


Media professionals live and die by deadlines, so class assignments will not be accepted after the deadline, which is at the start of class on the date due.  That means a zero for late assignments.  If you have a valid, verifiable excuse for a missed class or deadline, talk to the instructor before the absence or deadline.

Academic Honesty—

Cheating will result in zero for the test or assignment.  Plagiarism, which means using another’s work as your own, is cheating.  Plagiarized work will receive a zero and cannot be rewritten. This is not negotiable.

Resist the lure of the computer and phone in class—

Stay respectful to your teacher and fellow students.  Avoid the temptation to check the phone, texts, Facebook, etc. during class.

Having problems?

Please let us know in a timely manner if you are experiencing personal problems that might affect your performance in this class.


Incompletes will only be given in circumstances that involve serious, documented medical conditions.

Assignment Submission—Assignments must be submitted to our class website at See the week-by-week rundown at the class site for assignment due dates.

Grading:  Grades are based on:

  • Professionalism:  Did you turn in each production assignment on time and give it your best shot? The assignments get more heavily weighted the farther we get into the semester.
  • Homework:  There will be homework assignments, seen on the week-by-week schedule on the class website.
  • Blog: There are four blog checks—for a total of 100 points.
  • Final Project:  What counts is how close you come to ‘publishable’ work by the end of the semester.  The final project is worth a lot – 400 points.
  • Attendance/Participation:  100 points

Weekly Schedule:    

Week Area of coverage Assignments due  
1 WordPress Set up website
2 Intro to Premiere editing Blog Check #1

Study these:

3 Labor Day – No class  Pitch for Audio Project #2

Prepare Audio Project

4 Art of the Pitch Review Audio Project #1-Dirty Jobs (20 pts)
5 Photojournalism


Audio Slideshow

Work on blog

Work on Photo Project Slideshow

6 Video Storytelling Review: Photo Project #2-Slideshow (30 pts)


7 Writing with Sound  Blog Check #2 (20 pts)
8 Headlines/Abstracts

Web Layout/Social Media

Review Video Project #1 (30 pts)

Excellent Coverage

9 Interviewing


Pitch Video Project 2

Excellent Coverage Review (10 pts)
10 Multimedia project Video Assignment #2 (50 pts)
11 Multimedia project Blog Check #3 (30 pts)
12 Multimedia project TBA
13 Multimedia project TBA
14 Multimedia project TBA
15 Multimedia project Blog Check #4 (40)
16 Project presentations Multimedia Project package (400)

This schedule is subject to change. Changes will be listed in the week-by-week rundown on the class website. It is the student’s responsibility to keep track of changes.

University Grading Standards:

The Undergraduate Catalog provides these guidelines and grading options:

A, A- superior work in the opinion of the instructor
B+, B, B- good work in the opinion of the instructor
C+, C, C- satisfactory work in the opinion of the instructor
D+, D passing, but less than satisfactory work in the opinion of the instructor
I incomplete work in the opinion of the instructor
ZF An incomplete which was not completed within one year of the end of the course
F unsatisfactory work in the opinion of the instructor; no credit is granted
W withdrawn from the course
IP course in progress
WV course waived, no credit granted
WF Unofficial Withdrawal: A student enrolled for the course, did not withdraw, and failed to complete course requirements. Used when, in the opinion of the instructor, there is insufficient completed work to evaluate academic performance. WF is treated the same as an F or NC for all cases involving GPA, academic warning, probation, and dismissal

University Policy Statements:

This course is governed by the University’s policies, as published in the University catalog.

Academic Honesty:  The University is committed to high standards of academic honesty.  Students will be held responsible for violations of these standards.  Please refer to the university catalog for a definition of academic dishonesty and potential associated disciplinary actions.

Drops and Withdrawals:  Please be aware that the Drop/Add and Withdrawal dates are listed each semester on the University website, in the University catalog and in the Course Description book. If the course is dropped within the Drop/Add period, no notation of the course will appear on the student’s transcript.

For withdrawals that take place after the published Drop date, a “W” in the course will appear on the student’s transcript.

Special Services:  If you have registered as a student with a documented disability and are entitled to classroom or testing accommodations, please inform the instructor at the beginning of the course of the accommodations you will require in this course so that these can be provided.

Disturbances:  Since every student is entitled to full participation in class without interruption, disruption of class by inconsiderate behavior is not acceptable.  Students are expected to treat the instructor and fellow students with dignity and respect, especially in cases where diversity of opinions arise.

Student Assignments Retained: Some random student assignments or projects will be retained by the School of Communications for the purpose of academic assessment as it relates to student learning outcomes.  In every such case, the student’s name and all identifying information about the student will be removed from the assignment or project.

Contact hours for this course:  It is essential that all classes meet for the full instructional time as scheduled.  A class cannot be shortened in length without rescheduling and/or making up activities.

REMINDER:  Follow Health and Safety Guidelines!

Students are reminded to follow all COVID-19 health and safety guidelines to help keep our community healthy.  The guidelines are outlined on Webster’s COVID-19 webpage at:

Before coming to class:  One important requirement for all students and faculty is that everyone must complete a Daily Health Screening before coming to class (details at the link above).

In-class expectations:  The health and safety guidelines include the following:

  • Everyone in a classroom will be required to wear a mask/face covering at all times;
  • Food and drink will not be allowed in class;
  • Feeling sick? Do not go to class.
  • You will be asked to disinfect the items you used during class or labs before leaving the room.