Monthly Archives: September 2013

Monday, 02 Sep 2013


Labor Day

No class.

Wednesday, 04 Sep 2013

Topic to be covered in class

Revision Workshop

Tips about introducing quotes (avoid “when asked about” and repeating the content of the quote.)

First of all, remember that for this first exercise, I want to see what you think good journalism should look like. I will see where I need to spend the bulk of my time teaching, in order to bring you to the next step.

Class activity:

  1. Create a Google Drive folder where you, your peers, and I can exchange and co-edit documents.
  2. Log into your SHU Gmail account, and click “Drive.”
  3. Click Create, Folder.
  4. Name your folder “Lastname EL227.”
  5. Share the folder with (
  6. Next, copy the text of your Ex 2a submission, and paste it into a new Google Doc.
  7. Name it “Lastname Ex 2a” and put that document into your EL227 folder.
  8. Now, share your new Ex 2a document with a classmate. (Give your classmate permission to leave comments.)
  9. Review the contents of the Setonian Copy-editing Guide, which has been compiled by Setonian students and me over the years. Pay special attention to how your classmates introduce speakers, punctuate quotations, and refer to times.
  10. Leave comments on your peer document, demonstrating your ability to apply specific items mentioned in the Setonian Copy-editing Guide, and/or any of the other resources you’ve been given so far (including your textbooks, the website, online examples, in-class advice, etc.)


  • DC Bus Trip — probably a second bus (I am on the waiting list)
  • Class comments


  • The homework assignment does NOT ask you to revise Ex 2a.
  • I AM asking that when you write Ex 2b, you follow the tips in the Setonian Copy-editing Guide.
  • DO submit your Ex 2b article to as usual.

In class on Friday:

  • There will be another in-class copy-editing exercise, where you will help a classmate catch copy-editing errors.
  • After your classmate has commented on your exercise in Google Docs, you will upload a revised version to
  • You will then create, in Google Doc, a list of 5-10 specific news writing issues that you feel you need to work on. Example:
    1. said: use the neutral  “said” instead of value-laden words like “claimed” or “explained.” For variety, try “according to” or “In his speech, Smith defined entrepreneurialism as ‘using your resources wisely.'”
  • Call your list “Lastname Personal Style Guide” and put it your Google Drive EL227 folder (which should automatically share it with me.)


reading Respond on your blog

ENW Part Three

reading Respond on your blog

TTS Ch 12

Activity outside of regular class hours

Watch Peeler Interview Video

The URL of this video is in the email I sent at about 4:30 Friday (Aug 30).

There is no need to blog about this activity.


Ex 2a: Advance Story

Advance story about the  events taking place at Seton Hill the morning of Sep 5 — the “Welcoming Liturgy” and “Freshman Book Discussion.” Check the Griffin’s Lair “Happenings” section and go to the Sep 5 date for more information.

Your article should use Peeler quotes from the video (I’m planning to interview her Thursday afternoon and will post the video as soon as I can), as well as quotes from at least 2 other sources. (Note: some sources are more credible than others; not all potential sources will return your emails or be available to meet at a time convenient for you. The sources you approach are all as busy as you are, and they may not have any particular motivation for dropping everything in order to help you do your homework.)

Length: 250-300 words. (I had initially introduced it as a 300-word assignment, but I want to encourage brevity.)

Submit: upload to

What is an “Advance Story”? Read More »

Friday, 06 Sep 2013

Topic to be covered in class

Copy-editing Workshop

Discuss: Journalism Warning Labels


  • Setonian Copy-editing Guide
  • AP Stylebook
  • Your peers
  • Your instructor


reading Respond on your blog

ENW Part Two

Also pages 79-84


Ex 2b: Spot News

500-word Spot News Story

“Spot News” is a story that explains what happened at a particular place. Quote at least three sources. In addition to recording words that were spoken or describing events that you witnessed during the event, also interview other attendees so you can report their opinions.

News is best when the reporter was there. If you weren’t there, you can’t even write “It was crowded” or “It was hot” because you didn’t see it for yourself. (Cite an eyewitness who voices an opinion about the attendance or climate.)

One year a student wrote a spot news story that included quotes from four students who said they felt uncomfortable or bored during the Mass, and a single quote — near the very end of the article — from a student who spoke matter-of-factly about being part of the campus ministry. This result was a very biased article, making it look like almost every student in the room were enraged at the very idea a Catholic school would sponsor a Mass, and making the one student who was part of campus ministry look completely oblivious to the negative reaction. (The student should have interviewed some of the community members who spoke/sang/organized the Mass, as well as hunted around for students with different opinions.)



Monday, 09 Sep 2013

Topic to be covered in class

Inverted Pyramid Workshop

We’ll also preview the upcoming “Portfolio 1” assignment.