Monthly Archives: August 2017

Wednesday, 23 Aug 2017


WordPress Setup

If you have already used a SHU WordPress blog for me in another class, just use the login/blog me button to demonstrate how to create a two-way link between your blog and this post.

If you are new to blogging at SHU, watch this video, which shows you exactly how to set up a WordPress blog at (If you can send an email, you can post to a blog. If you’d like face-to-face help, please feel free to make an appointment.) Read More »


The CRAFT of News Writing

If I have taught you journalism before, you have probably already seen this video. You’re welcome to watch it again; however, instead of responding directly to it, please tell me 2 or 3 things you’d like to learn more about during this News Writing course.

If you haven’t already seen this video, watch it, and respond to the 2 or 3 things that you found most interesting.

Respond either by

  1. leaving a comment this page, or
  2. if you already have a SHU WordPress blog, use the “Login/Blog Me” button.

What Is Newsworthy?

“What is Newsworthy?” (9-minute audio)

If you have not heard this podcast before:

Include the URL of a current news story, and use it as an example to demonstrate your understanding of newsworthiness.

If you have listened to this podcast for another class:

You are welcome to listen to it again to refresh your memory; but instead of responding to it again, I’m asking that you choose two different events — one that you feel is prominent in the media, but is NOT a newsworthy story; and one that you feel is not prominent in the media, but IS a newsworthy story. Link to your examples, and demonstrate your understanding of newsworthiness.


Elements of Journalism (EoJ) Intro

Read the introduction to Elements of Journalism.

If you already have a SHU WordPress blog, feel free to respond to this reading there.

If you haven’t set up your SHU blog yet, post your response as a comment here.

What is brief passage from this reading that you think is worth talking about in class? Quote the passage, and briefly explain what you would say about this passage if called on in class.

Friday, 25 Aug 2017


EoJ Ch 1


EoJ Ch 2

Monday, 28 Aug 2017


Broadcast News Exercise

I sometimes hear people say “I don’t have time to read the paper. I watch the news on TV instead.”

  • During a 30-minute local news program, how much time is actually taken up by the news?
  • Why doesn’t the local news program start with the 5-day forecast and the sports scores?

Monitor a half hour of a local news; keep a log of what, exactly, is happening every 15 or 30 seconds.

You might pick a local TV news broadcast, or listen to a half hour of programming on a local radio station that brands itself as “news.”

For this assignment I am not asking you to choose an internet or streaming service; I am asking for a local broadcast (originating in the Pittsburgh area; or, if you choose, a local broadcast from your hometown — wherever that is).

  • Note that local TV and radio stations also broadcast national shows, typically produced in Washington, that air across the country; I’m not asking you to choose one of those shows.
  • Talk shows that feature celebrity guests and ordinary people with interesting stories, and shows that feature panels of experts or random callers debating recent events are certainly part of how we inform and entertain ourselves, but they are not what I’m talking about for this exercise.

I would prefer that you tune into a live broadcast, but WTAE-TV offers a link to live-streaming the local TV news to play on your computer. The link should show you live broadcasts weekdays at 4:30am, 6am, 12pm, 5pm, 6pm and 11pm; or, if you visit when a live show is not airing, you’ll see a recording of the most recent broadcast.

Plan to monitor a full half hour program.

  • Plan to keep a log. It is not easy to pay attention to the broadcast and also update the log. For that reason, I am asking you to record the audio (so that you can go back and check the times).
  • Plan to review the content of the newscast. (It’s very hard to pay attention to the content of the broadcast and also update your log at the same time. You might simply use your phone to record the audio while you are watching, but however you can revisit and consult the content of the broadcast is fine with me.)

The log for a TV news program might go something like this:

:00 Opening theme music.
:05 Anchor: Fire on 66 (coming up).
:15 Politics, Steelers, and fashion (coming up)
:30 Reporter: Live from fire on 66
1:00 Citizen daschcam footage shows 66 crash
1:30 Witness interview 66 crash
2:00 Anchor thanks reporter.
2:15 Anchor and weather guy chat.
2:30 Weather guy: “Coming up, we’ll let you know whether you’ll need that umbrella.”
3:00 Lawyer commercial
3:30 Optometrist commercial

[And so forth, for the full half hour.]

When you are finished, tally up the amount of time the news broadcast actually devoted to news. (Giving a brief teaser and saying “We’ll have the full story later in the broadcast” doesn’t count. )

  • How much news was delivered during the 30-minute local news show?
  • How much of that news was local news — that is, if you picked a Pittsburgh broadcast, journalism created by news professionals in Pittsburgh, about issues that matter to Pittsburghers?
  • Did you include the weather and the sports segments in your tally for “news”? Why or why not?
  • What can you conclude about the amount of “actual news” delivered over the course of a 30-minute news program?

EoJ Ch 3


EoJ Ch 4


Media Awareness Exercise