Page 1


JOUR 609 Publication Laboratory Spring 2013 9:35 to 10:50 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays

PROFESSORS/ADVISERS News Adviser: Office: Email: Twitters: Office phone: Home: Cell: Office hours:

Rachele Kanigel HUM 344 @JourProf (415) 338-3134 (510) 530-0593 (510) 421-1613 Mondays and Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to noon and by appointment. Advises news reporters and editors

Online Adviser: Office: Email: Twitter: Phone: Office hours:

Jesse Garnier HUM 304-A @jesse_garnier (415) 889-8895 Mondays and Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to noon and by appointment. Advises online, multimedia and news staff

Magazine Adviser: Office: Email: Office phone: Home: Office hours:

Don Menn HUM 525 (415) 338-7431 (650) 283-7578 Mondays and Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Advises the magazine staff

Photo Adviser: Office: Email: Phone: Office hours:

Ken Kobre HUM 311 (415) 931-6720 Tuesdays, 1:45 to 3:45 p.m. Advises the photo staff

Welcome to the Spring 2013 staff of Golden Gate Xpress. This is more than just a class. This is real-world journalism: An opportunity to get your work published and to be part of a dynamic and much needed publication serving a vibrant community. As a member of the Xpress team you will be writing, editing, photographing and producing stories that will be seen by thousands of people in print and online. The Xpress magazine, website and newspaper are the only publications that regularly cover the campus of San Francisco State University. If you do your job well, you will educate, inform, entertain and possibly enrage people about what's going on here. The newspaper, magazine and website also give you a chance to show what you can do. The clips and experience you collect here may help launch your career. Think about each story you write or edit, each photo you shoot, each multimedia piece you produce as work you can show potential employers. Pay attention to details. A misspelled name, an inaccuracy or a typographical error can make an otherwise good piece of work a useless clip. Approach this class as you would a journalism job or internship. The more seriously you take your work, the more you will get out of this course – and the more fun you will have. Bookmark and follow Xpress on the web, Facebook and Twitter, and encourage your friends and other students to do the same:

Jour 609 Spring 2013 Syllabus :: Page 2

X Web:

Twitter: @XPressNews @XPressMagazine

PREREQUISITES To be eligible to take this course: •

News staffers must have completed JOUR 300 Reporting with at least a C

Magazine staffers must have completed JOUR 300 Reporting and JOUR 595 Magazine Writing with at least a C (Students may join the magazine staff before completing JOUR 595 only with special permission from Magazine Adviser Don Menn.)

Photojournalism students must have completed JOUR 221 Newswriting and JOUR 335 Photojournalism II with at least a C

Learning Outcomes You should look forward to learning and demonstrating the following in this class: •

Publication Experience -- Assignments, deadlines, proofreading and production in a real-world publishing environment online and in print

News Judgment, Reporting and Writing -- This is a chance to practice and demonstrate all you've learned about researching and crafting a piece of journalism

Media Law and Ethics– Your work is expected to demonstrate an understanding of the ethical standards and laws that guide journalism excellence.

Collaboration and Cooperation -- Your ability to work with people — colleagues, sources, and outside parties — is an important trait of a successful journalist

Class and Newsroom Organization The Xpress workshop comes in two parts -- the publications and the class. While the publications are officially published by the Journalism Department, the students run them. When you have ideas for stories, photos, design elements, new features or the website, take them to your editors. They make the assignments and decide what goes in the publications. The advisers lead the class sessions, offer guidance, resolve crises, spot minefields, monitor your progress and give grades. When you have questions or problems concerning the class, your grade or your relationships with other staffers, consult your adviser. We’re here to guide and counsel you, to let you know how you're doing, to help you if you're having problems. By the first day of class you will be assigned to a publication – the magazine or the news organization – and an adviser. If you are assigned to the magazine, Don Menn will be your adviser and you will be subject to the specific requirements of the magazine class (see supplemental magazine syllabus). If you are a writer, multimedia producer or editor on the newspaper and website your adviser will be Rachele Kanigel or Jesse Garnier. All photographers will be assigned to the photo desk and be advised by Scot Tucker (see supplemental photo

Jour 609 Spring 2013 Syllabus :: Page 3


syllabus). Beth Renneisen will be available to advise on design issues and tablet/mobile applications. Course Policies Consider the newsroom and these classrooms your workplace and this course a part-time job. Like professionals, you will be expected to come prepared, be on time and be inquisitive. •

Attendance Because of the collaborative nature of this class and the student publication experience, attendance is mandatory. If you have to miss a class on account of illness or emergency, please e-mail or call your adviser in advance. Two excused absences during the course are allowed. If you miss more than two classes, it will affect your final grade for each missed class. Do not schedule interviews during class hours. Class time is for you to be in class, not out reporting.

Deadlines One of the most meaningful lessons you can learn this semester is the importance of meeting deadlines. Your editor will set a deadline for each story, photo or multimedia piece you are assigned. If you are having trouble meeting that deadline, tell your editor well in advance -- days, not hours. Late stories or photos will be marked down unless you get an extension from your editor.

Sources All newspaper and online stories must have at least three sources and magazine features should have many more than that (see magazine syllabus). Each source should provide a unique perspective. Showing multiple points of view is a fundamental part of the journalistic process. One- or two-source stories are prone to inaccuracy and bias and usually offer an incomplete account. All stories should be accompanied by a source list for the editors and fact checkers. The source list should include the name, title and phone number and/or e-mail contact information for people, institutions, companies, online resources and other sources used in your word or photo stories. Reporters may not interview friends or relatives. Students must have at least two degrees of separation from their sources (i.e. you can interview your roommate’s cousin – as long as that person isn’t a friend of yours -- but you can’t interview your cousin or your roommate.) In general, try to avoid interviewing sources in the journalism department but if a journalism student or faculty member is integral to a story (a student wins an award or robs a bank, a faculty member is the chair of an important university task force or sues the university for unfair labor practices) by all means interview them. It's fine to interview a journalism professor or student who is making news in some way.

Website All stories, photos and graphics judged publishable will be posted on the Golden Gate Xpress website ( by the online editors and producers. If your story has not been posted, please check in with your editor. Most stories should include links to at least two or three websites that will lead readers to more information.

Breaking News The Xpress website offers the opportunity to publish breaking news stories and up-to-the-minute coverage of events, such as demonstrations, speeches,

Jour 609 Spring 2013 Syllabus :: Page 4


games, etc. If you’re covering an event you should plan to write the story for the website that day. A spot news story is one that is published within three hours of the event. All reporters on the newspaper must cover at least three spot news assignments during the semester. Magazine writers are also encouraged to contribute breaking news stories. ACADEMIC INTEGRITY The university, the Journalism Department and your advisers all expect students to operate under basic rules of academic integrity and honesty. Academic dishonesty includes cheating on exams and assignments, failing to cite borrowed work and ideas, and using unauthorized aid to complete an assignment or exam. Any student who engages in plagiarism, falsification, cheating, copying, passing off someone else’s work as their own, or facilitating another student’s act of dishonesty may be given an F for the assignment and disciplined according to the guidelines and policies of SFSU and the California State University System. JOURNALISM DEPARTMENT POLICY ON PLAGIARISM Plagiarism, the passing off of someone else's work as your own, is a serious offense against scholarship, journalism and honesty. It is regarded as a serious offense by this university and this department. In journalism, the object is to develop one's own original body of work, based on one's own reporting and research, and delivered in one's own "voice"--in one's own writing--in an effort to give the reader as faithful a rendition of the truth of things as we are capable. By contrast, plagiarism delivers what someone else has researched and written under the pretense that it is one's own work. The plagiarist lies to the reader by pretending the stolen writing is original, depriving the real author of credit, and denying readers the right to form opinions based on the real sources of information. To call this a disservice to journalism is putting it in the mildest terms. When a journalist steals someone else's work, it damages the credibility of all his or her associates, calling into question the integrity of the newspaper or magazine in which the plagiarized work is published. Plagiarists fail their readers, their profession and themselves. JOURNALISM DEPARTMENT CODE OF ETHICS AND CONDUCT The First Amendment assures freedom of speech and with that privilege comes great responsibility. Journalism plays an important role in our democratic society and therefore must uphold the highest ethical standards. Protecting the integrity of journalism also means protecting the journalistic credibility that audiences expect from reputable sources of news. As an institution of journalism education, it is our obligation to demand journalistic excellence from our students, following best practices of the profession and a code of ethics. This document is to guide students as they may struggle with ethical dilemmas that may present themselves routinely in their position as student journalists and interns. This department abides by the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics, and in its broadest terms that can be interpreted in a variety of ways. While this document cannot be all-


Jour 609 Spring 2013 Syllabus :: Page 5

inclusive, it will touch on the most important aspects of ethical behavior as a member of the Journalism Program, a coveted and privileged position. If you are ever in doubt about what to do in a situation, do not hesitate to consult with a Journalism Department faculty member. Saying that you didn’t know is not a good enough response to a breach in ethical standards. It is your responsibility to find out if you don’t know or are unsure. What to DO 1. Be professional. Always represent yourself as a San Francisco State Journalism student, particularly before an interview. This can be tricky in social situations where conversation is casual. There have been instances when people have revealed things not realizing they are speaking to a journalist. If such a situation occurs and what’s revealed to you may be important for a story, it’s important that you tell the person who you are and that you want to use the information in a story. Remember you are representing not only yourself, but also the Department. Make us look good. Dress appropriately when on assignment. A guide to use is dress as your interviewee will dress. 2. Always strive for accuracy and fairness. It is difficult to be completely unbiased, but your safeguard against bias is checking with a variety of sources. Get outside of your circle and make sure you talk to people other than the usually cited experts or sources. Look for the shades of gray, for those are usually the most interesting places to dig into a subject. Go out of your way to check, then check again, then check one more time. 3. Ask, don’t assume. Don’t be afraid to ask what may seem to be an “obvious” question. Journalists can sometimes get into trouble because they assume rather than ask. Better to ask than to print or produce the wrong information. 4. Correct your errors. We all make mistakes, but the best journalists admit to them and correct them publically. Check with your professor or student editor to find out how best to proceed. 5. Expose injustice, and give voice to those who rarely have one. This is the motto of some of the best journalists in the profession. 6. Be careful about pitching the same story to multiple publications or classes unless it’s clear such a practice is allowed. When in doubt, ask your professor or editor. What NOT to Do 1. Do not fabricate anything. If you do, ultimately you will be caught and the fall will be mighty and great. The Department’s policy on fabrication: If you are caught, you will receive an F on the assignment. But worse than that, such behavior will call suspicion on all of your work and you will be tainted as a liar and a fake. Usually people get themselves in these situations because they are unprepared and deadline pressure weighs on them. Don’t corner yourself. Prepare for interviews ahead of time. Do your research ahead of time. Locate sources ahead of time. If you


Jour 609 Spring 2013 Syllabus :: Page 6

have trouble with any of these things, faculty are ready and happy to help. 2. Do not plagiarize. This is another self-destructive path because you will get caught. The Department’s policy on plagiarism: Assignments found to have copied work without citation of the source will receive an F. But again, if you are caught, you have made an unattractive reputation for yourself. People get themselves in this situation for a variety of reasons. Sometimes students think it’s OK to copy and paste from the Internet if it’s common knowledge. The best practice to follow: Whenever in doubt, cite the source and if you want some guidance, ask your professor. 3. Do not cheat. We expect academic honesty. Check with your professor about what exercises and assignments are for your eyes only. 4. Avoid conflicts of interest. These conflicts include but are not limited to preparing journalism assignments on subjects or institutions in which the student has a financial, family, or personal involvement, or a personal stake in the outcome. Do not become part of the story. In some cases the appearance of a conflict is just as real as an actual conflict of interest. When in doubt, ask your professor. Disclose all potential conflicts to your professor or editor before you begin your assignment. 5. Do not engage in conduct unbecoming of the department during class, while online or while on assignment. Such misconduct includes but is not limited to disruptive behavior, physical or verbal abuse, property damage, theft, lewd or obscene behavior, and discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation or place of origin. If you must use information from a website, another newspaper or magazine, or any other source, ATTRIBUTE it. SPECIAL NEEDS Your advisers want to make this course as accessible as possible to students with disabilities or medical conditions that may affect the completion of course assignments or participation. Students with disabilities who may need accommodations should talk with their adviser about that. You may also contact: The Disability Programs and Resource Center Student Services Building, Room 110 Phone: 415/338-2472 (Voice/TDD) RESOURCES College Journalism Websites

Psychological and Counseling Services Student Services Building, Room 208 Phone: 415 338-2208


Jour 609 Spring 2013 Syllabus :: Page 7

College Media Association -- A professional association dedicated to serving the needs of collegiate student media programs and their advisers. CMA will hold its annual spring convention March 9-12 , 2013 in New York City. Students are encouraged to attend. Student Press Law Center – An advocacy organization for student press rights that provides Information, advice and legal assistance to students and the educators who work with them. Associated Collegiate Press – A division of the National Scholastic Press Association, this is the largest and oldest membership organization for college student media in the United States. ACP will hold its annual spring convention in San Francisco Feb. 28-March 3, 2013 at the Westin Market Street. Students who attend the convention can earn extra credit. California College Media Association – A group of students and advisers working in media organizations at four-year colleges and universities around the state. The organization sponsors contests and workshops for college journalists. CCMA will present its annual awards during the ACP convention in San Francisco. College Media Matters – A blog about issues in college media sponsored by Associated Collegiate Press. Innovation in College Media – A blog about new developments in college media sponsored by College Media Advisers Professional Journalism Websites The Journalist's Toolbox -- Contains more than 12,000 websites and resources for people doing research on topics in the news. The First Amendment Handbook – A guide to press freedom published by the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press A FINAL NOTE This may be your last year – or even your last semester – as a student journalist. Take advantage of the power you have. Explore new journalistic paths. Watch, listen, smell, taste. Try something different. Be observant. Be skeptical. And, most of all, have fun!

Jour 609 Spring 2013 Syllabus :: Page 8


SUPPLEMENTAL SYLLABUS FOR REPORTERS AND EDITORS You are now a staff member of Golden Gate Xpress, a news organization that produces a real-time news website and a weekly print newspaper. Xpress is the go-to online and print publication for the SF State community and a vital source for breaking news. BEATS By the first day of class you will be assigned to a section, an editor and a beat. You will work with your section editor and be expected to cover your beat throughout the semester. However, you are in no way limited to your beat. If, for example, you are assigned to a Campus beat covering police, you may also write reviews for the Arts and Entertainment section, game stories and features for the Sports section, lifestyle stories for the Features section, etc. However, if there’s a series of break-ins on campus or the campus police chief resigns, you’re expected to stay on top of the story and be in touch with your editor to make sure it’s being covered – either by you or someone else. You are expected to get to know key sources and become aware of the major issues and events on your beat this semester. READINGS • •

Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual (required) The Student Newspaper Survival Guide, Second Edition by Rachele Kanigel (recommended)

The San Francisco Chronicle and The New York Times, daily, as well as other online and print publications that cover the Bay Area, including The Bay Citizen, The Oakland Tribune, The Bay Guardian, SF Weekly, etc.

• The Xpress style guides and policy manual (required) LEARNING OUTCOMES This course is considered the capstone of the Journalism Department. It’s a way for you to demonstrate what you’ve learned in the other courses you’ve taken in the department and to develop your skills, your portfolio and your professional identity. Expected outcomes for reporters include: ●

Report stories thoroughly and completely, seeking out multiple sources and varied perspectives

Produce clear, compelling, thoroughly reported and accurate stories that are suitable for publication

Employ the highest ethical standards in reporting and writing; demonstrate your familiarity with the basic principles of journalism law and ethics

Demonstrate news judgment and critical thinking skills to find and pitch stories

Use multimedia storytelling tools, in addition to text, to report stories.

Jour 609 Spring 2013 Syllabus :: Page 9

X Expected outcomes for editors include: ●

Demonstrate news judgment and critical thinking skills in assigning and editing stories

Employ journalistic ethics and critical thinking skills to make sound editorial decisions

Demonstrate editing skills by catching errors, coaching reporters and helping reporters improve their stories

● Use critical thinking and management skills to evaluate staff MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS To pass this course each reporter must:

1. Publish at least one story per week, broken down as follows: • 12 text stories. At least six stories must include significant online enhancement including video, infographics (e.g.,, aggregated content (e.g., Storify, embedded Tweets), multiple links. A major project may count as two stories at the adviser’s discretion. • 3 blog posts. A minimum of three blog posts are required from all Xpress staff. A maximum of six blog posts can be completed for credit, with each blog post counting for one-third of a text story. • 2 multimedia pieces. Video or audio slideshow with photos of at least two minutes in length. 2. Submit two pitches to your editor via WordPress weekly. These should be posted by Sundays at 8 p.m. Please save pitches to submit with your portfolio for grading. 3. Work at least 20 production hours (including approximately 5 hours on distribution/tabling) Each editor must: 1. Assign and edit stories for their section each week (Copy editors must edit stories assigned to them in a timely way) 2. Attend editorial meetings regularly 3. Publish at least 5 text stories and 1 multimedia story. GRADING Your grade will be based on the quality and quantity of your contributions to the publication. Reporters You will turn in a portfolio of your work three times during the semester on the following dates: Feb. 27

Apr. 10

May 15

Your portfolio should include: 1. The original and final draft of each story you’ve produced. The final draft can be a clip from the newspaper or magazine or a printout of an online story

Jour 609 Spring 2013 Syllabus :: Page 10


2. A story memo detailing your experience producing each story you work on 3. A self-evaluation form assessing your work for that third of the semester 4. An evaluation form for each of the editors you have worked with closely 5. Printouts of your weekly pitches 6. A log of your production hours Each portfolio will be given a grade based on: ●

Quality of reporting and research (to earn a high grade you should use a multitude of sources, answer major questions, demonstrate thorough reporting)

Quality of writing (strong ledes and nut graphs, evocative descriptions, good use of quotes, clear writing, fairness and balance)

Quality of multimedia storytelling (effective use and appropriateness of the medium, creativity, images and text working together)

Quantity of work (for each grading period you should have at least 4-5 mediumlength stories or a comparable mix of short and longer pieces)

Quality of copy (few grammar, spelling, punctuation, typographical errors)

Beat coverage

Your story ideas

Your ability to meet deadlines

Your adviser will return your portfolio with comments 1-2 weeks after you turn in your work. You should meet with your adviser at least twice during the semester to discuss your progress. It’s up to you to make an appointment. Each portfolio will be given a letter grade, worth 25 percent of your final grade (up to 25 points each). The remaining 25 percent of your grade will be based on: ●

Beat reports (up to 5 points each)

Production hours (1/2 a point per hour, up to 15 points)

Attendance and class participation, effort and commitment (up to 5 points)

Bonus points given for exemplary work

Editors: You will be graded on the quality of your editing, your contributions to the publication as a whole and your interactions with reporters, photographers and each other. Editors will be asked to submit portfolios twice during the semester:

Jour 609 Spring 2013 Syllabus :: Page 11

X Mar. 13

May 15

Editor portfolios will include: •

A self-evaluation form

Evaluations of editors you've worked with and whose work you can comment on.

Three to four examples of your editing/design work -- stories you've edited (original and final draft), headlines you've written, pages you've designed, memos you've written, etc. -- anything that will help me see what you do

Stories you've written or produced (with links to multimedia pieces if they are online). It would be helpful to see first drafts if you have them as well as finished work.


Your adviser may lower your grade for misspelled names, major errors or sloppy copy.

Reporters will generally get half credit for double-bylined stories. Your adviser may decide to give full credit to each contributor on multiple-bylined stories for special projects and circumstances. People who produce multimedia stories in teams may get full credit, depending on their contributions to the project as described in their story memo.

Reporters will generally get credit for stories only if they are published. If a complete, publishable story was turned in on time but not published, the reporter should submit a note from the editor explaining the circumstances. Keep in mind it’s the reporter’s responsibility to follow up on stories and make sure they are published.

Reporters who update stories for the online or print edition may get extra story credits, depending on the amount of additional reporting and writing involved.

GRADING SCALE Final grades will be calculated according to this point scale: 93-100
















Jour 609 Spring 2013 Syllabus :: Page 12

X 68-70






59 or below


You need to earn at least a C for the course to count toward your major requirements. PRODUCTION All reporters are required to work at least 20 production hours. Production hours may be fulfilled by: •

Copyediting stories (copyeditors will be selected by editors the first week of class)

Helping with layout and design

Participating in promotional activities (such as passing out newspapers and fliers and organizing promotional events)

Delivering newspapers and magazines

Preparing photos, graphics or stories for the Web site. This may include scanning images, adding links, finding maps, etc.

Fact checking

Helping with headlines, captions, proofreading or other production duties

Writing calendar announcements.

Preparing entries for contests

Preparing photographs for publication.

Other duties assigned by editors.

Keep a running log of your production hours and turn it in each time you submit your portfolio to your adviser. A spreadsheet program, such as Excel, works well for this: DATE




Delivered papers

2 hours


Copyedited two stories

1 hour


Wrote headlines and proofread stories

2½ hours


5½ hours

You should complete at least 10 production hours by the middle of the term, Mar. 20.


Jour 609 Spring 2013 Syllabus :: Page 13

BEAT REPORTS One of the first assignments for reporters is to write a beat report that will help you and your editor know what to cover this semester. A beat offers you an opportunity to specialize in a certain topic or area of coverage and to really get to know a set of people and issues. You are Xpress’ eyes and ears on your beat. You need to let your editors and your readers know what's going on. Your beat report, due Wednesday, Feb. 13, should include: 1. Two or three paragraphs summarizing what you know or what you're learning about your beat. 2. A list of at least 20 sources you plan to use this semester. This list should include the names, titles, phone numbers (home and work if possible) and e-mail addresses of students, administrators, faculty members, staff members, organization leaders and others you expect to interview for stories this semester. This source list will be a valuable resource as you start reporting stories. 3. A calendar of events happening on your beat this semester. Include meetings, arts events, rallies, speeches and other events. 4. A list of at least six usable story ideas – some on your beat and some off your beat – that you’d like to work on this semester. You should have a mix of news stories, profiles, features and issue stories. Each story idea should be two to three sentences and include specifics. Don’t simply say you’re going to write a profile of a wrestler or a student filmmaker; name the wrestler or filmmaker and say why that person is worth profiling. 5. At least three ideas for what Xpress can do to better serve its readers. This section may include ideas for marketing and promotion, social media, multimedia, outreach, new features, special sections, projects, etc. Be creative and innovative! Turn one copy in to your adviser and one copy to your editor. You will also be required to submit two copies of a final beat report at the end of the semester – one copy to your adviser for grading, one copy to the managing editor of the paper for next semester. This beat report will give details on sources, upcoming events and story ideas to aid next semester’s staff and help with continuity of coverage. Details about what’s required for your final beat report will be covered in the second half of this semester.

SFSU Student Newspaper Syllabus  

Syllabus for student newswpaper class at San Francisco State University

SFSU Student Newspaper Syllabus  

Syllabus for student newswpaper class at San Francisco State University