The first 8 weeks of this 15 week advanced reporting course would focus on writing the various story elements in a local newscast. This would include anchor voice overs using wire copy from the Associated Press, and script information that accompanies video elements on CNN Newsource. Students would learn how to identify newspaper stories and turn them into tv friendly scripts. Analyzing local tv newscasts will help students think critically about what belongs and what doesn’t belong in a tv news script. By the end of these 8 weeks, students would learn the art of pitching, advanced interviewing and writing a local tv news reporter package under a breaking news/deadline environment. There would be “timed” in-class writing exercises to help sharpen their writing speed. The skills learned in the first 8 weeks would prepare students to take writing tests in local newsrooms, where speed and accuracy can help them land their first entry level job.
In the remaining 7 weeks of the semester, students would be required to pitch, write and produce news packages on their own in the field. Depending on the skill level of students, they may be allowed to work solo or in teams of two. Through constructive feedback and script revisions, students would be able to successfully write, shoot and edit a reporter package suitable for air in a local newscast. Special emphasis would be placed on pitching enterprise stories. This class would be the foundation for the MMJ Deadline reporting class that would be offered in the third semester.