JOUR275 Newspaper Editing and Page Layout

Department of Language & Literature: Journalism

I. Course Number and Title
JOUR275 Newspaper Editing and Page Layout
II. Number of Credits
3 credits
III. Minimum Number of Instructional Minutes Per Semester
IV. Prerequisites
JOUR175 (C or better)
V. Other Pertinent Information

This course is scheduled in a computer lab/classroom so that students can learn computer skills necessary for success in today's journalism field.

The Department of Language and Literature has determined that journalism courses will require a 5000 word minimum in writing assignments.

VI. Catalog Course Description
This course provides intensive training in the editing and preparation of newspaper copy, and the writing of headlines and page layout using computerized layout software. It covers local and wire copy, assembling and shaping the various elements of a news story, the requirements of newspaper style, and safeguards against errors.
VII. Required Course Content and Direction
  1. Learning Goals:

    1. Course
    2. Students will:
      1. edit all types of "copy" for publication in both metropolitan and suburban newspapers by editing a wade variety of news articles, including articles provided by the instructor and ones written for the college newspaper;
      2. lay out a newspaper, including picture cropping, copy preparation, and headline writing, by producing actual layouts both for class assignments and the College newspaper;
      3. demonstrate an understanding of the ethical concerns facing editors in deciding what stories and photographs to publish in a newspaper;
      4. demonstrate an understanding of the press freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment as well as libel law;
      5. writing and edit for the web; and
      6. post news stories and update the College newspaper website.

    3. Core (if applicable)
    4. Catagory III
      Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
      Students will:
      1. use methods, concepts and theories in new situations (Application Skills);
      1. integrate and/or combine knowledge from multiple sources to create new knowledge. (Synthesis); and
      2. assess the credibility of a communication and the strength of claims and arguments (Evaluation Skills);
      Information Literacy
      Students will:
      1. determine the nature and extent of the information needed;
      2. determine the technologies and information formats appropriate for the information identified;
      3. access needed information effectively and efficiently;
      4. evaluate information and its sources critically and incorporate selected information into their knowledge base and value system; and
      5. develop an understanding of many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information and access and use information legally and ethically.
      Responsible Citizenship
      Students will:
      1. demonstrate an understanding of major ethical concerns; and
      1. identify the effects of a person's actions on the community.
  2. Planned Sequence of Topics and/or Learning Activities:


    Students read assigned chapters from the textbook and take quizzes based on those readings. They take weekly news quizzes and are required to read a newspaper or news website on a daily basis.


    Students edit inverted pyramid news stories, feature articles, and sports stories for grammar, syntax, clarity, and conciseness; each week they edit a series of in-class exercises as well as articles for the College newspaper. Students lay out newspaper pages, write headlines, and crop pictures in weekly exercises and for the College newspaper.

    Journalism Fundamentals

    Students use The Associated Press Stylebook and the Internet to edit newspaper copy to achieve factual accuracy and conformity with AP style. Students use layout software to produce newspaper pages ready for publication. Students write and edit stories for the web. Students create and maintain a basic website or blog in which they archive articles they have written, edited or laid out. Students post news stories on the College newspaper website.

  3. Assessment Methods for Core Learning Goals:

    1. Course
      1. Students take a series of quizzes based on the readings in the course textbooks.
      2. Students take weekly news quizzes to assess their knowledge of current events.
      3. Students complete a series of timed editing exercises to assess their news editing skills.
      4. Students edit a series of news stories for the class and for the College's College newspaper. These stories are edited and graded by the instructor.

    2. Core (if applicable)
      1. Critical Thinking/Problem Solving: Students' critical thinking skills are evaluated in the contect of the accuracy and reliability of information they gain from a variety of sources, including interviews with contacts, websites, electronic databases, and public records.
      2. Information Literacy: Student writing is evaluated on the student's ability to determine the most effective and efficient sources of information, including internet websites, online databases, and public records; learn how to obtain information from these sources; assess the reliability of both the source and the information; and demonstrate that they are able to incorporate the information without copyright infringement.
      3. Responsible Citizenship: Through discussions and evaluation of their writing, students are assessed on their understanding of plagiarism, libel, and objectivity and fairness of news coverage. By studying and evaluating specific examples of newspaper work by professionals, students demonstrate their understanding of the need to promote the public good and recognition that their actions carry responsibilities and consequences.
  4. Reference, Resource, or Learning Materials to be used by Students:

    Texts: Instructors must select an introductory text that focuses on the process of reporting and writing. Other texts may include a news agency style guide, a handbook, or other reference texts selected by the instructor. See course format.
VIII. Teaching Methods Employed
Section VIII is not being used by new and revised syllabi as of 12/10/08.

Review/Approval Date - 9/98; Core Goals/Objectives added 4/04; Revised 1/06; Revised 3/2010