Tag Archives: Emory and Henry College

Happy birthday, JPROF.com

Wiley Hall, Emory and Henry College, Emory, Va. Emory is the birthplace of JPROF.com

Wiley Hall, Emory and Henry College, Emory, Va. Emory is the birthplace of JPROF.com

JPROF.com celebrates its ninth birthday today.

The site began as an experimental website on Dec. 31, 2004 and was launched from the study of the little house we were living in at the time in Emory, Va.

Who knew then that I would be adding to the site nearly a decade later from my study in Maryville, Tenn., using an entirely different content management system (WordPress) and contemplating a variety of forms and formats for the coming year.

The image I had for JPROF.com during those first weeks was as a giant filing cabinet for information and resources I was gathering about journalism education and how to teach journalism. Journalism: Who, What, When, Where, Why and How had just been published by Allyn and Bacon, and I thought there might be a second edition at some point. I wanted a place to put all the stuff I was pulling together (much of it from my own files of more than 25 years of teaching journalism).

JPROF.com gave me the perfect opportunity to do that and at the same time share it with others who had a need or an interest.

The site’s content and reach have broadened since then, but its purpose remains the same.

I am gratified that so many people have found this site useful and that they have been kind enough to write me about it.

Much more could be said about JPROF.com, but at this point that seems self-indulgent.

So, amid the other celebrations that are happening today, raise a small glass to JPROF.

Communications 424 Web Journalism syllabus: Emory and Henry College

COM424 Web Journalism

Jim Stovall
217 Miller, 276-944-6889, jstovall@ehc.edu


The web is the newest medium for journalism, and it is unlike anything that we have had before. While it can handle information formulated for the traditional media, the characteristics of the medium itself allow us to explore new ways of information presentation. The purpose of this course is to

• learn and apply the basic skills of building web sites, including HTML, establishing links, preparing images, etc.
• learn the aspects of web journalism and get an idea of the way in which journalism in this medium is developing;
• apply some of the lessons of this course to a real situation, EHCWired.com;
• gain a deeper understanding of the entire field of journalism in the process.


Prepare – keep up with readings and assignments.
Attend – Be here, and be on time. Students who do not attend on a regular basis will not do well in this course. If you miss more than three classes, you will probably not get an A; if you miss more than four, you will probably not make a B; if you miss six classes, I will stop grading your work.
Engage – You are expected to contribute to the discussions we have during class. You are expected to write weekly responses to the questions assigned in class. You are also expected to make substantial contributions to group projects.
Complete – Do your work and meet your deadlines.

Projects and tests

This course will engage you in three kinds of work: web assignments, projects (individual and group), and tests.

Your final grade will be figured generally on the following basis:

Attendance and participation ________ 20%
Web assignments _________________ 10%
Projects _________________________ 40%
Tests ___________________________ 30%

Text and readings

• James Glen Stovall, Web Journalism. 2004.
• E-Media Tidbits, Poynter.org (daily readings)
• Online Journalism Review (ojr.org), as assigned


Week 1 (Jan. 11), Introduction

Reading: Chapter 1
Discussion notes: Web site structure
Skill: Web site structure
Web Style Guide (2nd edition) by Patrick Lynch and Sarah Horton; this is a good reference for those who are beginning work on creating a web site.
Assignment: Structure a web site (AllAboutMe.com)

preview story exampleWeek 2 (Jan. 16), Learning the hardware and software

Skills: Basic HTML, building a web page, establishing links
Tutorial: Learning HTML tags-1
Tutorial: Learning HTML tags-2
Getting started with HTML, Dave Raggett
HTML Cheatsheet, Webmonkey
Web assignment: News story with links (click on the preview story example at right)

Week 3 (Jan. 23), News web sites

Reading: Chapters 2, 13
Discussion notes: Development of news web sites
Skill: Learning a web editor (GoLive)
Tutorial: GoLive tutorials
First Project: Your web site
Optional readings: If you are interested in knowing more about the development of the of the Internet and news web sites, here are a few web sites that might help:
History of the Internet 1962-1992 (Computer History Museum)
David Carlson’s Online Timeline (Carlson is a professor at the University of Florida where he teaches courses in web journalism.)

Week 4 (Jan. 30), News

Reading: Chapter 3
Discussion notes: Expanding the definition of news
Skill: Preparing images for the web
Handout: Preparing images for a web site (This is a one-page PDF handout.)
Additional handouts are available on JPROF.com: Beginning Photoshop (a two-page PDF file) and Photoshop Guidelines (a six-page PDF file.)
Using PowerPoint to create photo galleries

Week 5 (Feb. 6), Reporting

Test 1: Chapters 1-3
Reading: Chapter 4
Jonathan Dube: Online Storytelling Forms. This is an excellent summary of the variety of ways in which information can be presented on the web. Dube links to a number of examples when he discusses each form.
Discussion: Lateral reporting
Handoout: Web package checklist (HTML); PDF

Week 6 (Feb. 13), Reporting; Writing

First web package due

Week 7 (Feb. 20), Writing, Winter Forum, Feb. 22

Reading: Chapter 5
The art of linking
Skill: Establishing a weblog

Week 8 (Feb. 27), Editing

Reading: Chapter 6

Week 9 (March 6), Photojournalism

Second web package due (March 9)
Reading: Chapter 7

Spring break (March 13)

Week 10 (March 20), Graphics

Reading: Chapter 8
Skill: Mapping an image

Week 11 (March 27), Audio and video

Test 2: Chapters 4-7 (March 27)
Reading: Chapter 9
Skill: Working with audio files

Week 12 (April 3), Design

Reading: Chapter 10
Third web package due

Week 13 (April 10), Engaging audiences, (Easter break, April 13)

Reading: Chapter 11
Test 3: Chapters 8-11

Week 14 (April 17), Law, chapter 12

Reading: Chapter 12

Week 15 (April 24), Practice and Promise, chapter 14

Reading: Chapter 14
Fourth web package due


EHCWired.com is the news web site of the Department of Mass Communication at Emory and Henry College. It is operated as an extension of the curriculum of the department and has student editors, reporters and photographers. This course is designed to integrate itself with the operations of the web site. Members of this class will learn how to create content and post it on the site and will be responsible for doing so throughout the semester.

Communications 302 Editing the Written Word syllabus: Emory & Henry College

COM302 Editing the Written Word

Jim Stovall, 217 Miller, 944-6889, jstovall@ehc.edu

Philosophy and purpose

The development of language skills lies at the heart of our curriculum and is central to what we do in journalism education. Using the language, especially in its written form, is an intellectual activity of the highest order because it involves both thinking and doing. So important are they that they even are included in many a CLEP Study Guide. Other skills, such as gathering information, analyzing it, and putting it into its proper context, are high priorities within our educational scheme, but nothing surpasses the development of language skills.

That is why editing is central to what we teach and why COM302 – because it is required of every mass communications student – is one of the most important courses in the curriculum. Everything we do in this course is relevant to every journalism and mass communications major, regardless of individual talents, career goals or industry preference.

Language skills involve the following: knowledge and application of generally accepted principles and rules of grammar, spelling, and punctuation; a broad vocabulary and sensitivity to the precise and subtle meanings of words; a thorough understanding of the principles of clarity, unity, brevity and simplicity; and a commitment to using the language properly to present information accurately. In addition, the student of journalism should understand the importance of all these skills and should find the study and use of language to be inherently interesting.

Our purposes for this course then include the following:

to improve your language skills
to introduce you to the process and thinking of editing in a professional realm
to increase you knowledge in the application of AP style rules
to develop skills associated with editing including photo editing, news judgment, graphics development and layout and design

Subjects covered in the course

Copyediting. Copyediting is the chief way in which language skills are taught and emphasized in this course. Students are given a variety of assignments designed to emphasize style and grammar, word precision, efficiency, clarity, emphasis and news judgment, completeness and accuracy. These are common editing problems that occur in all copy regardless of the medium for which they are intended.

Although this is not a reporting course, students can learn much about editing by working with copy that they have produced and also by working with copy that their colleagues in the class have written. Writing assignments could including having students put together a sidebar for an article they are editing.

Computer skills. We will attempt to work with the software appropriate for the field — Photoshop, the premier photo editing software, and Quark, page layout software.

Headline writing. The task of headline writing requires a high degree of language skills from our students. Headline writing also requires rhythm and practice. Students are required to learn and apply the traditional rules of headline writing and will be introduced to new styles appropriate for magazine and web sites.

General knowledge. Good editing cannot take place unle ss students have knowledge that extends beyond the copy they are trying to edit. Students will be introduced to basic facts and understanding about topics they are likely to find useful. These topics include taxation, public opinion results, stocks and the stock markets, world religions, sports, budgets, general numbers and calculations, computers and applications, and politics and the electoral system. Lectures and handouts on these topics are useful teaching tools, as are guest lectures, Internet searches, papers, and other assignments.

Other topics. Additional topics included in the course are law and First Amendment, photo selection and cropping, the basics of layout and design, and infographics. Students should have an understanding of the First Amendment, libel, privacy and copyright. They should know how to crop and size a photograph (and, of course, how to write an appropriate cutline for its publication). They should know about the basic tools of layout (type, illustration and white space) and the principles of design as outlined in the textbook. They should understand the conventions and uses of the most common types of infographics.

Case studies

We will read and discuss two case studies this semester. One concerns the coverage of the University of Minnesota basketball team by the St. Paul Pioneer Press in 1999, when a story in the newspaper resulted in several members of the team being suspended just before the beginning of the NCAA tournament. That case study can be found here. The second case concerns the coverage of Richard Jewell and the Olympic bombing case. Jewell was accused of planting the bomb and then playing the hero when he discovered it. That case can be found here. Students are responsible for reading these cases thoroughly and becoming familiar with the journalistic issues they involve. We will discuss each of these cases in class and a short reaction paper will be required.

Texts: The Complete Editor (Stovall, Mullins); AP Stylebook

Grades will be calculated generally on the following basis:

Major editing assignments ____________40%
Chapter exams _____________________20%
Daily quizzes and editing work ________15%
Participation and attendance __________10%
Final exam (or final project) __________15%

A few rules

1. Don’t be late. There are consequences.
2. Always ask for help, particularly when you’re working at the computer. Don’t let lack of computer knowledge slow you down.
3. No baseball caps during class sessions. The instructor likes to see your beautiful baby blues (or browns or greens). Those choosing to ignore this rule will have a point deducted from their final average for each day they choose to wear the cap (after the first day, of course).
4. Civility at all times. Respect your colleagues. And let’s have some fun.

(tentative, always subject to change)

Week 1 (Jan. 12)
• Importance of editing
• Approaches to editing
Reading: The Complete Editor, Chapter 1
Discussion notes: The responsibilities of the editor
Handout: Dates an editor should know
Handout: Grammar terms

Week 2 (Jan. 17)
• Grammar and style
• Copyediting
Reading: The Complete Editor, Chapter 2
Handout: Rules for using commas
Handout: Glossary of grammar terms
Handout: Grammar, Spelling, Punctuation and Diction Guide

Week 3 (Jan. 24)
• Grammar and style
• Copyediting
Reading: The Complete Editor, Chapter 3
Exam 1: Chapters 1-3

Week 4 (Jan. 31)
• Accuracy
Reading: The Complete Editor, Chapter 4
Discussion notes: Accuracy
Handout: Common editing problems

Week 5 (Feb. 7)
• Brevity, clarity, wordiness
Reading: The Complete Editor, Chapter 4
Discussion notes: Attacking wordiness

Week 6 (Feb. 14)
• Completeness, answering all the questions
Editing for clarity – story 1
Exam 2: Chapters 4-5

Week 7 (Feb. 21)
• Case study: University of Minnesota basketball team
• Headline writing
Reading: The Complete Editor, Chapter 6

Week 8 (Feb. 28)
• Headline writing; summaries

Week 9 (March 7)
• Photo editing
Reading: The Complete Editor, Chapter 7

Spring break (March 10-20)

Week 10 (March 21)
• Infographics
Reading: The Complete Editor, Chapter 8

Week 11 (March 28)
• Infographics
Exam 3: Chapters 6-8

Week 12 (April 4)
• Design principles
Reading: The Complete Editor, Chapter 9
Discussion notes: Design

Week 13 (April 11)
• Design and layout rules

Week 14 (April 18)
• Final project work
Case study: Richard Jewell and the Olympic bombing

Week15 (April 25)
• Project work, presentations, review

Final exam

Communications 201 Writing for the Media syllabus: Emory & Henry College

COM201 Writing for the Media

Instructor: Jim Stovall; 217 Miller Hall; 944-6889; jstovall@ehc.edu

This course introduces students to writing in a professional environment and to the forms of writing for the mass media. These forms include news stories for print and broadcast, and other types of writing for public relations. Goals of this course include:

introducing students to the basic concepts of news gathering and news writing
learning and emphasis on style rules and application
understanding reporting methods and ethics
learning the basic forms of newswriting, particularly the inverted pyramid news story
introducing students to the basics of writing for the web and writing for broadcast


Two books are required for this course. They are Writing for the Mass Media (sixth edition) by James Glen Stovall; the Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual. You should also have access to a dictionary.


You are expected to attend all class meetings. You are also expected to be in class on time and ready when the class begins. Work missed in labs cannot be made up. Two or three of the lowest lab grades will be dropped at the end of the semester.

When a student misses four classes, the instructor will stop grading his or her work. A student is counted as absent for the lecture if he or she arrives after the news quiz is given.

Much of the MC101 attendance policy applies to this class, and you may want to review that policy.


Grades will be calculated on the following formula

Weekly news stories ___________50%
Chapter tests _________________30%
In-class writing, quizzes ________10%
Attendance ___________________10%


Week 1 Introduction to the course (Jan. 12)
Topics: Basic principles of good writing
Expectations of the course
Writing assignments: chapter 1 exercises
AP style, grammar quizzes
Reading assignment: Chapter 1
Simple words (short article)
Preview stories (handout) HTML, PDF

Week 2 Basic tools of writing (Jan. 17)
Topics: Grammar, punctuation, word precision
Importance of rules of writing
Associated Press stylebook
Writing assignments: chapter 2, 3 exercises
AP style, grammar quizzes
Reading assignment: Chapters 2, 3
A glossary of grammar terms (an extensive listing of terms, rules of grammar and punctuation and examples)
Rules for using commas (HTML) (PDF version)

Week 3 Writing in the media environment (Jan. 24)
Topics: Conventions and practices; writing for an audience; development; transitions
Writing assignments: chapter 4, leads, short news stories
Test 1: Chapters 1-3
Reading assignment: Chapter 4

Week 4 News and newswriting (Jan. 31)
Topics: Writing conventions; inverted pyramid
Purposes and techniques of editing
Editing problems: wordiness, repetition,
redundancy, clichés, technical errors
Writing assignments: chapter 5 exercises
AP style, grammar quizzes
Reading assignment: Chapter 5
Clichés (short article)
Inverted pyramid checklist

Week 5 News and newswriting (Feb. 7)
Topics: Writing conventions
Writing assignments: ch 5, writing leads
AP style, grammar quizzes
Verbs of attribution (short article)

Week 6 News and newswriting (Feb. 14)
Topics: Interviewing
Writing assignments: ch 5, writing leads
AP style, grammar quizzes

Week 7 News and newswriting (Feb. 21)
Topics: Speech stories
Winter Forum, Feb. 22
Speech stories (handout) HTML, PDF
Writing assignments: ch 5, writing leads
AP style, grammar quizzes

Week 8 News and newswriting (Feb. 28)
Topics: Obituaries and other types of news writing
Writing assignments: ch 5, writing leads
AP style, grammar quizzes
Read the entry on obits in the JPROF reporting section
Obituary stories (handout) HTML, PDF

Week 9 News and newswriting (March 7)
AP style, grammar quizzes
Test 2: Chapters 4-5

Spring break (March 10-20)

Week 10 Writing for the web (March 21)
Topics: General principles; demands of writing for the web
Writing assignments: beginning web writing
AP style, grammar quizzes
Reading assignment: Chapter 6

Week 11 Writing for the web (March 28)
Topics: Writing styles and techniques; content and format
Writing assignments: additional web writing
AP style, grammar quizzes

Week 12 Writing for broadcast (April 4)
Topics: Characteristics of broadcast news; dramatic unity
Writing assignments: chapter 7 exercises
AP style, word precision quizzes
Reading assignment: Chapter 7

Week 13 Writing for broadcast (April 11)
Topics: Dramatic unity; use of the present tense
Writing assignments: chapter 7 exercises, newscasts
AP style, word precision quizzes

Week 14 Writing for public relations (April 18)
Topics: Internal, external publics; news releases; speeches and statements
Reading assignment: Chapter 9
Test 3: Chapters 6-7

Week 15 First Amendment and legal considerations (April 25)
Final project
Topics: Legal issues; First Amendment
Review for the final
AP style, word precision quizzes
Reading assignment: Chapter 10