JOUR-131: News Writing

Liberal Arts
Communication & Media
Academic Level
Course Subject
Course Number
Course Title
News Writing
Credit Hours
Instructor Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Student Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Grading Method
Eligible to take ENG courses at HFC.
Catalog Course Description

Introduces news writing in its various forms such as news stories, thought-provoking opinions, and stimulating reviews. Examines the gathering, processing and writing of news and information on current matters using professional standards in both print and online news production. Analysis of current and historical case studies that illustrate demographic, social, and ethical aspects of journalism. Creative problem-solving strategies are encouraged throughout the course and culminate with the writing of a feature story in both print and online formats.

Goals, Topics, and Objectives

Goal Statement

Students will gain an understanding of how to critically analyze writing of news, features, sports, opinions, editorials, and reviews using standards for both print and online news production. Students will gain critical insights about journalism standards for news production in the digital age. Students will learn to:

  1. Analyze the role of the news media in American society.
  2. Analyze news stories, feature stories, opinions and reviews for a balanced perspective of information.
  3. Identify and evaluate accuracy and relevance of information in both print and online formats through critically written analyses.
  4. Collect facts and quotations necessary for accurate and balanced news writing.
  5. Integrate necessary information from a variety of sources into logical, organized, and clearly written news stories, opinions, reviews, and features.
  6. Write and edit a news story so that it is concise, neutral, accurate and balanced.
  7. Organize facts and properly attribute sources per journalism standards.
  8. Edit stories per Associated Press style guidelines.
  9. Edit writing to eliminate errors such as comma splices, run-ons, and fragments.
  10. Write in both print and online formats.
Core Course Topics
  1. History of Journalism
  2. Journalism standards for gathering and reporting news
  3. Associated Press Stylebook guidelines for news writing
  4. Bias and accuracy in news writing
  5. Journalism and technology
  6. Journalism ethics in the digital age
  7. Analyze the role of news media in American society
  8. Write a feature story using journalism standards
  9. Write in both print and online mediums
  10. Compare and contrast public relations writing and news writing
Core Course Learning Objectives (Separated)

Students successfully completing Journalism 131 should be able to:

  • Identify the main ideas and the main supporting details of news and feature stories.
  • Analyze the standard organizational structure of news stories, feature stories, opinions and reviews.
  • Analyze how professional writers use quotations and information from a variety of sources to write a balanced and accurate news story.
  • Evaluate bias and accuracy in sources.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of various forms of writing news.
  • Examine ethical practices both current and historical in writing news for target audiences.
  • Write a feature story for both print and online mediums.
  • Compare and contrast public relations writing and news writing standards.

Students who successfully complete Journalism 131 will have the written and verbal skills to:

  • Compose written reports.
  • Integrate research material from different sources into a logically and clearly written document.
  • Identify and evaluate bias and credibility in print and online news production through written critical analyses.
  • Analyze current issues in writing for news in print and online.
General Information

Note that a grade of C- (C minus) is not transferrable and is not accepted by some programs at HFC.

Assessment and Requirements

Assessment of Academic Achievement
  1. Students will write a minimum of five writing assignments (not including the final exam).
  2. News writing assignments will occur at regular intervals, and will increase in depth of reporting and use of information technology.
  3. Quizzes on readings will occur at regular intervals leading to a cumulative final exam.
  4. At least one news writing assignment must be submitted to the Mirror News per the student newspaper's submission guidelines.
  5. One online, social media, or multimedia project.
  6. One presentation or proposal pitching feature story to the class.
  7. Written feature story that uses journalism standards for both print and online news production.
  8. Written plan for media convergence of online and social media to complement and promote the feature story.
  9. Student will create and conduct survey of class for audience response to feature story.
  10. Final examination. Instructors have the option of selecting other forms of student achievement.
The curricular committee that oversees this course maintains a list of approved texts.


General Education Categories
  • Humanities and Fine Arts
Institutional Outcomes
  • Humanities
MTA Categories
  • Category 5: Humanities and Fine Arts
Satisfies Wellness Requirement

Approval Dates

Effective Term
Winter 2022
ILT Approval Date
AALC Approval Date
Curriculum Committee Approval Date
Review Semester
Winter 2022