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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Lisa B Cohen
COM 460
Seattle Campus

Special Reporting Topics

Topics vary. Prerequisite: COM 360.

Class description

This course focuses on broadcast news writing for health-related topics. The major challenges of our future all are health-related. Whether in global health, determining a domestic health care program, or keeping up to date on the new technologies and treatments being announced daily, as a reporter you must have a working knowledge of these critical subjects. You will learn where to find credible resources, explore the societal impacts, and to communicate what you learn in a concise, creative manner.

Student learning goals

Know how to write to video and use sound bites effectively and how to edit video to enhance and create a visual story

Know what is expected of professional broadcast news writers

Learn to distinguish between credible and less-reliable sources for studies and information

Know the distinctions between different types of health coverage, the audience and impact for each.

Learn to critique newscasts and identify well-told informative stories.

General method of instruction

Discussion. in-class writing, readings and meetings with professional journalists.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Your grade will be based on the following criteria:

1. 4 short quizzes on the books and readings The quizzes will cover the course reading materials to date. There will be a total of 4 quizzes and you will be able to drop your lowest grade. (15 points each 60 total possible)

2. In-class writing/editing exercises There will be three stories produced, one VO, one VO-SOT and one 1:20 package. The stories will be written and edited from video I provide. You will need to augment information with research. (VO 20 points, VO-SOT 25 points, PACKAGE 30 points)

3. Oral research assignment This is the 5-minute health-related research presentation you will present to the class with visuals of some kind to support your story. The visuals may be photographs, power point, and video. You will also need to include at least information from an interview you conduct either in person or by phone. Your topic and presentation procedure must be approved by me in advance. You will also need to provide your sources. (55 points)

4. In-class participation This is a small class, and there will be a lot of discussion. I expect you to come in prepared to participate and be engaged, and to listen. (25 points)


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Lisa B Cohen
Date: 12/31/2006