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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Usha Lee Mcfarling
COM 460
Seattle Campus

Special Reporting Topics

Topics vary. Prerequisite: COM 360.

Class description

The ability to write on specialized topics is a powerful tool in today's journalism market, where specialty/niche news outlets are becoming increasingly popular. This class will focus on health, science and environmental writing -- but the final project can be tailored to any area of niche reporting, including business, technology, education or sports. You will learn reporting, organizational and writing techniques that will enable you to write compelling and polished feature pieces on a variety of complex topics. Class time will include lectures and discussion, reporting field trips, in-class writing sessions and the analysis and critique of various articles and multi-media pieces. Coursework will include several short writing/reporting assignments, the creation of several multi-media pieces and the production of one longer, narrative piece of specialty writing. When suitable, we will work to place articles in print or online for wider distribution.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Classes will consist of a mixture of lecture, discussion, in-class deadline writing, field trips conducted during class time and working in small groups.

Recommended preparation

COM 360. An ability to research, report and write general news articles is required.

Class assignments and grading

Short articles, multimedia assignments and one longer final article with related blog post and podcast.

50% Short Writing Assignments, 10% Class Participation, 40% Longer Article.


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.
Additional Information
Last Update by Usha Lee Mcfarling
Date: 01/04/2011