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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Jessica Partnow
COM 363
Seattle Campus

Entrepreneurial Journalism Practicum

Requires students to identify a target audience in order to determine the kinds of multimedia news and feature content that meet informational needs of that audience; to create and distribute that content; and to encourage and assess audience response. Prerequisite: COM 360; COM 361.

Class description

Learn the skills you need to be an entrepreneurial journalist in the new media climate. Develop your own story ideas and pitch them to editors, report for the web and explore digital storytelling techniques, learn to fund your own reporting, maximize your resources and build your own brand as a freelancer. This class will also explore changes and emerging opportunities in the media industry.

Course will be taught by the core staff of The Common Language Project, a new media nonprofit based at the UW, who have reported from over a dozen countries and been published by the Seattle Times, PBS, and NPR. Visit www.clpmag.org for more on The CLP.

Student learning goals

Independently research, pitch, report, produce and publish online journalism on our course website and, if accepted, on local entrepreneurial journalism sites.

Define the elements of entrepreneurial journalism economic models, values, tone, participants, ethics and articulate new opportunities in the field

Embody entrepreneurial values through exploring opportunities in journalism outside of the traditional newsroom

Write clearly in form and style appropriate to the medium used and audience served

General method of instruction

Over the course of the quarter, students will:

*Analyze online journalism for quality, form/presentation and funding models *Research, develop, pitch and produce online journalism *Understand emerging opportunities and new career paths in journalism *Explore new ways of presenting journalistic information online *Demonstrate an understanding of professional ethical principles and work ethically in pursuit of truth, accuracy, fairness and diversity *Think critically, creatively and independently *Critically evaluate their own work and that of others for accuracy and fairness, clarity, appropriate style and grammatical correctness *Apply current tools and technologies to story production for a hyperlocal blog audience

For Success in this Course/General Expectations: You must adhere to a high standard of journalistic ethics in all of your reporting and the work you produce should be professional quality. Expect to spend 15 hours a week on this class, including the hours we meet. This means you will be working on your projects outside of class for 10-11 hours each week. This is the standard amount of time the University expects of you to earn 5 credits.

Recommended preparation

COM 360 and 361. Willingness to explore and develop new skills.

Class assignments and grading

Assignments include short media critiques, blog posts, photo slideshows and infographics.

50% of your grade is based on the quality of your final reporting projects. 40% is based on other assignments given throughout the quarter. The remaining 10% is based on class participation and contribution to discussions. The final grade scale is posted here.


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.
Course website
Last Update by Jessica Partnow
Date: 02/28/2012