Getting Started

If you’re just getting started in this class, scroll down until you reach the blog post titled Welcome to Journalism 61, Section 80 (dated 1/27) for directions on getting started with this class.

Or click here to go directly to that blog post.


How to use this blog/website

I’ve had a couple questions about how to use this blog. So here’s an overview:

  • Under the blog’s title (Journalism 61), you’ll find a row of buttons that serve as links to this blog’s web pages. These pages are where I put information that doesn’t change very often, such as the syllabus and class schedule, etc. Here’s how to navigate these pages:
    • Click on the Assignments button, and it’ll take you to the assignments page which describes the major assignments and provides links to writing exercises and assignments.
    • Click on the Class Schedule button, and it’ll take you to the class schedule, which tells you what to read/review this week and which assignments are due when.
    • The Syllabus button takes you to the syllabus for this class, etc.
    • To go back to the main page of the blog, click on the Home button.
  • The wide center column is the “blog” part of this site. When you’re on the blog’s main or “Home” page, you’ll see a chronological listing of my blog posts in the center column. But if you click on one of the buttons (say, the Syllabus button), that information will appear in the center column. To get back to the main page of the blog, just click on the Home button.
  • The narrow columns on either side of the blog are called sidebars. These stay the same, no matter what’s showing in the center column. Here’s what you’ll find in the sidebars:
    • Categories (in the left sidebar) are organizational/search tools. Whenever I write a post on this blog, I label it with one or more categories. (This one, for example, I’ll categorize as “class info” and “how to’s.”) If you click on a category, such as “Class Info,” it brings up all the blog posts I’ve labeled with that category. That way, even if you don’t exactly remember the title of a blog post or when it was published, you can probably still find it.
    • Recent Posts (left) are just that — a list of the titles of recent blog posts I’ve published on this blog. The titles are active links, so clicking on one takes you to that blog post.
    • Blogroll (right) contains links.
    • Blogs – Section 80 (right) lists links to your class blogs
    • JMC Links will take you to JMC web pages and blogs, and other JMC class blogs.
    • JMC Student Blogs provide links to blogs by some former students of this class.
    • Meta: Lists the links that take me to the WordPress login page so I can manage this blog/site.
    • Subscribe: Click here to subscribe to this blog. Of course, you’ll need a way to track your subscriptions to make this work. I use Google Feed Reader. (More on this a bit later.)

Groups and networks for journalists

Here’s a group that might be of interest — it’s the Bay Area Reporters and Journalists Meet-Up Group. Looks like it has the potential for some good contacts.

Wired JournalistsYou might also want to check out Wired Journalists, a new social media/networking site for journalists and aspiring journalists who are trying to get a handle on new media technologies and approaches. The site is shaping up as a good source of information, contacts and inspiration.

Wired Journalists is organized by JMC graduate student Ryan Sholin, a man of many talents. His blog, Invisble Inkling, which focuses on the future of newspapers, online news and journalism education, also makes good reading for journalism students.

Perusing your blogs

In case you’re wondering, I’m slowly wending my way through your blogs…reading your introductory blog posts, posting a comment, subscribing to your blogs, and adding a link to your blog on the class blog. It takes a while, so please be patient. I’ll get to all your blogs by tomorrow night.

In the meantime, as I add new blogs to the Jour 61 class “blogroll,” you might want to try out those links and check out each other’s blogs. Reading the introductions is a good way to get to know a bit about your classmates.

Journalism Days

Want to find out how California’s newspapers are evolving, and how you might find a newspaper internship (or job)? Then consider attending a Journalism Day in Northern California. Here are the sites and dates:

Monterey: Feb. 16
Fresno: March 1
Chico: March 8
Modesto: March 15
Auburn: March 15

Journalism Days are produced by the California Newspaper Publishers Assn. (CNPA), in cooperation with local newspapers, college journalism programs and regional journalism associations. At Journalism Days, you can meet newspaper pros in a casual setting and talk shop with students from other schools.

And if you go and write a blog post about it, it’s worth extra credit! (Note: there will be other extra credit opportunities this semester.)
The price is $15 per person, which includes breakfast and lunch. For more information, go to

Welcome to Journalism 61

This blog serves as the home page of the online section of Journalism 61.

To get started in the class, you’ll need to email me at cynthia.mccune [at] to confirm that you’ve registered for the class. That will be my cue to add you to my email list for the class. Some assignments will be emailed, so you’ll want to make sure you’re on my list.

Most of your writing assignments will be delivered to me via a blog, so the next thing you’ll need to do is set up your own blog for this class. (As you can see at right, a couple of students have already set up their blogs. Feel free to check them out!) Click here for directions on how to set up a blog. If you run into any problems, email me.

To confirm that you’ve completed the first assignment (setting up your blog), please email me your blog’s URL (web address) by 6 p.m. Saturday (the first Saturday of the semester).

Once you’ve created a blog, you’ll also need to know how to log in and create new “blog posts” to submit your assignments. Click here for directions on how to do that.

By the way, you can also find “how to” information related to this class by clicking on the “How To’s” link under the “Categories” heading at the top left column of this blog.

P.S. While you’re at it, please click on the links at the top of this page to review the Jour 61 syllabus, grading, class schedule, assignments and links to class resources. You’ll need this information to successfully complete the class.

A word of advice: The best way to pass this class is to complete all of the assignments on deadline, and to revise them as needed to correct any errors I note in my comments. Conversely, the easiest way to fail this class is to skip a bunch of the assignments.