F’11 students

Last day of class, fall 2011. Thanks for a good semester!

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Fall ’11 – Welcome

Welcome to the class blog for Journalism 61, section 1, which meets M/W 10:30-11:45 a.m. in DBH 222 at SJSU.

For the past few years I’ve taught Jour61 as a fully online class, but this fall it’ll be “on ground” and in person. You may notice I’m still making some changes to this blog to update it for the fall semester. I’ll be getting the kinks worked out over the next week or so.

See you soon!

Blog on hiatus

I’m not teaching Journalism 61 this semester, so this blog is currently on hiatus. However, I am scheduled to teach this online class again in the spring.

In the meantime, feel free to use this blog’s resources. Please note, however, that links to most assignments and some resources no longer work because of recent changes to the JMC web server where they used to reside. I will be updating these links over winter break.

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] sjsu.edu 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.

Britney and Blackwater

In last Thursday’s class, as we reviewed some of your “Top New Stories,” one person asked a question that baffles so many of us: When there’s so much real news out there, why do the news media focus so much time and space on Britney Spears?

So we talked a bit about celebrity and that prominence news value, and I talked a bit about the era of Yellow Journalism and how we’ve been down this path before…and survived. (I always like to keep hope alive.)

Then the next morning, while reading the San Francisco Chronicle, I happened across a Mark Morford column that explained it all to me (at least as much as anything subtitled “Showdown! White-trash diva versus mercenary war thugs. Who rapes your spirit more?” could explain it).

In case that doesn’t do it for you, here are some online resources on Yellow Journalism: