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Syllabus. JRN 516, Spring 2008 A user-friendly guide. Contacting me. Come to class Make use of drop-in office hours 9:50-11 a.m. and 11:50-12:20 p.m. MWF No appointment needed Phone and email 989-631-0644; 989-708-5199 Deadlines.

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JRN 516, Spring 2008

A user-friendly guide

contacting me
Contacting me
  • Come to class
  • Make use of drop-in office hours
    • 9:50-11 a.m. and 11:50-12:20 p.m. MWF
    • No appointment needed
  • Phone and email
    • 989-631-0644; 989-708-5199
  • You must make the deadline to get a full grade.
  • Late work gets a grade deducted (A to B) up to 24 hours late.
  • After 24 hours, work is returned ungraded.
  • Turn in all work in hard copy.
  • Double space it
  • Put your name and the date at top
  • Turn it in during class
  • If class is not being held, turn it in to my mailbox. Get it date and time-stamped.
  • Please do not email work to me. (Exception: Extra copy of final beat report)
texts and materials
Texts and materials
  • Guide to Local Government in Isabella County -- posted on website/blog
  • Style guide: AP style sheet at
  • Local government coverage daily in CM Life and the Morning Sun.
  • Some way to save your work
    • Important for revisions
your work
Your work
  • Take four equally weighted tests covering material presented in class
  • Cover an assigned beat, writing at least seven stories.
  • Make a presentation to the class on your beat.
  • Update your section of the Guide.
  • 80% of the grade will be your 11 best grades on tests and beat stories.
  • 10% will be on your class presentation.
  • 10% will be on the Guide update.
  • Extra credit: Maintain a blog relevant to the class. The extra credit grade replaces your lowest story/test grade.
sample grade
Sample Grade
  • Tests: A,C,X,A
  • Stories: B,B+,C,B+,A-,D,A,A
  • Top 11 story/test grades
    • A,A,A,A,A-,B+,B+,B,C,C,D
    • 4+4+4+4+3.7+3.3+3.3+3+2+2+1=34.3/11=3.1x.80=2.48
  • Beat report grades
    • C+ (2.3x.1=.23) A (4x.1=.4)
  • Course grade: 2.48+.23+.4= 3.11 = B
the fatal error rule
The fatal error rule
  • Work containing a misspelled proper noun or factual error receives no more than a D.
  • All beat stories can be revised for up to one higher grade (D to C, B to A).
  • For full revision credit, do everything I ask you to do on the original.
  • Turn in the original with the revision.
the beats
The beats
  • MP City Commission (2,4M)
  • MP Planning Commission (1Th)
  • MP Parks/ Recreation Commission (4T)
  • MP Airport Advisory Board (2W)
  • MP Zoning Board of Appeals (4W)
  • Shepherd Village Council (1,3T)
the beats1
The beats
  • Chippewa River District Library Board (2M)
  • Isabella County Board of Commissioners (1,3T)
  • Isabella County Transportation Commission (4Th)
  • County Parks/Recreation Commission (1W)
the beats2
The beats
  • County Planning Commission (2Th)
  • Union Township Board (2,4W)
  • Union Twp. Planning Commission (3W)
  • MP school board (1,2M)
  • Beal City school board (3M)
  • Shepherd school board (3T)
  • Lake Isabella Village Board (3T)
beat stories
Beat stories
  • Meeting coverage
  • Detailed advance meeting stories
  • People features
  • Issue stories (with a newspeg)
  • Breaking news
beat report presentation
Beat report presentation
  • Graded on content, organization, presentation.
  • To include:
    • Demographic profile
    • What this unit does and who does it
    • Summary of stories covered so far
    • Discussion of major issues
update of guide
Update of Guide
  • Check existing guide material for accuracy
  • Bring guide up to date
  • Provide names and contact numbers
  • Provide annotated urls