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Mass Media


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“I still believe that if your aim is to change the world, journalism is a more immediate short-term weapon.” - Tom Stoppard


This course meets second period each day.


Please take the time to read this document carefully with your parents/guardians. It does contain essential information about the course for which you will be held responsible.


Course Description: Mass Media is a year long class that will help you learn more about journalistic writing and the production of several authentic texts including the weekly posts on our district blog, social media updates, the creation of at least two films, our quarterly newsletter, and the yearbook. The class is designed to involve you in writing, design, and photography. It's a hands-on class that requires a high level of energy and active participation from students. All of your work will be deadline oriented. Here, you'll learn how to properly write for print journalism, photojournalism skills, blogging skills, Adobe Premiere Pro, video editing skills, how to interview someone, and much more. This class will provide you with practical knowledge and problem solving skills, teamwork, and the ability to showcase your creativity. You are expected to be an active participant in all aspects of this class. You will be held responsible for every single assignment, and the class will require mandatory time outside of class for assignments on location.If you're not interested in telling the story of the 2018 - 2019 school year, please withdraw before the class begins.


Classes will include discussions, lectures, meetings, writing, revising, and publishing. The practice of journalism itself will keep you very busy in this class. You may find yourself with several deadlines to meet within any given week: conducting interviews outside of class, editing your draft work, submitting your drafts, researching for your upcoming story, and so on. You are expected to use your classroom time well. If you're done in class, move on to the next thing.


Course Grading:

Our grading scale will follow the adopted board policy of the Osborn R-0 School District. Tests, assignments, and projects will all be of equal weight in the course, though some may be worth more points than others. Your grade will be based on all of your work - interviews, videos you produce, yearbook pages, blogs, social media updates, and tests and worksheets from the textbook - among other things.


There are two standing assignments with which you should be familiar.


  • Article of the Week: Every Friday, you will be given a digital copy of a recent news article. The goal is to have you not only become more familiar with the world around you, but also to help you become more familiar with how to closely read a non-fiction text. One week later, you will return that article to me with evidence of your close reading recorded and a written reflection through Google Classroom.

  • Blogs: After our introductory lessons, you will be expected to produce two blogs each week. If you do not have an on-location story (like a school event or a game), you will need to generate good feature or Op-Ed pieces to publish each week.


Part of your first quarter grade will rely on your yearbook ad sales. Students are asked to sell at least $500 in ads to help support the yearbook. While you may not hit your goal, you have to at least prove that you’ve tried with the paperwork I will distribute in class. If you know someone who might be interested in purchasing an ad to help support our yearbook, please contact them soon to let them know you will be selling ads in the near future.


Google Classroom: As with every other year, we’ll be making extensive use of Google Classroom, a learning management system. There are some amazing features, and I’ll likely be grading much of your work right there in the online environment. If you have a project deadline looming, and you do not have internet access at home to get into your classroom, you should make arrangements to meet with me during your seminar time, before school, or after school so you can finish by the deadline! If your parents or guardians would like to sign up for Google Classroom access so they can see what you’re doing in class, that’s an option! Just have them send me an email.