Week 15 (Dec 7) lecture

And just like that, our semester is over. Here are the slides from tonight’s lecture, including the information  on the final exam.

Here are the slides with showing the progression of Wikipedia’s page on the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

Here’s a link to the Rachel Maddow clip about things you find on the Internet:

Here’s the Eli Pariser Ted talk on “the filter bubble.”

And, by request, here is Tucker the musical Schnoodle:


Here is the study guide for the final exam.

If you need a reminder on how to submit to turnitin.com you can get that here.

Please do note that I’m looking for more thoughtful answers in the final. Some of you did a great job on your midterm. For others of you I thought you could do better. A few of you looked like you were winging it the night before it was due. You’ll need to do better than that on the final.

Thank you for a great semester!


Week 14 (Nov 30) lecture

Restaurant Rats

Rick Perry’s Top Ten on Letterman

Dangers of reporting live television

Hit and run accident

Guns on campus video

FEMA Trailers

Assignments referenced in lecture:

Week 13 (Nov 23)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Remember: Do not come to the classroom next week. Instead, please come back to this site for an online lecture.

Week 12 (Nov 16) lecture

Tonight we have fresh headlines to talk about the controversy in Salt Lake City over citizen journalism. We’ll also talk about the power of images. Here are the lecture slides:


Links from today’s lecture

KSL’s story about the ethics of Mayor Mike Winder’s Deseret Connect contributions;

The Deseret News takes legislators out for breakfast, but lawmakers don’t like what’s being served;

Stories from Deseret News, Salt Lake Tribune,  USA Today, Associated Press (via Washington Post), New York Times;

PRSA’s condemnation of Winder and a statement from the Salt Lake Chapter;

Winder resigned from his job at the Summit Group, a Salt Lake PR firm;

US News columnist weighs in on the dangers of citizen journalism, in light of the Winder affair;

Salt Lake Tribune opines that Winder harmed his city and Deseret News readers;

Susan Orlean of  the New Yorker writes the Winder affair demonstrates Deseret Connect had a “lower standard of accountability than, say, the reviews section of Amazon”;

The Trib’s Pat Bagley offers this editorial cartoon;

City’s Weekly’s initial view of the Winder affair, followed by a satirical piece;

The Salt Lake Tribune compiles a list of stories on the Winder affair.

Video verification: CBS shows Hillary Clinton’s memory of Bosnia trip was faulty:

The Onion reports on “the CIA’s successful Facebook program”:

CBS report on autistic basketball manager:

Flu shot disables cheerleader (or did it?):

CBS Sunday Morning on digital imagery and whether you can believe what you see.

Next week is, of course, the Thanksgiving Holiday. The following week our lecture will be online, so don’t come to class the next two weeks. We’ll next meet in person on December 7, which is our last class.

The Final exam will either be a take-home or in the Testing Center — either way it will be during finals week. More information to come on that and your final essay (so please tune in for the online lecture the week after the Thanksgiving holiday).

Week 11 (Nov 9) Lecture

In this evening’s lecture we learned how to deconstruct news stories, looking to see whether headlines and leads supported main points; whether reporters “opened the freezer” or relied upon arm’s-length information; we evaluated reporters sources, checked for transparency, context, fairness and completeness. The lecture slides are provided here, followed by the homework instructions.

We worked with a workbook in class, which is also embedded below. Your assignment is to complete the workbook. That means examining the story examples we did not get to in class  and answering all the questions in the workbook. Bring your completed workbook to class next time (and don’t forget to put your name on the workbook).

Week 10 (Nov 2): Exam

Reminder: Do not come to class on Wednesday, November 2. We will not be having class.

The midterm exam has been emailed to you. Please let me know (by email) if you have not received it.

Good luck!

Week 9 (Oct 26) lecture

Here are the lecture slides for today’s topic, evaluating sources. Remember: Next week is the exam. It’s a take-home exam, so do not come to class next week (November 2).

Midterm Study Guide

The exam will be emailed to you on November 2. Please be sure that your email of record with the university is correct.

It will be a Word (.doc) file in which you will write your responses.

When you have finished writing your responses, please change the file name to your last name (for example, if your name was John Smith, you would name it smith.doc or smith.docx) then upload it to turnitin.com before Tuesday, November 18 8 at 11:59 p.m. Instructions for submitting to this site can be found here. Because the turnitin website will generate an alert for duplicative work (that is, anything that is not your original writing), you must properly cite any quotes you use—whether from the textbook or from any other source.

This exam covers the topics presented in the first six weeks of class.

The exam consists of ten questions—each worth ten points—that should elicit brief essay-style answers. Your responses will be graded on how thoughtfully and completely they answer the questions, using specific examples from your assigned readings, the lectures, and news events. Spelling and grammar will also be considered.

You can best prepare for this exam by being current on your reading assignments (Chapters 1 through 4 in Kovach and Rosenstiel and Chapters 1 through 5 in Gillmor) and by reviewing your notes for lectures 1 through 6.

Here is an example of the type of questions you will see in the exam:

From the list below, what information neighborhood might you be in when you’re on YouTube? Explain your answer, using specific examples from the course, to illustrate you understand the differences between neighborhoods.

  1. News
  2. Advertising
  3. Entertainment
  4. Raw Information
  5. All of the above

Good luck, everyone!

You can download these instructions here.

Submitting to turnitin.com

As you know, we will have you submit your midterm exam to turnitin.com. You should have already received an email inviting you to establish or confirm a turnitin account for out class.

Here are some helps for working with the turinitin.com site.

Here’s an instructional video.

And here are some written instructions you can download:

Week 8 (Oct 19) lecture

We discussed journalism’s first obligation today–that of truth of verification. We discussed some ways journalists verify information and how verification can sometimes be challenged. We also addressed the changing nature of knowledge and how we arrive at the best available version of truth.

Here are the slides:


Here’s a link to the CJR article we referenced on Katrina coverage.

If you want to find out how newspapers were so wrong about their coverage of the mine disaster, you can read this.

Here are some additional links related to today’s lecture:

What is Epistemology? (Yale University Professor Keith DeRose)

Innocence Project – See how these investigations overturn death row convictions. Of note, check out Eyewitness Misidentification (the greatest cause of wrongful convictions nationwide)

How News Organization can build trust in the Verification Process  (Scott Rosenberg’s Blog Post)

Advice for Investigative Journalists (A journalism of verification)

Please note that the upcoming test will not in the offered in the Testing Center as previously announced, rather it will be a take home test (I decided I wanted to read typed responses, rather than your handwriting). It will be available between November 2 and November 8. You’ll get a study guide of sorts next week. Please be aware that because we’ll be using Turnitin.com, you will be receiving instructions on signing up for it (if you haven’t already established an account) and uploading your finished test.