Introduction to Journalism
ENG 1151-D510
Tue/Thurs 11:30-12:45
Namm 523A
Spring 2017

Professor Aaron Barlow
Office: 616 Pearl
Office Hours: Wed 11:00-2:30. And by appointment.

Course Description:

An introduction to the history and principles of journalism and basic news writing and editing.

Course Learning Outcomes:

  • Gather and assess information from a variety of media and points of view.
  • Compose thoughtful reports that require critical evaluation in their pursuit of truth in the news.
  • Analyze issues and use argumentation strategies in support of positions of pursuit of truth.
  • Research, discuss, analyze, and write about the role that journalism plays in contemporary American society.
  • Analyze and write about the roles of the journalist and the conscientious citizen in contemporary American society.
  • Analyze, and write about the ethical role that journalism plays in American culture and its responsibility to citizens.
  • Analyze, and write about the ethical roles news outlets play in a variety of media.
  • Read, listen, and watch journalism in action and present findings in formal and informal oral and written assignments.

Course Policies:

  • Students will be mature and respectful, alert and engaged. Electronic devices may be used in class, but must be non-intrusive. If you need to eat, don’t bring an entire meal—a snack and a drink are fine. Treat everyone politely.
  • You will keep a log of your activities (including research details), will edit, and will write.
  • You will always have your log and assigned reading material with you in class.
  • You will use OpenLab, creating an account using your City Tech email address. Go to to establish your account and then create a portfolio where all of your documents must be housed. Links and assignments will be found on the class OpenLab site,
  • This syllabus can change during the semester, so always check with OpenLab for updates.

Required Texts:

Barlow, Aaron, The Rise of the Blogosphere.

D’Agata, John and Jim Fingal, The Lifespan of a Fact.


  • Consistent attendance, on time and focused on the day’s activity, is necessary for passing. Absences without prior arrangement can lower your grade; participation in class is important.
  • Your four 1000-word articles will count for 40% of your grade.
  • Your editing of four 1000-word articles by other students will count for 20% of your grade.
  • Participation in class discussions will count for 15% of your final grade.
  • Midterm and Final will count for 10% and 15% of your grade, respectively.

New York City College of Technology Policy on Academic Integrity

Students and all others who work with information, ideas, texts, images, music, inventions, and other intellectual property owe their audience and sources accuracy and honesty in using, crediting, and citing sources. As a community of intellectual and professional workers, the College recognizes its responsibility for providing instruction in information literacy and academic integrity, offering models of good practice, and responding vigilantly and appropriately to infractions of academic integrity. Accordingly, academic dishonesty is prohibited in The City University of New York and at New York City College of Technology and is punishable by penalties, including failing grades, suspension, and expulsion. The complete text of the College policy on Academic Integrity may be found in the catalog.

Week One:                  

Class One (1/30):                       Introduction: Shattered Glass

Class Two (2/2):                        Shattered Glass; Chapter One: The Conception of a Popular American Press

Week Two:                  

Class Three (2/7):                      Chapter Two: The Rise of Advocacy Journalism

Class Four (2/9):                        Lifespan 1

Week Three:                                                    

Class Five (2/14):                       Chapter Three: Debate in the Early American Press

Class Six (2/16):                         First article draft due; Lifespan 2

Week Four:

Class Seven (2/21):                     Chapter Four: The Victory for Rights of the Press

Class Eight (2/23):                      First editing assignment completed; Lifespan 3

Week Five:                                                      

Class Nine (2/28):                      Chapter Five: The Heyday of the Partisan Press

Class Ten (3/2):                         Revised first article due; Lifespan 4

Week Six:                                                        

Class Eleven (3/7):                     Chapter Six: The Rise of Professional Journalism

Class Twelve (3/9):                     Second article draft due; Lifespan 5


Week Seven:                                                    

Class Thirteen (3/14):                 All the President’s Men; Chapter Seven: The Creation of Press Empires

Class Fourteen (3/16):                All the President’s Men; Second editing assignment completed

Week Eight:                                                    

Class Fifteen (3/21):                   Chapter Eight: Domination of the Press by Electronic Media

Class Sixteen (3/23):                   Midterm; Revised second article due

Week Nine:                                                     

Class Seventeen (3/28):               Chapter Nine: Alternative Journalism

Class Eighteen (3/30):                 Third article draft due; Lifespan 6

Week Ten:                                                      

Class Nineteen (4/4):                  Chapter Ten: The Failure of the American News Media

Class Twenty (4/6):                    Third editing assignment completed; Lifespan 7

Week Eleven:                                                  

Class Twenty-One (4/25):           Chapter Eleven: The Movement Toward “Public Journalism”

Class Twenty-Two (4/27):           Revised third article due; Lifespan 8

Week Twelve:                                                 

Class Twenty-Three (5/2):           Chapter Twelve: The Growth of the Discussion Boards and the Birth of the Blogs

Class Twenty-Four (5/4):            Fourth article due; Lifespan 9

Week Thirteen:                                               

Class Twenty-Five (5/9):             Chapter Thirteen: 9/11 and the Rise of the Blogosphere

Class Twenty-Six (5/11):             Fourth editing assignment completed; Review

Week Fourteen:                      

Class Twenty-Seven (5/16):         Chapter Fourteen: Research, Rathergate, and the Power of the Blogs

Class Twenty-Eight (5/18):          Witness; revised fourth article due

Week Fifteen:              

Class Twenty-Nine (5/23):           Witness; Chapter Fifteen: Political Reclamation and “Citizen Journalism”

Class Thirty (5/25):                     Final

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