Professor: Dr. Mark Noonan / / 917-575-0339

Weekly Office Hours:  Tuesdays (4 – 5 pm) or by Appointment

Course Description

This course has two main components: first, a history of journalism and, second, experience creating a wide range of journalistic pieces. Students will gain an understanding of the issues surrounding journalism in the United States as they have developed over the past two centuries, and will apply what they have learned in their writing tasks.

Course Objectives: to develop an appreciation of the importance of a free press and the role of a free press within a democracy; to consider  various types of journalistic writing and its history;  to understand the concept of gatekeeping and its importance to responsible reporting and publishing (vs. “fake news”); to learn to write news with special attention to objectivity, accuracy and fairness;  to consider the ethical issues faced by contemporary journalists. to understand the impact of economic conglomeration on news agencies; to evaluate alternatives to mainstream journalism; to examine the rise of social media and mobile journalism.

Among other responsibilities, journalists need to stay abreast of the news. If they don’t have one already, students are encouraged to cultivate a daily news-reading habit. In today’s rich news environment there are many ways to do this, from subscribing to a traditional print newspaper to visiting web-based news sites such as to downloading mobile apps from AP, Reuters or another news service.  I am requiring students to create a free New York Times app for their phone.  I also recommend subscribing to WNYC’s On The Media  podcast streaming app. New episodes air on Fridays.

 To encourage students to think critically about reporting and writing, each class will focus, in part, on what’s “in the news” and its relevance to the study of journalism.  Rather than a Twitter account (which I encourage you to create), our OpenLab course site will serve as our collective “sounding board” and “newsroom.”

Course Tools

  • OpenLab  course site
  • Zoom office hours (recorded and shared)
  • Email (check your City Tech email regularly)
  • Google Drive (for assignment collection)

Grading Breakdown

Unit 1           Student Profile Assignment                                                                                                        25%

Unit 2           Op Ed Assignment                                                                                                                             25%

Unit 3            Feature Writing Assignment                                                                                                     25%

Participation (OpenLab posts)                                                                                                                           25%                             

Required Materials

  • Syllabus texts, linked on the course schedule
  • The New York Times(create a free Academic Pass account with your City Tech email)

Policies and Procedures

Participation      Though we are not in a physical classroom, we are still a community. Respect for everyone in our course (not just the professor) is crucial.

Accessibility Statement 

Your success in this class is important to me. We all need different accommodations because we all learn differently. If there are aspects of this course that prevent you from learning or exclude you, please let me know as soon as possible. Together we will develop strategies to meet both your needs and the requirements of the course. If you have or think you may have a disability, you may be eligible for reasonable accommodations or academic adjustments as provided under applicable federal, state and city laws. You may also request services for temporary conditions or medical issues under certain circumstances. The Center for Student Accessibility can be reached at 718-260-5143 or . Visit

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.

Support Resources

The transition to college is challenging for everyone. It is helpful to periodically reflect on how you are doing in your classes, and how your anticipated area of study (major) is progressing, as well as to plan next steps. Academic advisors are able to help you navigate these paths. If you are in SEEK or ASAP or have declared your major, you have an assigned advisor with whom to schedule appointments. Others should seek out appointments with Dr. Julian Williams, Director of Liberal Arts & Sciences,


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