Note: The Mass Communication Department faculty at Texas State University adopted this plan for its “Writing for the Mass Media” class beginning in the Fall of 2002.
A plan for MC 1313
Having participated in two semesters, and numerous behind-the-scenes discussions, of MC1313 I present the following plan, for what it’s worth. I believe it will be reasonable to implement this plan in the fall of 2002, and I am willing to work toward that. The plan addresses the key issues which have come up during meetings I have had with faculty members who have a interest in this course, my fellow teaching assistants, and students. Those issues are summarized below in no particular order.
How can this course stress a news-writing perspective and, at the same time, be meaningful to advertising students who have no plans or desire to be news writers? How can this course stress writing for print media as the “father” of all media writing and, at the same time, be meaningful to broadcast students? How can this course promote the idea amongst public relations students that writing for all types of media, especially the print media, will be crucial to their professional lives? How can this course promote an overall interest in journalism and current events? How can this course inspire involvement in the student media? How can this course provide useful, real-world media experience which students can cite in applying for jobs and internships? How can this course promote risk-taking in writers while, at the same time, demand that students adhere to the many “formulaic” standards of journalism writing. My original idea was to explain here precisely how this plan addresses each of those issues. A better plan, however, is to ask the reader to carefully examine the following pages to decide, for himself, if the course adequately addresses the issues. Before the reader proceeds, it should be noted that this course follows the general model of many successful writing courses, including those taught by the course’s textbook author and by professors in the SWT English Department’s creative writing program.