Communication and Media Studies 204

COMS 204: News Reporting

Prerequisites: COMS 104 or permission of instructor

Credit Hours: (3) Four hours lecture and laboratory

Practice in advanced level reporting and feature writing. The course requires submission of all stories for possible media distribution (e.g., “The Tartan,” “NRV News”). Advanced discussion of ethics, morality, law and responsibility, as well as examination of national and international media issues.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

The course advances many of the techniques and issues introduced in COMS 104: Basic News Writing. Advanced work in reporting and news gathering techniques. Students will improve and refine their skills in covering news beats, performing research, interviewing persons with differing backgrounds, and writing deadline and non-deadline stories. Students will develop their ability to analyze a news beat and how to produce stories and scripts on deadline. There will be a series of advanced discussions on ethics, morality, law and responsibility, as well as examination of international media issues.


Detailed Description of the Conduct of Course

Each reporter is required to produce a series of beat stories, including in-depth news stories. Their work will be submitted for possible media distribution.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Essential objectives are to assist the student in learning (1) advanced skills and techniques of news writing and reporting and (2) developing a mature and complete understanding of the role of the contemporary professional news reporter and the application of standard practices in the news gathering process in the United States and some international media. There will be a continuation of discussion begun in COMS 104: Basic News Writing of the concepts of fairness, objectivity, accuracy, the role of the news media and the reporter in the life of both individuals and society in general.


Assessment Measures

Appropriate levels of advanced skills and understanding will be measured through observation and grading, news writing, news story development, professional discipline and the use of technology.


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

October 2005 Approved Clay Waite, Chair

May, 2011