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Introduction to Journalism

Introduction to Journalism


Introduction to Journalism is a full credit introductory course. It is a writing intensive course. The course is designed to teach students to gather, process, and disseminate the news and information related to the news to an audience. It applies to both the method of inquiry for news and the literary style, which is used to disseminate it.


The course will develop student’s journalistic abilities with the EXPECTATION that the student will join either The Fuel, the student newspaper, or The Rocket, yearbook staff, as a writer, photographer, or support staff, after earning a passing grade in the course AND being accepted.


Course Objectives


Students will cover basic journalism concepts: mass communication, mass mediums, global media, the history of journalism, the first amendment, copyright and plagiarism, law and ethics, the role of journalist, interviewing, newspaper and yearbook, photojournalism, public relations and Adobe InDesign and Photoshop.


  1. The student will demonstrate an understanding of media development, press law, and responsibility.
  2. The student will demonstrate an understanding of the different forms of media and the different types of journalistic writing.
  3. The student will report and write for a variety of audiences and purposes and researches self-selected topics to write journalistic copy.
  4. The student will demonstrate understanding of the principles of publishing through design using available technologies, including Adobe software and Canon cameras.
  5. The student will demonstrate an understanding of the economics of publishing.


Required Materials


Although there is a textbook assigned for this course by the district and state, we will NOT be using a textbook in this class. All you will need is a SPIRAL. You are responsible for your notes.


General Class Policies


1. No Bullying…whatsoever! It will be addressed very quickly.
2. No Disrespect! The course will test people’s comfort level, so we are all in the same boat.
3. Dress Code: If it needs to be addressed, it is a problem.
4. Technology: Keep personal music, iPods, and cell phones off during instruction!
5. Proper English! To a certain extent, I will not respond to constant slang.
6. Common Sense: If you should not be doing something, then don’t! If you use common sense, then we will get along just fine. If you are not using common sense, then we may have some issues to work out.


Attendance and Grading


I completely understand that students will miss class due to extracurricular activities, medical issues, or whatever may cause an absence. Nevertheless, students are responsible for any work missed due to an absence. All assignments are to be turned in ON TIME. Failure to do so will result in an 11 points deduction per day! A student will have the same number of days to turn in any missed work as the number of days he/she was absent from class.


Any tests or quizzes missed will not be made up in class, but must be made up before/after school during tutoring times or during advisory three days after the test was return. Arrangements need to be made with prior to making up a missed test/quiz. Failure to make up ANY missed work will result in a grade of zero.


Test – 40% | Quiz/Daily Work – 50% | Homework – 10%

Text Alerts

You can now receive text alerts from Mr. Cabrera about what is going on in class! Here is how you sign up: Find your class, and text the message displayed below to 81010. For example, if John Doe is in Mr. Cabrera’s introduction to journalism course, he would text @jhsjourn" to 81010. I use this often to remind students of upcoming homework assignments, quizzes, test, assignments, and any other reminders that need to be sent out immediately. Remind 101 is a safe way for teachers to text message students and stay in touch with parents. The program does NOT allow me to view student's numbers, nor are students allowed to see my personal number.