How can teachers change their biases towards the students?
Assignment Three: Online Story
DUE: 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3, on Compass
Turn in a 300- to 500-word story for an online University of Illinois campus audience, written in a style to
optimize its likelihood of appearing in results displayed by a Web search engine. Those techniques will be
described in class and will be available in the content folder for Week 6.
You may choose to write about ethics in journalism OR ethics in your own major or minor area of study.
Some sources are supplied for you. You must supply some yourself. These can be documents, experts,
ordinary people, or a combination. The topic of ethics is very general, so you need to find a specific story
idea. The best story ideas answer one specific question that starts with how what or why. (Here are some
examples: How does Twitter lend itself to bias? How has the Society of Professional Journalists updated
its Code of Ethics? What consideration does a news organization make when deciding how or if to cover
death by suicide? What does Sportswriter XYZ say is her biggest ethical problem?)
1. Write a story from the assigned topic areas.
2. List five keywords from the story that people would use to search the Web for such a topic.
3. Write a 300- to 500-word story. No more or less. (Do not include the headline, keywords, or
source list in the word count. Count the body of the story only.)
4. Include information from at least three sources (One person, one document, and one additional
document or person. No relatives or close friends without prior permission.
5. Write a story that is optimized for Web search engines. Your story will be evaluated based on
information, accuracy, and adherence to the advice given in class about how to write for search
engine optimization and with links that fit the narrative flow.
6. Use the five keywords within the first two paragraphs of your story and throughout the story.
7. Include at least two web links in your story, with one being near or at the end of your story.
8. Write a five- to seven-word headline for the story that uses a present tense verb and most of your
9. Follow this format as you type:
• Your Name
• Five keywords
• Source List
You must use at least one human source who is not your close acquaintance or friend. You may use
either guest speaker Stephanie Craft or John Hockenberry as a source based on their comments to the
class. You may want to interview other people to get good material, and you must include quotations
from at least one person who is identified by name and affiliation. At the end of your story, make an
informal source list. Include websites and background resources. Include contact information for your
interviewees at the end of your story. The instructor may verify the interviews.
For both direct and indirect quotations, be sure to attribute your information to a document, to your
interviewees, or to other sources. You may quote or paraphrase portions of any document – such as the
SPJ Code of Ethics, for example – with credit given to the document. Most of the words in your story
should be your own and incorporate your interviews and evidence. Remember that you cannot use
information from other news outlets. For example, instead of quoting the Associated Press, track down
the sources the AP used and quote those documents or people from your own direct contact if you want
to use the information.
Be sure to answer the who, what, when, where, and why of your story, and the how.
Grading — 100 points total:
• Information, accuracy, and time element – 25 points
• Information is properly quoted and/or attributed to sources; source listed is included –20 points
• Grammar and punctuation – 25 points
• Keywords are identified and are used in the headline and near the top of the story – 20 points
• At least two related web links are used, including one near the end of the story. Anchor text reads
as part of the narrative – 10 points
• Story is on time. (Without prior arrangement, late work received within one week of the due date
will be eligible for only half credit. No credit if more than one week late.)
Potential Sources (These are only some possibilities. You can find different ones – particularly if you
decide to write about a specific journalist or about the ethics of a profession other than journalism.)
• Professor Stephanie Craft (in class Sept. 26)
• Journalist John Hockenberry (in class Monday, Sept. 29, 2 p.m. only; see Announcements in
Compass for other campus appearances) http://www.thetakeaway.org/people/john-hockenberry/
• A journalist whose work you follow and who will allow you to interview him or her.
• Society of Professional Journalists http://www.spj.org/ethicscode-revision.asp
• SPJ Code of Ethics http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp
• Code of Ethics in your desired profession.
• Professional or professor in your field.
• A person who is a subject of a news story with ethical implications.
• And many more …
|Academic Level||College (1-2 years: Freshmen, Sophomore)|
|Subject Area||English 101|
|Number of Pages||2 Page(s)/550 words|