National University




JRN300 Multimedia Journalism Skills

Lead Faculty: Dr. Sara-Ellen L. Amster Ph.D

Course Description

This class covers the organization of news stories and their preparation for newspaper, online, TV and radio formats and the fundamentals of news journalism, including standards of objectivity, fairness and accuracy. The course focuses on how journalists report the material they ultimately need for their finished stories and provides students with the opportunity to understand what counts as news and how to write focused news stories on deadline. Students learn to identify the structure and basic ingredients of news and master different types of leads and such style conventions as the inverted pyramid, the nutgraph and other non-fiction storytelling techniques.

Learning Outcomes

  • Apply the principle of the inverted pyramid to the construction of a news story
  • Identify the basic ingredients of news
  • Recognize what types of leads were selected by professional writers as they constructed their news stories, whether they appeared in print or online
  • Determine how to find ideas for their work and where to look
  • Study the re-creation of reality and learn how narratives are re-constructed with consideration to accuracy and fairness
  • Learn the skill of observation of your own life and the lives of your neighbors as a technique for gathering story ideas
  • Follow developing news events and discover how to "localize" stories to be of interest to local readers
  • Learn how to cover a general assignment beat and what that involves because it often will be what is expected in your first professional job
  • Gather information with speed and accuracy and take reliable notes
  • Follow an ethical code
  • Write with an audience in mind