Objective: To provide students practical, supervised experience in editing, editorial/column writing, feature writing, news writing, photojournalism, reporting, sports writing, layout and Web site maintenance.
Prerequisites: Introduction to News Writing (Communications 200), or instructor's permission
Grading: This course is graded on a pass/fail basis, with passing grades predicated on quantitative (an average of five hours work per week minimum is required) and qualitative contributions to The Pacer. Students will not be given credit for standing around or not showing up. The grading process is simple: At the end of the semester, you should have demonstrated at least 60 hours of work to pass the course. Because of the nature of this course, I do not issue incompletes.
Verification of five-hour average: The burden of proof is on you to document a minimum average of five hours per week for at least 12 weeks. You are required to submit time sheets each week that indicate your news activities, time devoted to each activity, and person/people with whom you worked (Pacer staff member, story source, etc.). Time sheets may be obtained from my office, and must be completely filled out and signed by a Pacer staff member before they are given to me. I do not sign time sheets. Paid staff members for Pacer or Spirit are not required to fill out time sheets for this course.
How to accumulate sufficient hours: The secret to devoting the required time is to make yourself available for stories and other duties as required. First of all, come to the staff meetings. That counts one hour. Also, make sure you sign up for a story during each meeting. You should also plan to help the staff during deadline crunch time on Monday nights, particularly if asked by a staff member to do so. Not doing the above activities will hurt you terribly in terms of completing the required 60 hours of work for this course.
Office hours: This course is self-fulfilling. In other words, you must take the responsibility for completion of your day-to-day tasks and getting your time sheets signed by Pacer staff members. I am available to answer all questions and address any problems that arise; however, I am not in The Pacer office enough to know whether you have done all that you have been asked to do. I rely upon my paid staff to apprise me of problems with non-paid practicum students. Keep the lines of communication open with me and with them.