JOU3101 (Reporting) is considered by many students to be one of the most difficult Journalism classes at the University of Florida. One of the reasons for this is that the class require s students to get out in the field and do real journalism work, which at times can be tricky and very time-consuming. But with these tips, you can learn the tricks to success in JOU3101.
1. Read The Rubrics For Each Assignment Before You Begin
With any class, it’s always good to read the rubric, but it can be especially important in Reporting. Even if your professor discusses the assignment in class you should still check the rubric because it may contain information that your professor didn’t cover during the lecture. The rubric contains critical information like story length and the number of sources you need to interview for your story. A simple read through of the rubric can help you get the maximum possible number of points on each assignment.
2. Pay Attention To Local Events
Throughout the course, you will be required to write a number of news stories based on events in the local community. Keep up to date on what’s going on around Gainesville so that you can easily brainstorm ideas for new stories. This kind of pre-planning will make the story writing process much easier since you will already have basic background knowledge on the topic you want to write about. Keeping up with local news can also help give you ideas on how to approach the topic from a new angle, making your story more unique.
3. Your Stories Are Key
The stories are your highest weighted assignments during the semester, so it is crucial to do well on them. Make sure you look at the story assignments way in advance of their deadlines so you can begin brainstorming your topic and angle. Give yourself enough time to find events you can attend and people you can interview. Sometimes it can be difficult to do this, especially if you need to interview someone of importance in the community, so you need to make sure you always have a backup plan. It’s also important to write about things you are interested in. Keeping an eye on community news can be a huge help in this planning process. If you can find something you’re interested covering writing the story will be much easier. When that dreaded deadline comes around you don’t want to be caught without a good story.
As a journalist, it’s important to stay connected and this is exactly what JOU3101 tries to instill in its students. It helps students get an understanding of what it’s like working in the field and helps them build a foundation of knowledge that will aid them in future classes. Reporting can be a difficult and time intensive class, but with proper planning and story execution, it’s not a hard class to pass!