With Professor Jeffrey Basinger


"You need to learn to write on deadline, and you need to learn to write about a variety of things."

-Katie Couric


  1. Review the History of Journalism, super fast!

There has ALWAYS been a need to tell stories and know what's going on. Cave Paintings, Town Criers, Messengers, etc.

The first American newspaper, (1690)

The Penny Press, (1830s)

Telegrams (Morse in 1840s) to 
Telephones, (Bell in 1876)

NBC and CBS begin commercial TV broadcasts (1939)

CNN, First 24-hour News Channel (1980)

Blogger, First internet self-publishing platform (1999)

The Smartphone, aka the Black Mirror. (2006/2007)

2.   Thoughts? What is thematically the biggest change through each step in Journalism’s evolution?



AND Looking at the (abridged) history and reading from your text…

 What is the essence of journalism? What is the point of it? What’s the value of it?


Professor Basinger's thought: 
       "Journalism is an indicator species."

Is journalism dying? 

Do we still have newspapers? Do we still have radio broadcasts? TV News? 

Is it a dying industry? 

The numbers show it's evolving from Print to Digital. 

(Small Newspapers are dying, but digital sources of news are growing).

    Let's look at the numbers...

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

39000 News Analysts, Reporters and Journalists.

New York and DC: Mean Salary is about $100,000 

Nationally Mean Salary is about $60,000


3.   Making teams


Step 1: Meet your teammates (Sit Near Each Other)


Step 2: Think of a surprising event (which you are willing to share) from your life. Maybe it’s the time your kayak flipped and you almost drowned. Maybe it’s the time you saw Florence Welch from Florence and the Machine doing a photoshoot outside the Barclay’s center right before her concert and she said hi to you. Maybe it’s the first time you had bubble tea and were surprised at how delicious it was and now you can’t get enough. Maybe it’s the time your one-year-old said their first words. Maybe it’s the time you found out one of your ancestors was burned at the stake during the Salem witch trials. These are mine, you can’t use these.


Step 3: Interview one another about a surprising event in their life. Take scrupulous notes and get the “quote.”




Q. Why is the “quote” an important tool for reporting? 












       Gives “first hand” or “primary source” credibility.

       Adds a human element to the story.

       Helps illustrate and make the story more dynamic.









7. What makes a good quote?











   A. The best quotes are pithy, memorable, dramatic, emotional, involve the human experience, are descriptive, and are relevant to the story.




Choose a journalist you admire covering a topic you like. Follow them on some social media platform like twitter. I want you to follow their work over the course of this class. I’ll be asking you to write a brief explanation of who you chose and why.

(Ignore the FOIL request homework).