Introduction to Journalism
& Public Relations
Developed by Jennifer Cox
This course introduces communication
arts majors and minors to journalistic public relations
writing. Students learn how to write in proper media
format (AP style) and practice by writing and reporting
several news articles throughout the semester. Students
also have the opportunity to learn public relations
skills by writing press releases and designing media
kits for on-campus organizations. They also learn a bit
about communicating on the web with blogging.
One of the main objectives of the
class is to familiarize students with AP style – a form
of writing used universally in journalism and public
relations in the U.S. The AP Stylebook dictates how
certain words or phrases should be written to homogenize
writing in these fields.
Students practice this style of writing by taking four
pop quizzes throughout the semester. They are also
graded on AP style in all of their writing assignments,
suffering a 5-point deduction for each style error.
The class is a prerequisite to an
upper-level writing course, Writing for the Professions.
For that class, students are expected to have mastered
the basics of journalism and public relations writing
and will be asked to elevate their writing and reporting
to the next level. Following the completion of this
course, students have the option to take various other
writing/reporting courses, such as Public Affairs
Reporting and Environmental or Sports Communication.
Formal Writing Assignments
Reported Feature Story
Informal Writing Assignment