• Journalism 1/2/3 


    Course Overview and Classroom Expectations


    You are historians, journalists, and artists putting together a series of newspapers that will be saved for many years to come. What you do in this room directly affects every person in the Hudson City School District -  but that’s not all. It also affects members of the whole Hudson community, students of HHS and their families, and your own future 38-, 58- and 78-year-old selves. It is an honor and a big responsibility to be a part of the journalism staff! Thank you for making the commitment!


    A True Journalistic Product…

    …has credibility with its audience; it contains facts and can be used for record keeping. A journalistic approach will teach you skills in business, graphic design, visual communication, writing, photography and collaborative relationships - all which will serve you in whatever field you decide to pursue in the future. 


    Philosophy: Journalism is not a class for those looking for an easy “A”. The production of a newspaper takes hard-work, cooperation, dedication, patience, and passion. If you are a hard worker, have school pride, enjoy extra-curricular activities, taking pictures, writing, design, then you’re in the right place. I look forward to helping you produce a glimpse into your high school life, and hope you do too!


    Because this class is unique, I will treat the class as an office job. You are expected to be in class, on time, and ready to work with all the materials you will need for the day. We will set goals every week and monitor those goals to see that we meet them. The newspaper club will meet on Tuesdays after school (feel free to join!), and the entire staff will have a couple late night meetings as needed to meet deadlines (I’ll provide the pizza and snacks!).



    (1 semester, ½ credit, Grade 10-12)

    Students learn journalism history, law and ethics, as well as how to write for the media. Select articles will be considered for publication in The Explorer newspaper.



    (Full year, 1 credit, Grades 11-12)

    Junior and seniors learn editing and page design skills, serve as editors, and brainstorm ideas to write and publish six issues of The Explorer newspaper. Students will learn how to use the publishing program, Adobe InDesign, and how to design paper layouts during their first quarter. Students are required to solicit advertising to support the paper. Some after-school time will be required to help meet deadlines during production periods.


    (Full year, 1 credit, Grade 12)

    These seniors learn advanced editing and page design skills, serve as editors, and brainstorm ideas to write and publish six issues of The Explorers newspaper, in conjunction with the journalism II class. Students are required to solicit advertising to support the paper. Some after-school time also will be required to help meet deadlines during production periods. 


    Journalism 1 Course Outline

    Week 1-2: Introductory Activities

    • Basic headline writing, autobiographical article, the role of the news, types of news, survey of on-line and print news publications.

    Weeks 2-3: Advertising

    • Role and purpose of advertising types of ads, budget and advertising needs.

    Weeks 3-5: history of newspapers and journalism

    • Yellow journalism, partisan press, inverted pyramid, muckraking, Publick Occurrences and the Boston News Letter, sensationalism, First Amendment.

    Weeks 5-6: What is News?

    • News judgement, newspaper structure, elements of newsworthiness, fake news, gatekeepers, wire service, top story, news  hole, news flow, news judgement, beat, local angle.

    Weeks 7-10: Writing Opinion Pieces

    • Editorials, columns (syndicated humor, editorial, gossip, specialized columns, blogs), writing a review, masthead, letters to the editor, jargon, op-ed page.

    Weeks 10-14: Finding Sources and Interviewing Skills

    • Types of sources (physical, human, computer), 5 W’s and the H, stock questions, body language, note-taking skills, handling a tough interview, writing the Q & A, off the record, anonymous sources, polls and surveys, Freedom of Information Act.

    Weeks 14-16: Writing News and Feature Articles and Using Quotations

    • How to write a news article, lead sentence writing, organizational pattern, AP Style basics, hard/soft news nut graf, inverted pyramid, editorializing.
    • Quotes vs. paraphrasing, attribution, obscene language, sound bites, pull quote

    Final Weeks: Paginating and Layout and Meeting Ethical and Legal Responsibilities

    • Adobe InDesign and Photoshop, layout style and guide, dummy and dummying skills.
    • The role of ethics, responsibilities of journalists, credibility, accuracy, objectivity, libel, censorship, 9 area of unprotected speech, court cases.

    Final Exam: objective exam covering key terms and concepts.


    Journalism 2 and 3 Course Outline

    Quarter 1

    • Advertising, budget, editor responsibilities, brainstorming, writing for the newspaper, paginating and layout, dummying skills, editor-led discussions, layouts, finalizing monthly newspapers.

    Quarter 2

    • Writing for the newspaper, brainstorming, editors lead discussions, pagination, AP Style review, grammar review, peer editing, in-depth reporting, finalizing monthly newspapers.

    Quarters 3 and 4

    • Photography, brainstorming, writing a feature article, photo composition, paginating and layout, editor discussions, finalizing monthly newspapers.

    Text & Materials

    • J1 students will be working with the textbook Journalism Matters. J2 and J3 students will be given supplemental materials throughout the year. Students will also become familiar with the Adobe Creative Suite design application Photoshop and Illustrator.
    • You will need pens, pencils, highlighters, a flash drive, a reporter’s notebook, a 1-inch binder, headphones (if you want to listen to music as you work), and some sort of recording device (your phone is ok). 


    Outside-of-School Work

    Most of the work will be done in class, but since you are capturing the year through pictures, captions, and articles you will be required to attend extra-curricular activities. 


    Late Work

    Journalism students will be expected to meet all deadlines! Therefore there is no such thing as late work. You are more than welcome to work in the lab before school, during a study hall, or after school - just let me know if you need this time and I will make it work.



    This class involves cooperation, time management, and responsibility. All students will be expected to “pull their own weight” in order for the newspaper to be successful. Students will be expected to work together and communicate problems or concerns about the newspaper to the adviser and editors.


    Your grade will be determined through the following:

    Class Work - 15%

    Pages - 50%

    Pictures - 15%

    Daily Participation - 10%

    Ad Sales - 10%



    Every person on the journalism staff is expected to attend at least eight games/events (4 events for J1 students). This will consist of checking out a digital camera (or using your own), going to the event, and photographing the event. Students will sign up for events as they are announced. EVENTS DO NOT JUST HAPPEN DURING THE WEEK AND THEREFORE STUDENTS WILL BE ASKED TO ATTEND SOME WEEKEND EVENTS FOR PICTURES.


    Photo Shoot Expectations:

    • At least 20 QUALITY pictures will be taken per event.

    Several other photo assignments will be given to cover classroom activities, clubs, etc.


    Ad Sales

    Students will be required to visit local businesses in the surrounding communities to sell newspaper ads. This is what helps support our paper as well as build communication skills, social skills, and money management. Each ad agreement will require a student signature and a signature from a member of the business. If students do not sell ads it will affect their overall grade.



    Students are required to monitor and meet all deadlines within this course. Meeting deadlines will be part of the student’s grade.



    It is YOUR responsibility to obtain assignments from any absence. You have as many days to complete the assignment as you were absent.


    ***Regardless if you are gone for an activity absence or regular absence your deadlines must be met. You will have had plenty of time to get the work completed. Time management is key.***


    Journalism is much more than a class and you should consider yourselves a family with the same goal in mind:  to produce a timely, accurate reporting of the life and times at HHS. Responsibility is a huge part of the family.  If one member fails to call in an absence and misses an interview, an ad sale, a news event, etc…the layout and the content of the entire paper may be thrown off course and delay our GOAL.  


    Members of the press need to remember to conduct themselves appropriately and be respectful of those in our environment.  Our opinions and editorials require factual information upon which we write and publish such opinions and editorials. Freedom of the press does not mean a right to write whatever we want; we must always find a balance as to the newsworthiness of material and as to how people on both sides of an issue may feel.


    Only together may we produce an exceptional representation of ourselves and our community in which people may reflect back upon in years to come!