Effective journalism requires creating a story that is readily understandable to a mass audience. This course provides an introduction to the basics of journalism, including its history, the parts of the newspaper, the inverted pyramid, AP style and journalism, and the First Amendment. Students will investigate the boundaries of ethics and the law that journalists have to consider, including libel. Students will learn how to gather and write the news, covering the steps that need to be taken from initial inquiry to finished product. Also included is a study of editorials and editorial cartoons. Finally, students will explore the three distinct sections of the newspaper: feature stories, reviews, and special sections. They will learn how to identify quality writing in these sections and how to author pieces for them.

PRE-REQUISITES: Language Arts 9

ESTIMATED COMPLETION TIME: 16-18 weeks or approximately 65 – 75 hours


Journalism Basics

  • Three Basic Rules of Good Journalism
  • The History of Journalism
  • Parts of a Newspaper
  • Inverted Pyramids
  • The Basics of AP Style
  • Journalism and the First Amendment

Ethics and the Law

  • Introduction to Ethics and Media Law
  • An In-Depth Look at Libel
  • Determining Ethical Boundaries
  • Viewing Media as Consumers

Gathering and Writing the News

  • Selecting a Topic and Finding an Angle
  • Interviewing Skills
  • Writing a Solid News Lead
  • Researching and Verifying Information
  • Copy Editing


Editorial Writing

  • Identifying Editorial Writing
  • Types of Editorials
  • Writing Editorials
  • Editorial Cartoons

Feature Stories and Reviews

  • Recognizing Feature Stories
  • Writing Features for Different Purposes
  • Writing Reviews
  • Special Sections