Intro to
News Reporting

Dr. Barry Hollander
Room 229 Journalism

9:05 - 9:55 a.m.
Mondays and Wednesdays
Labs at other times

Our Class Calendar
UGA's Academic Calendar
Hollander's Lab


Do the course evals here. Remember to be clear what you're evaluating (the lecture vs. the lab).

UPDATE -- Test scores already in. Class average 85.5, with at least a coupla 100s, so in other words if someone can get a perfect score, my questions are practically perfect in every way.


In JOUR3410 we focus on three skills: recognizing what is news, learning how to gather it, then finding the best way to tell true stories. Journalism is storytelling with a purpose.

This is a lecture-lab format. I run the lecture and teach a lab; others also teach labs. Two-thirds of your grade comes from the lab, one-third from the lecture. Lectures are largely about reporting, how to find information or interview people, labs are more about writing, but expect ocassional overlap.

Also, I give lots of leeway to the labs, so what we talk about in lecture may not (and often will not) necessarily dovetail with what you talk about in lab. It's okay. Don't panic.



* Carole Rich's Writing and Reporting News, 7th Edition. Buy it now. Make sure you get the right edition.

* An Associated Press stylebook. You will need it in later classes in journalism AND public relations. Get the latest version and keep it.

Your lab instructor may require you bring both to lab. Assume so unless told otherwise.

For you obsessive-compulsive types, the tentative weights in the lecture are as follows: 30 percent from each of three exams. For you non-math majors, that equals 90 percent. That extra 10 percent for pop quizzes, you washing my car, etc.

I reserve the right to quiz you on chapters you should have read for that week, so when I have on the calendar that you should read the text, I mean it. By Monday. If we fail to have enough "stuff" in the semester, I'll shift weight back to the exams and make them something else, like 33..655%. Or the square root of Pi. Math is fun.

What's an overall A? 93 and up. 90-92 is A-. 87-89 is B+. 83-86 is B. And so on. UGA doesn't have an F- but, dammit, it ought to.

You may make up an exam only if you arrange for it in advance. Let me say this again but use all my various typographic options to make it stand out -- only in advance. If you miss an exam and don't communicate with me -- either by email or my office phone before the end of the class period in which the exam is given -- you may NOT take a makeup. All approved make ups are essay exams. Yes, essays, as in 5-10 questions that require long, profound answers. Feel profound? Here's your chance.

My advice? Be there on test day and don't come with any sad stories. Just drop.

DO NOT at the end of the semester email me whining about your grade. This is not high school or a private school where you can intimidate an underpaid teacher into changing a grade because mumsy and dadsy paid loads of money for overindulged BMW-driving yuppie larvae to hang out with other overindulged BMW-driving yuppie larvae. I am indifferent to your plight when it comes to grades. I get paid regardless.



The web page is the syllabus. Check here often for changes, random thoughts, schedules, and updates. Here are a few important rules to remember: No cheating, no stealing, no spitting or public scratching, no calling me at home, no begging, no bribes, and no mentioning Hope Scholarship.

When class begins, neither laptops nor cell phones are to be visible. No checking messages, no texting, no receiving calls. No Facebook, no Twitter. Survive 50 minutes disconnected from the collective. Exceptions only if you have a UGA-approved notetaking disability counter-signed by the University president and the Pope, otherwise it's important for you to know how to take notes on paper. A survey I read the other day had 90 percent of students admitting they text or check email during class. Not here.

You get three free misses in lecture. That's 10 percent of the course. That's a week-and-a-half of class. On the fourth miss it's a drop of 5 points from your lecture numeric grade. There are no excused absences, no unexcused misses. I don't want to hear why you did not attend class, so don't email me to say why you missed unless it's something extraordinary, like Ebola. On your fifth miss, it's 10 more points off. On your sixth miss, 15 points. I can keep going if you like, all the way to an F for the lecture. Unfortunately I can't go any lower than that (don't think I haven't tried!).

Here's some advice: save up your absences for that sudden illness or unexpected family death or family trip and spend them wisely. Attendance is expected; a lack of attendance hurts your grade. If tardiness becomes an issue, such as people walking in late, I will use the Tardy Roll in which each tardy counts as a half-absence. And you may also get to wear the dreaded Tardy Sorting Hat during class -- it spends most of class time insulting the wearer.

Never ever ask me if I did a roll the previous class or how many classes you've missed. I don't compute this until the end of the semester, often long after you've left campus. Save your absences for emergencies, illnesses, the deaths of multiple grand-uncles, or for those lousy Monday mornings where it's raining and you can't get out of bed. Do the counting of misses yourself. C'mon, you're in college. And yes, 9:05 a.m. is early, but it's not THAT early. Jeez.

Boilerplate Stuff: Read It! Live it!

* All academic work must meet the standards contained in  "A Culture of Honesty." Each student is responsible for reading these lengthy, verbose, carefully crafted standards. Basically, know the rules and follow them -- or else.

* The syllabus is a general plan for the course; deviations announced to the class by the instructor may be necessary, which is a fancy way of saying the instructor reserves the right to change things whenever he damn well pleases. He's that kind of guy. The web page trumps the syllabus, either in a game of Spades, Rook, or in real life. Check here often. Make it your home page. Tell your friends.

* Cheating may be harmful to your health. Hollander ignores the official university process for cheaters and dreams up his own awful things to do to those he catches. Do not tempt his imagination. He is a sick man. Plus he was a cop reporter for years. He knows people who will kill people. For $20.

* Any cell phones or laptops being used during class will be confiscated and Hollander will do terrible things with them behind the podium. Do you really want to touch it afterward? No, I didn't think so.

* Don't break the rules because we write them. You can't win. We own you.














































and Monday's Date

If a box is gray we've finished that week

Stuff We'll Do
Remember you are responsible for readings by Monday of that week unless otherwise noted below. Beware of quizzes. Also note that your lab may assign chapters from the text at different times than the lecture. Hell, you may get quizzed twice on the same chapter. How cruel is that?

Remember the information below changes often as I get word of possible guest speakers or we get ahead, or behind, in material. Check here often. I'm still fiddling.


1 (1/6)

Read Rich, chapters 1-2, by Wednesday.

Monday: Intro class, how it all works (or sometimes doesn't work). Drink coffee. Group hug. Explain why you're actually here, why my voice only halfway works due to the permanent loss of one vocal cord (violins will play, angels will weep, I'll add something adult to my coffee).

Wednesday: Ignore those who didn't come Monday and instead talk about what is news and the criteria of what makes something news (see your text, and my powerpoints).


2 (1/13)

Read Rich, Read Rich, chapters 5-7.

Monday: The four ways we find news. Also, a brief survey.

Wednesday: Perhaps a bit more on the four ways above, especially on observation and interviewing and whether we can we record someone. Other material as I see fit, even a bit of video.


3 (1/20)

Chapters 3, 17.

Monday: MLK = no class. Do a service thing.

Wednesday: How beats organize the world. Why beats are great. Why beats suck. Finding story ideas.


4 (1/27)

Rich, Chapters 13-14

Monday: Third places, beats, and covering what people care about, covering what people should know about, and the tension between the two. How people learn about stuff (also used in week 7). Also, news habits.

Wednesday: Law & Ethics, a primer. See the SPJ Code of Ethics. Ethical challenges. Moral reasoning. And the Principles of Journalism.


5 (2/3)


Monday: All the stuff we should have done above we do today.

Wednesday: More stuff. NO EXAM this day. It's pushed to Monday, so I'll finish up lecturing on stuff and review for the exam on Monday.


6 (2/10)

Chapter 18

Monday: Test is now on THIS DAY. Bring a pencil for the Scantron forms, know your 810 number.

Wednesday: Speeches and meetings.


7 (2/17)


Monday: Covering local government.

Wednesday: More about local government. And some on this report. Other topics squeezed in here.


8 (2/24)

Review Chapter 18

NOTE: On Thursday, 2/27, Grady College Room 412, at 2 p.m., the editor-in-chief of (David Daley) will speak. My lab, that's where we'll meet.

Monday: Meetings and local government.

Wednesday: Meetings and local government.


9 (3/3)

Chapter 20


Monday: Covering crime and punishment. Blotters and incident reports and all the rest. We'll visit the campus police site and the Athens-Clarke site. The Athens Banner-Herald blotter and other info on that page for other counties.More on cops, perhaps some on tragedies and disasters, which uses the Dart Center's web site. ALSO, brief review for exam on Wednesday.

Wednesday: Exam 2. Like Exam 1 but with different questions. Beware, lots of questions likely from text.


10 (3/10)

Spring Break! Go break something.


11 (3/17)

Read Chapters 20 (refresher) and 21.

Monday: Welcome back. More on crime and punishment.

Wednesday: More on crime and punishment, other stuff.


12 (3/24)

Rich, Chapter 17

Stories are everywhere and other essays on craft

Monday: Profiles and features. Read Mrs. Kelly's Monster before class. A great site for terrific narrative journalism is here and one on longform journalism here. I'll probably use some in class. If you love writing, this site should become a favorite place to visit. Also, the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. Oh, and here's a local government story told in a different way.

Wednesday: More on features, profiles, and other stuff.


13 (3/31)

Monday: Digital portfolio stuff, likely on Monday. Expect some of this in your labs this week as well. More to come. Her slides from lecture are here. Lemme know if it won't work for you, assuming you'd like to see it. Here's her handout. Here's the tutorial.

Wednesday: Special topics: Pulitzer photo video.


14 (4/7)

Monday: Data journalism, writing with numbers, computer-assisted reporting. Because, yes, math matters. IRE ExtraExtra

Wednesday: More on social science, data, numbers, and math tests.


15 (4/14)

Monday: Special topics. Pulitzer Prizes announced today. This could be my year. Otherwise we're talking about public opinion polls, more on numbers, and other stuff.

Wednesday: Special topics. By now, we'll know it wasn't my Pulitzer year. Finish that Pulitzer video in honor of me not winning, yet again, a Pulitzer.


16 (4/21)

Monday: Review for Exam 3. Here's the Exam 3 FAQ:

1. How long will it be? Forty, maybe 50 questions. Same structure as before.
2. What text chapters? 17, 20, and it's possible I'll pull a question or two from 19 (numbers stuff, like mean vs median) and 21.
3. What will you focus on? My lectures, videos, etc. Expect stuff on courts, data journalism, features, stories told in class. Videos are fair game.
4. When we know our grade? In May. Maybe. Takes a while for the lab instructors to get me their grades. DO NOT EMAIL ME ASKING FOR A GRADE.
5. "But ... I'm obsessive compulsive about grades." Find me in my office. I'm always around (Room 229 Journalism). I'll have tests back in a coupla days from you taking it.
6. Where can I donate to the Barry Hollander Deserves a Pulitzer Foundation? Send checks to A.H., circa 1945, Berlin.

Wednesday: Exam 3. Bring a pencil.

  17 (4/28) No class. You're welcome. Go away, you rotten kids, and stay the hell off my lawn. Oh, wait, that's what I yell at home...



















































































































New study how people get news.


video on public records


Ccomputer-assisted reporting, writing with numbers. Remember the immortal words of that great philospher Barbie, who famously said: "Math class is tough."More on writing with numbers, covering public opinion, etc., from the Literary Digest disaster of 1936 to today. Looking at some good analytic journalism stories. To make my life simple, the links are guns, gangs, student fees, low-income students, empty homes, income drops, traffic stops, and fish. May not use 'em all. Plus have some hard copy ones I may show.


cancer | Danielle | gambling | school | baseball | one roof |




Finish up features. Discuss the dangers of angry roosters. I'll show some stories, we'll talk a bit about this one. But lots of narrative can be found in the latest Pulitzers, not only in features.



USAToday ghost factories series


Twitter video on journalism



crap I may or may not use


Writing ledes
Polishing and tightening

More on multimedia. Here are the 2010 online journalism finalsts. Below are some stories I may visit to discuss multimedia work.

cancer | Danielle | gambling | school | baseball | one roof | Taliban | Galapagos


Dying Medium


nd as a side note -- I've not won a Pulitzer. Yet.




green beans









internship info



videos about polls here and here

Rich, chap 12
1 2 3 4 5

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6


Places in class I often visit

Funny police blotters
Obscure Store
Offbeat AP news
Al's Morning Meeting
Google News
ABH's AP National News
AJC National/Intl News
Regret the Error
Pulitzer Prizes
Nieman Narratives stuff today

Story links

Look at some good multimedia stuff being done today in journalism. Stories here, here, here, here, here, and here.

this and this

Short mag video



Fracking News Version


Fracking Colbert Version