Week 1 – Monday, Sept. 14

Welcome to Introduction to Print Journalism




  • Performing Turtle Island: Fluid Identities and Community Continuities on September 17-19 see http://www.performingturtleisland.org





























Assignments due: N/A

Assignments for next week:

  • Preparation for Quiz #1 – Common faults (CP Stylebook, p. 292-301), current affairs and materials from reading and video assignments
  • Reading assignments for next week:
    • Report: CAJ-WhatisJournalism.doc-1
    • Read Newswriting Basics Chapter 3: Chapter3a and Chapter3b and complete all of the exercises for Chapter 3 of Newswriting Basics, which you will find at http://highered.mheducation.com/sites/0073378917/student_view0/chapter3/index.html (Note: this text uses AP Style, which is not exactly like CP Style…although it is close)
    • Read Generating Story Ideas – Chapter 2 in Investigative Journalism Manual (pp. 2: 1-18)
  •  Videos to watch for next week:

“Everyone around you has a story the world needs to hear,” TED Talk by Dave Isay, NPR StoryCorps


“How not to be ignorant about the world,” TED Talk by Hans and Ola Rosline


Do journalists have “A duty of care”?  TED Talk by David Puttnam






  1. Introductions – Student questionnaires and interview exercise
  2. Review Course Outline
  3. CP Style Quiz – punctuation only
  4. What is Journalism?
  5. What is news? What are news values?
  6. Facts versus Opinions
  7. The 5 Ws
  8. Inverted pyramid
  9. Leads/Ledes



Please complete the Student Questionnaire…hand in by noon

Students to pair up and interview their partners to get the following information:

  • Name, home town, background (education, hobbies);
  • What background or experience to they have in journalism…especially print journalism?




BREAK (10 minutes)


3. CP STYLE QUIZ – Skip spelling and just do the punctuation section



See reading assignment for next week: Canadian Association of Journalists. June 2012. What is Journalism?: A Report of the Ethics Advisory Committee. (PDF available in Resources)

Click here for CAJ Report What is Journalism?

  • Why does it matter?


  • What do you think are the characteristics of journalism?


  • What makes someone a journalist?


  • Past attempts to define or describe what journalism is and what journalists do included:
    • news or news judgment;
    • reporting or evidentiary method;
    • linguistic technique (“plain style”);
    • narrative technique; and
    • duty to citizens,
    • independence
    • a discipline of verification
    • a shared  “occupational ideology”
    • public service;
    • objectivity;
    • autonomy;
    • immediacy; and
    • ethics.
    • independent,
    • accurate,
    • open to appraisal,
    • edited, and
    • uncensored.


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CAJ says its not as important how they talk as how they walk (actions speak louder than words) suggest that journalism and journalists demonstrate

  •  a disinterested purpose,
  • the act of creation, and
  • a particular set of methods.

Read CAJ document for next week



  • e.g. Abel Charles story…living a “high-risk lifestyle”
  • in qualitative research, describing your position in relation to the subject…even in quantitative research…
  • objectivity is a relatively new addition to journalism culture (see M. Schudson, 2001)


Examples to consider:

  • Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.

Fact or Opinion?


  • Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.”


  • He has the most liberal voting record of any of the party leaders.


  • Despite the successful track record of U-Passes at about 40 other Canadian universities, establishing a similar program at the U of R has been a long and bumpy ride.


  • Trudeau did himself few favours this week in his interview tin CBC’s Peter Mansbridge.


  • [Omar] Khadr has said in an affidavit that his relatives are not involved in any illegal activity…


  • A 2014 study by Statistics Canada’s former assistant chief statistician Michael Wolfson found that the wealthiest Canadians disproportionately take advantage of the small business tax rate.


  • If we want more good people in politics–more grown-ups as it were–we have to stop treating them like children.


  • The odds facing the Saskatchewan Roughriders are longer than the federal election campaign.


  • A towering construction crane toppled over on Friday during a violent rainstorm in the Saudi city of Mecca, Islam’s holiest site, crashing into the Grand Mosque and killing at least 107 people.


  • The walls of the Conservative fortress are crumbling. (Adam Radwanski, G&M)


  • Koenders (Manufacturing) laid off about 10 percent of its staff this year, or four people. The company’s sales will drop by about 10 per cent in the next fiscal year, Mr. Tamme calculates.





The first list of news values was developed by Galtung, J. & Ruge, M. Holmboe (1965), and published in their article  The Structure of Foreign News. The Presentation of the Congo, Cuba and Cyprus Crises in Four Norwegian Newspapers, Journal of Peace Research, vol. 2, pp. 64-91.

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Source: https://www.galtung-institut.de/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Galtung-and-Ruge.png


Exercise: Pair up and pick an article from today’s Regina Leader-Post

  • Why is it in the newspaper? What news values does it have?



Exercise: Referencing the same story, identify the who, what, where, when, why and how?

Which is the most important W? How does the writer make it stand out in the lead?



Basic news leads:

  •   n67Generally contain most or all of the 5 Ws, in order of importance
  • Concise – 25 or so words
  • Objective – lets the fact speak
  • Active voice
  • Clear, not confusing
  • Compelling – gets the readers attention and even makes him/her care
  • Makes a promise you know you will deliver on
  • Absolutely accurate

Exercise: In pairs, identify what are the who, what, where, when, why and how of your article? If you had to take out one element, which one would it be? And if you have to take out another one…

Do any of your articles clearly break one of these “rules”?

There are other kinds of leads: narrative, scenic, direct address, blind, startling statement, word play. Master the basic news lead and then you can start getting creative…



How to organize all of your carefully researched facts and make a story?

Two choices:


  • what does that mean?
  • what are its strengths?
  • what are its drawbacks?

Inverted pyramid…

  • what does that mean?
  • what are its strengths?
  • what are its drawbacks?




Additional resources and reading:
On the subject of journalism and objectivity, read “The objectivity norm in American journalism” by Michael Schudson, in Journalism, August 2001 vol. 2 no. 2, pp. 149-170, in which he reviews the history of the professionalization of American journalism and says that the norm of objectivity emerged in early 20th century America when the conditions for the emergence of new norms, “two having to do with the self-conscious pursuit of internal group solidarity; and two having to do with the need to articulate the ideals of social practice in a group in order to exercise control over subordinates and to pass on group culture to the next generation,” were in place.

Also read “Scientific objectivity in journalism? How journalists and academics define objectivity, assess its attainability, and rate its desirability” by Senja Post in Journalism, August 2015, vol. 16 no. 6, pp. 730-749, in which she argues, “Journalists and academics define objectivity in different terms. Journalists think objectivity demands ‘trying to let the facts speak for themselves’, and academics think it requires systematic methods and transparent accounts. In others words, respondents’ attitudes toward objectivity depend on the subjects they deal with, while their understandings of objectivity depend on their professional belonging.”

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[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njfKeUycKEE&w=420&h=315]

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