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Dec. 12 Final Portfolio information

3 Dec

Our last class will be Wednesday, Dec. 5, during which time we will have a seminar discussion on Janet Malcolm’s The Journalist and the Murderer and other reading related to journalistic ethics (check the blog for specific links).

Final portfolios are due by 5 pm, Dec. 12 in Susanne’s office, BEN 103.

No late work will be accepted for the final.

Final portfolio:

• MLA-styled paper on The Journalist and the Murderer, responding to the issues and themes it raises about journalistic ethics. Hard copy only

• Final draft of your SITE Santa Fe arts piece, AP style. This is due both hard copy (to Susanne’s office) and electronically to:


If you have missed written assignments this semester, you can also include these for partial credit in your final portfolio, with the exception of the mid-term, which can’t be made up. You can review all assignment parameters on the class blog,

If these assignments were turned in on time, you do not need to resubmit for your portfolio.


Here is a brief overview of the work that constitutes your final grade:

RE:MIKE field trip writing assignment article, rough draft and final

Reporter political article, rough draft and final

SITE Santa Fe arts piece, rough draft and final

Arts writing assignment from class, rough draft and final

Response paper for Telling Stories

Mid-term exam

News critiques

Class participation



Class assignment December 4

27 Nov

Our Dec. 4 class will be devoted to a seminar on Janet Malcolm’s The Journalist and the Murderer, as well as a discussion of journalism and ethics.

The success of our discussion will be largely determined by everyone reading the entire book carefully, as well as other provided materials, and coming to class with ideas for questions and paths of inquiry. Your final writing assignment (for the final) will be a short paper on the book due the following book.

Please review the Society for Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics:

Please read: Chapter 22, NRW, “Ethics”

I will present some background information on the book as well. Here are some other resources for you to consider as part of our discussion and/or your final paper:

Joe McGinness’ response to Malcolm (epilogue to Fatal Vision)

Paris Review interview with Janet Malcolm

Errol Morris takes on Janet Malcolm (Slate magazine)

Interview with Janet Malcolm (Salon)

Who’s Afraid of Janet Malcolm? by Robert Boynton (Mirabella)

Class Assignments for November 28

11 Nov

Hard copies of  your SITE Santa Fe pieces are due in class to me. Time permitting, we will read all of them out loud for feedback.

Gwyneth Doland, executive director of the Foundation for Open Government, will visit class. To prepare for her visit, I am posting a combination of review and reading materials. Review means: Look this over to familiarize yourself with the material. Read means: read the material thoroughly. I know it looks like a lot of reading material; don’t freak out: they are all short. As has been the case for guest speakers, please prepare questions for Doland’s visit—I will be marking your questions as points for participation.


FOG website

New Mexico’s Compliance Guide for Public Records

New Mexico’s Open Meetings Act

Sunshine Week website

Student Press Law Center tip sheet


FOG’s primer on Open Records

FOG’s primer on Public Meetings

Santa Fe County Denies SF New Mexican access to records

Undocumented (SF Reporter)

Sunshine Week’s 2012 heroes profiles

Student Press law center briefing on FERPA

November 14

7 Nov

We will be going to SITE Santa Fe for a private tour of  More Real: Art in the Age of Truthiness

The museum is closed and opening just for us, so we will need to arrive on time and as a group. We also will need several cars to transport the class. Please be sure to arrive in class promptly at 9:15 so we can leave promptly.

Be sure to bring writing materials (notebook/pens); your assignment from our trip is to write either a:

• review

• critical essay

• feature piece

• interview

Rough drafts due in class on November 28.

Please remember to also check this blog for class assignments on Nov. 28—we will have a guest speaker that day and be talking about open government/records laws.

November 7 assignments

30 Oct

Today in class, Joanne LeFrak, education director from Site Santa Fe and a working artist, will visit to discuss the Nov. 14 field trip to the museum for the exhibit: “More Real: Art in the Age of Truthiness,” as well as the role of arts journalists/critics.


• Review the exhibit materials

Read the following examples of arts journalism/criticism. Consider the writers’ different approaches in style, voice and substance:

Dave Hickey, “A Fair to Remember”, as well as this backgrounder on Hickey, if you are not familiar with him:

“Regarding Warhol” by Roberta Smith, New York Times art critic

“Changing My Mind About Gustav Klimt’s ‘Adele’” art blog by New Yorker critic Peter Schjeldahl 

Prior to Joanne’s visit, we will have a discussion about these assigned reading materials.

You are required to prepare questions for Joanne about the SITE exhibit, as well as other questions you may have about arts writing in general.

Finally, please view some or all of this panel discussion on the Future of Arts Journalism.

Oct. 31 assignments

24 Oct

Halloween class: Eat candy. Lots and lots of candy.

Also: Guest speaker Enrique Limon, arts and culture editor of The Santa Fe Reporter.

Prepare for Enrique’s visit by reading a few of his articles:

Wrestling story in San Diego

Pick one of his stories from the Reporter to read and ask him about:

Ask Enrique questions when he’s here. This not only makes guest speakers’ visits more enjoyable, but a willingness to ask questions is a good practice for all writers. If that is not motivation enough, you will receive a check next to your name for class participation by asking questions and a minus if you don’t.


Consider these pieces for the elements we have discussed, such as narrative, structure, concrete details, but also for critical thinking and language—two important elements in arts criticism.

Read the Pulitzer-prize winner for criticism in 2011 (this is one just one of his pieces; if you want to read more, go to this link.

Read this example of award-winning alternative newsweekly criticism.

Come to class with a book, movie, play, painting etc., about which you can write an in-class short review for an in-class exercise.

Assignments for Oct. 24

16 Oct

Read TTS Part VII, “Editing.”

Prepare: News critique #5: Wild card: You decide which elements of craft/newsgathering to critique, or synthesize several.

Critique group:

In class: Catch our breaths: Journalism Movie Watching (we’ll vote on which movie from a pre-selected group  in the previous class).