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Newspaper and Student Media Staff - Spring 2013
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De Anza College, T/Th 4:30 to 5:45 p.m., Room L-42 – 3 units


Practical experience in gathering and reporting news and features as members of the college's newspaper and student media staff. Staff includes reporters, editors, photojournalists, multi-media producers, graphic artists and similar responsibilities. Positions are self-selected, (within the guidelines of what the newspaper needs) except for editors, who participate in an interview process.


Name: Cecilia Deck     
Office Hours:
Tuesday: 2 to 4 p.m., Thursday: 2 to 4 p.m., 6 to 9 p.m.; Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
408-864-8588 (office); 408-864-5626 (La Voz front desk)
Cecilia Deck. Please friend me so I can add you to the La Voz Staff group.
Instructor Web site:
La Voz assignments blog:
La Voz Web site:  


THE FINE PRINT: This class is unlike most college courses because:

LA VOZ STAFF IS RESPONSIBLE FOR PRODUCING A PUBLIC DOCUMENT, with a print circulation of 2,000+ and many more online readers. No other De Anza class shares its work as often and as publicly as this class does, nor does any other class represent De Anza to the community and the public to the extent that this class does. La Voz is a First Amendment newspaper, which means that all decision-making over the editorial content is in the hands of student editors. That responsibility is a serious and important obligation, not to be taken lightly. 

LA VOZ IS A BUSINESS, with deadlines and responsibilities to its advertisers and its public. This class functions more in the style of a work team than as a typical class. Missed deadlines, irresponsibility or a poor work ethic affects not just the individual, but the rest of the team. Deadlines are important, and excuses, unfortunately, don’t get the paper out. Producing the newspaper requires a group effort of responsible and dependable people. Student staff must work hard at maintaining communication with one another.

STUDENTS MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN LEARNING: This class is a practical course in producing a newspaper. The deadlines come quickly and before students are taught what they need and want to know. Students are expected to learn as they go, learn on their own, learn from their mistakes, ask lots of questions and be responsible for their own learning. (One of the best ways to learn is to read a daily newspaper with a critical eye, noting writing and graphic styles, format, and section definition.) In other words, this course requires initiative and commitment. Students will need to seek out sources and materials on their own, although the instructor and the student editors will be available for conferencing and consultation.


Harrower, Inside Reporting. Any edition.
La Voz Handbook (given out in class)
Associated Press Stylebook
, 2011 or 2012 ed.

In this course, students will:

Oversee the gathering, organizing, and presenting of news, information, and opinions to produce a First Amendment student newspaper
Gain proficiency in the operation of a weekly newspaper and an appreciation the inherent problems
Improve their journalism skills including news writing, headline writing, editing, AP style, photography and design.·         Improve management and communication skills while working with other staff members·         Use the responsibilities given to them inherent in a free student press
Compile a portfolio that reflects the course work and which can be used professionally
Build on past experiences, improve the newspaper and try new approaches

COURSE REQUIREMENTS:     La Voz staff is expected to spend a minimum of six hours a week outside of class sessions, on assignments. Other requirements are:

1) ATTEND CLASS: Class sessions are required. Students are allowed two absences with no consequences on their grades.
2) READ ASSIGNMENTS, complete quizzes or other classroom assignments: Read the La Voz Handbook and consult the Harrower textbook as required.
a) Complete a minimum of 9 regular weekly story assignments on deadline. TWO
must be news stories and TWO must be sports. A story assignment generally consists of one of the following:

o    a 300-400-word story with three or more named sources

o    two series of photos
o    one complex graphic
o    one video report that includes at least three named sources, an establishing shot, an on-camera “talking head”
o    one narrated slide-show that includes at least three named sources, at least 10 varied photos, narration and one on-tape actuality
o    two NIBs (news-in-briefs)
(Larger submissions may count as two or more assignments, based on consultation with and approval of an editor.) These stories require original research, quotes and attribution.

b) Reporters complete a minimum of 2 smaller weekly story assignments on deadline. The smaller assignments can be any of the following:

o    A formatted brief - profile, upcoming event, etc.

o    A DA voices

o    A cartoon, comic strip or maze.

o    A shorter edited video.
o    A campus snapshot.
o    Paperboy/papergirl duties.

4) COMPLETE A WEEKLY LOG: The log is in the back of the Handbook; there’s also a copy on the instructor’s website.

5) TURN IN STORY IDEAS AS REQUIRED: "Blanket" the campus to find news stories and photographs (wild art) and provide tips to the editors on news, feature, and photo assignments to aid the editors who make the assignments.

6) CREATE/TURN IN A PORTFOLIO:  Turn in a portfolio on the last day of class  which contains
    a collection of published and non-published work, with description of the contributions, if not evident
o    a self-evaluation form
    a Weekly Log describing the activities, learning and time spent

Editors are required to:
  Do all the above, except the story assignments (editors are required to create a portfolio)
  Attend Editorial Board meetings and hold at least one office hour a week.
Assume responsibility for their assigned section or assignment, including assigning and editing stories, writing stories as needed and participating in page or media production. Editors “own” the stories they assign and need to follow them through.


Photographers, graphic artists and associate editors are expected to do the equivalent amount of work as the reporters who write stories. For example, a photojournalist would substitute eight large assignments (e.g., covering a 2-hour event with many photos, selecting and turning in the best in both vertical and horizontal formats, loading them on the server, and writing cutlines, following the directions for cutline writing in the handbook) and two smaller assignments (snapshots with cutlines, DA Voices). A graphic artist is expected to create, scan and turn in substantial content each week. 

Reporting involves talking to live people and seeking information from varied sources. All sources must be attributed news-style. If you cut-and-paste material from the Internet or copy information from any other source and don't attribute it specifically, that is plagiarism. I may report the incident to the Dean of Student Development and it could appear on your permanent record. The assignment will count against course requirements and cannot be placed in your portfolio.


The college will enforce all policies and procedures set forth in the Standards of Student Conduct (see catalog).  Any student disrupting the class may be asked to leave that class.  Administrative follow-up may result.


Students must follow lab policies and act in a professional manner in the lab/newsroom.

The Editorial Board is responsible for setting the standards in the newsroom including:

·         keeping it clean
assuring that staff follows safety standards
assuring that staff acts in a professional manner
assuring security of the equipment, materials and lab
assisting and coaching reporters, photojournalists and other members of the staff. 

Students should not be in the lab unless an instructor, lab tech, advertising/office manager, editor in chief or other senior editor is present, unless they have permission from the instructor. No one may be in the lab between midnight and 6 a.m. The department coordinator or the division dean may revoke students' permission to use the lab/newsroom subject to inappropriate or unprofessional behavior.


Students in this class should consider themselves to be on the payroll of a professional newspaper, performing their jobs with a professional attitude, meeting deadlines, showing initiative and enjoying the satisfaction in a job well done. Results, not intentions, are what count. Absences, missed deadlines, unprofessional behavior, plagiarism and lack of accountability will lower grades. Your portfolio should be professional-looking, suitable for using for job/internship interviews.

Students will be graded on a combination of:

a) Contributions to weekly newspaper and associated media (80 points)



1)         Assignments turned in by deadline  

2)         Clear and frequent communication with editors

3)         Story ideas turned in as required

4)         Professionalism in conduct and work habits.

1)         Assignment ideas brought to Ed Board meeting

2)         Clear and frequent communication with staff

3)         Completion of pages.

4)         Professionalism in conduct and work habits.

b) Reading, quizzes and in-class assignments (10 points)
c) Portfolio/Weekly Log, final assessment (10 points)

A=90-100  B=80-89   C=70-79    D=60-69    F<60

Help with all aspects of journalism is available from the instructor, from La Voz's student employees, Michael Mannina and Sara Gobets and La Voz's lab technician, Walter Alvarado. For office/lab hours, see the door of L41 (around the side of the building).
Help with many other aspects of life at De Anza is available at Student Health Services, Disability Support Services, Financial Aid and several tutoring centers. To learn more, go to

College closed: Monday May

 Updated Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at 1:55:11 PM by Cecilia Deck -
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