Digital & Broadcast News Syllabus for 2021-2022
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As a student you may experience a range of issues that can cause barriers to learning, such as strained relationships, increased anxiety, alcohol/drug problems, feeling down, difficulty concentrating and/or lack of motivation. These mental health concerns or stressful events may lead to diminished academic performance or reduce a student's ability to participate in daily activities. Amarillo College offers services to assist you with addressing these and other concerns you may be experiencing. If you or someone you know are suffering from any of the aforementioned conditions, you can learn more about the broad range of confidential mental health services available on campus by calling the AC Counseling Center at 806-371-5900. The AC Counseling Center website is . Also, if you are in need of social services (affordable housing, utilities, transportation, food, clothing, childcare, medical/dental/vision, legal), please call the AC Advocacy & Resource Center at 806-371-5439. The AC Advocacy & Resource Center website is

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COMM-2332-001 Digital & Broadcast News


Course Description

Gather, edit, present and analyze news for broadcast stations; examine news department organization and philosophy. Presentation of regularly scheduled newscast on KACV-FM and/or development of television package news stories.

Student ResourcesStudent Resources Website

Department Expectations

Occupational License Disclaimer

Notice to Students enrolled in an educational program for preparation of issuance of certain occupational licenses:

Students enrolled in an educational program in preparation for obtaining certain occupational licenses are potentially ineligible for such license if the student has been convicted of an offense. For further information, please contact:

Melodie Graves
Justice Involved Advocate
Student Service Center 117
Make appointment at

You can also contact the Legal Clinic, or the faculty member in charge of the educational program that you seek to enroll in. The further information you will receive will include notification to you of your right to request a criminal history evaluation letter from the licensing authority in order to clarify your particular situation.


(3 sem hrs; 3 lec, 2 lab)

Class Type

On Campus Course

Syllabus Information


Reading will be assigned through Blackboard but there is no required textbook.  The following textbooks are recommended:

 Dobbs, G. (2004). Better broadcast writing, better broadcast news. Allyn & Bacon.ISBN: 0-205-35994-9



  • Reporters notebook (available at Amarillo College Bookstore)
  • Minimum 2G jump drive (AKA thumb drive, AKA USB drive)
  • One terabyte portable hard drive (available at the AC Bookstore) (Students will not need this until after Spring Break)
  • Headphones or earbuds for monitoring audio
  • Daily access to a computer with reliable Internet connection.  (Students will be required to communicate via Blackboard, check email and read various online resources including local and national news websites on a daily basis.)
  • Inexpensive digital stopwatch (available at Walmart, Academy, Target, Office Depot, etc.) or phone with stopwatch function.


  • Appropriate digital voice recorder or app for phone.  (Please check with your instructor before investing in equipment.)

LABS:  Mass Media computer labs are located on the second floor of Parcells Hall. Labs are open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Students must sign up in advance to use the radio production studio in the Gilvin Broadcast Center.

EQUIPMENT:  Digital recorders, video cameras, tripods and microphones are available for check-out from Mass Media faculty.  Equipment is limited and students must reserve their equipment in advance and return it in a timely manner.   The gear is to be used for Mass Media class assignments ONLY. Personal use is strictly forbidden. Students who abuse or neglect gear for any reason, may lose the privilege of using AC Mass Media equipment and will be held responsible for repair or replacement.  Students should make sure all gear is in proper working order when it is checked out and must report any malfunctions as soon as possible.

Student Performance

COURSE OBJECTIVES: After completing the required course activities, students will be able to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of broadcast newsroom structure and available careers and positions in the industry
  • identify newsworthy stories and exercise news judgment
  • write proper script format for TV and radio
  • develop accurate, concise, clear and conversational writing style for broadcast news media
  • research and conduct interviews for broadcast news stories
  • write and produce radio readers, readers with soundbites and packages.
  • properly script a TV reader, vo, vo/sot and package.
  • write compelling leads
  • write teases for TV and radio news
  • prepare and shoot a television stand-up
  • prepare and carry out a television live shot
  • demonstrate an understanding of the impact of convergence on broadcast news
  • produce an accurate and quality radio newscast
  • demonstrate an understanding of the professional ethics and responsibilities of a professional broadcast journalist
  • demonstrate an understanding of basic shooting and editing techniques for TV news and the importance of visual story-telling
  • generate story ideas
  • analyze TV and radio news

Students Rights and Responsibilities

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Log in using the AC Connect Portal

In order to receive your AC Connect Email, you must log in through AC Connect at .

If you are an active staff or faculty member according to Human Resources, use "Exchange". All other students, use "AC Connect (Google) Email".

Expected Student Behavior

PROFESSIONALISM:  Students will be expected to behave professionally at all times.  Professionalism includes:

  • Being responsible. Being punctual and attending all classes. Being prepared for class and participating actively. Avoiding disruptive behavior. Approaching your assignments with resourcefulness, and with the goal of completing them as thoroughly as possible. Doing your share when working on group projects. Taking the initiative to ask for help from the course instructor when you need it.
  • Being respectful. Recognizing that you need to be respectful of the opinions of others. Being courteous in class and on assignments.  Treating news sources with respect.
  • Being accountable. Remembering that when you are on assignment, your behavior, attitude and dress reflect not only on you, but also on the department and the College.
  • Being ethical.  Following ethical guidelines for professional broadcast journalists as explained at  and . Recognizing that faking quotations, faking facts or reporting things that did not happen is unacceptable and will be considered serious academic misconduct.


Students will arrive for class on time.  Consistent late arrival and/or early departure will impact class participation grade.

No substance or equipment in violation of the AC Student Code of Life will be permitted in communications courses.

Turn off cell phones or put them on silent ring during class.  No text messaging will be permitted during class.

 Plagiarism is considered serious academic misconduct.  All written assignments presented in this class must be original work by the student.  Any student caught plagiarizing or cheating will receive a failing grade. Students must abide by high standards of journalistic integrity.  Faking quotations, faking facts or reporting things that did not happen will be treated as plagiarism and dealt with in the same manner as other scholastic dishonesty.

No form of scholastic dishonesty will be tolerated.  Scholastic dishonesty shall include, but not be limited to, cheating on a test, plagiarism, and collusion.

“Cheating on a test” shall include:

--Copying from another student’s test paper.

--Using test materials not authorized by the person administering the test. -------Collaborating with or seeking aid from another student during a test without permission from the test administrator.

--Knowingly using, buying, selling, stealing, or soliciting, in whole or in part, the contents of an unadministered test.

--The unauthorized transporting or removal, in whole or in part, of the contents of the unadministered test.

--Substituting for another student, or permitting another student to substitute for one’s self, to take a test.

--Bribing another person to obtain an unadministered test or information about an unadministered test.

“Plagiarism”shall be defined as the appropriating, buying, receiving as a gift, or obtaining by any means another’s work and the unacknowledged submission or incorporation of it in one’s own written work.

“Collusion”shall be defined as the unauthorized collaboration with another person in preparing written work for fulfillment of course requirements. 

A complete statement regarding scholastic dishonesty can be found in the Student Code of Conduct in the Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook.

Any student who, because of a disabling condition, may require some special arrangements in order to meet course requirements should contact disAbility Services, located in the Student Services Center 119, phone number: 371 5436 as soon as possible.

No administrative withdrawals will be initiated by the instructor.  It is each student’s responsibility to drop a class or withdraw from school in the event he/she decides to quit attending class.

Every student is required to comply with the policies published in the “Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook”

Grading Criteria


Reading: Students will be assigned online reading and may be given handouts.

Daily Homework: Students must immerse themselves in both local and national news.  Students are expected to watch at least one local and national television newscast daily, listen to radio news on local stations and National Public Radio and read a daily newspaper or news website.  Unannounced quizzes on assigned reading and current events will be given.

Quizzes: Weekly 10-point quizzes will be given.  Quizzes will cover local and national current events, reading assignments and material from course lectures.  Missed quizzes cannot be made up and will be counted as a zero.  The two lowest quiz grades will be dropped.

Radio Newscast: During the first half of the semester, lab time will be used to produce and record radio newscasts that will air on the college radio station, FM-90.  All students will participate in the production and recording process.  Two students will be chosen to anchor each newscast.  Students must sign up to anchor the newscast at least once during the semester and must assist with producing the newscast at least once during the semester.

Radio Writing: Each student will complete a minimum of six radio news stories.  Students who complete more than six stories will be able to drop their lowest grade(s).  Stories turned in after deadline may receive an automatic zero. 

Video News Cut-ins: Each student must assist with and anchor the video news cut ins at least once during the semester.

Television Packages: Each student will write, shoot and edit two television news packages that include a minimum of two sound bites from two sources and an on-camera stand-up.  Students will work in pairs to assist one another with shooting video.  Students will turn in edited videos and final scripts.

Video Newscast: Students will be assigned specific responsibilities that will contribute to the production of a half-hour video newscast, which will air online.  Anchors will be chosen by audition.  Grading on this assignment will be based on quality of finished product, ability to complete work by deadline and ability to work effectively in a team.

Comprehensive Final Exam: This exam will be given online.  Students who miss NO MORE than two class meetings and NO MORE than one lab meeting will be exempt from this Final Exam)

Extra Credit Assignments: Three extra credit assignments are available.  Each extra credit assignment can be used to replace one absence or add ten points to the final course grade.


·       Class participation/attendance/in-class exercises/anchoring radio newscast/video news updates: 10%

·       Quizzes: 10%

·       Radio Writing: 30%

·       TV packages: 30% (2 stories worth 15% each)

·       Video Newscast: 10%

·       Comprehensive Final Exam: 10% (students who miss NO MORE than two class meetings and NO MORE than one lab meeting will be exempt from this Final Exam)

TRACKING CLASS PROGRESS: Each student is responsible for keeping track of his or her progress in the class.  Students must save all graded assignments until the end of the semester.  Students are encouraged to schedule meetings with the instructor outside of class time to discuss their progress and grades in the course.


ATTENDANCE: Regular attendance is necessary for satisfactory achievement; therefore, it is the responsibility of the student to attend class. Daily attendance will be recorded.  Points will be deducted from final course grade for more than two absences--regardless of the reason for the absence--from lecture class and for more than one absence—regardless of the reason for the absence—from lab. No official warnings will be given to students when excessive absences jeopardize their successful completion of the course.  Students who miss classes are responsible for contacting their classmates to obtain notes and assignments covered during the missed class period.  Consistent late arrival to class or early departure will be recorded as absences.


Broadcast News Course Calendar Spring 2022 (tentative calendar, subject to change)



Topic of Study


(due in class)

Activities & Events of Interest


Jan 20 (W)

Introduction to Course/Review Syllabus/Defining News
The Basics of Broadcast Writing


9 a.m. -1 p.m. Jan

Badger Connect: clubs set up in various areas across campus


New semester interview due at lab


Jan 24 (M)

Radio News Writing Basics/ Interviewing Techniques and Attribution

Hand out story assignments for Newscast 1


Jan. 25 Board of Regents


Jan 26 (W)

Writing Good Leads / Producing a Radio Newscast/ Story Flow and Teases



Recording Audio./Radio Production Techniques/ News Writing Exercises (PH 220)

More about recording, editing and saving audio/anchoring techniques



Jan. 31 (M)

Reporting Techniques/ Generating Story Ideas


Feb. 2  (W)

Prepare for Newscast 1/ Work on stories for Newscast 2

 Newscast 1 stories due



Radio Newscast 1



Feb 7 (M)

Ethics and Objectivity


Feb 9 (W)

Prepare for Newscast 2/ Work on stories for Newscast 3

 Newscast 2 stories due



Radio Newscast 2



Feb 14 (M)

Writing Revisited
Proofreading your writing
Voicing and Performance Techniques

Enterprised story ideas due


Feb 16 (W)

Prepare for Newscast 3/ Work on stories for Newscast 4

 Newscast 3 stories due



Radio Newscast 3



Feb 21 (M)

Broadcast News Careers and Controversies


Feb. 22 Board of Regents


Feb 23 (W)

Prepare for Newscast 4/ Work on stories for Newscast 5

 Newscast 4 stories due



Radio Newscast 4



Feb 28 (M)

TV (Video) News


March 1. Last day to withdraw from first 8-week classes

AC Foundation Scholarship Application preferred deadline


March 2 (W)

Prepare for Newscast 5/ Work on stories for Newscast 6

 Newscast 5 stories due



Radio Newscast 5



March 7 (M)

TV Script Formats


March 9 (W)

Prepare for Newscast 6

Newscast 6 stories due



  Radio Newscast 6



March 14 (M)

Spring Break


 spring break!


March 16 (W)

Spring Break



March 21 (M)

Writing to Video/The TV package/Writing Exercises


second 8 weeks begin

March 22 Board of Regents


March 23 (W)

Shooting News Video



Video Shooting Exercises



March 28 (M)

Shooting News Video Continued/Standups


March 30 (W)

Video news exercise

Package topics due




Video news exercise continued



April 4 (M)

Editing News Video


April 6 (W)

Editing News Video Continued



Editing Exercises



April 11 (M)

Work on Video Packages


April 13 (W)

Work on Video Packages /Anchor Auditions



Work on Video Packages

Package One due by end of day April 13



April 18  (M)

Producing a TV/video newscast/ Assign responsibilities for newscast


April 20 (W)

Work on Video Packages/Newscast Assignments (No in-class meeting)

April 21: last day to withdraw 16 wk classes



Work on Video Packages/Newscast Assignments



April 25 (M)

Work on Video Packages/Newscast Assignments

Package Two due by end of day April 25

April 24 Honors Convocation

April 26 Board of Regents


April 27 (W)

Work on Newscast Assignments

All rundowns and scripts due April 27



Work on Newscast Assignments



May 2 (M)

Work on Newscast

All edited video for newscast (packages, VOs and VOSOTS) due


May 4 (W)

Newscast Rehearsal

Newscast Rehearsal



Final Exam Week

Monday, May 9

Final Exam will be given online.  Students with no more than two absences from class and no more than one absence from lab will be exempt from the final.

Newscast Taping 1:30-4 p.m.: all on air talent must attend. Other students are encouraged to attend

Final Exam opens Sun. May 8 and closes Wednesday May 11


Wed. May 11

Wed. May 11, 10 a.m.-11 a.m.
Showcase and critique session will be held during scheduled final exam time.  All students must attend.


May 13 Commencement

Additional Information

BLACKBOARD AND AC CONNECT: To access Blackboard, you must log into AC Connect at  You can also access AC Connect by clicking on the AC Connect link on the AC Website home page:  If this is the first time you have used AC Connect, click on the “First Time Users” link at the bottom of the page and follow the instructions to activate your electronic accounts.

You should get into the habit of logging into AC Connect every day to check email and
announcements.  The college and your individual instructors will use AC Connect to send important messages.  Once you log into AC Connect, you will see your Blackboard classes listed in the center of the page. 

For assistance using AC Connect and Blackboard, visit AC Connect Student Resources at  If you have further questions, you can contact the Center for Teaching and Learning Student Help Center.  The purpose of the Student Help Center is to introduce and/or instruct students in the proper procedures to interact confidently with Blackboard and AC Connect components or other software required for course assignments.  The services below are available to students who are currently enrolled in academic or continuing education courses on a walk-in/appointment basis or by phone:

  • Logging-in to AC Connect, WebAdvisor (self-service), myACcount and Google Apps
  • Password resets
  • How to use AC Connect and Blackboard
  • Microsoft Office
  • General computer/software questions

Hours and Location:
Monday – Thursday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm (Library 205)
Monday – Thursday: 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm (Library Research Desk on 4th floor)
Friday: 8:00 am5:00 pm (Library 205)
Phone: (806) 371-5992 or (806) 371-5932

Students may use the computers located in the Mass Media labs in Parcells Hall (214 and 220) or in the Lynn Library on the fourth floor of Ware Student Center to access AC Connect.


    • Don’t miss class, arrive on time, stay awake, participate and take notes.
    • Stay on top of due dates and turn in all your assignments on time.
    • If you don’t fully understand an assignment or topic, ask your instructor.
    • Check out the online materials available through Blackboard for lecture notes and tips on how to complete your assignments.
    • If you have questions regarding assignments or due dates, do not hesitate to ask in person or email me immediately.

STAYING CONNECTED: Students are encouraged to follow the Matney Mass Media department and The Ranger on social media and read the college newspaper, The Ranger, at

AC offers many opportunities to explore the mass media.  Ask your instructor how you can become a D.J. on FM-90, can write for the College newspaper and can join the crew shooting live football video this fall.  Don’t miss your chance to take photos for the College magazine or work as a videographer, graphic artist or web designer for the College’s news website. In addition, AC mass media faculty can help you find paid positions in the local media industry.  Don’t just sit there—get involved!

Syllabus Created on:

12/30/21 6:49 PM

Last Edited on:

01/02/22 1:53 PM