Creating Journalists at Emmanuel College

A guide for ENGL 2501 and ENGL 3801

Welcome to the newsroom

Blanchard Street fire, Grafton, Mass., 2012 Photo by Jennifer Lord Paluzzi

Blanchard Street fire, Grafton, Mass., 2012 Photo by Jennifer Lord Paluzzi

I’m dumping a semester-long assignment on students in my Introduction to Journalism and Writing for Electronic Media classes at Emmanuel College, and they’re going to either love me or hate me for it. All students are required to keep a public Word Press blog, on which they will express their thoughts on classroom topics and submit their articles.

This isn’t the classroom filled with typewriters where I learned the 5Ws and inverted pyramid. Today’s reporters are writing for digital first (that would make a great name for a media company), often shooting their own photos and videos, Tweeting them out and, if they have a lively beat, maintaining a blog on the topic.

So today, my Emmanuel students, we blog. Please head to and click on “Get Started.” Be thoughtful about your blog name — it is my intent that, by the end of the semester, you will have a website that will showcase your work and you don’t want to put off prospective editors.

The classic first assignment in journalism is to write your own obituary. Of course, that’s rather dark and, these days, obituaries are paid ads at most newspapers.

Use the 5Ws to tell me about yourself:
Who are you?
What are you planning to do with this course?
Where are you from and where are you going?
When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?
Why do you think you’ll have a career in media?

Intros must be published on your blogs by the start of class Friday. Don’t worry too much about the design of your site — and certainly don’t bother with any of the paid options at this point — we will go over some of the finer points of Word Press during Friday’s class.

If you are absolutely panic-stricken and run into issues, drop me an email — I’m working at The Sun until 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and will be available to trouble-shoot.


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This entry was posted on January 14, 2014 by in Uncategorized.

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