I chose to take the NewsU course News Sense: The Building Blocks of News. This course examined what makes a good news story and how the who, what, when, where, why and how of events shapes news coverage.
I believe that this was a pretty good course to take for those desiring to enter journalism or public relations. Stories are all around us, but only a few elite ones are worthy enough to write about or will really be popular to the public. This course helps us to identify which stories are newsworthy, and which aren’t. From the course I learned that a good story has usually two or more of these elements: prominence, importance, human interest, timeliness, proximity, and meaning. The course describes each one more in-depth and who they are related to who, what, when, where, why and how.
Reporters must also verify their facts and clarify. Clarification involves researching, asking, thinking, and translating. Also, when a reporter is building a story, they invite (or “lead” readers into a story), inform readers of something new, illuminate by using descriptive words and statistics, and connect (connect the reader to a larger context).
Although I learned some good things from this course, I believe that it could’ve been improved. There was a lot of hands-on learning, and not as much teaching, which I would have preferred. Also, many of the main points were spoken on the audio, and I had to replay them a few times in order to take note of what was said. The audio and visual was a good combination for different learning, however, I wish the information was written along with it. However, I would still recommend it for anyone who is seeking to be in the Public Relations/Journalism field because we will all have to decide which stories to publish, and which to put in the wastebasket.