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Grading and Management for Writing for Publication

Instructor: Mark Storer| mark.storer@ouhsd.k12.ca.us |


Publication website: www.achsstinger.com

Course Description
The Stinger is an online-only publication serving Adolfo Camarillo High School
students, parents, staff and larger community. Students report and write articles
and editorials, shoot and edit photos and video, create illustrations and
infographics, work with social media, and learn the principles of professional
journalism. Students gain an appreciation for accuracy, objectivity, fairness and
accountability. They practice courage, initiative, resourcefulness, integrity,
cooperation, competitive spirit and loyalty. TheStingerhasestablisheditselfasoneof
thebestjournalismprogramsinVenturaCountywinningawardsconsistentlyamongthe
topthreefromtheVenturaCountyStarHighSchoolJournalismandInternetCompetition
andtheTriCountiesJournalismEducationAssociation.

Ouraimistogainnationalrecognitionasatophighschooljournalismprograminthe
UnitedStates.In2015,theUniversityofCaliforniarecognizedtheOUHSDsjournalism
programsassatisfyingtherigidAGelectivesrequirement.Ourstaff becomes very
close in the course of a year, and many students say they feel that they have
made friends for life while working on the publication.

Assignments
Students work in section teams, guided by student editors, to publish assigned
content. Editors make decisions on what to publish based on timeliness and clear
professional standards. Students occasionally volunteer for deadline work with
immediate turn-around, but generally are given plenty of notice about due dates.
Events covered in person by journalists have a 24-hour deadline for
publication. Due to variations of work involved in producing content for different
sections, not all assignments are alike for each student. Work is assigned by
editors -- and time is given to work in class. Most students also complete work
outside of class, as the situation requires. Typical content assignments:

News: cover an event, interviewing 3 or more sources, write story,


proofread, embed Soundcloud or Tweets, work with editor
Opinion: carefully research a timely, local (preferred), controversial topic,
develop a nuanced opinion that anticipates counterarguments, work with
staff illustrator, work with section editor
Sports: cover an event or interview a featured athlete, include 3 or more
sources, write story, proofread, embed Soundcloud or Tweets, work with
section editor
Features: carefully research and write a local story that digs deeper into
the how and why of something, include 3 or more sources and preferably
a national or international context (data or sources), write story, proofread,
embed Soundcloud or Tweets, work with section editor
A&E: cover an event (preferred) or go to a movie on opening weekend or
review a new book or review 2 albums or review 2 apps for smart phone
or tablet
Video: cover an event with 3 or more sources, edit video, post to Vimeo
account; communicate with other staff if video is part of a package
Photo: cover multiple events on campus or one event off campus each
week, work with section editor and other staffers to determine needs, edit
photos, upload to Picassa account or email section editor.
Illustration: Work with Opinion staff and other sections to create
compelling illustrations for written content (2 illustrations per week
minimum).
Editors: Lead staff in section to produce the most professional, timely
content; produce content themselves
Note: Many students show leadership potential by accepting assignments
beyond the minimum requirements, especially when news breaks.

StingerVisionandPhilosophy

Ethics|Initiative|Teamwork|Professionalism

1. Studentsunderstandandpracticeethicaljournalism
2. Studentsusetheirowninitiativetoidentifyandcoverissuesimportanttoour
community
3. Teamsofstudentscooperatetobuildanoteworthy,trustedpublication
4. Studentsstrivetowardthehighestprofessionalindustrystandards

Attendance & Tardies


Stinger staffers have the privileges of leaving journalism class (and other classes with instructor
permission and advance notice) to cover assignments when necessary. When working on
assignment, it is required that each staff wear an official press pass and be actively engaged in
Stinger business. Students missing class will need to manage their deadlines to ensure they earn
adequate points by the final due date for each quarter or semester. Because punctuality is an
important journalism trait, tardiness is noted and can become problematic if persistent.

Note on Ethics
Students are expected to gain a thorough understanding of the ethical principles inherent in high-
quality journalism. The reputation of the Stinger is at stake with every content item published, and
it does not take much to destroy the trust of readers. The vast majority of staffers understand this
and are extremely careful to follow ethical practices or to ask for help when facing a dilemma.
Considerable time is given in class to the study and discussion of ethics of scholastic journalism,
and each student will become familiar with a condensed version of the National Scholastic Press
Associations Code of Ethics. Students who choose not to follow these rules may have their
reporting privileges revoked or even be asked to leave the publication.

Materials
Reporters are provided with press passes, camera equipment and access to computers and
when possible, wireless mobile devices. Staffers are also encouraged to use their own personal
equipment at school and off campus, if desired.

I became a journalist to come as close as possible


to the heart of the world. Henry Luce