Students interested in journalism will have the opportunity to get hands-on experience as reporters for The Bruin News in Kellogg Community College’s JOUR 112: News Writing course starting in January.
The three-credit course will run from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays, Jan. 16 through May 1, in room 203 of the Ohm Information Technology Center, on campus at 450 North Ave. in Battle Creek.
KCC’s online student newspaper, The Bruin News, launched this fall after more than 60 years in print as The Bruin. News Writing instructor Simon Thalmann, who advises The Bruin News staff, said students who take his News Writing course will build experience while taking their place among the first to usher the newspaper into an increasingly digital future.
“One of the great benefits of The Bruin News being online now is the ability for students to more fully experience the role of modern journalists,” Thalmann said. “Not only will students in this course be collecting information via traditional reporting, but they’ll be posting their articles online during class. They’ll learn how to publish and share them in real time.”
As was the case with several of the students in his JOUR 111: Mass Media Environment course this fall, Thalmann said his News Writing students will likely see their first stories — and bylines — published by the end of the second week of classes.
The course learning objectives all focus on making students comfortable with the modern practice of journalism.
“The major focus of the course will be to prepare and enable students to work confidently as journalists,” Thalmann said. “Over the course of the semester, students will become, through real-world experience, more and more comfortable with proactively generating story ideas, identifying and interviewing sources, collecting information and communicating that information effectively with audiences via various media.”
Classroom instruction will mirror the work of an actual newsroom as closely as possible, Thalmann said, and students will have time to work on most assignments in class. Each class will also include time dedicated to interview practice and note taking by hand, key skills for any student interested in pursuing journalism as a career.
Grades will be based on a mix of short quizzes and story assignments, the latter of which will give each student a number of clips with which to demonstrate their skills in the field going forward.
“Students who complete the course won’t just improve their writing and communication skills, though they’ll certainly do that,” Thalmann said. “But through consistent hands-on learning and practice in class and one-on-one assistance with story assignments, students will also leave equipped with the confidence and experience necessary to pursue continuing education in the journalism field or even entry-level internships.”
Thalmann is a former Kalamazoo Gazette reporter who works as the digital marketing manager in the Public Information and Marketing Department at KCC, where he writes press releases and other content for the College, manages the KCC Daily blog and runs the College’s main social media channels. He also oversees the College’s search and social media advertising; serves as the College’s official photographer; advises the student staff of The Bruin News; and is co-founder and coordinator of Bruin Boo, KCC’s annual Halloween/trick-or-treating event for families.
For more information about JOUR 112: News Writing, contact Thalmann at 269-303-0298 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information about signing up for spring semester classes, the first of which begin Jan. 11, visit www.kellogg.edu/registration.