Online News Bureau Syllabus
Overview Standards Routine Grading Readings
Class Overview and Goals

Instructor: Chris Harvey
Instructor phones: 301-405-6256 (work office); 301-314-2696 (new-medial lab)
Instructor e-mail:
Office hours: By appointment on Tuesdays, Thursdays or Fridays

Bureau hours: TuTh, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., for JOUR 355, Web editing, production, packaging and research; Fridays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., for JOUR 353, reporting and multimedia writing. Both groups meet in the new-media lab, Room 3117 Journalism, and work alongside graduate students taking JOUR 655, the Online News Bureau semester.

Welcome to the staff of the online newsmagazine, Maryland Newsline. JOUR 353 and 355 are an intense six-credit package of classes designed to give you hands-on experience on an online newsmagazine. Undergrads may take the courses together or individually.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, students taking JOUR 355 work as online producers, editors and researchers. They watch the CNS wires for key stories and write concise briefs, headlines, photo captions and Web links to package or highlight the work of colleagues in the print and TV bureaus. Good news judgment is critical in story choices. They also post video -- both 30-minute shows and smaller clips that will be digitized and packaged with print stories by topic. And they build Special Reports, to package Web, print and TV stories and photos by topic. New-media students will be in close contact with the students and bureau directors working in Annapolis and Washington and in our broadcast studio at Tawes theater on campus.

Students taking JOUR 353 on Fridays will chiefly be reporting and writing original stories in a multimedia environment, but they will also do some Web production work and page updates.

I'll be asking students in both groups to think beyond straight-text presentations and to consider nonlinear, interactive and multimedia writing forms.

You should treat your time here as you would time spent at an off-campus internship. This means calling in to alert me if you're too sick to work, or if you've been delayed due to car trouble. It also means dressing professionally, since you may sometimes have to go out on unexpected assignments. This means no blue jeans, T-shirts or tennis shoes.

All of your work will be closely supervised by me. For many reasons, including the need to avoid potential libel suits, nothing will go out live on the site unless I (or one of the other bureau directors or deans in my absence) have had a chance to edit it. 

Although you'll be tackling serious jobs, and you'll be working hard, it's important to me that we have fun while we work and learn from each other. 

Our goal will be to provide lively updates, news packages and interactive and multimedia features each week for Maryland Newsline, an online newsmagazine focusing on politics and public policy in the state. The site has six main sections, plus the home page, at 

I'm hoping Newsline will be routinely read by legislators, lobbyists, political junkies and activists, and by some Marylanders (and college students) with more than a passing interest in government and school news. So let's try to make it compelling and fun, so they'll want to repeatedly return.

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Last updated: Jan. 28, 2008

Copyright 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 Chris Harvey Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.