• Welcome to the world of journalism!

    In today's society, news comes in many different forms. Whether you're old school and pick up a newspaper, or you scroll through the latest tweet from CNN, news is still...news. We live in a fast-paced society in which news is almost instantaneous. 

    Hopefully, when you leave this class, you'll have an exceptional understanding of the media, how to write solid news stories and make them flow with pictures on a spread, and most importantly, how to adhere the principles and ethics of journalism. 

  • Syllabus

    Journalism Syllabus & Expectations


    Ms. Jennifer Manis

    (817) 237- 3314 Ext. 8288

    Room A241


    Twitter: @manis_lit

    Conference time @ 10 – 10:50 a.m.


    Course Description

    Journalism students are expected to write in a variety of forms and for a variety of audiences and purposes. Students will become analytical consumers of media and technology to enhance their communication skills. Published work of professional journalists, technology, and visual and electronic media are used as tools for learning as students create, clarify, critique, write, and produce effective communications. Students enrolled in journalism will learn journalistic traditions, research self-selected topics, write journalistic texts, and learn the principles of publishing.


    Projected units of study:

    • Media: History of mass media, First Amendment, ethics of Journalism
    • Writing: Headlines, sub-headlines, various types of journalistic stories, use of AP-style
    • Photography: Camera basics, photography rules, and finding a story through photos
    • Publishing: Allowing others to read your work
    • Technology: Use of Adobe products (PhotoShop, InDesign, Illustrator, Bridge) and the Balfour web-based design site, StudioWorks.


    Requested Supplies                                                

    • Binder with six dividers (one for each six week grading period)
    • Cell phone (not a necessity, but you will often be using your phone to take photos)


    Please bring these items no later than Friday, August 26.


    NOTE: You will be leaving this notebook in class. 



    You will adhere to the EMS-ISD attendance policy.  The policy states that you must not miss more than 9 school days in a semester for any class.  If more than 9 days are missed, you will be denied credit in the class.


    Extracurricular Activity Attendance:

    Per the EMS-ISD policy, you are only allowed to miss 10 class periods when that absence is associated with an extracurricular activity. Exception: If the activity goes past district.


    All coaches, sponsors, and advisers have been made aware of this policy.  What does this mean for you?  It means if you are behind in your work in this class or you’re failing, I reserve the right to keep you in class regardless of a game, field trip, etc…




    If you are asked by a coach/sponsor to come “check in” and leave (for games, pep rallies, etc…), please understand you will be marked absent for class. Your coach will be responsible for changing the absence.


    Absence procedure

    If you know you’re going to be absent, please free to see me prior to your absence and I will provide you with the work you will miss.  If you are unexpectedly absent, please get in the habit of checking the missing work wall or Canvas the day you return to class. Per the absence policy, you have the number of days you’re absent, plus one day to make up an assignment. Please don’t wait to get your missing assignments!


    Note: The missing work wall will have all the assignments and designated descriptions of what we did in a given week, plus the Monday before. Once the next week rolls around, you will not have access to the hard copies. You must get the information off Canvas. Ultimately, you should never have to come to me to get an assignment – unless you have questions. 


    Tardy Policy

    Good news:  I don’t have an “official” tardy policy. You will be marked tardy and you must sign the tardy book upon arrival, but I’m not going to make you serve detention and I’m not calling your guardian.


    Bad news: There are two consequences to arriving late. One: tardies now count against you with final exemptions. The more tardies you accumulate, the less likely you’ll be to receive an exemption on the final. Two: I start class on time. I’m NOT going to wait for you to start my class. If you roll in 10 minutes late, it’s your job to get what you missed. I’m not going to stop in the middle of class to catch you up.



    Missing Assignments

    If you’re absent or you don’t have an assignment on the day it’s due (for any reason), the assignment will go into Skyward as “missing” until it’s turned in. This will be the case with athletes and students participating in extracurricular activities.


    You may complete the work on your own or you may visit me during tutorials before or after school. If you consistently struggle turning in your work, assigned tutorials may be warranted at my discretion.



    Tutorials will be offered in a variety of ways and for a variety of reasons. Tutorials are traditionally meant to provide individualistic instruction to students who are struggling with various concepts. This definition still applies, however, tutorials may also be assigned for the following reasons:


    • Complete missing assignments
    • Reteach concepts
    • Take/Retake a test



    My “official” tutorial times are Tuesday and Thursday, before (8:00-9:00) and after school (4:20-5:00). If you’re unable to meet at any of these times, I’m pretty much here 24/7, so feel free to come by any time before or after school. Tutorials will also be offered during the last 20 minutes of your lunch.


    Late/Missing Work

    All guidelines are taken directly from the EMS-ISD grading policy.

    • One day late = 85 (maximum)
    • Two days late = 70 (maximum)
    • Three days late = 60 (maximum)
    • No late work will be accepted after 3 school days


    Addendum: While I intend to stick to the policy listed above, I’m not unreasonable.  We all struggle at times. If you’re struggling completing an assignment, please communicate with me prior to the assignment due date. At that time, we’ll come up with a plan and/or discuss the situation and possible extension of time.


    Grading Policy

    In order to adhere to EMS-ISD’s grading policy, grades will be categorized as follows:

    • 60% - Tests, news stories, projects, etc…(minimum of 3 major grades)
    • 40% - Daily work, writing, quizzes, etc…(minimum of 5 grades)


    Per the policy, I will have grades entered for an assignment within 3-5 days of the due date.  If I’m unable to make that deadline, I will let you know ahead of time. For major projects or papers, the assignment will be entered within 10 days.    



    As much as I love technology, I’ve seen plenty of students abuse this privilege in class. My class is not a Snapchat photo booth. Telling your BAE you love them can wait. Ultimately, I HATE taking up phones for the same reason I hate having a tardy policy. You’re an adult and you should know (or learn) when and where cell phone use is appropriate.


    However, if I find that your phone is consistently preventing you from accomplishing work in this class, first…we’re going to have a logical conversation – one in which you will not win. :) If the problem persists? I’ll use my resources (as vast as they are) to ensure the behavior doesn’t continue.



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