Introduction to Journalism
Mead Loop, Associate Professor
In Introduction to Journalism, students will study and practice the fundamentals of the craft, including researching, interviewing and writing for print, online, and broadcast journalism. Over the course of three weeks, students will write stories in beats of their choosing, such as sports, politics or the environment.
Social media is changing how reporters find stories and report them. In Introduction to Journalism, students immerse themselves in the technology of mobile and social-media journalism, from tweeting leads to filing stories as they happen. In an era in which everyone has video on their cell, citizen journalists supplement the work of professional journalists. Students will use their cell phones in class (yes, in class) to practice broadcast-journalism standups. Students will also use their laptops or tablets when gathering stories outside class, tweeting leads for what they cover on campus and emailing their stories on deadline.
The changes to journalism in the digital era have been dynamic, and many of the rules of our trade are being developed ad hoc. Introduction to Journalism explores these changes and teaches the fundamentals that apply regardless of media platform. For example, niches of journalism are exploding in growth, such as Professor Loop's scholarly area of fantasy sports journalism. Fantasy sports journalists are changing how traditional sports-reporting colleagues do their jobs. In spite of these rapid changes, some pillars of the industry remain. So students will learn the dominant style of the publishing industry, Associated Press style and The Wall Street Journal writing styles.
Finally, students will be expected to know the news of the day and learn the origins of the press freedoms they enjoy today. (You'll memorize the First Amendment to the Constitution on day one!) "Democracy demands an informed and educated electorate," wrote Thomas Jefferson. Students who take Introduction to Journalism will grow as a scholar and join a profession that provides a vital civic service.
Mead Loop is Associate Professor in the Department of Journalism and on the faculty of Documentary Studies and Production at the Roy Park School of Communications at Ithaca College. Before coming to teach at Ithaca College, Loop was national editor of the Nashville Banner newspaper. Previously, he was a copy editor at the Intelligencer Journal newspaper in Lancaster, Pa., and at the Kansas City Times and Star. He also has worked as an editor at the Ithaca Journal. He has a master's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri at Columbia and a bachelor's degree in television-radio from Ithaca College.