Archive for August, 2010

Journalism 1 Syllabus

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

Syllabus for Journalism 1 – Beginning ReportingDave Silverbrand, InstructorContact info: or  What We Teach: This class is directly transferable to any CSU in the state, including Humboldt State University.  It is the equivalent to their Beginning Reporting so it is important that we achieve certain academic standards.

 Purpose of the Course:

The nature of the media is changing every day, but not our need for good journalists.  In fact, they are more important than ever. This class will introduce you to the basic skills of reporting—gathering information, evaluating it and providing a comprehensive and credible account of events.  At the end of the semester, you will be competent in various methods of reporting and in the various mediums available to you.  And please remember that journalism is fun.


We will employ in-class activities and individual projects to help you experiment with reporting styles and in preparing your work for mass communication.  Those skills will involve:

1: Interview techniques

2: News conference experience

3: Breaking news coverage

4. Critical thinking skills

5. Employment options.

6. Video-taking and photo techniques


1: Enthusiasm

2. Competence in English although a second language will be a plus.

No text is required for this class.  Information will be provided to you on-line or in class.  You are encouraged to use media related equipment to include tape recorders, video cameras of any format and still cameras.

Grading will be on the basis of in-class work and contributions to our media sites,, our exclusive news blog and also TV programs for Access Humboldt (we currently have one regular program on Access Humboldt, “CR News” but we can produce others.

Each completed project will be counted as 100 points with minimum contributions for the class 1500 points.  That is one project a week.  That project will include an interview, story or contribution to our media outlets.


This is essential to the fulfillment of our goals.  I have the option of dropping you from the class for six un-excused absences.  Make-up work is available by pre-arrangement with the instructor.

Journalism 5 Syllabus

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

College of the Redwoods Syllabus for Introduction to Mass Communication Instructor: Dave Silverbrand 

Contact info. or

This is intended for those who are taking College of the Redwoods Introduction to Mass Communication or those who are contemplating doing so.

Course Purpose: 

With ever-changing technology, mass communication has become far more complex than ever.  From radio, television, newspapers and magazines, the media has expanded to Internet outlets such as Facebook and Myspace as well as Weblogs and now Twitter.  Since we depend so much of our daily lives on mass communication outlets, we need to understand them as never before.  This course examines the media, how it works, how we can understand it better and how we can participate in it.  In fact, you, as students will have a chance to participate.

This course is intended for those who want to enter the media profession and those who simply want to understand it.

About the Instructor: 

I have 35 years and counting in the media industry.  I have been a reporter, news director and now manager of a television station.  I am also author of two books and a weekly columnist for the Times Standard in Eureka.


The college provides for failure of a class with 6 unexcused absences (those which do not have an instructor’s pre-approval or a note from a doctor.  I do provide for an opportunity to make-up missed material.  (It is not a good idea to ask me what you have missed.)

Grading System: 

I grade on a point system with the maximum achievable points being 2500 points.  It is broken down this way:

Attendance and Participation:  600 points.

Media Discussion Topics (see below) 400 points

Semester Long Project (see below)  1500 points

Media Discussion Topics:

Each student will be asked to bring in one of the following for group discussion:

Music: Choose a recording of any era, a song that is socially significant.  Bring in a playable copy of that song for discussion.  Be prepared to explain why you chose the song and what it signifies.

Weblog or other on-line or information service: Bring in copies of or a link to that site for our discussion.  We will examine that site’s editorial policy or philosophy, its purpose and its relevance to mass communication.

Movie Clip: Bring in a less than five minute clip from a movie, a film that you find socially significant.  Again, be prepared to discuss why you chose the film and what it signifies.  Often, clips or trailers from that film can be found on

Semester Long Project: 

CR News Magazine:  We produce the only monthly TV News Magazine in Northern California.  It airs on Access Humboldt Channel 12.  It is also available any time at  Then search for Access Humboldt/CR News.  You are not responsible for shooting or editing news magazine pieces but you can if you wish.  You can also supervise editing.  Your responsibility, then, is to arrange and conduct interviews for those stories.  You will also have an opportunity to host the program if you wish.  That would mean appearing on camera and introducing the video pieces.

CR Newspaper: Members of our class will be writing and contributing to the college newspaper.  While we, as a class, are not directly managing the paper or responsible for its content, I am providing credit in this class for participation in the paper.  To document that participation, you should keep a log-sheet of the way you spent your time and the amount of time you spent.  For example:  10/31   Conducted interview of biology instructor   2 hours.

Research Project: This is a project of your choosing related to media.  This can be job shadowing, working in the media or interviewing people in the working media.  You should write a paper based on your findings, its length to be 10 to 15 pages.  Information references do not need to be in college bibliography style.   However, information sources must be disclosed.


Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

To the Fall 2010 edition of Old Growth Gazette.  This is the news voice of College of the Redwoods and your chance to be published.  All contributions welcome.  Thank you for the opportunity to serve you.  Just submit your material to

Dave Silverbrand, Instructor