Writing for Mass Media

Purpose of Course  showclose

The purpose of this course is to teach you the basic principles of writing for the following mass media: print (newspapers and magazines), radio, television, and the web.  These foundational principles are not exhaustive, but they will get you well on your way to writing effectively for various mass media.  The phrase “mass media” refers to any technology used to deliver content to large numbers of people.  “Technology” includes electronic tools like cell phones or radio receivers, or hard-copy tools like newspapers and magazines.  Content types that you will learn to write about in this course for the mass media include news stories, advertisements, press releases, and blogs.

If you are taking this course to work towards completing all of the requirements for the Saylor Communications area of study, you will need to understand how to write for mass media.  These are the two main goals for this course: (1) Learn the syntax (a structure for constructing sentences, paragraphs, stories, images, and graphics) that is unique to each mass medium; (2) Apply the knowledge of the syntax for each medium to help you better interpret the meaning of a mass medium’s content.  These two skills are important for a degree in communication because the process of communication is a varied one, in which a number of factors come into play that ultimately affect the meaning that is intended by the communicator, versus the meaning that is interpreted by the receiver of the communication.  Effective communication occurs when the communicator’s meaning is as close as possible to the receiver’s meaning.  This course focuses on writing for mass media as one component of the multi-layered process of communication.

Course Information  showclose

Welcome to COMM104: Writing for Mass Media.  General information on this course and its requirements can be found below.

Course Designer: Robert McKenzie, Ph.D.

Primary Resources: This course is composed of a variety of free, online materials.  However, the course makes primary use of the following source(s):
  • Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication 
  • Launch! Advertising and Promotion in Real Time, v. 1.0
Recommended Resource: It is recommended that you purchase the AP Style Book for this course.  This resource can be found at http://www.apstylebook.com/.  This resource is an industry standard. 
 
Requirements for Completion: In order to complete this course, you will need to work through each unit and all of its assigned materials.  You will also need to complete:
  • The Final Exam
Time Commitment: This course should take you a total of 77.5 hours to complete.  Each unit includes a “time advisory” that lists the amount of time you are expected to spend on each subunit.  These should help you plan your time accordingly.  It may be useful to take a look at these time advisories and to determine how much time you have over the next few weeks to complete each unit, and then to set goals for yourself.  For example, unit 1 should take 9 hours to complete.  Perhaps you can sit down with your calendar and decide to complete subunit 1.1 (a total of 2 hours) on Monday night; subunit 1.2 (a total of 1 hours) on Tuesday night; etc.
 
Tips/Suggestions: The best tip for successfully learning from this course is to practice your writing, using the worksheets in this course, as much as possible.  Successful writers of media content make many revisions to their work, and continue to practice their writing.

Learning Outcomes  showclose

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
  • List key historical developments of mass media, beginning with print media and continuing to broadcast media and then web media.
  • Compare and contrast differences and similarities in writing styles (grammar, word choice) between different media.
  • Search for story topics of interest to a medium’s audience.
  • Research detailed information to be written into a story.
  • Confirm the accuracy of questionable information.
  • Incorporate sound bites, video bites, photos, and graphics for stories.
  • Interview witnesses, experts, and other newsmakers.
  • Post a story to a web page.
  • Comply with relevant areas of the law including libel/defamation, copyright infringement, and invasion of privacy.
  • List professional codes of ethics for media writers.
  • Write against a deadline.
  • Write breaking news.
  • Write catchy leads and fitting endings.

Course Requirements  showclose

In order to take this course, you must:

√    Have access to a computer.

√    Have continuous broadband Internet access.

√    Have the ability/permission to install plug-ins or software (e.g. Adobe Reader or Flash).

√    Have the ability to download and save files and documents to a computer.

√    Have the ability to open Microsoft files and documents (.doc, .ppt, .xls, etc.).

√    Have competency in the English language.

√    Have read the Saylor Student Handbook.

Unit Outline show close


Expand All Resources Collapse All Resources
  • Unit 1: An Introduction to Mass Media: History and Syntax  

    This unit presents a summary of the historical development of various forms of mass media (books, newspapers, film, photographs, radio, television, and the web).  You will learn that how a particular mass medium displays information is unique because of the technology involved.  The uniqueness of the technology of each medium brings strengths and weaknesses to the presentation of the information via that medium.  For example, one strength of a newspaper is that it can include both photographs and sentences packed with facts.  The information in a newspaper therefore is often very detailed.  In contrast, one weakness of an English-language newspaper is that the information is presented in a “linear” fashion, requiring readers to move their eyes methodically from left to right over to the right-hand margin of the page, and then drop down to the next line to begin at the left-hand margin for the next sentence.  Accessing information in a newspaper this way leads the reader into a kind of thinking that is very logical and orderly (one thing leads to another thing, which leads to another thing), as opposed to accessing information on the web, which is much more random and fragmented because of the ability of the user to click on links and images at any time, and suddenly go off into an unexpected direction.

    Unit 1 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 1 Learning Outcomes   show close
    • Web Media: YouTube: The Saylor Foundation’s “Rapid Development of Mass Media”

      Link: YouTube: The Saylor Foundation’s “Rapid Development of Mass Media” (YouTube)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and watch this video.  Focus on how mass media have developed in our culture, from print-based media to electronic media.

      Watching this video should take approximately 30 minutes.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

    • Web Media: YouTube: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit Introduction”

      Link: YouTube: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit Introduction” (YouTube)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and watch this video.  Focus on how Mass Media have developed in our culture, from print-based media to electronic media.

      Watching this video should take approximately 30 minutes.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

  • 1.1 Definition of Mass Media  
    • Web Media: YouTube: The Saylor Foundation’s “Five Components of Mass Media”

      Link: YouTube: The Saylor Foundation’s “Five Components of Mass Media” (YouTube)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and watch this video, focusing on the definitions of key terms.  Knowing the specificity of each term will help your writing for the mass media because you will know how media organizations function.  Focus on how quickly mass media have developed in such a short time.

      Watching this video should take approximately 30 minutes.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

  • 1.1.1 Mass  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material under subunit 1.1.

  • 1.1.2 Media  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material under subunit 1.1.

  • 1.1.3 Technology  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material under subunit 1.1.

  • 1.1.4 Standardized Content  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material under subunit 1.1.

  • 1.1.5 Audience  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material under subunit 1.1.

  • 1.2 Overview of General Differences in Syntaxes for Different Categories of Mass Media  
    • Web Media: YouTube: The Saylor Foundation’s “Overview of Writing Styles for Media”

      Link: YouTube: The Saylor Foundation’s “Overview of Writing Styles for Media” (YouTube)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and watch this video.  Focus on how each mass medium uses a particular technology to deliver content, and how when writing for a mass medium, the writer needs to be thinking about to what extent the audience is hearing, watching, or reading the message, and to what extent the mass medium is using photos, text, voice, video, newsprint, book pages and other ways of communicating to deliver a message.  Good writers for mass media are attuned to these dimensions of mass media.

      Watching this video should take approximately 1 hour.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

    • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Overview of Different Writing Styles for Different Media”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Overview of Different Writing Styles for Different Media” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Click on the link above and read this article, which is a brief overview of how the writing styles are different for different media.  Focus at this point just on the general differences in writing styles.

      Reading this article should take approximately 30 minutes.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

  • 1.2.1 Print Media  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material under subunit 1.2.

  • 1.2.2 Broadcast Media  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material under subunit 1.2.

  • 1.2.3 Web Media  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material under subunit 1.2.

  • Unit 2: Who Can Write for Mass Media  

    This unit discusses who can write for the mass media.  In the past, those who wrote for traditional mass media (newspapers, radio, and television) were trained professionals that often had obtained college degrees or some other form of technical training from specialized media schools, or at the very least had years of experience in the media field such that they were considered to be experienced enough to write for mass media.  But with the development of contemporary mass media (the web and specifically social media – Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and others), now just about anyone can write for mass media.  The more you understand and the more you can execute the syntax of each mass medium, the better a chance you will have of being successful at writing for a particular mass medium, both by the decision makers that accept your writing and media audiences that access your content.

    Unit 2 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 2 Learning Outcomes   show close
    • Web Media: YouTube: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit Introduction”

      Link: YouTube: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit Introduction” (YouTube)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and watch this video.  Focus on how wide of a field mass media is and how many different outlets there are for different styles of media content.

      Watching this video should take approximately 1 hour.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

    • Web Media: YouTube: The Saylor Foundation’s “Who Writes for the Mass Media?”

      Link: YouTube: The Saylor Foundation’s “Who Writes for the Mass Media?” (YouTube)

      Instructions: Click on the link below and watch this video on who can write for the mass media.  Focus on how you might be described by one of these positions, and think about what kind of media you would like to write for.

      Watching this video should take approximately 30 minutes.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

  • 2.1 Media Professionals  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the video beneath unit 2.

  • 2.1.1 Journalists  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the video beneath unit 2.

  • 2.1.2 Editors  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the video beneath unit 2.

  • 2.1.3 Directors  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the video beneath unit 2.

  • 2.1.4 Anchors  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the video beneath unit 2.

  • 2.1.5 Producers  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the video beneath unit 2.

  • 2.1.6 Freelancers  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the video beneath unit 2.

  • 2.1.7 Public Relations Personnel  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the video beneath unit 2.

  • 2.2 Elected Representatives  
  • 2.2.1 Municipal Representatives  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the video beneath unit 2.

  • 2.2.2 County/Department Representatives  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the video beneath unit 2.

  • 2.2.3 State/Provincial Representatives  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the video beneath unit 2.

  • 2.2.4 National Representatives  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the video beneath unit 2.

  • 2.2.5 International Representatives  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the video beneath unit 2.

  • 2.3 Teachers/Students  
  • 2.3.1 Elementary/Middle/High School  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the video beneath unit 2.

  • 2.3.2 Trade/Technical School  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the video beneath unit 2.

  • 2.3.3 Community College  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the video beneath unit 2.

  • 2.3.4 Four Year College/University  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the video beneath unit 2.

  • 2.3.5 Masters/Doctorate  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the video beneath unit 2.

  • 2.4 Ordinary People  
  • 2.4.1 Bloggers  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the video beneath unit 2.

  • 2.4.2 Social Media Users  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the video beneath unit 2.

  • 2.4.3 People With Limited Experience at Media Use  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the video beneath unit 2.

  • Unit 3: Analyzing Audiences for Mass Media Content  

    This unit discusses how to analyze a potential audience for your mass media content.  In order to write content that is useful and makes a substantial impact, the content needs to be accessed by enough people regularly to create demand for that content.  Content that is created without an audience in mind will often cease to exist; without a base of support that provides the writer with feedback, the writer cannot modify content to cultivate more interest, expand content to satisfy a growing audience need, or alter the direction of the content to meet strong audience demands.  For example, think of how the early “reality” shows on MTV revolved around groups of college-aged people that cohabitated in exotic locations like Miami, Florida.  Now think of the kinds of reality television shows that are currently on television.  There is a much wider range: from contestant shows involving people trying to become singing stars, to cooking shows, to shows involving celebrities trying to win dance contests.  Can you imagine how the writers who worked on reality television shows evolved theses shows from a basic form into many more varied forms?  This evolution is due to many factors, some of which are describable, and some of which will remain a mystery.  But one factor that has played a role, and will always play a central role in the success and creation of an audience for any media content, is the ability to discover, analyze, and cultivate interests and needs for the media content among a group of people that have been studied using relevant research skills.  This unit covers how to study an audience to learn about their needs for, or interests in, media content that you can write.

    Unit 3 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 3 Learning Outcomes   show close
    • Web Media: YouTube: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit Introduction”

      Link: YouTube: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit Introduction” (YouTube)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and watch this video.  Focus on the importance of always keeping your audience’s needs and interests in mind when you are writing content for them to access in mass media.

      Watching this video should take approximately 30 minutes.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

    • Web Media: YouTube: The Saylor Foundation’s “Analyzing Demographics and Psychographics of a Media Audience”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Analyzing Demographics and Psychographics of a Media Audience” (YouTube)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and watch this video.  Focus on how to apply demographic and psychographic variables to an audience.  Next you will be asked to complete a worksheet that goes along with the video in which you analyze an audience according to assumed demographics and psychographics.  Analyzing the audience is a necessary beginning step to writing for the mass media that will help you shape your content to the audience’s needs and interests.

      Watching this video should take approximately 1 hour.

    • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Lecture Notes on Demographics and Psychographics”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Lecture Notes on Demographics and Psychographics” (PDF)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and read these notes about analyzing demographics and psychographics of a media audience.  Focus on how you can come up with different categories of people and behaviors to help you understand their needs and interests to you can write media content that appeals to the audience.

      Reading these notes should take approximately 1 hour.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

  • 3.1 Analyzing Audience Interests and Needs for Writing Mass Media Content  
  • 3.1.1 Demographics  
  • 3.1.1.1 Most Common Demographics: Age and Gender  

    Note: This sub-sub-subunit is covered by the material underneath unit 3.

  • 3.1.1.2 Other Demographics: Education, Place of Residence, Ethnicity, Religion, Income, Employment  

    Note: This sub-sub-subunit is covered by the material underneath unit 3.

  • 3.1.1.3 Inventing Your Own Demographics: e.g. Vehicles Owned, Vacations per Year, Email Accounts  

    Note: This sub-sub-subunit is covered by the material underneath unit 3.

  • 3.1.2 Psychographics  
  • 3.1.2.1 Lifestyle Psychographics: Sports, Socializing, Hobbies, Advocacy Groups  

    Note: This sub-sub-subunit is covered by the material underneath unit 3.

  • 3.1.2.2 Attitudinal Psychographics: Likes/Dislikes, Political Views, Preferences, Tastes  

    Note: This sub-sub-subunit is covered by the material underneath unit 3.

  • 3.1.3 Interaction of Demographics and Psychographics in Uses of Mass Media Technology  
  • 3.1.3.1 Hard-copy Book  

    Note: This sub-sub-subunit is covered by the material underneath unit 3.

  • 3.1.3.2 Hard-copy Newspaper  

    Note: This sub-sub-subunit is covered by the material underneath unit 3.

  • 3.1.3.3 Television  

    Note: This sub-sub-subunit is covered by the material underneath unit 3.

  • 3.1.3.4 Radio  

    Note: This sub-sub-subunit is covered by the material underneath unit 3.

  • 3.1.3.5 Desktop Computer  

    Note: This sub-sub-subunit is covered by the material underneath unit 3.

  • 3.1.3.6 Laptop Computer  

    Note: This sub-sub-subunit is covered by the material underneath unit 3.

  • 3.1.3.7 Tablet  

    Note: This sub-sub-subunit is covered by the material underneath unit 3.

  • 3.1.3.8 Cell Phone  

    Note: This sub-sub-subunit is covered by the material underneath unit 3.

  • Unit 4: Research Skills  

    This unit describes research skills necessary for gathering information in order to write for mass media.  Much of the writing in mass media is based on the expertise and experiences of others.  As a writer, you will need to be able to harvest that expertise and those experiences to construct a narrative that brings them to life for the audience.  In order to find the expertise and experiences, you will need to have research skills at your disposal that will help you figure out where to look, who to talk to, what to read, listen to, and watch, and how to record the information you are finding.  For example, what if you wanted to write a weekly blog on the web about new music that is being released?  You may already have a good knowledge base about the kind of music you want to write about.  But are you able to cite sources that talk about the process of creating that music from – sources that are close to the artists and the producers who created the music?  This unit will help you acquire the research skills that point you to where to find this information, plus information for other kinds of media content.  The activities described in this unit will help you refine and exercise the methodical research skills necessary to write for mass media.

    Unit 4 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 4 Learning Outcomes   show close
    • Web Media: YouTube: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit Introduction”

      Link: YouTube: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit Introduction” (YouTube)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and watch this video.  Focus on how wide of a field mass media is and how many different outlets there are for different styles of media content.

      Watching this video should take approximately 1 hour.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

  • 4.1 Interviewing  
  • 4.1.1 Main Goals of Interviews  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material underneath subunit 4.1.

  • 4.1.2 Contacting Potential Interviewees  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material underneath subunit 4.1.

  • 4.1.3 Scheduling Interviews  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material underneath subunit 4.1.

  • 4.1.4 Structuring Interview Topics  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material underneath subunit 4.1.

  • 4.1.5 Questions to Avoid in Interviewing  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material underneath subunit 4.1.

  • 4.1.6 Maintaining Control of the Interview  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material underneath subunit 4.1.

  • 4.2 Observation  
    • Reading: Virginia Commonwealth University: Jim Hall’s Beginning Reporting: “Harvesting the News”

      Link: Virginia Commonwealth University: Jim Hall’s Beginning Reporting: “Harvesting the News” (HTML)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and read this article.  Focus on how different levels of observation get you closer to the accuracy of what is being observed.  Observing and remembering are key skills for effectively writing for mass media.

      Reading this article should take approximately 1 hour.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Lecture Notes on Observation”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Lecture Notes on Observation” (PDF)

      Instructions: Click on the link above, and read the notes on techniques for observing an event that will allow you to descriptively write media content about that event.

      Reading these notes should take approximately 1 hour.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

    • Assignment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Worksheet on Observation”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Worksheet on Observation” (PDF)

      Instructions: Click on the link above to take you to a worksheet where you can practice your observation skills.  The worksheet will have you observe a photo for a limited time, and then make notes on descriptive details in the photo that you observed.

      Completing this assignment should take approximately 1 hour.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

  • 4.2.1 Main Goals of Observing an Event  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 4.2.

  • 4.2.2 What to Pay Attention to When Observing  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 4.2.

  • 4.2.3 Accounting for Observer Bias  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 4.2.

  • 4.2.4 Triangulating an Observation with Another Observation  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 4.2.

  • 4.3 Documents/Archival Research  
    • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Archival Research”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Archival Research” (PDF)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and read this article on archival research.  Focus on learning what categories of research data exist there are, and how you would go about exploring these archives to help you write media content.  You will need these skills to help you research subjects in depth that you want to write about in the mass media.

      Reading this article should take approximately 1 hour.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

    • Assignment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Samples of Archive Websites” and “Archival Research Worksheet”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Samples of Archive Websites” (PDF) and “Archival Research Worksheet” (PDF)

      Instructions: Click on the first link to get to websites where various archives can be accessed online.  Click on the second link to practice searching these websites for answers to the questions in the worksheet.

      Completing this assignment should take approximately 1 hour.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

  • 4.3.1 Web Searches  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 4.3.

  • 4.3.2 Government Documents  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 4.3.

  • 4.3.3 FOIA or Similar Protocols for Requesting Information  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 4.3.

  • 4.3.4 Financial Information  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 4.3.

  • 4.3.5 Property Information  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 4.3.

  • 4.3.6 Entertainment Information  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 4.3.

  • 4.3.7 Miscellaneous Information  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 4.3.

  • 4.4 Searching for Credible Sources of Information  
    • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Lecture Notes on Researching Credible Sources”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Lecture Notes on Researching Credible Sources” (PDF)

      Instructions: Click on the link above, and read this article on how to search for credible sources of information.  Focus on how writers can approach their research to ensure that the information they gain is accurate.  You will need to always pursue credible sources of information when writing for the mass media, or your reputation and others can be damaged irretrievably if you provide inaccurate information.

      Reading this article should take approximately 1 hour.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

    • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Credible Sources Checklist”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Credible Sources Checklist” (PDF)

      Instructions: Click on the link above to access a checklist of questions you can ask yourself as you try to understand whether a person or organization is a credible source of information.  Choose a hypothetical person you might interview and then check off the items on the checklist that apply to this person.

      Reading this checklist should take approximately 30 minutes.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

  • 4.4.1 Questioning Political Orientation of Sources of Information  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 4.4.

  • 4.4.2 Questioning Competence of Sources of Information  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 4.4.

  • 4.4.3 Questioning Financial Interests of Sources of Information  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 4.4.

  • 4.4.4 Confirming Information Between Two Sources  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 4.4.

  • Unit 5: Principles of Effective Media Writing  

    This unit presents the main principles for writing effectively.  Though you have likely studied grammar and punctuation since you were a child in school, it is important to revisit these principles from the vantage point of an adult – now that you have the ability to apply these principles as someone who has experience and who has refined many more of your own ideas and your own ways of writing.

    The English language is a versatile and nuanced language.  Therefore, it is important that when you write for mass media using the English language, you have at your disposal the full range of grammar and punctuation options in order to express your ideas clearly and powerfully.  Moreover, some of the grammar and punctuation marks have meanings that are very specific to the mass medium used to deliver content.  For example: in radio, when you write the word “says,” as in “Mary Jones says,” the words that follow “says” are understood to be a paraphrase, rather than a direct quote (which would instead follow the word “claims” or the word “stated,” or other specific verbs).  Syntax rules such as this are specific to each medium and will be explored in more detail in Units 5-9.  For now, this unit will cover the basic principles of grammar and punctuation, regardless of the medium delivering the content.

    Unit 5 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 5 Learning Outcomes   show close
    • Web Media: YouTube: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit Introduction”

      Link: YouTube: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit Introduction” (YouTube)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and watch this video.  Focus on how important it is to know various methods of constructing a sentence      including all of the punctuation marks available – to create content that is appropriate and meaningful for mass media.

      Watching this video should take approximately 1 hour.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

  • 5.1 Sentence Structure  
    • Reading: Writing Commons‘ “Think Rhetorically”

      Link: Writing Commons’ “Think Rhetorically” (HTML)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and read this article.  Since you are the best judge of where you need to improve your writing (e.g. use of the semi colon, or word choices, or sentence construction), for this unit you should click on the sub links that take you to the areas in which you feel your writing is weakest.

      Reading this article should take approximately 2 hours.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: How To’s “Improve Your Written English”

      Link: How To’s “Improve Your Written English” (HTML)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and read those portions of the entry that you feel match where your writing is weakest.  Since you are the best judge of where you need to improve your writing (e.g. use of the semicolon, word choice, or sentence construction), for this unit you should click on the sub links that take you to those areas of writing.

      Reading this article should take approximately 2 hours.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Assignment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Practicing Sentence Construction and Punctuation”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Practicing Sentence Construction and Punctuation” (PDF)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and complete the worksheet to help you practice sentence construction and punctuation.

      Completing this assignment should take approximately 1 hour.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

  • 5.1.1 Agreement of Verbs and Nouns  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 5.1.

  • 5.1.2 Active Sentences  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 5.1.

  • 5.1.3 Lead Sentences  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 5.1.

  • 5.1.4 Ending Sentences  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 5.1.

  • 5.1.5 Varying Sentence Length  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 5.1.

  • 5.2 Punctuation  
  • 5.2.1 Full Stop (Period)  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 5.1.

  • 5.2.2 Comma  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 5.1.

  • 5.2.3 Semi Colon  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 5.1.

  • 5.2.4 Colon  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 5.1.

  • 5.2.5 Hyphen  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 5.1.

  • 5.2.6 Double-Dash  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 5.1.

  • 5.2.7 Exclamation Point  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 5.1.

  • 5.2.8 Ellipses  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 5.1.

  • 5.3 General Rules  
    • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “General Rules for Writing for Radio”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “General Rules for Writing for Radio” (PDF)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and read these notes on general rules for writing for radio.

      Reading these notes should take approximately 1 hour.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

  • 5.3.1 Objectivity vs Bias  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 5.3.

  • 5.3.2 Active vs. Passive Sentences  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 5.3.

  • 5.3.3 Simple Word Choices  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 5.3.

  • 5.3.4 Colorful Writing  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 5.3.

  • 5.3.5 Cliches  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 5.3.

  • 5.3.6 Sexism  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 5.3.

  • 5.3.7 Racism  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 5.3.

  • Unit 6: Writing For Print  

    This unit describes how print media requires a kind of writing that is unique to the way they deliver content.  The print media covered in this course includes books, magazines, and newspapers, though some of the rules that are discussed will naturally apply to other kinds of print media like flyers, poster boards, and billboards, all of which are also forms of printed mass media because they present standardized messages that are seen by lots of people.  Print media requires the audience to exercise more discipline in order to understand the content than they might when attempting to understand electronic media.  As a result, the concentration that needs to be exerted by the audience member to understand print media content is usually greater than the concentration required to understand electronic media content.  Because print media normally contains more detailed content than electronic or web-based media, and because print media requires the eyes and the hands to follow a sustained sequence of movement and activity, the writing needs to be structured in a way to make sure that the layout of the content follows a logical order that builds across the space available to display that content.  For example, a book is a form of print media that can contain thousands of words, broken down into chapters, sections, paragraphs, and sentences.  A person reads a book by drawing their eyes from left to right across these components, from the top of the page to the bottom, from one page to the next, until – usually many days later – reading the book has been completed.  And while the eyes are following this logical sequence, the hands assist by turning pages, marking temporary stopping points with bookmarks or “dog ears,” and holding the book.  Magazines and newspapers, though not as dense with information as books, also follow a structure similar to the book, and a similar use of the hands and eyes.  This unit discusses rules and guidelines that will help you write effectively for print media.  Though books, magazines, and newspapers are increasingly distributed online, their presence as hard-copy media remains strong.  This unit deals with books, magazines, and newspapers in their hard-copy forms.

    Unit 6 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 6 Learning Outcomes   show close
    • Web Media: YouTube: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit Introduction”

      Link: YouTube: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit Introduction” (YouTube)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and watch this video.  Focus on how writing for print media requires a unique sentence structure that is geared to the eye, rather than the ear.

      Watching this video should take approximately 30 minutes.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

  • 6.1 Magazine Media  
  • 6.1.1 Feature Story Length  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 6.1.

  • 6.1.2 Integration of Photos, Ads, and Pictures  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 6.1.

  • 6.1.3 Integration of Ads  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 6.1.

  • 6.1.4 Carrying Stories Across Pages  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 6.1.

  • 6.1.5 The Beginning, the Middle, and the Ending  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 6.1.

  • 6.2 Newspaper Media  
  • 6.2.1 Broadsheets vs. Tabloids vs. Compacts  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the readings for subunit 6.2.

  • 6.2.2 Fundamentals of the Newspaper Story  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the readings for subunit 6.2.

  • 6.2.3 Inverted Pyramid  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the readings for subunit 6.2.

  • 6.2.4 Sourcing  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the readings for subunit 6.2.

  • 6.2.5 AP Style  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the readings for subunit 6.2.

  • 6.2.6 Newspaper Sections  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the readings for subunit 6.2.

  • 6.2.7 Broadsheets vs. Tabloids vs. Compacts  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the readings for subunit 6.2.

  • 6.2.8 Carrying Stories Across Pages  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the readings for subunit 6.2.

  • 6.2.9 Carrying Stories Across Ads  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the readings for subunit 6.2.

  • Unit 7: Writing for Radio  

    This unit discusses how to write for radio.  Because radio is a background medium that a person usually listens to while doing other things – the most common of which is traveling in a vehicle – the radio listener is not normally concentrating on radio content as much as print media.  This is not to say that radio content has less of an impact on the listener; only that radio content needs to be written in such a way that makes it more easily accessible than most other media.  Radio content also needs to be written in such a way that the listener can miss hearing parts of the content and still be able to understand what the content is about.  Imagine having a radio station on in the car while you are traveling, but you are lost in thought.  You are thinking about whether you will reach your destination on time, or whether the weather is going to get worse while you are driving, or whether you have enough gas to make it to your destination – and all the while the radio is playing.  You may not have been listening very intently to the radio content under these circumstances.  But suddenly you hear something of interest (news about your favorite sports team, or about a horrific crime, or about a politician you follow), and now you want to really focus on the story.  Radio content needs to be written to accommodate these kinds of somewhat random listening patterns.

    Unit 7 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 7 Learning Outcomes   show close
    • Web Media: YouTube: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit Introduction”

      Link: YouTube: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit Introduction” (YouTube)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and watch this video.  Focus on how writing for radio media requires a unique sentence structure that is geared for listening.

      Watching this video should take approximately 30 minutes.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

    • Reading: The Pocono Record: Rob McKenzie’s “Your Buddy, the Radio, is Always There for You”

      Link: The Pocono Record: Rob McKenzie’s “Your Buddy, the Radio, is Always There for You” (HTML)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and read this article about radio.  Focus on the context in which most people listen to radio.

      Reading this article should take approximately 15 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Slideshare: David Brewer’s “How to Write a Radio Script”

      Link: Slideshare: David Brewer’s “How to Write a Radio Script” (PPT/HTML)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and watch the entire slide show.  Focus on the basic structure of a radio story – what kind of information goes in the beginning, the middle, and the ending.

      Reviewing this slide show should take approximately 15 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Writing Names, Titles, and Numbers for Radio”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Writing Names, Titles, and Numbers for Radio” (PDF)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and read all these lecture notes.  Focus on how to write names, titles and numbers for radio.

      Reading these notes should take approximately 30 minutes.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

    • Assignment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Writing Names, Titles, and Numbers for Radio Worksheet”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Writing Names, Titles, and Numbers for Radio Worksheet” (PDF)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and complete the worksheet to practice source attribution in radio.

      Completing this resources should take approximately 30 minutes.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

    • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Source Attribution in Radio”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Source Attribution in Radio” (PDF)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and read all these lecture notes.  Focus on how to attribute sources when writing content for radio.

      Reading these notes should take approximately 30 minutes.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

    • Assignment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Source Attribution in Radio Worksheet”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Source Attribution in Radio Worksheet” (PDF)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and complete the worksheet to practice source attribution in radio.

      Completing this assignment take approximately 30 minutes.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

    • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Writing Leads and Endings for Radio News”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Writing Leads and Endings for Radio News” (PDF)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and read all of these lecture notes.  Focus on how to write lead sentences and ending sentences for radio news stories.

      Reading these notes should take approximately 30 minutes.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

    • Assignment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Writing Leads and Endings for Radio News Worksheet”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Writing Leads and Endings for Radio News Worksheet” (PDF)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and complete this worksheet to practice writing lead sentences and closing sentences in radio news stories.

      Completing this assignment should take approximately 30 minutes.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

  • 7.1 Radio Listening  
  • 7.1.1 Radio as a Background Medium  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the resources beneath unit 7.

  • 7.1.2 Radio Listening in the Vehicle  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the resources beneath unit 7.

  • 7.1.3 The Short Time Spent Listening to Radio  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the resources beneath unit 7.

  • 7.2 Radio Sentence Structure  
  • 7.2.1 Brevity and Informality  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the resources beneath unit 7.

  • 7.2.2 Format Rules  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the resources beneath unit 7.

  • 7.2.3 Names and Titles  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the resources beneath unit 7.

  • 7.2.4 Sources Attribution  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the resources beneath unit 7.

  • 7.2.5 Pronouncer Brackets  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the resources beneath unit 7.

  • 7.2.6 Conversational Word Choices  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the resources beneath unit 7.

  • 7.2.7 Abbreviations  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the resources beneath unit 7.

  • 7.2.8 Verbs for Quotes versus Paraphrases  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the resources beneath unit 7.

  • 7.2.9 Leads  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the resources beneath unit 7.

  • 7.2.10 Leads  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the resources beneath unit 7.

  • 7.2.11 Endings  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the resources beneath unit 7.

  • 7.2.12 Use of the Comma For Taking Breaths  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the resources beneath unit 7.

  • 7.3 The Sound Bite  
    • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Writing Sound Bites for Radio News”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Writing Sound Bites for Radio News” (PDF)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and read these lecture notes.  Focus on how to write lead sentences and ending sentences for radio news stories.

      Reading these notes should take approximately 30 minutes.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

    • Web Media: Savoy Hill’s “Free Sound Files”

      Link: Savoy Hill’s “Free Sound Files” (HTML/MP3)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and listen to these sound bites used in radio news.

      Listening to these sound bites should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

    • Assignment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Writing Sound Bites Worksheet”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Writing Sound Bites Worksheet” (PDF)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and complete the worksheet to practice writing a sound bite from the actualities you listened to into radio news stories.

      Completing this assignment should take approximately 30 minutes.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

  • 7.3.1 Editing the Actuality into the Soundbite  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 7.3.

  • 7.3.2 The Bite Line in the Script  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 7.3.

  • 7.3.3 Transition to and From the Bite Line  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 7.3.

  • Unit 8: Writing for Television  

    This unit discusses how to write for television.  Writing for television involves applying the same rules and guidelines learned for writing for radio, plus some additional rules and guidelines for incorporating video into the script.  Television is a medium that requires much more teamwork than radio.  Whereas radio content can be created by just one person, television content requires several people to put it together.  This affects how you must write for television.  In addition, since television is largely a stationary medium, meaning that it is normally watched by people in fixed locations (usually the home), the story structure must be more engaging.  Increasingly, television is viewed while the viewer simultaneously uses social media to talk about what they are watching (while on their cell phones, laptops, and tablets).  For example, a person may be watching a television show in which contestants are competing to be selected as the winner.  But while the television viewer is watching the show, they are posting on Twitter about the performance of the contestant.  This use of television also affects how television content is written.

    Unit 8 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 8 Learning Outcomes   show close
    • Web Media: YouTube: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit Introduction”

      Link: YouTube: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit Introduction” (YouTube)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and watch this video.  Focus on how writing for television requires a unique sentence structure builds on radio sentence structure but is geared for both listening and watching.

      Watching this video should take approximately 30 minutes.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

  • 8.1 Television as Teamwork  
  • 8.1.1 Writers  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 8.1.

  • 8.1.2 Anchors  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 8.1.

  • 8.1.3 Reporters  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 8.1.

  • 8.1.4 Other Personnel  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 8.1.

  • 8.2 Importance of the Visual Image in Television Content  
  • 8.2.1 Selection of Content  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 8.2.

  • 8.2.2 General Structure of Content  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 8.2.

  • 8.3 TV Script  
  • 8.3.1 Camera Commands  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 8.3.

  • 8.3.2 Camera Shot Transitions  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 8.3.

  • 8.3.3 Packages  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 8.3.

  • 8.3.4 Video Bite Line  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 8.3.

  • 8.4 Television Watchers Using Social Media  
    • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Notes on Writing Television Scripts”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Notes on Writing Television Scripts” (PDF)

      Instructions: Click on the link above to read about how TV scripts are constructed.  Focus on how the radio writing skills you learned is built upon by writing camera commands to create a TV script.

      Reading this article should take approximately 1 hour.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

    • Assignment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Worksheet on Writing Television News Scripts”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Worksheet on Writing Television News Scripts” (PDF)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and complete this worksheet on writing a television script.

      Completing this assignment should take approximately 1 hour.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

  • 8.4.1 Companies Capturing Social Media Use Data  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 8.4.

  • 8.4.2 Social Media Content During Television Viewing  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 8.4.

  • 8.4.3 Interface of Social Media Content and Television Content in Advertising  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 8.4.

  • Unit 9: Writing for the Web  

    This unit discusses how to write for the Web.  The Web is a medium that combines almost all of the technological attributes of the previous media discussed in this course.  On the Web you can read newspapers, listen to the radio, and watch video content.  But the Web also contains its own content, and has its own particular requirements for writing that content based on the limitations as well as the possibilities of the internet medium.  When people surf the web, they can go in any number of directions at any given moment.  Web users can click on links in the middle of content that take them to new content, never to return to the original content.  Web users can open up several windows on their laptop or tablet, and alternate between those windows with a click of the mouse or a tap of the screen (like you might be doing as you work on this course).  Web users can open two or more windows simultaneously on the same screen and look at any of those windows at any given time.  Web users can access a web page and suddenly a pop-up window appears, taking their attention away from the content they were just accessing.  All of these factors come to play in how a person uses the web.  In essence, when you are writing for the Web, you will need to keep in mind that you can lose the person accessing your content at any given moment.  You can also steal an audience member from content they were in the midst of accessing.  Also coming into play is where and how people access the web.  They can access it on the go, through a mobile device like a smart phone or a tablet.  Or they can access the web at a stationary location, through a desktop at their workplace or an internet-capable monitor also used for television content in their living room.  Therefore, when you write for the web you will need to be mindful that your content has great potential to be accessed very conveniently by the user, but that if you don’t keep the user’s interest, they may never finish your content or access it again.

    Unit 9 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 9 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 9.1 Basic Features of Web Layout  
  • 9.1.1 Links  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath unit 9.

  • 9.1.2 Drop Down Menus  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath unit 9.

  • 9.1.3 Scrolling  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath unit 9.

  • 9.1.4 Text  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath unit 9.

  • 9.1.5 Photos  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath unit 9.

  • 9.1.6 Graphics: Stationary and Moving  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath unit 9.

  • 9.1.7 Icons  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath unit 9.

  • 9.2 The Web as a Mobile Medium  
  • 9.2.1 The Wireless Web  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath unit 9.

  • 9.2.2 Telephonic Web  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath unit 9.

  • 9.2.3 Saving Web Pages  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath unit 9.

  • 9.2.4 Hands Free Web Use  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath unit 9.

  • 9.3 Resources for Learning Web Program  
    • Reading: The Webmaster Forums: “Web Programming and Application Development Forum”

      Link: The Webmaster Forums: “Web Programming and Application Development Forum” (HTML)

      Instructions: Click on the link above, and read a sampling of 20-25 blogs of your choice.  Focus on general tips that web programmers say should be considered in writing content for the Web.

      Reading  this material should take approximately 1 hour.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

    • Reading: WikiBooks’ Web Development: “Choosing the Right Programming Language”

      Link: WikiBooks’ Web Development: “Choosing the Right Programming Language” (HTML)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and read this article.  Focus on the general tips for selecting an appropriate programming language for the content you want to write for the Web.

      Reading this article should take approximately 1 hour.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 9.3.1 HTML  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 9.3.

  • 9.3.2 CGI  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 9.3.

  • 9.3.3 Javascript  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 9.3.

  • 9.3.4 PHP  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 9.3.

  • 9.3.5 XML  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 9.3.

  • 9.3.6 Wordpress  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 9.3.

  • 9.4 Content Design  
  • 9.4.1 Paragraphs  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 9.4.

  • 9.4.2 Sentences  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 9.4.

  • 9.4.3 Fonts  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 9.4.

  • 9.4.4 Other Formatting Items-Italics, Bold, Underline, Coloration  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 9.4.

  • Unit 10: Writing Advertising Copy  

    This unit discusses writing advertising copy for mass media.  Huge portions of mass media content are taken up by advertising.  Advertising is the most common method across the world for funding mass media.  Other methods include government funding, license fees, user fees (including subscriptions), and donations.  But overwhelmingly and increasingly, advertising is being used to raise money to pay for the employees of mass media organizations, the mass media operations, the mass media investors, and other costs associated with running a mass media organization.  Advertising is often inserted into mass media content in a way that breaks up the other content, so that the reader or the listener or the viewer will be exposed to the advertising content whether they want to or not while they access the other content.  Advertising writers need to be mindful that in many instances, the audience for mass media content would rather not see the advertising because it gets in the way of the content they most desire.  For example, a radio listener often would rather hear more than three songs in a row without having to stop for advertisements.  When you write advertising content for mass media, you need to attempt to overcome this audience psychographic (refer back to Unit 3) – irritation with advertising breaking up the flow of the other media content – as you conceptualize your advertising copy.  Other advertising content, such as magazine ads, are viewed more favorably by the audience because they show welcome fashion trends.  Writers of this kind of advertising content have less pressure on them to overcome an attitude obstacle on the part of the audience.

    Unit 10 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 10 Learning Outcomes   show close
    • Reading: YouTube: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit Introduction”

      Link: YouTube: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit Introduction” (YouTube)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and watch this video.  Focus on how advertising requires a unique writing structure.

      Watching this video should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

  • 10.1 Analyzing Needs and Interests for Advertised Practices  
  • 10.1.1 Physical Needs  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 10.1.1.

  • 10.1.2 Social Needs  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 10.1.1.

  • 10.1.3 Psychological Needs  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 10.1.1.

  • 10.1.4 Communicative Needs  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 10.1.1.

  • 10.2 Strategies for Advertising Content  
  • 10.2.1 Grabbing Attention  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 10.2.

  • 10.2.2 Meeting Needs and Interests  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 10.2.

  • 10.2.3 Creating Urgency  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 10.2.

  • 10.2.4 Removing Objection  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 10.2.

  • 10.2.5 Call to Action  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 10.2.

  • 10.2.6 Using Spokespeople  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 10.2.

  • 10.2.7 Using Recognizable Imagery and/or Music  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 10.2.

  • 10.2.8 Being Creative  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 10.2.

  • 10.2.9 Telling a Story  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 10.2.

  • 10.2.10 Making Understandable Arguments  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 10.2.

  • 10.2.11 Appealing to Emotions  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 10.2.

  • 10.3 Advertising Structure and Placement  
    • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Advertising Structure and Placement”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Advertising Structure and Placement” (PDF)

      Instructions: Click on the link below and read this article on advertising structure and placement.  Focus on how advertising is placed differently in the spaces available through each medium.

      Reading this article should take approximately 2 hours.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

  • 10.3.1 Book Cover Ads  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 10.3.

  • 10.3.2 Newspaper Ads  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 10.3.

  • 10.3.3 Radio Ads  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 10.3.

  • 10.3.4 Television Ads  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 10.3.

  • 10.3.5 Web Ads  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 10.3.

  • 10.3.6 Media Promos  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 10.3.

  • Unit 11: Writing Public Relations  

    This unit discusses how to write media content that is used for public relations.  Most organizations, regardless of what product or service they provide, produce public relations content that is designed to spread the word about the product, service, or organization in a way that garners positive feelings on the part of various constituents – stock holders, clients, media audiences, politicians, etc.  One of the common goals of public relations content writers is to try and get content automatically picked up by a media organization, and then delivered to that media organization’s audience.  For example, a company that makes car tires may have developed a new kind of tire that the company promotes as being safer to drive on in rainy weather.  If you were going to design a public relations press release on this new tire, you should be mindful of writing several versions of it that are formatted to the syntax of individual media.  In other words, if you want the information to be broadcast on radio stations, you should write the press release copy that you send to radio stations, in radio style.  Media producers will normally not want to spend time rewriting public relations copy in order to suit the syntax of their medium.  As a result, writers of public relations content must always be mindful of the syntax of the mass medium for which they are writing.  In addition, since much of public relations content also can be seen as advertising – though in a less obvious way – writers of public relations content need to draw on the strategies of advertising discussed in the previous unit.

    Unit 11 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 11 Learning Outcomes   show close
    • Web Media: YouTube: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit Introduction”

      Link: YouTube: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit Introduction” (YouTube)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and watch this video.  Focus on how public relations requires a unique writing structure.

      Watching this video should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

  • 11.1 Sources of Public Relations Content  
  • 11.1.1 Public Relations Firm  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 11.1.

  • 11.1.2 In House Public Relations  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 11.1.

  • 11.1.3 Freelance Product-Relations  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 11.1.

  • 11.2 Goals of Public Relations  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 11.1.

  • 11.2.1 Creating Goodwill Towards an Organization  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 11.1.

  • 11.2.2 Protect Reputation of a Product or Service  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 11.1.

  • 11.2.3 Raising Awareness of a Product or Service  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 11.1.

  • 11.2.4 Providing Information about Product or Service  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 11.1.

  • 11.2.5 Distinguish Product or Service From the Competition  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 11.1.

  • 11.3 Public-Relations Content Types  
  • 11.3.1 Advertising Public Relations  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 11.1.

  • 11.3.2 Non-Profit Public Relations  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 11.1.

  • 11.3.3 Political Public Relations  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 11.1.

  • 11.4 Public Relations Communiques  
    • Reading: Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Cherie Miot Abbanat’s Advanced Writing Seminar: “Writing a Press Release”

      Link: Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Cherie Miot Abbanat’s Advanced Writing Seminar“Writing a Press Release” (PDF)

      Instructions: Read these notes on writing a press release.  Focus on how to break a press release down into different parts.

      Reading these notes should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Goals of Public Relations”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Goals of Public Relations” (PDF)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and read these lecture notes.  Focus on different goals for writing content for public relations.

      Reading these notes should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

    • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Public Relations Content Types”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Public Relations Content Types” (PDF)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and read these lecture notes.  Focus on the different content-types that are written about in public relations.

      Reading these notes should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

    • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Public Relations Communiques”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Public Relations Communiques” (PDF)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and read all of the lecture notes.  Focus on the different content-types that are written about in public relations.

      Reading these notes should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

    • Assignment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Public Relations Communiques Worksheet”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Public Relations Communiques Worksheet” (PDF)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and complete the worksheet for writing a mass email, and an memorandum.

      Completing this assignment should take approximately 2 hours.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

  • 11.4.1 Press Conference  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 11.4.

  • 11.4.2 Press Release  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 11.4.

  • 11.4.3 Mass E-Mail  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 11.4.

  • 11.4.4 Memorandum  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 11.4.

  • 11.4.5 Radio PSA (Public Service Announcement)  
  • 11.4.6 Television VNR (Video News Release)  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 11.4.

  • 11.4.7 Web Page  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 11.4.

  • 11.4.8 PR Stunts  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 11.4.

  • Unit 12: Legal Considerations for Writing Media Content  

    This unit discusses writing media content that is legal.  Though as a creative artist you ultimately have the power to write anything you want, there are laws in each country that govern what kinds of content that media are legally able to distribute.  Though these laws differ somewhat across each country, there are certain standard laws that apply across most countries.  For example, in most countries it is illegal to harm an ordinary person’s reputation by saying reckless falsehoods about that person in the media (usually referred to as libel law).  As a media writer, you need to constantly be aware of what the laws are that govern the media you are seeking to write for.  If you violate the law in your written work, the work you submit to a media organization will likely result in your services being terminated.  In the event that what you write is illegal and it is not screened out through the editing process, you or the media organization could be held liable for any damages caused if it gets distributed by a mass medium.  Depending on the country, this infraction could result in fines, imprisonment, or in extreme circumstances, even death.  Since just a single word can sometimes mean the difference between breaking the law or following the law, it is important that your language choices are carefully thought out and proofread.  For example, if you write a news story for a newspaper and you state that a particular person committed murder, but the actual trial has not yet taken place rendering a verdict that this person has committed murder, you or the newspaper may be prosecuted for libeling that person’s reputation.  The word “allegedly” committed the murder is normally all that it takes to ensure that you have followed the law in this scenario, in order to make clear that this person has not been found guilty, but is at present being accused by police or the judicial system of committing a crime.  This unit will discuss this law and other laws that pertain to writing for the media.

    Unit 12 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 12 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 12.1 Repercussions of Illegal Media Content  
    • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Repercussions of Illegal Media Content”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Repercussions of Illegal Media Content” (PDF)

      Instructions: Click on the first link below and read this article about the repercussions of illegal media content.  Focus on the severity of the penalties for breaking the law.

      Reading this article should take approximately 1 hour.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

  • 12.1.1 Reprimand  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 12.1.

  • 12.1.2 Termination  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 12.1.

  • 12.1.3 Fine  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 12.1.

  • 12.1.4 Court of Trial  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 12.1.

  • 12.1.5 Loss of License  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 12.1.

  • 12.1.6 Imprisonment  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 12.1.

  • 12.1.7 Death  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 12.1.

  • 12.2 Laws Commonly Applied to Media Content Across the World  
    • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Laws Commonly Applied to Media Content Across the World”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Laws Commonly Applied to Media Content Across the World”
       
      Instructions:  Click on the first link below and read the entire entry on Laws Commonly Applied to Media Content Across the World.
       
      Time Advisory:  This resource will take approximately 1 hour to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

  • 12.2.1 Sedition  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the resources for subunit 12.2.

  • 12.2.2 Libel/Defamation  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the resources for subunit 12.2.

  • 12.2.3 Indecency/Obscenity/Profanity  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the resources for subunit 12.2.

  • 12.2.4 False Light  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the resources for subunit 12.2.

  • 12.2.5 Invasion of Privacy  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the resources for subunit 12.2.

  • 12.2.6 Copyright  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the resources for subunit 12.2.

  • 12.3 Protective Practices  
    • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Protective Practices”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Protective Practices” (PDF)

      Instructions: Click on the first link below and read this article on protective practices.

      Reading this article should take approximately 1 hour.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

  • 12.3.1 Due Diligence  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 12.3.

  • 12.3.2 Multiple Independent Sources  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 12.3.

  • 12.3.3 Public Officials Versus Ordinary People  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 12.3.

  • 12.3.4 Malicious Intent  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 12.3.

  • 12.3.5 Qualifying Verbs and Adverbs  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 12.3.

  • Unit 13: Ethical Considerations for Writing Media Content  

    This unit discusses ethical choices that writers of media content face on an almost daily basis.  Ethical choices have to do with what is right or wrong, what is helpful or hurtful, and what is in the public’s interests versus what is in the media organization’s interests.  There are no clear-cut paths for making ethical decisions about what to include or what not to include in the content you write for mass media.  Sometimes you will make a decision and never be completely confident that you have made the right decision – as in whether you decide to write about a person in his 70s who is accused of stealing money who says he did it to support the cost of his medical insurance.  This kind of story has many sides to it.  How you write about it will influence whether you provide sympathy for this person or whether you imply wrongdoing.  Ethical decisions are difficult and complex.  Nevertheless, as a writer of content that will be accessed by hundreds, thousands, or perhaps millions of people when mass media distribute that content, you will need to have a mindset in place that helps you navigate through important ethical issues with the best intentions possible.  Then, at least, you will have a rigorous procedure for considering potential ethical problems that will help you avoid feeling guilty about accidentally hurting someone who didn’t deserve it – or avoid making decisions that people will later use to question your professional integrity because the decisions seemed to benefit you financially at the expense of reporting news that is in the public’s interest.  The more you are able to apply reasoning to the difficult ethical decisions you will face in writing for mass media by combining three perspectives – reasoning informed by professional guidelines, your own ethical compass, and a philosophical baseline – the more you will feel confident that you have made the right decisions in your writing.  This unit covers those three areas to help you navigate the tricky area of ethics in mass media content.

    Unit 13 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 13 Learning Outcomes   show close
    • Web Media: YouTube: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit Introduction”

      Link: YouTube: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit Introduction” (YouTube)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and watch this video.  Focus on how the nature of writing content for mass media involves daily ethical decisions.

      Watching this video should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

  • 13.1 Professional Association Ethical Codes of Conduct  
  • 13.1.1 Society of Professional Journalists  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 13.1.

  • 13.1.2 National Press Photographers Association  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 13.1.

  • 13.1.3 International Federation of Journalists  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 13.1.

  • 13.1.4 Radio Television Digital News Association  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 13.1.

  • 13.2 Ethical Codes of Conduct Common to Media Organizations  
  • 13.2.1 Conflicts of Interest  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 13.1.

  • 13.2.2 Gratuities  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 13.1.

  • 13.2.3 Accuracy/Correcting Mistakes  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 13.1.

  • 13.2.4 Right To Study  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the material beneath subunit 13.1.

  • 13.3 Broader Ethical Considerations  
    • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Broader Ethical Considerations”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Broader Ethical Considerations” (PDF)

      Instruction: Click on the link above and read this article.  Focus on general ethical considerations that media writers regularly apply to the content they write for mass media.

      Reading this article should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

  • 13.3.1 Freedom of the Press (Media)  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the materials beneath subunit 13.3.

  • 13.3.2 Harm Limitation vs. Public Interest  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the materials beneath subunit 13.3.

  • 13.3.3 Debasing Humanity  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the materials beneath subunit 13.3.

  • 13.3.4 Sensationalism  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the materials beneath subunit 13.3.

  • 13.3.5 Ambush Interviews  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the materials beneath subunit 13.3.

  • 13.3.6 Anonymous Sourcing  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the materials beneath subunit 13.3.

  • 13.3.7 Influences by Sources of Funding for Media Organization  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the materials beneath subunit 13.3.

  • 13.3.8 Checkbook Journalism  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the materials beneath subunit 13.3.

  • 13.3.9 Taste and Decency  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the materials beneath subunit 13.3.

  • 13.3.10 Children's Interests  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the materials beneath subunit 13.3.

  • 13.3.11 Exploitation of Human Beings  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the materials beneath subunit 13.3.

  • 13.4 Major Ethical Perspectives for Media Content Based in Philosophy  
    • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Major Ethical Perspectives”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Major Ethical Perspectives” (PDF)

      Instructions: Click on the link above and read this article on ethical perspectives for media content based on philosophy.

      Reading this article should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

  • 13.4.1 Aristotle's Golden Mean  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the materials beneath subunit 13.4.

  • 13.4.2 Kant's Categorical Imperative  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the materials beneath subunit 13.4.

  • 13.4.3 Rawl's Veil of Ignorance  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the materials beneath subunit 13.4.

  • 13.4.4 Utilitarianism  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the materials beneath subunit 13.4.

  • 13.4.5 Relativism  

    Note: This sub-subunit is covered by the materials beneath subunit 13.4.

  • Final Exam  
    • Final Exam: The Saylor Foundation’s “COMM104 Final Exam”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “COMM104 Final Exam”

      Instructions: You must be logged into your Saylor Foundation School account in order to access this exam.  If you do not yet have an account, you will be able to create one, free of charge, after clicking the link.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials