JOUR 4331, CRN 29239
TTH 12:15-1:30 p.m.
Office: SRH 216F
Office Hours (216F): MWF 2-3:30 p.m., TTH 1:30-3 p.m., or by appointment.
The Investigative Reporter’s Handbook: A Guide to Documents, Databases and Techniques, Fifth Edition. Students are required to read closely all assigned material.
An elective course for journalism majors and minors. The course focuses on in-depth reporting on public issues, including the techniques of investigative reporting. Students should be available for off-campus assignments. Lecture. Prerequisite: JOUR 3300.
This course acquaints students with the changing landscape of investigative reporting. By the end of the course, students will understand the concepts and ethical issues around investigative journalism and will be familiar with its vocabulary, techniques and practices.
Late assignments will be accepted for a maximum of 50% credit for up to one working day after they are due. After this period, they will not be accepted for a grade. However, you must still complete and turn in the assignment or you will fail or be withdrawn from the class. You may not skip any assignment.
Students must keep track of their own grades throughout the course. Save all returned tests, papers, in-class assignments and quizzes. Apply the grading formula below.
2 papers/activities for 40% of final grade
2 tests for 30% of final grade
1 research assignment for 20% of the final grade
5 to 10 reading or news quizzes, presentations for 10% of final grade
You should familiarize yourself with all policies listed in the UCA Student Handbook.
Attendance will be taken and students are expected to attend each class. However, to accommodate illness, family emergencies, etc., Four (4) absences will be allowed. Additional absences will result in the student’s grade dropping one (1) letter grade per absence. After five (5) unexcused absences you will be subject to being dropped from the class. This may be modified at the instructor’s discretion. Late arrival to class may, at the professor’s discretion, result in an absence being recorded. Regardless, three (3) late arrivals will be recorded as an absence. It is up to the student to notify the professor at the end of class that they are in attendance.
Missed exams that result from absences are the student’s responsibility to make up. As such, it is the student’s responsibility to contact the instructor either prior to the class missed or within three (3) days of the missed class to schedule make-up exams, which will be given at the instructor’s convenience. Failure to contact the instructor and make such arrangements will result in a grade of zero (0) for a missed exam. You must take all exams and complete all assignments for the course. Failure to take an exam or a make-up exam will result in a failing grade for the course.
Only officially sanctioned/sponsored university activities may be considered to be excused absences. Students must notify the professor ahead of time and must present written documentation. Students may not take a quiz if they arrive late to class and the quiz has begun or if there is not enough time to complete the quiz. Please do not ask for a quiz if you arrive late to class.
It is the policy of the department that any student in a department class whose behavior regularly interferes with the instructor’s ability to conduct the class and foster student learning, or who exhibits behavior so outrageous as to severely impede the conduct of the class, may be dropped by the instructor after the instructor consults with the department chair. Prior warning will be provided to the student when possible, but under extraordinary circumstances such warning may not be possible.
No reading the newspaper; no doing homework for another class; no sleeping or “resting” one’s head on the desk.
Side conversations among students tend to disrupt the class. The professor hopes to maintain an informal atmosphere for the course, but please keep side conversations short and to a minimum.
No food or drink is allowed in the lab. Please keep any food or drink in your backpack. Violators will be asked to leave class for the day.
Students may not use computers, laptops or tablets during class unless instructed.
Cell phones should be turned off and in a pocket, purse, or backpack. Any use of a cell phone in class (calls, texting, reading texts, reading Web pages etc.) constitutes an absence. The instructor will note this in the attendance log. The instructor won’t feel it necessary to notify a student about the infraction because – having just done it – the student will already know.
Unauthorized use of a phone in class may result in dismissal from the class.
Email is a formal and professional correspondence. Emails to the instructor should be written in proper format using correct grammar, spelling and punctuation, and include your name.
Students are invited to visit with the professor during Office Hours or by appointment. For writing help, visit the University Writing Center located in Thompson Hall, Room 109. Please make Writing Center appointments by calling 450-5123. The staff there is friendly and eager to help you. You may also use videos and other media available through the UCA website under the Communication and Writing Center page to assist you. Furthermore, UCA has established a tutoring center in the library with generously flexible hours to offer tutoring and technology support.
Assignments must represent your own work. Plagiarism is the cardinal sin of academia and the news media. Papers or articles that copy the research, words or ideas of others without properly attributing the source will be given a zero and the assignment cannot be redone. The student may also be required to attend a refresher course on plagiarism.
1. Any academic dishonesty in connection with the taking of, or in contemplation of the taking of any examination. (For the purposes of this policy, any student is academically dishonest who (a) knowingly discovers or attempts to discover the contents of an examination before the contents are revealed by the instructor; (b) obtains, uses, attempts to obtain or use any material or device dishonestly; or (c) supplies or attempts to supply to any other person any material or device dishonestly; or (d) during the course of an examination obtains or attempts to obtain unauthorized information from another student or from another student’s test materials.)
2. Any misrepresentation of academic work by a student as the product of their own study and efforts.
3. The unauthorized possession, taking, or copying of solutions manuals or computerized solutions for homework or research problems assigned by a professor and/or instructor.
Please refer to the student handbook for university policy on academic dishonesty and plagiarism as well as on sexual harassment and other academic and university policies.
The University of Central Arkansas affirms its commitment to academic integrity and expects all members of the university community to accept shared responsibility for maintaining academic integrity. Students in this course are subject to the provisions of the university's Academic Integrity Policy, approved by the Board of Trustees as Board Policy No. 709 on Feb. 10, 2010, and published in the Student Handbook. Penalties for academic misconduct in this course may include a failing grade on an assignment, a failing grade in the course, or any other course-related sanction the instructor determines to be appropriate. Continued enrollment in this course affirms a student's acceptance of this university policy.
Final Day to Drop with a W
The final date to withdraw from Fall 2017 classes with a W grade unless already dropped for non-attendance is March 30. After this date, only grades of A, B, C, D, and F will be given.
Student evaluations of a course and its professor are a crucial element in helping faculty achieve excellence in the classroom and the institution in demonstrating that students are gaining knowledge. Students may evaluate courses they are taking starting late in the semester through the end of finals week by logging in to myUCA and clicking on the Evals button on the top right.
Title IX Disclosure
If a student discloses an act of sexual harassment, discrimination, assault, or other sexual misconduct to a faculty member (as it relates to "student-on-student" or "employee-on-student"), the faculty member cannot maintain complete confidentiality and is required to report the act and may be required to reveal the names of the parties involved. Any allegations made by a student may or may not trigger an investigation. Each situation differs and the obligation to conduct an investigation will depend on the specific set of circumstances. The determination to conduct an investigation will be made by the Title IX Coordinator. For further information, please visit: https://uca.edu/titleix. *Disclosure of sexual misconduct by a third party who is not a student and/or employee is also required if the misconduct occurs when the third party is a participant in a university-sponsored program, event, or activity.
The University of Central Arkansas adheres to the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you need an accommodation under this act because of a disability, contact the UCA Office of Disability Services at 450-3613 or Student Health 212.
The UCA Counseling Center (450-3138, Student Health 327) is open to all students, and the services are free. The center offers confidential, professional counseling to assist you with personal problems. Students are urged to take advantage of this valuable resource.
An Emergency Procedures Summary (EPS) for Stanley Russ Hall will be discussed during the first week of this course. EPS documents for most buildings on campus are available at http://uca.edu/mysafety/bep/. Every student should be familiar with emergency procedures for any campus building in which he/she spends time for classes or other purposes.
This syllabus is subject to change and any changes will be noted in class.
Tentative Class Schedule
Jan. 9 - Course Introduction, Read Syllabus for next class
Jan. 14 - The Investigative Process, Syllabus Quiz, Read Chapter 1 for next class,
Jan. 16 - The Paul Williams Way, Read FOIA Handbook for next class
Jan. 20 - Martin Luther King Day
Jan. 21 - FOIA
Jan. 23 - FOIA, Read Chapter 2 for next class
Feb. 4 - Sources, Read Chapter 3-5 for next class
Feb. 6 – Locating Sources
Feb. 11 –Identifying and Evaluating Sources, Read Chapter 6 for next class
Feb. 13 – Writing the Investigative Story, Paper/Activity 1 assigned, Read Chapter 7 for next class
Feb. 18 – Ethics of Investigative Reporting
Feb. 20 – Ethics of Investigative Reporting
Feb. 25 - Test 1, Read Chapter 8-9 for next class
Feb. 27 - Government
March 3 - Executive Branch, Research Assignment assigned
March 5 – Legislative Branch, Paper/Activity 1 due, Read Chapter 11 for next class
March 10 - Law Enforcement
March 12 – Law Enforcement, Read Chapter 10 and 12 for next class
March 17 - The Courts, Research Assignment due
March 19 - The Courts, Read Chapter 12 for next class
March 22-29 – Spring Break
March 31 - Education, Read Chapter 13-16 for next class
April 2 - Business
April 7 – Following the Money, Paper/Activity 2 assigned, Read Chapter 17-20 for next class
April 9 – Environment
April 14 - Environment
April 16 - Test 2, Read Chapter 21 for next class
April 21 – The Disadvantaged
April 25 – The Disadvantaged, Paper/activity 2 due
April 23 - Dead Day
April 27 - May 1 - Final Exams
May 2 - Commencement
May 5 - Grades Due
May 6 – Grades Available to Students