MCom 100w

Writing Workshop

Vargas update

vargas posterIf you were on campus last March, I hope you got to attend the West Coast debut of “Documented,” a film about US immigration by Jose Antonio Vargas, a journalist who is also an undocumented immigrant.

Vargas was awarded the School’s 2014 Hearst Foundation Award that night, and spoke to a large crowd of students, faculty and community members after the screening.

His film was broadcast nationally on CNN in June.

Now, Vargas is continuing his focus on immigration in a new venue: He is partnering with the Los Angeles Times to create a new section of the Times website devoted to race, immigration and multiculturalism. The Vargas/LA Times partnership will be called #EmergingUS.

In a recent article on CNN Money, Vargas described the new venture as “a multimedia platform that, through articles, original videos, shareable data and graphics, will focus on the intersection of race, immigration and identity and the complexities of multiculturalism.” In addition to the website, #EmergingUS will also produce videos and hold events.

Because LA Times logoVargas is not a U.S. Citizen, the LA Times could not legally hire him. So, said Austin Beutner, the publisher and CEO of the Times, the media company decided to develop a business partnership with him instead.


Writing Center

good-writing-is-hard-workIf grammar is not your game, and I’m starting to bug you about writing problems such as sentence fragments and passive voice, you might to consider visiting the SJSU Writing Center. Located in Clark Hall, the Writing Center offers one-on-one tutoring, skill-building workshops, and online writing resources. Check them out at:

If, on the other hand, writing is your game — and your writing, editing and communication skills are pretty darn stellar — you might be interested to know that the Writing Center is planning to hire some new tutors. Here’s the link to the center’s jobs page:

Missing blogs?

If you haven’t yet set up your blog for this class, and emailed your blog’s web address to me, the time to do that is NOW.

Time’s a wasting …

Typo time

On Monday I’ll review AP style and the “Copy Edit the World” assignment. To help you get your “editing chops” up to speed, here are some fun errors I spotted and photographed over winter break.

The way the Copy Edit the World assignment works is that you must identify and correct an error to get credit. In this case, I’m offering two points extra credit to the first person to add a comment to this blog that identifies and corrects an AP style error, typo or other error in any of these pics.

Ypromo typoou’ll probably notice more than one error, but please just pick one to identify and correct in your comment. That will give more of you a chance to experience some of that “extra credit love.” (Also, please first check any published comments to see which errors have already been identified and corrected.)

surfing typo  menu typo

Spring 2015 hello

Welcome to the home page for MCOM 100W, section 2. We’re scheduled to meet in DBH 222 on Mondays and Wednesdays at 3 p.m.

While you’re here, please look around the site. On this blog, you’ll find the syllabus, class schedule and descriptions of the assignments, as well as links to resources that could help you prepare for and complete the assignments.

You’ll find my contact information and office hours on the instructor page.

Since I’m also the undergraduate adviser for the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, it can be difficult to get in to see me during my regular advising hours. So I will reserve the half hour immediately after our class (M/W 4:15-4:45 p.m.) to meet with you.

I’m always happy to help, so feel free to stop by or email me if you have a question about an assignment, or whatever, or if you run into a problem.

P.S. As of today, I still have a few spaces open in this class … probably because SJSU didn’t list it in the spring class schedule, so a lot of students don’t know it’s here. I will give preference to seniors.

Extra credit options

The last day to submit anything for extra credit for this class is Monday, Dec. 8. As previously noted, you can submit up to 30 points worth of extra credit.

Your extra credit options are:

  • Copy Edit the World: You are required to submit 30 points worth of Copy Edit the World (with your corrections) for this class. If you get on a roll, you can submit up to 15 more points worth of Copy Edit the World for extra credit.
  • Common Sayings: Look up the meaning and origins of up to three common sayings (or unusual phrases). Each one is worth five points for up to 15 points extra credit. One that we discussed in class was “a long row to hoe,” which turned out not to mean or be spelled the way most of you expected. For a good example of this option, you might want to check out Colette’s recent “sayings” submission on her blog.
  • IMHO: Write a second In My Humble Opinion. (See the assignments page for specifics of this option.)
  • Letter to the Editor: Write a letter to the editor to the Spartan Daily or a local newspaper (or to the CSU Board of Trustees or your state legislator). Your letter should be 125-250 words; it’s worth up to 15 points). If you’re looking for topic inspiration, check out these two articles:


Field trip


Field trip

Today, after practicing a little wordplay in class, we’ll head over to the Japanese-American Internment Memorial, which is located just a few blocks from campus at the Second Street entrance to the Robert F. Peckham Federal Building.

What’s due

If you didn’t finish your scholarly journal article summary in Monday’s class, please submit it Wednesday, along with the Library Scavenger Hunt assignment. Be sure to attach a copy of the first page of your scholarly journal article to your summary.

Submit both assignments as hard copies — do not post them on your blogs.


Yes, it’s jury duty

Yes, I do have to report for possible jury duty Wednesday morning, Sept. 24, so our class is canceled.

I’ll keep you posted, but I’m assuming I will be back for class on Monday … when your news story assignment is due.

You were supposed to submit your first 10 points of Copy Edit the World tomorrow. If you were planning to publish them on your blog, please go ahead and do that by the end of the week. If you were planning to hand them in as hard copies, just bring them to class on Monday.

Greetings from jury duty. Wish you were here

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