MAGAZINE PUBLISHING, MCOM 359

Instructor: Prof. Beth Haller
Phone: 410-704-2442
Office: Van Bokkelen 205B
E-mail: bhaller@towson.edu
Spring 2012

Office Hours:
12:30-1:45 p.m. & 3:30-4:45 p.m. MW and by appointment. Feel free to send me E-mail messages at any time with questions about the class.

Course Objectives:
1. To acquaint students with the magazine industry, past and present.
2. To give students understanding of all aspects of magazine development through the creation of a comprehensive magazine prospectus and prototype.

Who should take Magazine Publishing?
• Each student will be expected to contribute at least two stories to the final magazine developed, so only students who have already taken MCOM 356 (Feature Writing) can take Magazine Publishing. You CANNOT take this class concurrently with Feature Writing. Please drop the class if you do not meet the prerequisite.
• Students with plenty of time outside of class to devote to the group magazine project, which is a major portion of the grade. Everyone in the group will have a hand in researching, writing, editing, and designing the final magazine.
• Students who are self-starters and creative, but can work with a group. All magazines are group efforts, so you will need to learn to coordinate your work to produce all aspects of the magazine, just as this takes place in the “real world.”
• Students who can meet deadlines and follow directions. Because you will be creating an entire magazine, you will have to make sure each component is completed on time. Your work will affect the entire group so you must behave conscientiously and complete the assignments expected from you.
• Precision writers and editors who like a challenge. Sloppy assignments are doomed because every typo, spelling mistake, grammar mistake, loses points and with a 72-page magazine that can mean a low grade very quickly.

Required Textbooks/Supplies:
The Magazine from Cover to Cover, by Johnson and Prijatel
NY Times (Read daily for story ideas)
Magazines that you will purchase on your own
A FlashDrive that can be used for your group’s prototype. (Cost should be split by the group. You should back up all parts of the project in multiple ways.)
A Facebook account. (Not mandatory but some student groups are finding it useful to communicate outside of class using a private Facebook group. You can create a group so you can review each other’s stories and photos as you work on the magazine.)

Grading:
Magazine Analysis Presentation: 15 percent
Midterm: 15 percent
Final Exam: 15 percent
Group Magazine Project: 40 percent (Half of grade is group grade for prototype and half is for student’s individual participation.)
In-class assignments/Attendance/Class participation: 15 percent

Grading criteria for written assignments and course in general: (Whenever written assignments are given, I expect you all to produce the best written work of which you are capable.)

90 – 100 (“A” & “A-“) On the written assignments, this means the paper is clear, organized coherently, and well-written. It is effective reporting on the topic. It has no spelling, grammar, format, or accuracy errors. In terms of the course, this means you have almost perfect attendance, scores in this range on the tests, and have good questions and discussion in class.

80 – 89 (“B+”, “B” & “B-“) On the written assignments, the paper is cohesive and well-organized, although it may have some minor spelling or grammatical errors. The reporting covers almost all of the important information and follows proper format. In terms of the course, this means you have good attendance, scores in this range on the tests, and have good questions and discussion in class.

70 – 79 (“C+” & “C”) On the written assignments, the paper is disorganized and contains many minor errors. The reporting missed some pertinent information or does not follow proper format. In terms of the course, this means you have poor attendance, scored in this range on the tests, and have not participated in class discussions.

60 – 69 (“D”) On the written assignments, the paper ineffectively reports on the topic; it is not coherent or understandable. It contains an unacceptable number of spelling, grammar errors and/or inaccurate information or does not follow proper format. In terms of the course, this means you have missed more classes than you have attended, scored in this range on the tests, and have not participated in class discussions. Students may receive upper level elective credit with a D, but this course will not count among MCOM credits.

Below 60 (“F”)* The paper contains major factual error(s) related to the topic. The information presented is completely incorrect. The paper does not meet the requirements in page length, focus, or format. In terms of the course, this means you have missed more classes than you have attended, scored in this range on the tests, and have not participated in class discussions. If you are caught cheating in any way, you will automatically receive an F in the course. If you attend the final exam and your average is below 60, you will receive F rather than an FX.

(“FX”)* This is an administrative failure for non-attendance or failure to withdraw. If you do not withdraw from the course by Towson’s preset deadlines for the semester and stop attending the class, this is the grade you will receive.

(“I”) Incomplete. At Towson University, students may only receive an Incomplete with “verifiable circumstances” and “where students have completed most of the term” (Towson University Undergraduate Catalog). I recommend a medical withdrawal over an incomplete. In many years of teaching, I have had only one student finish an Incomplete.

* If you receive an F or FX, you may only repeat the course once. After repeating the course, students will only receive credit for the course once and the highest of the grades will be calculated. The lower grade will remain on the transcript with an “R” before it to indicate the course was repeated. For the transcript to reflect the repeated course, students MUST submit a Repeated Course Form to the Records Office. Transcript adjustments are NOT automatic (Towson University Undergraduate Catalog).

Guidelines for all assignments
* No late papers will be accepted after the last day of the semester’s classes.
* Any late papers will lose up to a letter grade for each day they are late.
* Do not plagiarize or fabricate.

Academic Dishonesty:
I do not tolerate plagiarism or fabrication of any kind. You should adhere to the University’s policy on cheating and plagiarism. If you are caught breaking this policy, you will be prosecuted to the full extent that the policy allows. You should adhere to the highest possible standards of ethical behavior for this class.
* All assignments must be typed in the form requested and should contain your name, the date, and the assignment topic in the upper left-hand corner. (No folders or binders are necessary for papers. Just staple the pages together.)
* Proofread and correctly edit your papers!

Students with Disabilities:
If you are registered with the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD), please see your instructor during the first two weeks of class to arrange your specific accommodations. If you believe you may need accommodation and have not registered with OSD, please do so by calling ext. 42638.

Student Athletes:
Within the first two weeks of class, you must have a letter from the coach explaining your place on the team and a schedule of any away games or competitions during the semester. You must take any tests and prepare any assignments that conflict with this schedule before the test or due date, not after.

ACADEMIC DISHONESTY:
I DO NOT tolerate plagiarism or fabrication of any kind. Magazine publishers value their integrity and strive to present the truth to their audiences to the best of their ability. You will be asked to live up to these standards as well. You should adhere to Towson’s policy on cheating and plagiarism. If you are caught breaking this policy, you will be prosecuted to the full extent that the policy allows.
What is Plagiarism in Magazine Publishing:
* Not citing the source of information used in a story. If you use information from a press release, you must cite it as the source as well.
* Using sentences or paragraphs from other people’s stories or writings without giving credit.
* Using someone else’s story and pretending it is yours.
* Copying text from the Internet and pretending you wrote it.
What is Fabrication in Magazine Publishing:
* Making up direct or indirect quotes in stories. Quoted material should be what a real person actually said.
* Making up people, events, or facts in a story.
* Making up an entire story from an event that never happened.
* Making up a story from an event or interview you attended in the past. You must represent the information in a story accurately.
* Making up a story from other people’s notes or other people’s accounts of an event.
The Penalty:
* The penalty for plagiarism and/or fabrication of any assignment in this class is an automatic F in the course. If there is any dispute about whether the offense occurred, the case will be referred to a disciplinary hearing. The penalty for these offenses in stiff in journalism because if you commit these in a most media workplaces, you would be fired.

Liability Statement
“In all assignments, students must comply with all laws and legal rights of others (e.g., copyright, obscenity, privacy and defamation) and with all Towson policies (e.g. academic dishonesty). Towson University is not liable or responsible for the content of any student assignments, regardless of where they are posted.”

A Note on Story Sources, Reprints and Photos
Except for advertisements, all content for the magazine prototypes must be as original as possible. All stories in the magazine should be written by the group members and each story will have a source list that will be handed in separate from the final magazine. Within the articles, all sources should be properly attributed. However, if you use a sidebar that features essentially PR material, you also must give proper credit. Example: List provided by the Taos Chamber of Commerce. If you find a photo taken by someone else that you want to use, you must give full credit, i.e. it should have the photo credit accompanied by information about where it originally appeared. Example: Photo by J. W. Smith, Reuters. Originally published by Reuters, August 17, 2011. Finally, much free clip art and photos are available on the Internet, but some will not reproduce in magazine quality because the dpi is too low. However, if you want to scan these in and there is permission for copying given on the site, you may use these. The photo editor of your magazine prototype must type up a list of all Web sites, indicating which art or photos were copied from them, and submit it with the final magazine prototype.

Attendance Policy

Your attendance in this class will affect your grade in three important ways. First, your attendance will directly affect your grade if you miss more than two classes (see below for details). Secondly, a major portion of the grade in this course is the group magazine project. Your absences can hurt your group’s project (40% of the final grade), therefore affecting other students’ grades, which is unacceptable. Third, it has been my observation that students who have a casual attitude toward attendance almost always do not earn a passing grade because exams (30% of your grade) will come from class lectures and discussions. Therefore, attendance is integral to 85% of your final grade.

The roll will be taken at the beginning of each class. If you arrive at the class significantly late (20 minutes or more, leave class early, or have to be asked to leave class (disruptive behavior or sleeping), it will be counted as an absence. Three absences – for any reason – are allowed without affecting your final grade. Each absence after three will lower your final grade by 5% unless there is a written notification by a doctor or university official. Four or more absences (which means you have missed almost 2+ weeks of class) could result in an F for the final grade regardless of your performance in the course.

You should use the “allowed absences” to cover all personal emergency situations, including common illness that requires rest at home or visit to a health clinic, death in the family, car problems, taking care of family or friends, etc. There are no additional “excused absences.” Exception may be made only in a case of a true medical emergency that requires extended hospitalization. In this case, you are allowed to miss up to four classes. However, you will be advised to seek a medical withdrawal from the course if you have to miss three or more weeks of classes.

Observance of religious holidays, recognized by the University of Maryland System, are not considered absences under this policy. Also, if you miss class for “participation in university activities at the request of university authorities (athletics, forensics, etc.),” it will not be considered an absence if you submit a letter from the coach/university official/professor explaining your place on the team/activity and a schedule of any away games or events during the semester. This letter must be submitted by the second week of the current semester. You must take any tests and prepare any assignments that conflict with this schedule before the test or due date, not after.

When you miss a class, it is your responsibility to cover all the information given during the class as soon as possible from someone in the class. This includes lecture notes, assignments, schedule changes, etc. It is a good idea for you to find someone for exchange of information for a missed class.

WEEKLY SCHEDULE
(Any schedule changes will be announced.)

WEEKLY READINGS
(Readings are for the week and should be read before attending class.)

Jan. 30: Syllabus intro
Feb. 1: Chap1: “The Magazine as Storehouse;” Skills assessment form

Feb. 6: Chap1: “The Magazine as Storehouse”; Chap 2: The Magazine as a Marketplace” Group(s) assigned
Feb. 8

Feb. 13: Chap 3: “The Magazine as Historical Document”, Chap 4: “The Magazine as a Social Barometer”
Feb. 15: Chap 5: “Magazine Concepts;” Chap 12: Ethics

Feb. 20: Magazine Analysis Presentations
Feb. 22: Magazine Analysis Presentations

Feb. 27: Chap 5: “Conceptualizing the Magazine” & Chap 7: “Magazine Structures”

Feb. 29: Tentative Magazine concept/Need for magazine/Staffing, due.

March 5: Chap 7: “Magazine Structures”; Chap 6: “Magazine Business Plans”

March 7: Magazine concept confirmed, audience, planned sections

March 12: Chap 6: “Magazine Business Plans;” Chap 8: “Magazine Editorial” & Chap 9: Magazine Designs”
March 14: Exam 1, Chaps 1-5, 12

March 19-25: Spring Break

March 26: Editing practice/InDesign overview
March 28: Magazine business plan & proposed media kit due

April 2: Chap 10: “Magazine Production” & Chap 11: “Magazine Legalities”
April 4: Tentative magazine table of contents and cover design due

April 9: Work on magazine prototype*
April 11: Work on magazine prototype*
(April 13, Last day to withdraw from the semester with a W.)

April 16: Exam 2, Chapters 6-11
April 18: Work on magazine prototype*

April 23: Work on magazine prototype*
April 25: Work on magazine prototype*

April 30: Work on magazine prototype*
May 2: Work on magazine prototype*

May 7: Work on magazine prototype*
May 9: Work on magazine prototype*

May 14: Presentations/Final magazine prototype project due May 14. NOTE: Your magazine MUST be ready by the beginning of this class.
(May 15, Last day of classes)

Monday May 21: Magazine evaluations given to students.

* Attendance will be taken on these days; although after a brief meeting, the group may disperse to work on the magazine project.
——————————————————————————-

TOWSON UNIVERSITY
College of Fine Arts and Communication
Department of Mass Communication and Communication Studies
Towson, MD 21252
410-704-3431

M E M O R A N D U M
TO: All Students in the Department Of Mass Communication and Communication Studies
FROM: Department Faculty
SUBJECT: PLAGIARISM AND CHEATING

Plagiarism
The Department of Mass Communication and Communication Studies adheres to the following policy regarding plagiarism:

1. Any words or images taken directly from another source (including the Internet) must be footnoted or cited and in quotation marks. Similarly, in oral presentations, attributions must be clear.

2. Any ideas derived from a source not in the public domain or of general knowledge must be clearly attributed.

3. Any paraphrased material must be footnoted or cited. In oral presentations, attributions must be clear.

4. All papers and presentations must be the student’s own work. Submission of papers or presentations authored by others, even with their consent, constitutes plagiarism.

Any student found plagiarizing in any of the above ways will receive an automatic “F” for the assignment and may receive an “F” for the course. Documented evidence of the plagiarism will be kept in the department office, and will be reported to the Office of Judicial Affairs.

Any student discovered soliciting others to write a paper, speech, test, or other assignment for that student will receive an automatic “F” for the course.

There are ambiguities in concepts of plagiarism. Faculty will be available for consultation regarding any confusion a student may have.

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