Freedom of Information Act

The Freedom of Information Act is one of the most important tools in our society to make sure that we have access to important information the public has a right to know. Understanding the FOIA and blogging about it is an important task for a journalist. This week you will write a blog about the FOIA and your submission will also be considered for publication to the SPJ blog. Watch the video (Links to an external site.) presentation below for more information about the SPJ blog on FOIA. Then refer to the information below it for the Grading Criteria.



n the blog you must:

  • Choose a topic directly related to the Freedom of Information Act
  • Write a 500 word blog post in a consistent style and voice
  • Include at least two images and/or pieces of multimedia to enhance the content of the blog post
  • Provide proper attributions throughout the blog post
  • Adhere to AP style in writing the blog post

Blog posts that meet all of the requirements outlined will be judged and considered by the instructor of the course for submission to the SPJ blog for publication.

Carefully review the Grading Rubric (Links to an external site.) for the criteria that will be used to evaluate your activity.

wk3 blog

Prepare: By now you should have a good list of information that you will include in your special report for Week 5. One of the most important pieces of a news story is the interview and gathering other first-hand information to support your story. Read Chapters 4 and 15 for information on interviewing and attending public events to gather information.

Reflect: After reading the chapters, think about who you should interview and what events you will attend to have the greatest impact on your story. Also, consider backups just in case you are unable to interview your first choices or gain access to the events at the top of your list.

Write: After narrowing your options, write a 250- to 300-word blog post that shares with your peers who you intend to interview and what events you will attend to gather more information for your special report. View the Formatting Stories and Blogs document for assistance with formatting your blog post.

After you have written your blog post, read the blog posts of your peers and post a comment to at least three other bloggers about their story ideas. Your comments should address them by name, be between 50 and 75 words in length, and must include your name at the end of each response.


Analysis of Breaking News in Print

An important skill in the field of journalism is the ability to analyze news stories to identify the basic journalistic elements of a story. This week, you will be analyzing a news story that appears in print media to analyze how well the journalist incorporated information into the story. To complete this assignment, you will choose a breaking news story that focuses on a major, current event. The news story must come from the national/world section of a local newspaper or from a major national newspaper. Try to choose a story that would be of interest and relevance to you and your peers. The news story must be from the actual print publication and not the online version. You can obtain a copy of a printed paper at a local grocery store or visit your local library. You must take a snapshot of the paper using your cell phone or other device and attach the image along with the assignment.

In the analysis, you must:

  • Analyze the factual content in the presentation of the 5Ws (who, what, where, when, why)  and H (how).
  • Evaluate whether you believe the writer could have utilized a FOIA request to include more information.
  • Assess the strength of the interviews included by the reporter.

The assignment must be 2-3 pages in length and completed using the Print News Analysis template and must include a title page, in-text citations, and a full list of references at the end. You must cite at least one reference from the textbook and at least one reference from scholarly outside reading material. References for each of the stories must also be included. The story must be in the source list and must include a screenshot as an attachment.

Carefully review the Grading Rubric (Links to an external site.) f


Prepare: Getting the interview can be the most challenging but rewarding aspect of being a journalist. Knowing who can lend the best information to enhance your story is key to developing a story in which readers will take great interest. The Missouri Group provides many details about getting interviews for your story, using quotes and attributions, and how to gain information.  Read Chapter 5 in the textbook that focuses on how to handle quotes and attributions.

Reflect: Once you have read Chapter 5 of the textbook, choose one of the three topics to discuss, relating it to a specific news media organization and story that is currently in the news. Choose a current news story that appeared in two different media outlets by two different reporters that also included interviews and carefully analyze them. Think about how well you feel the reporter incorporated quotes into the story and how well they handled attributions.  

Write: After carefully analyzing the stories, write a 250-word post that addresses the reporters’ handling of the quotations and attributions in the stories. In your initial post, you must include at least one in-text citation from the reading or viewing material for the week and you must also properly cite the examples that you used and provide links to them or upload them. At the end of your post, include your name and a full reference for all sources cited in the body of your post. All citations and references must adhere to APA style guidelines as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center (Links to an external site.).

Check it! Your post must be submitted through Grammarly prior to submission.

Respond to Peers: After you have written your initial post, read the posts of your peers and respond to at least three of them. Your responses should address them by name, be between 100 and 150 words in length, and include your name at the en


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