January:
16: Review syllabus. Assign and discuss beats. Briefly discuss journalism and its affect on civic life. Avoid jargon. Anonymous sources. For Thursday, read in the Covering Beats page of the course website, the Slideshare about beat mapping and the post by David Simpson about three beats that he believes belong on college campuses. Also, log onto the Poynter Institute’s NewsU learning tool and enroll in Introduction to Reporting: Beat Basics. You’ll have to create an account, but it is free. Please complete the self-directed course.

18: Discuss beat mapping. Begin designing a beat map. Discuss where to find sources. Why you shouldn’t ask questions like a White House reporter. Search Google Scholar and/or Microsoft Academic Search. For Tuesday: finish creating beat maps and descriptions. Read Chapter 1 in Bayles.

23: Discuss Chapter 1 in Bayles. Where to find sources. Discuss five stages of a story. Play Factitious. 5 ways to proofread your writing. For Thursday, please read under the Accuracy tab of my website: 9 questions you should ask to verify informaiton. fighting fake news and accountability. Also, read Beat Blogging on the website.

25: 9 questions you should ask to verify information. Fighting fake news. Accountability. Discuss beat blogging. Begin work on beat blogs. No reading for Tuesday.

30: Meet to travel to cemetery for Awaken the Dead project.

February:
1: Travel to Wilber to look up public records. Read Chapter 1 in The Art of Access.

6: Get Grandpa’s FBI file. Data journalism. IRS 990. IPEDS. Maplight. U.S. Census. Lincoln property records. Marriage license search, etc. For Feb. 8, read Chapter 2 in Bayles.

8: Interviewing. Learning Excel basics. Review blogs. Online tools. Google. Who’s behind a website? For Tuesday, read Chapter 2 in Art of Access.

13: Develop a document state of mind. FOI First. Awaken the Dead progress reports. For Thursday, please read Chapter 3 in Bayles.
15: Working with editors. Research. More on IRS 990. Learning Excel. Online tools: Google Advanced Search. Google Image Search. Wayback Machine. Who’s behind a website? Develop a document state of mind.  For Feb. 20, please read Chapter 3 in Art of Access.
20: Become an access law expert. Working with editors. Deadline stories. More on IRS 990. Learning Excel. Web tools: Google Advanced Search, Google Image Search, Wayback Machine, Who’s behind a website, birthdates, tracking inmates, federal spending, people searches. Develop a document state of mind. For Thursday, read Chapter 4 in Bayles.
22: Filing in the digital age. Working with editors. Deadline stories. Learning Excel basics. Web tools: Google Advanced Search, Google Image Search. For Tuesday, please read Chapter 4 in Art of Access. Also, please read the Opinion Writing tab online.

27: The hunt: find records iin the dark. Writing opinion and reviews. 24 websites to find records. Maplight. U.S. Census. Wayback Machine. For March 1, please read Chapter 5 in Bayles.

March:
1: Cops and crime. Visit the Crete Police Station. Web tools: Maplight. U.S. Census. Wayback Machine, Freze.it. For March 6, read Chapter 5 in Art of Access.
6: Strategies for effective requests. Learning Excel. Web tools: Google Advance Search. Google Image Search. Making a public records request. For March 20, please read Chapter 6 in Bayles.
8: No class. Swartz at the Spring National College Media Convention in NYC.
13: No class. Spring break.

15: No class. Spring break.
20: Awaken the Dead project due. Fires and emergencies. Begin investigative piece – Create a Pitch. For March 21, read Chapter 6 in Art of Access.
21: How to overcome denials. Begin investigative piece – Create a Pitch.  Map light. US Census. Lincoln property records. Marriage license search. Learning Excel. Google Advanced Search. Google Image Search. Wayback Machine. People searches. For March 27, read Chapter 7 in Bayles.
27: Courts. Story pitch. Learn Excel. Map light. U.S. Census. Lincoln property records. Marriage license search. For Thursday, read Chapter 7 in Art of Access.
29: Going digital: Strategies for gettiing data. Key documents and methods for investigating campus issues. Learning Excel. Map light. U.S. Census. Lincoln property records. marriage license search. Web tools: Google Advanced Search. For Tuesday,  read Chapter 8 in Bayles.

April:
3: Government. Business reporting and explanatory journalism. Web tools: Google Image Search. Wayback Machine. What is Journalism For? For April 5, please read Chapter 8 in Art of Access.

5: Understand how public officials think. Work on your projects. For April 10, please read Chapter 9 in Bayles.
10: Education. Learning Excel basics. Web tools: Google Advanced Search. For Thursday, please read Chapter 9 in Art of Access.
12: Putting it together: writing the FOI story and FOI ethics. IPeds. Learning Excel basics. Twenty-four websites to find records. Web tools: Google Advanced Search. Maplight. U.S. Census. Wayback Machine. No reading for April 17.
17: Work on projects.
19: Profiles and features. Learning Excel basics. Two dozen websites to find records. Lincoln property records. Marriage License search. Advanced Google Search. Google Image Search. Wayback Machine. For April 21, read Chapter 9 in Clark/Scanlan.
24: Profiles and features. Learning Excel basics. Two dozen websites to find records. Lincoln property records. Marriage License search. Advanced Google Search. Google Image Search. Wayback Machine. For April 21, read Chapter 9 in Clark/Scanlan.
26: The Classics. Wayback Machine. Map light. U.S. Census. People searches. What is Journalism Far? Truth: The First and Most Confusing Principle. For April 23, read Chapters 10 and 11 in Clark/Scanlan.

May:
1: Profiles and features. Learning Excel basics. Two dozen websites to find records. Lincoln property records. For April 30, read Chapter 9 in Clark/Scanlan.
3: Project Showcase. The Classics. Marriage license search. Advanced Google Search. Google Image Search. Payback Machine. Map light. U.S. Census.