Course Outline

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  • School: School of Communications, Media and Design
    Department: Journalism and Publishing
    Program: Journalism
    Course Title: Introduction to Online News
    Course Code: JO-222
    Total Course Hours: 14 hours
    Prerequisites/Co-requisites: None
    Eligible for Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition: Yes
    Originated by: Stephen Cogan, on behalf of faculty Lauren O’Neil
    Revised by:
    Date: Sept. 15, 2011
    Effective Semester: Fall, 2011

Approved by:



  • Students are expected to review the course outline and to discuss with the professor any areas where clarification is required.
  • Students should keep all course outlines for each course taken at Centennial College. These may be used to apply for transfer of credit to other educational institutions.  A fee may be charged for additional or replacement copies.

Course Description

The modes of journalism continue to evolve. In the 20th century, radio and television news began to supplement print, and in the past two decades the online world has provided yet another venue for reportage. Along with the development of that new news medium, the lines between it and the “old” media have begun to blur — so that, today, for instance, a newspaper reporter may generate an “instant” story, complete with video, maps and other graphics, for the newspaper’s website… before that reporter settles in to write a more reflective piece for the following day’s paper. This seven-week course attempts to orient the future journalist to this blended media environment — by complementing the basic reporting/writing skills that you’re acquiring in your introductory reporting coursework with some of the special tools of web news operations. This includes modes of generation and uploading of text, visuals, audio, maps, charts and graphs, etc., and an introduction to the mechanics of digital interaction with the audience.

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the learner will have demonstrated the ability to translate information obtained through online and traditional news-gathering into web-friendly presentations, using tools like Twitter, WordPress, VuVox, Google Maps, SoundCloud, YouTube, Flickr and Blogger, etc.

Essential Employability Skills (EES)

This course supports the students’ ability to:

1. Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken, and visual form that fulfills the purpose and meets the needs of the audience. 2. Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.3. Apply a systematic approach to solve problems.4. Use a variety of thinking skills to anticipate and solve problems.5. Locate, select, organize, and document information using appropriate technology and information systems.6. Analyze, evaluate, and apply relevant information from a variety of sources.7. Show respect for the diverse opinions, values, belief systems, and contributions of others.8. Interact with others in groups or teams in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and the achievement of goals.9. Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.10. Take responsibility for one’s own actions, decisions, and consequences.

Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR) Process(es)

The course is eligible. Challenge processes include an interview, presentation of a portfolio including references, and other processes that may be deemed necessary by the teacher.

Text and Other Instructional/Learning Materials

Reference may be made to Online News Fundamentals: An Introduction to Journalism on by Blair Shewchuk and Mark Mietkiewicz. This book is to online news practitioners what the Canadian Press Stylebook is to professionals of other news media, and we recommend that you purchase and begin to “absorb” it now. (It’s available in the bookstore.) The teacher may also refer you to other resources, like hard copy or electronic versions of relevant articles, instruction sheets, etc.

Evaluation and Grading System

Students will need a grade of at least 60% (C) to pass this course. Students will earn their marks and final grade by completing several projects. You will be advised of assignment details, deadlines and weighting.

In consultation with the co-ordinator or dean, a faculty member or instructor may administer additional or alternative evaluations to fully assess the capability of a student.

Student Accommodation

All students have the right to study in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment.  It is college policy to provide accommodation based on grounds defined in the Ontario Human Rights Code.  Accommodation may include changes or modifications to standard practices.

This document is available in alternative formats upon request. Please contact the originating department or school of study.

Students with disabilities who require academic accommodations must register with the Centre for Student with Disabilities. Please see the Centre for Students with Disabilities for details.

Students requiring accommodation based on human rights grounds should talk with their professors as early as possible. Details are available on the Centennial College website (

Use of Dictionaries

Students are encouraged to use the Canadian Oxford Dictionary.

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Students should familiarize themselves with all college policies that cover students’ rights and responsibilities. For more information on the following and other policies, please visit or consult the “academic matters” section in the full-time and continuing education catalogues.

At Centennial College, we are committed to providing a safe and respectful learning, teaching and working environment for all students, faculty and staff that promotes equity. Policies have been put in place to ensure that Centennial is a place that demonstrates respect and consistency with the Ontario Human Rights Code. All incidents of harassment, discrimination, bullying and violence will be addressed and responded to. As a college, we take the position that all forms of harassment, including personal harassment and bullying, must be stopped. Please refer to and

Academic Honesty

Academic honesty is integral to the learning process and a necessary ingredient of academic integrity. Students have a responsibility to be aware of and comply with college standards of academic conduct. Academic dishonesty includes cheating, plagiarism, and impersonation. All of these occur when the work of others is presented by a student as their own and/or without citing sources of information. Breaches of academic honesty will be investigated and if warranted, appropriate remedies and penalties will be applied, which may include a failing grade on the assignment/course, suspension or expulsion from the college.

Grades Appeal

Students and faculty have rights and responsibilities in the grades appeal process. Students who need to appeal a grade should consult the grades appeal policy and procedures.

Progression and Academic Standing

Students are expected to meet the academic standards of their school or program. The academic standing of each Centennial student is monitored during, as well as at the end of, each semester. Any student not demonstrating satisfactory progress will be informed of his/her standing in the college, which may include conditional academic standing, probation or suspension.

Faculty Support

Professors are available to see students outside of class time. Students can contact professors via voice mail, e-mail, or through their program or department office. Information regarding how to contact teachers will be provided at the beginning of the course and is also available in the program or department office.

Campus Safety

As part of our efforts to maintain a safe and secure teaching, learning and working environment, teachers and students are encouraged to review emergency procedures for fire, evacuations, emergency lock-downs and safe exit for those with disabilities at the beginning of each course. (Informational placards are posted in most rooms.)

Students must produce official photo identification when requested to do so by any college staff at any time during the semester.



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