Many, but not all, assignments for this course will be posted or available as downloads here. The syllabus for this class may be downloaded here.


The Writing for Digital Media website is here. The username is my e-mail. The password is UNIWrites1.


Module #1 We will transpose an actual experience into a fictional monologue then record it and add SFX.


The first three reading assignments are available as a single PDF download here. 


A link to the website is here.


As a break download Willard's monologue and edit it using your handwritten notes from a previous class.



Module #2 We will create scripts for three linked PSAs. The topics TBD the week before. The topics last semester were bad cell phone or texting behavior, alcohol abuse and mental health. What are some social issues that concern you? However


Drinking and Driving PSAs


The Ad Council website is here.


Module #3 We will devote this section to the conventions of journalism and the on-line revolution in News production and consumption. 


The textbook reading for this module is here.


A University of Wisconsin website about journalism ethics is here.


The NY Times is the national newspaper of record. I will refer to it frequently during this section. 


A current article about unethical journalism is here.


The NY Times article you will report on March 7th is here.


An excellent textbook about print and digital journalism is here.


  • What is Journalism? Are you skeptical, empirical or normative?
  • When is anonymity permissible?
  • What is objectivity and, in regard to journalism, why is it controversial?


The "lead" paragraph for your journalism story usually attempts to provide the "five Ws and one H." That would be the Who, What, Where, When, Why and How. Sometimes this is impossible, especially the Why and How. The five Ws and one H do not necessarily have to be in any particular order. However when reporting on an event  you may want to lead off with Where and When.


Tom Waits on Letterman.


Module #4 We will create short treatments and scenes loosely (but not necessarily) using Twilight Zone as a model with opening and closing voice-overs. 


If you want to write fictional but relevant narratives for the media, Rod Serling can be a good source of inspiration. You can easily find much of his work aggregated here on Youtube.


A Twilight Zone script, The Obsolete Man is part of our reading.  As you read the script try substituting "books" for something else that you think may become unfortunately obsolete. 



 We will end this module with an appropriate ceremony: Baby Blue, Blue Baby.


Module #5 Moving from writing "for the media" to writing about the media, our next module this semester will focus on film reviews. 

  • What are the types of movie review?
  • What are the elements of a movie review? Give two examples, one in a sincere and one in a ironic/humorous tone.
  • What are the approaches to writing a movie review? 


Also please pay attention to the hand-out from Critical Approaches to Writing about Film.


Our first review is of the Sidney Lumet film Dog Day Afternoon.


Screen What I Learned From Watching Dog Day Afternoon for our next class.


Our next two film reviews are about Scent of a Woman and  A Few Good Men. These movies also star Al Pacino. What general statements can you start to formulate about his work as an actor? 


Our third review is of the Lina Wertmuller film Swept Away...




Download the Kurt Vonnugut bit about the "shapes of stories" here.
Photo by Philip Hopper
Photo by Philip Hopper

There is a great blog on the NY Times website where writers write about writing. (I always wanted to write a sentence like that.)