COMS 104 assignments fall 2012


ASSIGNMENT 1: Interview a person in the class and write a paragraph about them.

ASSIGNMENT 2:    Radford Theater downtown / Fire   – Last night after the theater closed / Nobody hurt  / Damage estimated $ 600,000  /  Radford Fire Chief Joe Johnson / “The film stored there probably accelerated the fire.”  (5101112)

ASSIGNMENT 3:   / Disagreement /  City council /  city  water reservoir / mayor brian mcGinty wants to cover old water basins in heavy duty plastic / 2 council members want to build new underground reservoirs / Covers would be 100,000 each. New reservoirs would be 3 million dollars each / But covers might not help city comply with new health regulations says city water department chief joe Craig.  No vote taken. Other council members undecided.  Craig –  our city’s public health is on the line.

ASSIGNMENT 4:  Write about the sustainability work using the bicycle blender demo as the lead.  Incorporate the YouTube video. watch?v=Mn5k5eYsnVw

ASSIGNMENT 5:  Cover Constitution Day panel on campus.

ASSIGNMENT 6:  In-class amusement park exercise. Seven or eight paragraphs.   Windwalker ride. Jonah and the Whale.  Aquatic center and Amusement park. Ride stalled 3 hours. No injuries, but dangerous. People left hanging in air.   “They were on the PA system and they were telling us  be patient with us,  and that sort of thing,  and I was looking over at the steel cables, they’re pretty thick, and there’s a whole bunch of them so I know you can’t fall.”   Fred Smith.  His wife Donna: “I have a fear of heights so that first half-hour was a little bit daunting. But he’s a great coach. He talked me through it.” Would she try it again? “Oh, no, no no.”  Steven Saunders, park executive: “We are still trying to figure out what happened, but clearly the ride had a problem.  The good news is that it failed safely.  We were determined to avoid injuries. And I think our team here did pretty well.”  About 20 people were left dangling on the ride.  It’s 150 in the air. Kind of a tower with swings that go up.

ASSIGNMENT 7:  Cover the study abroad fair, answering basic questions about one of the available trips.

ASSIGNMENT 8:   Write 3 – 4 paragraphs on the Bank story p. 65 Harrower item  #6.

ASSIGNMENT 9: Write a long story based on a speech given yesterday at RU (but actually p. 300 in your book).  Its on the 12-step program to good writing.  Write the story and then write a sidebar with the 12 steps summarized.

ASSIGNMENT 10:  News and numbers — Write a lead based on information we discussed in class Monday Oct. 15.  Including the Auditor of Public Accounts report.   We’ll be assuming that these figures were released by the relevant authorities yesterday.  Also read section in Chapter 4 on Math For Journalists.

ASSIGNMENT 11 — RU in 2013 — Classes and other issues for students / Interviews or emails with chairs and deans;  highlights of new classes or interesting classes (comic books class in CORE); other issues like textbook prices.

  • Chad Gueverment — IS courses
  • Brannon Ayers — CORE
  • Kaileigh Ashby — Honors Academy
  • Celine Donohue — Business
  • Cameron Hattan — Textbooks
  • Ben Gallas — Nursing
  • Alison Brodie – Communications & CHUBS
  • Vince Wyatt — Arts & Theater
  • Ashly Poindexter — Education
  • Sean Larsen — Provost, Fashion design
  • Zach McCarty — Sports & health ed
  • Andrew Christy –

 Assignment 12 -- Faculty authors

Duncan-Daston, Rana S <rduncan-@RADFORD.EDU>,
Du Plessis, Eric H <ehduples@RADFORD.EDU>,
Aspelmeier, Jeffery E <jaspelme@RADFORD.EDU>,
Axtell, Guy <gsaxtell@RADFORD.EDU>,
Burke, Tod W <tburke@RADFORD.EDU>,
Chase, Joseph D <jchase@RADFORD.EDU>,
Cox, Ricky L <rcox@RADFORD.EDU>,
Davidson, Daniel V <ddavidso@RADFORD.EDU>,
Bodo, Bethany <bbodo@RADFORD.EDU>,
Green, Egan <ekgreen@RADFORD.EDU>,
Gorman, Charles <cgorman6@RADFORD.EDU>,
Lerch, Steve <slerch@RADFORD.EDU>,
Hendrix, Nicole <pnhendrix@RADFORD.EDU>,
Dunn, Michael A <mdunn@RADFORD.EDU>,
Hermann, Christine K <chermann@RADFORD.EDU>,
Porter, Barbara A <bporter@RADFORD.EDU>,
Jenkins, Michele <>,
Faye Gilbert <fwgilbert@RADFORD.EDU>,
Martin, Glen T <gmartin@RADFORD.EDU>,
Shoemaker, Patricia B <pshoemak@RADFORD.EDU>,
Rita Martin <cmartin115@RADFORD.EDU>,
Cox, Kenneth <kcox3@RADFORD.EDU>,
Pierce, Thomas W <tpierce@RADFORD.EDU>,
Katherine Hawkins <khawkins3@RADFORD.EDU>,
Reilly, Nora P <nreilly@RADFORD.EDU>,
Rogers, J. O <jorogers@RADFORD.EDU>,
Sigmon, Neil P <npsigmon@RADFORD.EDU>,
Scartelli, Joseph P <jscartel@RADFORD.EDU>,
Taylor, Lynne <lmtaylor@RADFORD.EDU>,
Dennis Grady <dgrady4@RADFORD.EDU>,
James Werth <jwerth@RADFORD.EDU>,
Santopietro, George D <gsantopi@RADFORD.EDU>,
Owen, Stephen S <ssowen@RADFORD.EDU>,
Steigerwald, Fran <fjsteiger@RADFORD.EDU>,
Phillips, Connie A <cphillip@RADFORD.EDU>,
Mekolichick Jeanne <jmekolic@RADFORD.EDU>,
Webster Garrett Erin L. <ewebster2@RADFORD.EDU>,
Kennan, William R <bkennan@RADFORD.EDU>,
King, Joseph S <jsking@RADFORD.EDU>,
Pennix, James <jpennix@RADFORD.EDU>,
Mattson Tracey Marie <tmattson@RADFORD.EDU>,
Teresa King <>,
Cosmato, Charles W <ccosmato@RADFORD.EDU>,
Taylor, Ellen S <eltaylor@RADFORD.EDU>
  • Chad Gueverment –  Duncan-Daston, Rana S;   Hendrix, Nicole,
  • Brannon Ayers –  Du Plessis, Eric H; Dunn, Michael A
  • Kaileigh Ashby –  Aspelmeier, Jeffery E; Hermann, Christine K
  • Celine Donohue –  Axtell, Guy; Porter, Barbara A
  • Cameron Hattan –  Mekolichick Jeanne;
  • Ben Gallas –  Joe Chase; Joe Jones;
  • Alison Brodie –  Ricky Cox; Jenkins, Michele ;
  • Vince Wyatt –  Davidson, Daniel V; Faye Gilbert;
  • Ashly Poindexter –  Bodo, Bethany
  • Sean Larsen –  Green, Egan
  • Zach McCarty –  Gorman, Charles
  • Andrew Christy — Lerch, Steve


Assignment 13 — Editorial or personal opinion column.

Assignment 14  — Fraternity and Sorority Coalition Assessment Project  –  Write 6 – 8 paragraphs about the report itself.   If you are writing this for student media it needs context and quotes from people reacting to it.

  Assignment 15 — Video story telling.  Tell any story about any person or group here at RU. It doesnt have to be “news” per se.  It could be about packing up and traveling home for Thanksgiving.  Follow video logic.  We’ll start on Monday but this is due last week of class.

  • Be sure to include: Long shot; medium shot; close up;  extreme close up
  • Be aware of framing issues/ Use objects in the foreground to show objects in the background (adds visual interest)
  • Be aware of the rule of thirds
  • Angle of view (adds visual interest – look for the unusual shot)
  • Sequences — At least three shots in sequence to help illustrate to story






Q1 News Quiz
Q2 History quiz
Q3 Grammar quiz
Q4 Ch2 multiple choice
Q5 Ch 2 grammar quiz
Q6 Ch 2 e2.1.1
Q7 What is news
Q8 Grammar
Q9 AP style
Q10 Various items on p. 64 – 65


E1 – Links to interesting stories  — Post links to three of the most interesting stories you find on the web and describe why you think they are interesting.
E2 Harrower news library stories  –  Read three stories in Harrower’s news library (“morgue”) and describe what makes them newsworthy.
E3 Poynter online course
E4 — Browse through Grammar Girl and learn to use it as a resource for your perplexing grammar problems