Spring 2018 Syllabus

Principles of Broadcast Production JRNL 3644 (TV-1)

Emilie Johnson


Armory 218- Field Production sSection

ATLAS Production Studio- Studio Production

Class Hours:
Johnson - Field Production: 1p to 2:50p
Studio Production: 1p to 4:50p latest

Contact Information

Emilie Johnson
Office: Armoury 203

Office Hours:
Email: Emilie.Johnson@colorado.edu

Class Website:

CMCI Website:

If you always wanted to become a broadcast professional, then TV-1 will give you a great start! Maybe you want to become an anchor or a reporter, or you want to work behind the scenes producing documentaries. To seize the career you want, you need to make education your top priority. People in this profession will tell you that the work they do is more than just a career choice – it’s a lifestyle. As your instructors, we hope to be your guides and mentors and steer you in the right direction. Let’s work together on helping you achieve success!

There’s a component to learning that may surprise you, one that many students dread and often fear, yet, it’s a necessary evil. It has to do with failure. Let’s face it – to err is human. To admit this will save you a lot of pain. If you’re the sort of person who feels that you can never make a mistake, then you won’t last long in this profession. Failure is essential to our success because it helps you pinpoint what needs to be improved and it helps you learn how to troubleshoot faster and effectively. So to learn, acknowledge that making an error is actually a gift that has great worth. Don't be afraid to make mistakes.

TV-1 Goals

The reality: employers will not hire you if all you can demonstrate is a single skill. Rather, try to show that you can offer a range of skills: reporting, writing, photography and editing. Broadcast is a highly competitive field and there are many other students who want the same job as you. Therefore, broaden your skills. After you take TV-1, you should be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Knowing and applying the standards of broadcast excellence to shooting video and audio.
  • Knowing how to edit video creatively and seamlessly.
  • Developing good time management skills and workflow.

Teaching Philosophy
Even after years of working in this profession, video storytelling still excites me. My goal is to share my passion and experiences with you in a friendly, relaxed classroom environment that is conducive to multiple learning styles. Video production is a craft, which is why I highly encourage students to go the extra mile and get practice beyond the usual assignments. The most successful students are those who are proactive, resourceful, and who seek me out for assistance.

Class Expectations
You will be evaluated based on your level of participation in class, your professionalism, the content, execution and creativity of your work, quizzes, pop quizzes, exams, improvment over the course of the semester, and meeting deadlines.

Other class expectations:

  • Attendance is mandatory Showing up for class and participating in its activities is important to make the course work meaningful. But not showing up or being consistently late reflects poorly on your professionalism and it disrupts class. If you must miss class, then you're required to inform your instructor in advance, but it will become your responsibility to make up what you missed. Due to the collaborative nature of studio work, if you miss a day in the studio, then you will not be able to make up the work. 

  • Communication When you are involved in group projects, respond promptly to others when they try to contact you. Much of what you do in the profession involves teamwork. If something goes wrong with your part in doing the work, then you must communicate the problem at the earliest opportunity. Confusion, tension, frustration all set in when we don’t communicate and the process of doing assignments and running a class becomes even harder.

  • Deadlines - Late assignments will not be accepted Assignments serve to help you develop your skills, but they also provide lessons in time management. Getting a late start on your assignment shows in the final product and will reduce your grade. Your effort is considered in the grade, but the end product is the most important, and it demonstrates whether you fully grasped the material. Extensions are granted only if there is a compelling reason.

  • Professionalism You want to show professionalism both in the results of your work and in your conduct. You may look the part of a student now, but when you know you’re going to appear on camera, make a conscious effort to look professional.  It doesn’t have to be business attire or formal wear, but looking well-groomed and tailored gives you credibility in the eyes of employers who might actually get to see some of what you do in this class.

  • Use of Tech Don’t abuse the privilege of using laptops, tablets and mobile phones in class. Your instructors welcome innovative ways to use mobile technology in the classroom, but only if it's relevant to the course. What’s not relevant is Facebook chatting, online shopping or watching sports events or YouTube videos, which can also be disruptive to students sitting near you. Your instructors expect your full attention during lectures and video screenings. Therefore, when class starts, put your tech devices away and take notes the old-fashioned way - by writing them in a notebook.

More on Deadlines - Very Important!
Time is your most precious resource and a clear understanding of missing your deadlines is crucial to your success in this course. Missing deadlines will automatically reduce your grade, maybe even by a full letter grade. The broadcast journalism profession will rarely tolerate late work so it's best to start applying good time management habits now or the work will become that much harder for you later. In TV-1 you will be expected to do a certain amount of work that will require time, creativity and professionalism. For each assignment you will get a reasonable amount of time to do them. Granted, life happens, but ultimately the responsibility falls on you to fit the course work into your busy schedule and meet the expected deadlines. 
If you anticipate missing a deadline, then you must inform your instructors right away. We're willing to work with you when missing the deadline is unavoidable. Please, don't hesitate to ask for help.

Reflect Diversity In Your Work
This class makes a conscious effort to prepare you for professional work in diverse and inclusive media environments. In broadcast news, reflecting diversity in your reporting will convey greater accuracy and fairness, helping individuals in our audience see themselves in others. Consider ways you can incorporate diversity in your assignments, which will compel fair treatment of sources and to encourage the practice of empathy and compassion, allowing us to reach new, diverse audiences. We take diversity and inclusiveness seriously at the CMCI. In several ways, excellence in journalism is impossible without intentional and careful attention to diversity issues. But there are also legal requirements that faculty and students are expected to follow:

  • Discrimination And Harassment The University of Colorado Boulder (CU-Boulder) is committed to maintaining a positive learning, working, and living environment. CU-Boulder will not tolerate acts of discrimination or harassment based upon Protected Classes or related retaliation against or by any employee or student. For purposes of this CU-Boulder policy, "Protected Classes" refers to race, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy, age, disability, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, veteran status, political affiliation or political philosophy. Individuals who believe they have been discriminated against should contact the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance (OIEC) at 303-492-2127 or the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution (OSC) at 303-492-5550. Information about the OIEC, the above referenced policies, and the campus resources available to assist individuals regarding discrimination or harassment can be found at the OIEC website

  • Accommodation For Disabilities If you qualify for accommodations because of a disability, please submit to your professor a letter from Disability Services in a timely manner so that your needs can be addressed. Disability Services determines accommodations based on documented disabilities. Contact Disability Services at 303-492-8671 or by e-mail at dsinfo@colorado.edu. If you have a temporary medical condition or injury, see Temporary Injuries guidelines under the Quick Links at the Disability Services website and discuss your needs with your professor.

  • Religious Holidays Campus policy regarding religious observances requires that faculty make every effort to deal reasonably and fairly with all students who, because of religious obligations, have conflicts with scheduled exams, assignments or required attendance. Please indicate, within the first two weeks of the semester, whether you are going to be absent due to religious observances. See campus policy regarding religious observances for full details.

  • Honor Code All students of the University of Colorado at Boulder are responsible for knowing and adhering to the academic integrity policy of this institution. Violations of this policy may include: cheating, plagiarism, aid of academic dishonesty, fabrication, lying, bribery, and threatening behavior. All incidents of academic misconduct shall be reported to the Honor Code Council (honor@colorado.edu; 303-735-2273). Students who are found to be in violation of the academic integrity policy will be subject to both academic sanctions from the faculty member and non-academic sanctions (including but not limited to university probation, suspension, or expulsion). Additional information regarding the Honor Code policy can be found online.

  • Classroom Behavior Students and faculty each have a responsibility for maintaining an appropriate learning environment. Those who fail to adhere to such behavioral standards may be subject to discipline. Professional courtesy and sensitivity are especially important with respect to individuals and topics dealing with differences of race, color, culture, religion, creed, politics, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and gender expression, age, disability, and nationalities. Class rosters are provided to the instructor with the student's legal name. We will gladly honor your request to address you by an alternate name or gender pronoun. Please advise us of this preference early in the semester so that we may make appropriate changes to our records. For more information, see the policies on classroom behavior and the student code.

Disruptive Behavior

If you address your concerns and criticisms constructively, then your instructors will be willing to listen. But we won’t tolerate any disruptive behavior that includes openly belligerent challenges towards us personally or class policy that undermines the learning environment. If any student displays brash insolence, our policy is to first meet with that student to address their attitude and arrive at an amicable solution. If their behaviour persists, then we will not hesitate to report the student to the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution.

Required Materials - click here for more information

  • Textbook Television Production handbook, 12th Edition, by Herbert Zettle, professor emeritus of the Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts Department at San Francisco State University.
  • Media Cards You want to get SDHC cards, Class 10 (anything less than Class 6 won’t record video so double-check before you buy). 
  • DVD-R You need three DVD-R's to record studio projects. These DVD's must be DVD-R (minus R) because our recording hardware does not support the DVD+R (plus R).
  • USB Flash Drive Try to get one with at least 1GB of space. You will need these drives to store FINISHED video files of your assignments.
  • Portable Hard Drive Recommendations are to get the Lacie (Lah-See) Rugged with at least 500 GB of space. These drives have become very popular for their mobility and size. Use these drives to store your project folders, which contain all the raw media sources for your assignments.

Without a doubt, grades cause a lot of anxiety. Assessment is part of learning, but if you’re not getting the grades you want, then please see your instructors for help - the earlier the better. When it comes to grading assignments we take into account that you're developing your skills. There might be more leniency in the first couple of assignments. But with each assignment, the expectations will be greater and the grading will reflect your experience by then. All assignments and course timelines are subject to last minute changes. Assignments will be graded based on technical execution, content and creativity. Bonus points may be awarded if the work demonstrates superior quality. 

More explanations about Grading

Grading Rubric