Professor Barbara Nevins Taylor

Spring 2023

MCA 34300

Mondays 3:30 to 6 p.m.

In-Person in Room 462 Shepard Hall

Syllabus for Television/Video Journalism MCA 34300 

by Barbara Nevins Taylor is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0

Prerequisite: MCA 333 or department consent

Office Hours: One hour before or after class. Text or email for appointments during these hours and at any other time.,

917 678 6069 @consumermojo


We share a mission with journalists in New York City, throughout the U.S. and the world to tell video stories that have meaning and impact. This is a difficult time for all journalists and it’s important to remember the challenges we face. I’ll talk more about that, but first I hope that you will think about video journalism as an exciting, creative and sometimes magical opportunity.

In this class you’ll learn to report using video, the techniques of live reporting, the important crafts of writing for video, interviewing, shooting, and editing. We’ll also take a dive into the history of TV news and the cultural shifts that produced the evolving technology and practices.

You will become a maker, a creator of a short form video that tells a relevant journalistic story in a minute or two. This short form of video journalism easily translates to every platform and social media, and we’ll tailor videos for all possible uses. But our emphasis will always focus on journalism and the facts that you gather.

In some of our classes, we’ll have a TV/video professional Zoom in as a guest speaker to share their experiences with you. I’m going to get serious in just minute. But I want to emphasize how much fun video reporting and this class can and should be.

We also want to be mindful of what is happening outside of our classroom and how that affects video journalists. Journalists with cameras are easy targets.

In August 2021 an independent video journalist was attacked by anti-vax protestors.

 In Portland, Oregan leftist protestors attacked photojournalist Maranie Staab. She was maced, knocked to the ground and her camera and phone were damaged. She told the Willamette Week, “If we’re on a public street. and a newsworthy event is occuring you’re not going to tell me what I can and cannot film.”

Here in New York during the summer of 2020 at least one video journalist was a target of protestors.

And on January 6, 2021 the mob turned on video journalists covering the insurrection.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker found  that at least 16 journalists were targeted during the Capitol riot. And throughout the country in 2021, 140  journalists were assaulted. This includes a parent attacking a journalist at a Michigan school board meeting. In Mexico, 13 journalists were killed in 2022 and a report from Harvard’s Nieman lab says, “Being a journalist is becoming a heroic profession in the Americas.” The Committee to Protect Journalists reports that at least 41 media workers were killed in connection with their work in 2022.

What does all this say? Many continue to pursue careers as journalists and to fulfill the mission enshrined in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution to inform the public and hold the powerful to account.

So many things seem personal.

Objectivity may seem impossible when it feels like events conspire against us. But it is a basic of principled journalism and I ask you to do your best to keep it in mind and put it into practice in your reporting. The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) offers an excellent code of ethics.

Journalists, TV and video journalists especially, find themselves in an important role during this historic and fraught time. We need to tell the stories of life as we are living it now, of the politics dividing our nation, of the science and the doubters and other important issues.  But we also need to make sure that we remain safe and do not endanger anyone else.

TV and video journalists continue to do an excellent job, perhaps better than ever. They offer examples of grace under pressure and the ever-challenging job of being in the center of things, while commenting as an observer.

That’s where you and this class come in.


We will use the class website CCNYtelevisionjournalism for our reading material. The website features instruction for writing, shooting and editing. It will substitute for a textbook and offer us more flexibility. This class is part of the CUNY Open Educational Resources (OER) program.

Download the Associated Press – AP app. It’s free

Download the Spectrum News app. For now it’s free and it offers NY1 stories, which are worth following.


You’ll need a notepad for reporting.

We have USB flash drives for you to save your work and will get them to you as soon as possible. It is better to use a portable hard drive.  You will each get an iPhone 12 and other gear to keep at home so that you can shoot video when you need to report.


This is a news class, and it helps to watch the news to understand how producers construct a newscast and how reporters create video stories and report live. Please begin to watch and view WNBC 4WCBS 2, WPIX 11, WNYW-Fox5 , : NY1, News 12, NBC News, CBS News, ABC News, PBSNewsHour as well as CNN, MSNBC, FOX News,  BBCWorld News America and Vice online.

The syllabus May Change

Because this is a news class, the syllabus may change to reflect events. Journalists are flexible.


Please come to class on time. Please do not text or use devices in the class for anything other than class work. Turn off your phone.


We’ll be viewing and analyzing the work of classmates, and your courtesy and participation is required. Please remember that criticism is not a personal attack. We will talk about the work candidly and this will help your professional growth.

Benny’s Food Pantry

Students who find themselves experiencing difficulties obtaining food every day or who lack a stable and safe place to live are urged to come to Benny’s pantry for assistance ( Benny’s pantry is located on the ground floor of the North Academic Center (NAC) and is open to anyone within the CUNY community (students, staff, faculty) in need of support. The pantry is open from 10am to 6pm and is self-serve. Additional emergency support for financial, health and housing needs are also available through Benny’s. Please contact Dee Dee Mozeleski at or Charles Ramirez for additional details.


Attendance is mandatory. Broadcasting operates on deadline, so you have the chance to begin to develop good habits. We’ll treat our class professionally as we would treat a job in broadcasting, so attend all classes. Again, please arrive on time. Your attendance, punctuality, and class participation will be considered in your grade. If there is an emergency and you cannot attend a class, please email me. If you are absent four times, you will fail.

Two unexcused absences will result in a lower grade.

Four or more absences and we will ask you to withdraw from the class.

You must email a note from a doctor, a court of law, a fire fighter, or a funeral director for an excused absence.

Students who must miss class or be late because of religious beliefs will be accommodated.



Social history as they explore the creation of broadcasting and evolution of television news.

How to use analytical skills to evaluate how news stories and newscasts are constructed.

How to work ethically to find the truth, pursue accuracy, fairness, and diversity, and report strong news stories.

How to think creatively, independently, and critically about local and world events.

How to gather information, synthesize complicated details and craft a succinct, logical story with a beginning, middle and end.

How to develop interviewing skills and use them effectively.

The crafts of writing, reporting, shooting video or visuals, editing, and presenting a news story.

How to work as part of a team and collaborate with others to produce and report news stories.


In journalism deadlines count. You need to complete your work and assignments to meet every deadline. Please consult with me if you have a problem making a deadline. But remember, in life excuses can’t compete with excellent work.


Because we plan to cover a great deal in a short amount of time, we’ll have a quiz or test at the beginning of every class. It will cover news, readings from the website and whatever I provide to the class.

Your video work and writing assignments will be graded as tests and your final TV news package will serve as your final exam.


Attendance                  Required

Punctuality                   Required

Reading                       Required

Participation, Tests and Homework                20 Percent

Writing                                                             20 Percent

Reporting, Shooting, Editing and Producing   20 Percent

Your video stories                                           40 Percent

Course Calendar

Week One 

Monday, January 30

Meet and greet to learn what our class offers.

The responsibility of the individual journalist. Ethics, copyright and how it affects the material you use in a video.

The Language of TV news = TV Key Words

Types of TV Stories

    1. Package – Video Example

    2. VO – Example

    3. VO/SOT – Example

    4. Live-Shot — Example

5. Straight anchor Read —

How do we tell stories with video?

NBCU Video shooting video with your phone.

Setting up a shot to get the best image.

You will each get an iPhone 12 Pro Max, a microphone, a shoulder pod, and a bag to put the gear in.

You’ll also receive tripods and flash drives.

We’ll go over how to use the gear

Shooting in 5-shot sequences – Video examples

  1. Class exercises.

Pick a simple task that has movement. It can be anything on campus. Shoot a series of 5-shot sequences that tell a story. We should see the story clearly without narration.

Shooting sequences


How to Bring Footage in from your phone

Logging on to Premiere Pro

Download your video. See the instructions on the website.

Try to familiarize yourself with the TV Keywords. It will help you as we move forward in the class.

If you want to jump ahead. These are good basic instructions for starting Premiere Pro.

Week Two

Monday, February 6

News Quiz and quiz on keywords.

Editing with Premiere Pro

Logging on to Premiere Pro

Bring your video into Premiere Pro, if you haven’t already

Premiere Pro Editing

Guest Instructor

Week Three

Monday, February 13 — College Closed

Week Four

Monday, February 20 no class but we do have class Tuesday February 21

News Quiz

Examples of good video stories.

Guest Oscar Sanchez talks about work behind the scenes in broadcasting.


Use your video to great a VO and a VO SOT, if you have sound.


Read: Writing TV News Stories on the class website.

Read: How we write on the class website

Read: Clunky words and phrases to avoid.

Week Five

Monday, February 27

News Quiz

Vocal Coaching: Each student will have a chance to read a script and get a guidance from a voice coach.

Writing a script with video provided.


Edit the video at home if you haven’t done it in class.

Read: Interview Techniques on the class website

Week Six

Monday, March 6

News Quiz

Guest TBA

Story idea discussion.

We want to borrow an idea from the film industry and write the logline of the story in one sentence. What is your story about?

  • What makes it a news story?
  • Why is it relevant?
  • Why would we watch it?
  • Who will you interview?
  • What footage will you shoot?

Video examples of good interviewing.

Interviewing exercise

Editing Review.


Read:  What Makes a Good Story on the class website.

Think about the story that you would like to report for your big story. Write a pitch.

Week Seven

Monday, March 13

News Quiz

Writing a script with Union Square Greenmarket video provided.

Edit the story.


Edit the video at home if you haven’t done it in class.

A quick and dirty guide to the history of TV news..

Week Eight

Monday, 20

Let’s meet in the Village and see if you can shoot a quick and dirty story about what’s going on in Washington Square Park. There’s generally a lot to choose from. This will include interviews.


Write a script for your story and submit it to me by March 18 at 1 p.m. When I approve it, try to edit the story and bring it to class on Monday.

Week Eight

Monday, March 27

News Quiz

Guest TBA

Let’s look at your the stories that you shot. If you haven’t finished editing. You can edit in class.

Editing — How to make a graphic in Premiere.

Week Nine

Monday, April 3

News Quiz

Guest TBA

Video examples of live reporting.

Now it’s your turn. You’ll do live reports from where you sit or stand. You’ll go out on campus and find a story to report in one-minute and present it live without video.

Review of stories and suggestions for shooting, interviewing, writing, and editing.


Work on your stories

Week Ten

Spring Break April 5 – 13 Enjoy!

Week Eleven

Monday, April 17

News Quiz

Writing to video.

Reviewing your video and logging

Story logic and organizing your report.

Create an outline for your story.

Homework: Begin to write your script. Submit the script to me by Friday April 14 at 5 p.m.

Week Twelve

Monday, 24

News Quiz

Guest TBA

A review of video stories. What video have you shot?

What do you need to move your story forward?

Homework: Continue to work on stories.

Week Thirteen

Monday, May 1

News Quiz

Where do you stand with your story?

Let’s take a look at what you have?

Editing brush up and making graphics

Homework: Continue to work on your story.

Week Fifteen

Monday, May 8

News Quiz

Rough draft of your edited story is due.

We’ll review your stories and suggest necessary edits and changes.

Week Fifteen

Monday, May 15

Last class and final presentation

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