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Published:February 23rd, 2006 11:00 EST
Praising Journalism Courses of UM-Dearborn

Praising Journalism Courses of UM-Dearborn

By Garrett Godwin

During the 2004-2005 school year, at the University of Michigan, I took three journalism classes: Newspaper Journalism (COMM 2015), Interpretative Journalism (COMM 401), and Advanced Reporting (COMM 3015).  These courses were taught by professors Tim Kiska (COMM 2015 and 401) and Alan Fisk (COMM 3015).  Both of them have long and extensive careers in the world of journalism.  They know what they're talking about.  I didn't know until now what they set out to do for myself and the students of University of Michigan-Dearborn: to teach us what it is like to be journalists.

Tim Kiska and Alan Fisk really know what it means to work in the newspaper business.  As the saying goes, they have been there and done that.  What these two did was give us creative assignments like book reviews (COMM 401) and "on the spot" stories (COMM 3015).  I worked on these assignments at school and/or at home.  Then, I typed them before and during class.  Lastly, I turned the assignments in to either Kiska or Fisk.

These assignments were more than just assignments to me, as well as to both of them.  These assignments were stories given to me to research, explore, investigate, and write.  Along with Kiska and Fisk as the editor(s), my classmates and myself were staff writers/reporters.  It was like working inside a newspaper.  That was exactly the environment Fisk and Kiska wanted to create, and I didn't realize that until the end of the Winter semester last year.

Taking Newspaper Journalism, Interpretative Journalism, and Advanced Reporting became challenging for me, as a student and as a writer.  I didn't know what to expect from the field of journalism when I went to these classes, but now I do.  If I hadn't taken them, then I wouldn't have the desire to write, nor to make journalism my career.  If you're interested in writing, want to know about journalism or what its like to work at a newspaper, then these are the courses for you, as well as a training ground for you.  And Tim Kiska and Alan Fisk are the professors, as well as the starting editors for you.  Here is another appropriate saying: expect the unexpected. 

Good Luck!