Fall 2019 - CMNS 326 D100

Applied Media Workshop: On the Hill (4)

Class Number: 3560

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 3 – Dec 2, 2019: Tue, 10:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    CMNS 226 or 235; or permission of the instructor.



This laboratory course provides an opportunity for students to produce the School of Communication's web based news magazine and documentary program 'On The Hill'. Students will draw on their understanding of public communication in democracies and media analysis skills to create new and innovative visual and aural journalism. In addition, students will learn to build teamwork skills as they produce segments for the shows in groups. The course seminars will emphasize communication design, and the social and ethical issues which arise when working with documentary and news material for public dissemination.


The day-to-day work of news reporting is a creative process, involving self-determined actors interacting with constantly evolving cultural and technological environments. Contemporary data management techniques and networked distribution systems have transformed journalistic practice, and opened up opportunities for new forms of public communication and information dissemination.  

This course explores these opportunities from two intertwined and reciprocally shaping perspectives. First, by studying the traditions of journalistic practice and analysis; looking at the theories, structures, organizations, content, effects, and audiences of news media. Second, by working in production teams to research and produce news programmes for “On The Hill” – a university-based online news magazine. Engagement with critical debates concerning the role of the news media in our society will act as a foundation to develop and produce content that is relevant to SFU’s student community.  

Students will be required to employ journalistic practices in the form of research, interviewing, audio and video recording, editing, presentation and distribution of media. Group meetings, seminars, and workshops are scheduled weekly. Students should expect to spend an additional minimum of four hours per week in the studio, on location, or in edit suites.


  • Workshop Activities 20%
  • Online Discussions 20%
  • News Story I 20%
  • News Story II 20%
  • Reading Reflection I 10%
  • Reading Reflection II 10%


*Lab and seminar participation grades will take into account preparation, for example, bringing the results of take-home exercises to class, and demonstrating in discussions and Canvas postings that you have done the work assigned and completed reading assignments. Marks will be deducted for unexpected absences and late work.

The school expects that the grades awarded in this course will bear some reasonable relation to established university-wide practices with respect to both levels and distribution of grades. In addition, the School will follow Policy S10.01 with respect to Academic Integrity, and Policies S10.02, S10.03 and S10.04 as regards Student Discipline (note: as of May 1, 2009 the previous T10 series of policies covering Intellectual Honesty (T10.02), and Academic Discipline (T10.03) have been replaced with the new S10 series of policies)


Note:  A minimum 2.25 CMNS CGPA, and 2.00 overall CGPA, and approval as a communication student is required for entry into most communication upper division courses.



Readings will be posted on the course page on Canvas https://canvas.sfu.ca

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html