Whatcom Community College’s Journalism Department offers students the chance to learn reporting and writing techniques in a practical, hands-on setting. Our courses provide training in news gathering and dissemination, with an eye toward working on Whatcom’s student-run newspaper, the Horizon; continuing to study journalism at a four-year university; or simply improving written communication skills.
Journalism 210: Writing for the Mass Media
The purpose of this class is to expand your writing skills, and awareness of audience, by introducing you to a specific form of writing—newswriting. We will focus on the inverted pyramid structure, which presents the most important information first and tapers to the least important. This is the dominion of news reporting: get to the point quickly and concisely, with accuracy and fairness. The writing and reporting techniques you learn in this class will serve you in all sorts of written communication. Whether or not you plan a career in journalism, most jobs today require the ability to gather information and clearly communicate it to others. At the very least, your other teachers will be grateful. Clear, concise, and accurate communication will serve you well in all circumstances. I promise.
Journalism 120: The Horizon
(Prior or concurrent enrollment in Journalism 210 is highly recommended; also may be taken more than once for full credit.)
Journalism 211 & 212: Advanced Reporting and Editing; 2 credits
(At least one quarter of Journalism 120 is required prior or concurrently.)
All three classes take place simultaneously in the Horizon newsroom. The Horizon is the official student newspaper of Whatcom Community College and is run by editors, managers, and the editorial board made up completely of students. The student staff makes all decisions regarding coverage of the College, and is responsible for the content, advertising sales, production, and distribution of the paper. Articles, commentaries, photographs, and cartoons are welcome from any enrolled student for possible publication. Visit the Horizon online for more information about the newspaper and its staff.
About Catherine O'Mara Wallace
I have been a journalist most of my life, starting with the first photograph I took for my college newspaper, the Daily Nexus at UC Santa Barbara, and continuing in various jobs at newspapers across the country. I have a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and a Master’s degree in Journalism from Syracuse University. After graduate school, I was managing editor of the Susquehanna County Independent in Pennsylvania; copy editor/designer at the Gannett Westchester-Rockland newspaper group in New York; special projects editor at The Fresno Bee in California; copy editor/designer, deputy Metro editor, and business graphics reporter at the Los Angeles Times; and finally, features editor at The Bellingham Herald. I have also taught newswriting at Western Washington University and am the managing editor of the American Review of Canadian Studies journal through Western’s Canadian–American Studies department. I am very excited to be teaching and to share my love of journalism with a new generation of students.