Friday, August 21, 2015


Investigative Journalism
Instructor William Recktenwald Telephone 618.559.0058
Fall Semester 2015  Office Room 1221 Communications
E-mail (Put j419 in subject line)
Class meets Tuesday 3:30 to 6 p.m.
Room 1250 Communications

Expect to be in class every Tuesday on time and until the end of class.

Students who hope to earn a grade of “A” must attend every class.
(If you do not understand this simple declarative sentence speak
with me and I will make it clear.)

We will have one break during the class period, that will be the time for you to respond to text messages and calls, during discussion periods put your phone away.

By the end of the semester each student should have a clear understanding of how the implement the following:
*Develop a story idea that will become the foundation of the story.
*Find the information that will support the story idea.
*Analyze the information to support your story.
*Formulate a story outline.
*Write a draft of your story.
*Verify the accuracy and truthfulness of the information in your draft.
*Understand and prepare the delivery of your story to the public, multiplatform presentations will be required.

There will be extensive class discussion, which should not be confused with lectures; students are expected to join in class conversations. You need to take class notes, these can be used during quizzes.

Each week there will be reading assignments, and a short quiz to determine if you have read the assigned material.
You need to become thoroughly acquainted
with the website
This webpage will link you to reading materials to be discuss in class.

August 25 Class introduction

Sept. 8 When and how to use the FOIA. Read the Illinois FOIA

Sept. 15 Finding Stories, and game plans. (Read assigned stories)

Sept. 22 Public vs. Private staying out of legal problems.
Read brief from SPLC before class.

Sept. 29 Using numbers to fairly present information.

Oct. 6 Discussion of Final Projects

No Class Oct 13
Long Reading assignment for October 20

The following is information that instructors have been told to include.

Syllabus Attachment
Fall 2015

Semester Class Begins …………………………………………….08/24/2015
Last day to add a class (without instructor permission):.………….08/30/2015
Last day to withdraw completely and receive a 100% refund: …....09/06/2015
Last day to drop a course using SalukiNet:.……………………….11/01/2015
Last day to file diploma application (for name to appear in Commencement program): ………………...………………………………………..09/18/2015
Final examinations:…………………………………………12/14–12/18/2015
Note: For outreach, internet, and short course drop/add dates, visit Registrar’s Academic webpage
Labor Day Holiday 09/07/2015
Fall Break 10/10—10/13/2015
Veterans Day Holiday 11/11/2015
Thanksgiving Vacation 11/25—11/29/2015
WITHDRAWAL POLICY ~ Undergraduate only
Students who officially register for a session may not withdraw merely by the stop-ping of attendance. An official withdrawal form needs to be initiated by the student and processed by the University. For the proper procedures to follow when dropping courses and when withdrawing from the University, please visit
INCOMPLETE POLICY~ Undergraduate only
An INC is assigned when, for reasons beyond their control, students engaged in passing work are unable to complete all class assignments. An INC must be changed to a completed grade within one semester following the term in which the course was taken, or graduation, whichever occurs first. Should the student fail to complete the course within the time period designated, that is, by no later than the end of the se-mester following the term in which the course was taken, or graduation, whichever occurs first, the incomplete will be converted to a grade of F and the grade will be computed in the student's grade point average. For more information please visit:
An undergraduate student may, for the purpose of raising a grade, enroll in a course for credit no more than two times (two total enrollments) unless otherwise noted in the course description. For students receiving a letter grade of A,B,C,D, or F, the course repetition must occur at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Only the most recent (last) grade will be calculated in the overall GPA and count toward hours earned. See full policy at
Graduate policies often vary from Undergraduate policies. To view the applicable policies for graduate students, please visit
Disability Support Services provides the required academic and programmatic sup-port services to students with permanent and temporary disabilities. DSS provides centralized coordination and referral services. To utilize DSS services, students must come to the DSS to open cases. The process involves interviews, reviews of student-supplied documentation, and completion of Disability Accommodation Agreements.

Title IX makes it clear that violence and harassment based on sex and gender is a Civil Rights offense subject to the same kinds of accounta-bility and the same kinds of support applied to offenses against other protected categories such as race, national origin, etc. If you or someone you know has been harassed or assaulted, you can find the appropriate resources here:
The purpose of Saluki Cares is to develop, facilitate and coordinate a university-wide program of care and support for students in any type of distress—physical, emotional, financial, or personal. By working closely with faculty, staff, students and their families, SIU will continue to display a culture of care and demonstrate to our students and their families that they are an important part of the community. For Information on Saluki Cares: (618) 453-5714, or,
Southern Illinois University Carbondale is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for study and work. We ask that you become familiar with the SIU Emergency Response Plan and Build-ing Emergency Response Team (BERT) programs. Please reference the Building Emergency Response Protocols for Syllabus attachments on the following pages. It is important that you follow these instructions and stay with your instructor during an evacuation or sheltering emergency.
SIU contains people from all walks of life, from many different cultures and sub-cultures, and representing all strata of society, nationalities, ethnicities, lifestyles, and affiliations. Learning from and working with people who differ is an important part of education as well an essential preparation for any career. For more information please visit:
Help is within reach. Learning support services offers free tutoring on campus and math labs. To find more information please visit the Center for Learning and Support Services website:
Tutoring :
Math Labs
The Writing Center offers free tutoring services to all SIU students and faculty. To find a Center or Schedule an appointment please visit
Our office's main focus is to ensure that the university complies with federal and state equity policies and handles reporting and investigating of discrimination cases. For more information visit:
Additional Resources Available:

Building Emergency Response Protocols for Syllabus:
University’s Emergency Procedure Clause:

Southern Illinois University Carbondale is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for study and work.  Because some health and safety circumstances are beyond our control, we ask that you become familiar with the SIUC Emergency Response Plan and Building Emergency Response Team (BERT) program.  Emergency response information is available on posters in buildings on campus, available on BERT’s website at, Department of Public Safety’s website (disaster drop down) and in the Emergency Response Guideline pamphlet.  Know how to respond to each type of emergency.

Instructors will provide guidance and direction to students in the classroom in the event of an emergency affecting your location.  It is important that you follow these instructions and stay with your instructor during an evacuation or sheltering emergency.  The Building Emergency Response Team will provide assistance to your instructor in evacuating the building or sheltering within the facility.

Students With a Disability:

Instructors and students in the class will work together as a team to assist students with a disability safely out of the building.  Students with a disability will stay with the instructor and communicate with the instructor what is the safest way to assist them.


During the spring semester we have a Storm Drill.

Pick up your belongings and your instructor will lead you to a safe area of the basement.  No one will be allowed to stay upstairs.  Stay away from windows.  The drill should not last more than 10 minutes.  You must stay with your instructor so he/she can take roll.  Students need to be quiet in the basement as the BERT members are listening to emergency instructions on handheld radios and cannot hear well in the basement. 

During the fall semester we have a Fire Drill.
Pick up your belongings and your instructor will lead you to either the North or South parking lot depending on what part of the building your class is in. You must stay with your instructor so he/she can take roll.  As soon as the building is all clear, you will be allowed to return to class.
These drills are to train instructors and the Building Emergency Response Team to get everyone to a safe place during an emergency.

Bomb Threat:

If someone calls in a bomb threat, class will be suspended and students will be asked to pick up their belongings, evacuate the building and leave the premises.  Do not leave anything that is yours behind.  We will not allow anyone back into the building until the police and bomb squad give us an all clear.  DO NOT USE YOUR CELL PHONES.  Some bombs are triggered by a cell phone signal.

Shooter in the Building:

If it is safe to leave, move to a safe area far from the building away from where the shooter is located.  If anyone has any information about the shooter, please contact the police after they have gone someplace safe.  

If it is not safe to leave, go into a room, lock the door and turn out the lights.  Everyone should spread out and not huddle together as a group.  Don't stand in front of the door or in line of fire with the door.  Students' chair and desks should be piled in front of the glass and door as a barricade and the teacher's desk, podium and anything movable can be pushed against the door.  This is intended to slow down any attempts to enter the classroom.  If it looks like the shooter is persistent and able to enter, make a lot of noise and have the students use everything in their backpacks to throw at the shooter to distract him.  

Silence all cell phones after one person in the room calls the police and informs them of their location and how many people are in the room. Be quiet and wait for the police to arrive.  The police are looking for one or more shooters, and they have no way of knowing if the shooter is in the room people are hiding in.   For this reason, when the police enter the room, no one should have anything in his/her hands and each person MUST raise his/her hands above his/her head.  


In the event of an earthquake, you are advised to take cover quickly under heavy furniture or crouch near an interior wall or corner and cover your head to avoid falling debris.  Outside the building are trees and power lines and debris from the building itself that you will need to stay away from.  In the building, large open areas like auditoriums are the most dangerous.  Do not try to escape on a stairway or elevator.  Do not hide under a stairway.  We do not recommend that you stand in a doorway because the door could shut from the vibrations and crush your fingers trapping you there.

Rave Mobile Safety Alert System:

We recommend that you sign up for the Rave Mobile Safety Alert System.  It is a new system that replaces the WENS system to alert you through emergency text messages on your cell phone and emails for emergencies on campus, weather reports and emergency school closures.  You have to sign up.  If you were signed up for WENS it does not roll over.  You have to sign up for Rave Mobile Safety Alert System.  Go to Saluki Net, go to my records tab, under SIUC Personal Records, click on View My SIUC Student Records, Under Main Menu click on Personal Information, click on View and Update Addresses and Phones, in the middle of the page click [Update Addresses and Phones], under phones click Primary: This will take you to Update Addresses and Phones – Update/Insert, under primary phone number for this address put in your cell phone and submit.  For more information, visit, contact SalukiTech at 453-5155 or

CPR/Defibrillator and First Aid Class:

If you would like to take a CPR/Defibrillator and/or First Aid class, contact LaVon Donley-Cornett, or call 453-7473.

Women's Self Defense Classes are offered to female students faculty and staff  by the Department of SIU Public Safety.  For more information contact Officer Mary Stark


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