Short Term Practicum: Journalism

Journalism in an Age of Media Explosion
“Who, What, Where, When, Why?”

Lead Practitioner: Peter Moore ’78

Course Overview: An intensive experience in the process of creative journalism as it’s practiced today, from reported pieces to travel journalism to the reported essay. Students will read the best work being done today, and using the maelstrom of activity on the Bates campus as source material, brainstorm, research, report, write, and rewrite their own pieces, with peer and professional guidance. In addition, there will be daily and weekly labs to help develop journalistic skills—idea development, outlining, interviewing, copy editing—in addition to practice writing clear and concise sentences, paragraphs, blog posts, short explanatory pieces, profiles, descriptive passages, opinion, humor, memoir, and narratives. The goal will be for students to smooth their writing processes the same way runners streamline their strides: by practicing daily, being critiqued intelligently, and raising skill levels. Offered in 2016.

Learning Goals: 

  • Understand and appreciate short-, medium-, and long-form journalism as it is practiced today.
  • Brainstorm, shape, and pitch ideas for publication.
  • Practice research skills as the foundation for writing.
  • Learn to be an incisive interviewer.
  • Learn the beauty of writing economically, and that a word saved is a word earned.
  • Learn and believe and accept that in writing, the magic happens in revision.

Course products and Final Portfolio Project:

  1. Story idea memo, based on the short term course descriptions and campus arts schedule, with 8-10 proposed articles
  2. Expanded feature proposal, which has been workshopped rigorously, and augmented with a research plan, a reporting methodology, and interview lists
  3. Daily reporting, tweeting, Facebooking, Instagramming assignments to hone skills
  4. Rough draft of the major project, for markup by editor
  5. Successful revision, for approval by editor
  6. Completing a portfolio of short-, medium-, and long-form journalism, from draft to revision to final, for posting to Bates documentary website

GEC and Major Credit:

  • Evidence: Documentation and Reality GEC
  • Major credit for Rhetoric

Lead Instructor Biographical Information:

Peter Moore graduated with an English major from Bates in 1978. Upon graduation he wrote American history for a New York publisher, landed a job at a technology/futurist magazine, and then edited a movie magazine called Moviegoer. After that, he hit the national press at Playboy, working his way up to articles editor. In his most recent job, he worked as editor of Men’s Health, a men’s lifestyle magazine brand with 39 international editions in 45 countries and a worldwide readership of 23 million, from 1996 to 2016. He was responsible for day-to-day direction of the magazine, serving as a media spokesman, and assigning, editing, and writing feature articles. He is co-author, with Travis Stork, M.D., of The Lean Belly Prescription, published in December 2010 from Rodale, Inc., and The 8-Hour Diet, published in December 2012 by Rodale. Both books were New York Times bestsellers.

In August 2008, Peter joined then-Senator Barack Obama on his campaign plane for an exclusive interview and cover story for the November issue of Men’s Health; the issue was on newsstands when Senator Obama became President-elect Obama. Almost exactly a year later, he interviewed President Obama in the Oval Office, concerning the Affordable Care Act, for a cover story in the October 2009 issue of Men’s Health; he also interviewed First Lady Michelle Obama for a story in the October 2009 issue of Women’s Health on the same theme.

Peter has written major health features for the magazine. Following his own heart-health scare, Peter wrote “A Tale of Three Hearts,” which garnered the magazine’s first National Magazine Award—the industry’s equivalent of an Oscar. In April 2010, in his first year as editor of Men’s Health, the magazine won the NMA for General Excellence, in competition with The New Yorker, among other magazines. In 2012, he completed the NATMAG trifecta when an article he edited—Laurence Roy Stains’ “I Want My Prostate Back”—won the ASME for personal service. The January 2014 issue contains his account of a trip to India with Matt Damon, to visit villages impacted by Damon’s activist group

Peter is currently developing more book projects, both on his own and as a ghost writer. There has never been a better time to emerge into the world with editing and writing skills, because they are prized in every industry at the moment. But who needs “industry”? What do you want to launch on your own? Hey, it worked for Mark Zuckerberg.