All posts by Sheree Martin

I am a lawyer and strategic communications consultant. My interests include: running, hiking, music, cooking, reading, animals, classic movies and TV, and Internet media. I support local foods, locally-owned businesses and sustainable agricultural practices whenever possible. We create the society and culture we want to live in by the choices we make every day. We shape our lives and communities through the products we choose to purchase, the foods we choose to eat, the way we treat other people, the way we treat creation, and the way we spend our time. And in these choices we are constantly affirming our values.

Caption Writing Exercise

You must write a caption for each of the photos shown here. Total of 13 photos that need captions.

The caption must consist of these elements:

  • “Lead in”or tagline: (2-3 words of bold type) (Photos 1-9 can use the same lead-in or tagline)
  • One sentence description of photo subject written in present tense.
  • One sentence description of event written in past tense.

Here’s an example:


Nature’s Classroom — Local botanist Charles Rose explains how to distinguish species of trees by leaf patterns. He led a group of outdoor enthusiasts on a wildflower walk at Bull Skull Hollow last Tuesday.

Points: High School Journalism Workshop  & Exodus Release Party 11 @ 8 points each. Captions for the  other 2 photos  are worth 12 points each because you must look up the information and synthesize it. Total of 112 points.

Captions must be written in complete sentences. Use correct grammar, spelling, and AP Style for dates, titles, abbreviations.

Type your captions on a Word document and print to turn in. Make sure to put your name on the paper.

Length: Minimum of 25 words, 100 word maximum for each caption. Use

I’ve noted general information about the overall event after the main header for the photo collection. Information about each specific photo in the space BEFORE the photo. I’ve separated photos and info by inserting lines.

Event: Samford High School Journalism Workshop

When: September 8, 2011

What: Attended by 300 area high school students and journalism / yearbook advisers

1. Who: JMC Department Chair Dr. Bernie Ankney & NBC-13 reporter Chris Pollone, keynote speaker


2. Welcome by JMC Department Chair Dr. Bernie Ankney


3. Ankney, introducing the schools in attendance.


4. Who: Kaitlyn McCulley, alumnus of Samford JMC, reporter, CBS-42

Topic: Broadcasting Basics: Analyzing a TV News PackageIMG_4052

5. Who: Carla Jean Whitley

Managing Editor, Birmingham magazine

Topic: Magazine Journalism


6. Who: Dr. Dennis Jones, Samford JMC professor who teaches in the magazine track

Topic: Introduction to Newspaper Layout


7. Who: Marty Swant

Reporter, The Birmingham News

Topic: Intermediate Newspaper Reporting


8. Who: Dr. Jon Clemmensen

Samford JMC professor

Topic: Starting & Publishing a Literary Journal


9. Who: Donovan Harris

Samford JMC alum and member of JMC Advisory Council

‎Director of Design and Production at The Progress Farmer Magazine

Topic: Introduction to Magazine Design


Exodus Magazine Publication Party

April 30, 2014

10. Who:

Left: Erin Shaw, Design Assistant

Right: Anna Cox, Editor in Chief


11. :

Left: Staley McIlwain, Photo Editor

Right: Logan Heim, Editorial Assistant


Wendell Berry at Samford

12. Who: Wendall Berry

When: February 27, 2012



#BoneVoyage Party

13. Shelby County Humane Society Shelter Partners Program

When: November 12, 2011

More info here:



Summarize, write, edit, tweet: Part 2

Same as last week:

Write tweets for these 5 stories–after you’ve read the story and are certain you know what it’s about. Stay within 100-120 characters.

It’s important to correctly summarize the story. Be careful about misplaced modifiers.

Spelling counts.

Write in the active voice.

Eliminate unnecessary words.

50 points







Example tweets for JMC 300 Lab October 23, 2014

For JMC 300 Lab: October 16, 2014

Week 8: Writing in the active voice.

Subject – verb – object.

Omit unnecessary words.

Twitter is a great resource to learn how to write actively, directly and succinctly.

Assignment Directions:

Read each of the following articles and write a tweet in the active voice that summarizes a key point from the article. Your tweet should be a sentence that both summarizes the actual content and would most likely cause the reader to click to read more. Avoid click-bait phrases, though. Keep your tweet at no more than 120 characters to allow room for a link and possible retweets.

Use this tool: to count the number of characters.

Practice Articles:

Once you are sure your tweet is 110-120 characters, copy and paste the tweet into a Word document with your name on it.

Use the number that corresponds to the article to number your tweets.

1. Article:

2. Article:

3. Article:

4. Article:

5. Article:

6. Article:

7. Article: