Department of Journalism


  • JR101 - Discovering Journalism (4 Credits)
    Explains how journalism has changed America and the world. Considers the role of journalism as a public service in a democratic society. Students read, view, and listen to the finest and most influential stories. They chart the news in U.S. history, from the American Revolution to today's digital revolution. Students analyze how print, broadcast, and online news have evolved and examine media from other parts of the world. They also explore ethical issues confronting the contemporary journalist and develop knowledge of the First Amendment principles.
  • JR102 - Foundations of Journalism (4 Credits)
    Students appraise and apply the fundamentals of reporting, writing, and producing news. They cover stories in the Greater Boston community and learn how to develop story ideas, define the focus, and identify and evaluate sources. Students also examine and implement reporting strategies for print, broadcast, and online news stories. They incorporate journalistic standards and practices in all newsgathering and news story presentation. Students write and organize basic news stories with skill, accuracy, and clarity and develop a disciplined use of form and style in news writing.
  • JR103 - The Digital Journalist (4 Credits)
    Covers the use of audio and visual media to tell news stories. Examines modern media, analyzes still and moving images, sound, and best web practices. Students learn how to use photography, videography, and audio to tell compelling stories. They develop and report multimedia stories in and around Boston. Image and sound manipulation and other ethical challenges in the digital age are discussed.
    Instructors: Nneka Faison, Tim Riley
  • JR202 - Beat Reporting Across Media (4 Credits)
    Students learn to cover a geographic or community beat, developing and producing stories in text, audio, and video about a community in Boston. Lectures emphasize the role and function of major institutions in public life, from courts to city hall to Congress; basic public records and research; interviewing; and story origination. Students are assigned to a beat and must develop stories in specific areas of civic life, from public safety to demographics change and its impact on community.
  • JR216 - Advanced Audio-Video Journalism (4 Credits)
    Provides intense writing for visual and audio news. Students continue to develop news judgment as it relates to video and audio. They produce and write radio newscasts and reporter packages, as well as organize a video news brief and reporter packages. Students shoot, write, and edit video and audio voiceovers and soundbites for storytelling.
    Instructor: Stephen Iandoli
  • JR220 - Interactive News (4 Credits)
    Introduces the history and theory of the news media on the Internet and web and to the reporting, writing, and designing of online news. In the first half of the semester, students analyze best practices of online news publications and write their own blogs. In the second half, they report, write, and design a multimedia website.
    Instructor: Mark Leccese
  • JR221 - Photojournalism (4 Credits)
    Explores photography as a journalistic storytelling medium by teaching how to communicate news visually in a variety of situations. Develops skills such as shooting pictures on deadline, writing concise and compelling captions, and editing for impact. Through historical and contemporary examples, students learn about the power of photojournalism to document, inform, entertain, persuade, and provoke emotion. Examines the ethical and legal challenges of photojournalism.
    Instructor: Joanne Ciccarello
  • JR240 - Sports Reporting (4 Credits)
    Provides real-world basis for sports coverage in print, broadcast, and online media. Students produce a range of stories in each media, learn the basics of sports beat reporting, learn the necessity of research and reporting for sports stories, deepen knowledge of sports as it appeals to media consumers, and learn how to compete for positions in the job market.
    Instructor: Shalise Manza Young
  • JR241 - Radio Journalism (4 Credits)
    Students learn how to write, report, and produce radio news including international, national, and local news. They learn the process of developing story ideas and gathering and organizing information in a way acceptable for broadcast. Students learn how different types of news stories are reported on radio in short form, breaking news, long form, and podcasting. They identify newsmakers and develop further understanding of the broadcast news field. Professionalism, integrity, and accuracy are practiced at all times.
  • JR261 - Feature Writing (4 Credits)
    Students learn to research, organize, and write feature articles for newspapers, magazines, and online media. They develop techniques for finding and focusing stories, interviewing in-depth, improving observation, structure writing, and storytelling. Students understand the variety of feature writing approaches.
  • JR270 - Civic Art & Design Studio (4 Credits)
    Civic Art & Design are practices that leverage storytelling and culture to generate social change, to serve the public good and/or to imagine alternate collective futures. In this class we address the shifting sociopolitical role of the artist, designer and storyteller in a world beset by crises, inequities and global concerns. This course covers theories of Civic Art and Design as well as methods for including diverse communities and audiences at various stages in the creation of a project. We review numerous cases of civic art and conduct experiments in storytelling, data visualization, community art, performance, interactive documentary and networked art in order to interrogate where, when, how and why a Civic Storyteller takes action in the world. Throughout the class, we model a design research process that engages with a public data set and culminates in the completion of a public art & media installation. This is an introductory class to get acquainted with storytelling about important civic issues through data analysis and visualization.
    Instructor: Catherine D'Ignazio
  • JR292 - Public Affairs Reporting (4 Credits)
    Introduces the structure and functions of state, local, and federal government from a journalist's perspective. Students report and write in-depth stories on proposed legislation, campaign finance, and current issues in government. Students also become familiar with and make use of public records and open meeting laws, learn advanced reporting skills through readings and class lectures, and review and critique each other's stories.
    Instructor: Mark Leccese
  • JR318 - TV News Producing (4 Credits)
    Students experience deadline-driven television newsroom operations by producing newscasts and rotating through newsroom jobs such as tape editor, writer, producer, anchor, reporter, and videographer. They write news scripts, edit video to tell a news story, organize and produce a newscast, coordinate video elements for a newscast, and work together as a broadcast news team.
    Instructor: Janet Kolodzy
  • JR320 - Environmental Journalism (4 Credits)
    Hands-on course in which students prepare multiple stories on environmental issues, learning the topic and the skills. It is both a discussion course and a working course, embracing science and doing reporting. The course has a special focus on the story of the century: the climate change that will affect every aspect of our society. But it examines a wide range of environmental topics, from local to national to global. Discussion touches on the history of environmental reporting from Rachel Carson to the current fireworks between those who dispute global warming and journalists who report on it. Students learn how to recognize and find good stories, how to approach environmental issues; how to deal with scientists; and how to research, report, write and produce from the field. Multimedia reporting is expected.
  • JR353 - Reporting and Writing Complex Stories (4 Credits)
    Students move beyond straight news, inverted pyramid, and short features to understand longer features, narratives, analysis, profiles, investigative, and other forms of in-depth writing. They learn to look for ideas, how to organize reporting, and how to pursue the serious reporting needed for these stories, as well as how to structure a longer, complex story to produce exemplary, stand-out journalism.
    Instructor: Ted Gup
  • JR354 - News Editing and Design (4 Credits)
    Students develop and practice the craft of editing: refining news copy and choosing how and where it will run in a newspaper or on a website. They learn to edit stories for content, structure, word usage, and story flow. Students write headlines and learn appropriate software needed to design pages. Explores issues of style, bias, stereotyping, fairness, and taste.
    Instructor: David Richwine
  • JR364 - Specialized Reporting Topics: History of the Alternative Press (4 Credits)
    A survey course on the role of non-mainstream newspapers in modern U.S. society. The course will explore major events and trends between the 1890s and the 1980s through the coverage in special interest newspapers. The publications used to examine topics in social history will include the race and ethnic press, religious press, trade union press, and press of the political left, among others. Students will study both scholarly and primary source writings, consider the use of the alternative press in the historical method, and write research papers that draw on newspapers as sources of history.
    Instructor: Roger House
  • JR364 - Topics in Specialized Reporting: Secrecy (4 Credits)
    Develops background knowledge, understanding, and expertise in a specialized area of journalism. Topics may include politics, blogs and the media, the media and the presidency, war reporting, the alternative press and impact of Pulitzer stories. May be repeated for credit if topics differ.
    Instructor: Ted Gup
  • JR364 - Specialized Reporting Topics: Investigative Consumer Reporting Project (4 Credits)
    This course is being offering in partnership with The New England Center for Investigative Reporting (NECIR), a nonprofit investigative reporting newsroom, and is designed to offer a select group of stgudents hands-on investigative, consumer reporting experience with a goal of producing stories to be run in local and regional news outlets. The stories are intended to benefit, inform and, if need be, warn, consumers. Students will have the opportunity to do one major, in-depth investigative story on a consumer protection issue -- ie. food safety, clean water, prescription drugs, etc -- under the guidance of two award-winning investigative journalists. Students will utilize all reporting techniques including computer-assisted reporting. The story is expected to appear in several Massachusetts newspapers and on TV stations in Boston and in western Massachusetts, with an audience and readership of one million. Students will meet in the NECIR newsroom at BU at least twice weekly and will be expected to demonstrate real commitment to their investigative projects. Course meets Monday and Friday 10-11:45 (be sure to factor in travel time) in the NECIR newsroom at Boston University, 640 Commonwealth Ave, Boston.
    Instructor: Doug Struck
  • JR365 - Topics in Cultural Affairs: Cultural Criticism (4 Credits)
    A journalism course devoted to the coverage, reporting and analysis of entertainment fields: Movies, Books, Television, Music, and the industry itself as a business subject. What are the biggest entertainment business stories of the past year, and why? What kind of coverage did these stories receive? What specifically marks the difference between in-depth cultural reportage and ?celebrity journalism?? Best practices will be read, discussed, and outlined. Students report and write in-depth critiques on specific films, books and events, as well as report on larger business trends and practices. All assignments embrace multi-media storytelling modes: audio, visual, slideshows, print and broadcast. Students pitch story ideas, spin out alternate angles on single stories, compose sturdy nut graphs, assess the current state of entertainment pages in a variety of outlets, and pitch their profiles as reporters with special knowledge in the entertainment fields.
    Instructor: Tim Riley
  • JR365 - Topics in Cultural Affairs: Literary Journalism (4 Credits)
    Develops background knowledge, understanding, and expertise in a specialized area of culture, arts, entertainment, or sports. Topics may include music journalism, food/fashion reporting, or performing arts reporting. May be repeated for credit if topics differ.
    Instructor: Doug Struck
  • JR365 - Topics in Cultural Affairs: Entertainment and the Media Industry (4 Credits)
  • JR365 - Topics in Cultural Affairs: Film News and Reviews (4 Credits)
    From Hollywood to independent and world cinema, Film News, Review, and Feature Writing examines how film journalism is practiced across an array of media with an emphasis on print and online outlets. Students will acquire a working knowledge of how film-related news, reviews, and feature stories are pitched, assigned, researched, reported, edited, and published. Discussion will include the history of film journalism as well as career paths in film journalism today. Class exercises foster critical and creative thinking as well as the integration of multimedia elements, including audio, video, still photography, and social networking.
  • JR365 - Topics in Cultural Affairs: Music Journalism (4 Credits)
    An intensive writing course covering the classic 1960s rock explosion and its aftershocks. Drawing on the music of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan, class explores the four main themes of rock style: race, class, demography and gender. Two major papers required: one on the Beatles, and one open subject. Each paper goes through outlines and revisions typical of the publishing process. Additional assignments include story pitching a major music publication and interviewing a band for a color story to hone skills in description, point-of-view, historical context, and political attitudes. The central text, Greil Marcus's Mystery Train, anchors incidental essays by major rock critics of the era, with special attention to style, voice, tone, and best practice examples of New Journalism and rock criticism.
    Instructor: Tim Riley
  • JR366 - Topics in Science, Technology, and Health: Health and Medical Reporting (4 Credits)
    Journalists don't need to be a medical professional to be good health reporters, but they do need to know how doctors, researchers and bureaucrats do their work, and to translate jargon into simple and useful language for audiences. In this class, you will learn how to find news value in official health documents, and how to research and write/produce interesting and accessible stories for popular media.
    Instructor: Melinda Robins
  • JR419 - ENG/TV News Reporting (4 Credits)
    Students work in the field to research, shoot, write, and edit video news stories. They develop reporting and interviewing skills, visual acuity, writing for the eye and ear, and general TV performance abilities. Students also learn and utilize the technical aspects of video shooting and editing.
  • JR485 - Journalism Topics: Food Reporting (4 Credits)
    Food is an essential part of living and life and food reporting explores the coverage, reporting and production of journalism on this essential subject. Students in this course will examine and dissect the various types of reporting on food in everything from social media to television and glossy magazine. They will develop knowledge about professional expectations and standards in food journalism, from testing and checking ingredients of a recipe to determining trends and traits of food culture. They will apply this new-found expertise to produce stories on food that would appeal to a well-versed food audience.
  • JR485 - Journalism Topics: Blogging (4 Credits)
    Blogging, in less than a decade, has moved from fringes of journalism to the center of modern online media. Students in this course will conceive, design, write and maintain a blog or blogs that treat a subject in depth. Topics covered include the different types of bloggers, interactivity with an audience, writing headlines and summaries, using social media to expand a blog?s audience, and working with images, video, audio, and data visualization. The course will also cover legal and ethical issues involved in blogging.
    Instructor: Mark Leccese
  • JR485 - Journalism Topics: Digital Thinking (4 Credits)
    This course will explore the fundamental question facing journalists today: how will the profession survive? Students will learn how news organizations make money, how the digital revolution has disrupted the business model that supported those organizations for decades, and what the future might hold. They will examine the successful digital efforts by the New York Times, Washington Post, and other legacy organizations, learn about emerging media titans and their ventures, such as BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, and Facebook, and unpack why some efforts fail and others succeed.
    Instructor: David Dahl
  • JR485 - Journalism Topics: Global Journalism On-line (4 Credits)
    This online course studies the news media around the world and the history and implications of media globalization. What are the press systems like in other countries? How have the web and social media affected local as well as international news flow? How does shrinking international coverage influence American public opinion and policy? Students look at the development of today's international communication systems from the telegraph to social media. They examine issues of ownership and control, local culture and content, and media development. This class is open to seniors and graduate students only.
    Instructor: Melinda Robins
  • JR490 - Online Publishing Capstone (4 Credits)
    Students create a series of multimedia stories for a personal portfolio of online journalistic work. They use advanced tools for creating interactive stories to produce immersive journalistic stories. Text, video, audio, and photos are used to produce journalistic stories that are difficult to tell in print or broadcast alone.
    Instructor: Paul Niwa
  • JR491 - Broadcast Jour Capstone (4 Credits)
    Refines and further develops ENG or producing skills at an advanced level with the goal of putting together a professional portfolio by semester's end. In addition to completing a body of work, students are expected to engage in in-depth research and critical analysis.
  • JR492 - Deep Reporting Capstone (4 Credits)
    In this project-based course, students pitch, research, report, write, and revise a single long-form story or a series. Work might range from long-form narrative magazine articles or mini-documentaries to multiple-part series on a topic of public importance.
    Instructor: Ted Gup
  • JR493 - Backpack Journalist Capstone (4 Credits)
    Students carry out a project from start to finish, learning skills of self-employment, multimedia, marketing, self-editing, and pitching stories. They learn the basics of budgets, taxes, benefit, and legal implications of freelance and sole-proprietor journalism. Students learn about the risks and benefits of practicing journalism without the shelter, and restrictions, of a newsroom. They discover how to juggle technology, reporting, and entrepreneurial skills.
    Instructor: Doug Struck
  • JR609 - Visual Storytelling and Reporting (4 Credits)
    Students develop an ability to tell stories in a visual language by studying and producing multimedia stories. They start by identifying a story focus and capturing it in a photograph. They then progress to slideshows, audio, video, and interactive works. This course discusses the rights and responsibilities of visual journalists and the emerging philosophies transforming digital media. Students build their social media audience and create an e-portfolio that is developed throughout the master's program.
    Instructor: Mark Micheli
  • JR612 - Advanced Multimedia Reporting (4 Credits)
    Students cover communities bound by geography or common interest. Emphasis is on gaining a deeper understanding of groups largely neglected by traditional media. Students report and produce stories about issues, concerns, and events important to the communities. They build relationships and gather or analyze data about their communities. A panel of community members will give feedback on the students' journalism.
  • JR623 - Data Visualization (4 Credits)
    Students organize information from existing databases and their own data collection to create graphics that help citizens explore their community, nation, and world with new depth. Using graphics software and basic programming code, students create both static and animated graphics that show proportions, visualize relationships, or display trends over time.
    Instructor: Catherine D'Ignazio
  • JR626 - Global Journalism Online (4 Credits)
    Studies the news media around the world and the history and implications of media globalization. What are the press systems like in other countries? How have the web and social media affected local as well as international news flow? How does shrinking international coverage influence American public opinion and policy? Students look at the development of today's international communication systems from the telegraph to social media. They examine issues of ownership and control, local culture and content, and media development: the continuing agenda to build media systems so that the disenfranchised can gain information and have a voice.
    Instructor: Melinda Robins
  • JR628 - Law and Public Policy for Journalists (4 Credits)
    Enables students to find, investigate, and navigate through government and research documents, court decisions and documents, and laws and regulations. Students examine the historic reasoning and debate relating to today's laws and regulations. They develop an understanding of the impact of law and public policy in society and within specific communities to inform their journalism.
    Instructor: Joseph Pereira
  • JR632 - Long-Form Multimedia Storytelling (4 Credits)
    Students learn how to plan, report, draft and revise long-form journalism that allows text or visuals/video to serve as the dominant or primary medium in a web-based/multimedia presentation. It emphasizes establishing focus, planning, researching, reporting and sourcing, collecting project assets, and organizing and presenting those story elements to craft a professional-level piece or series of pieces. This course is the foundation for the capstone experience and for other depth reporting classes. (Fall)
    Instructors: Doug Struck, Janet Kolodzy
  • JR637 - Editing and Web Producing (4 Credits)
    Students learn to use language with precision and economy in journalism. A variety of stories are edited for accuracy, grammar, style, organization, fairness, and legal issues. Students work as web producers, editing copy, writing headlines and summaries, and editing photos and writing captions
  • JR688 - Capstone (4 Credits)
    The capstone experience provides master?s degree students with the opportunity to demonstrate: (1) reporting, writing, and multimedia producing skills developed throughout the program; and (2) the ability to practice journalism that enables a vibrant discussion of ideas and encourages civic engagement
    Instructor: Janet Kolodzy