Journalism (JRNL)

JRNL 1000. Journalism at Northeastern. 1 Hour.

Intended for first-year students in the College of Arts, Media and Design. Introduces students to liberal arts; familiarizes them with their major; develops the academic skills necessary to succeed (analytical ability and critical thinking); provides grounding in the culture and values of the University community; and helps to develop interpersonal skills—in short, familiarizes students with all skills needed to become a successful university student.

JRNL 1101. Journalism 1: Fundamentals of Reporting. 4 Hours.

Covers foundations of news writing for print media, including leads, story structure, objective tone, and attribution. Introduces fundamental reporting skills such as interviewing, researching, and observation. It then asks students, in their reporting, to step back and analyze the institutions they are writing about and the media itself in order to understand how societies and its institutions function and the validity of theories that explain these processes.

JRNL 1150. Interpreting the Day’s News. 4 Hours.

Examines the media institutions that shape the news and how the challenges of economics, politics, diversity, and globalization change the function of the website, newspaper, news magazine, and news broadcasts. Examines stories and news decisions from different perspectives to evaluate national, political, local, foreign, sports, and science news in the U.S. media. Topics include responsibilities of the press and the changing ways news is gathered, processed, and disseminated. Explores how other societies in different parts of the world view the news; freedom of the press; and the role of reporters, producers, and editors.

JRNL 1990. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions.

JRNL 2201. Journalism 2: Intermediate Reporting. 4 Hours.

Continues JRNL 1101. This is the second writing course for undergraduate journalism students with an emphasis on learning how to report news stories. Offers students the opportunity to find sources and interview them, do background research, and use public records. Developing story ideas using computer-assisted reporting will be covered. Examines how to develop a story idea and then focus and organize it. Covers basic principles of online journalism including writing, design, and integration of visuals and text for the Web. Introduces elements of design and layout. Prereq. JRNL 1101.

JRNL 2301. Visual Storytelling in Journalism. 4 Hours.

Continues JRNL 2201. Covers basic principles of journalistic storytelling with video, sound, and still images. Introduces students to the foundations of writing with audio and video, and explores the concept of “convergence,” preparing stories for presentation in different formats. Fulfills the Advanced Writing in the Disciplines requirement for journalism majors. Prereq. ENGW 1111, ENGW 1102, ENGL 1111, or ENGL 1102.

JRNL 2350. History of Journalism. 4 Hours.

Traces the development of American journalism from its European and English beginnings. Topics include the colonial press, the great personal journalists of the nineteenth century, and the impact of major technological changes in mass communications media in the twentieth century. Prereq. ENGW 1111, ENGW 1102, ENGL 1111, or ENGL 1102.

JRNL 2410. Radio News Gathering and Reporting. 4 Hours.

Covers writing and editing news for radio, with practice in interviewing, organizing news scripts, and integrating audio materials into broadcast. Prereq. Sophomore, junior, or senior standing.

JRNL 2990. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions.

JRNL 3300. Covering Conflicts: Peace, War, and the Media. 4 Hours.

Examines the media’s portrayal of conflicts and the peace process in the Middle East, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Rwanda, and elsewhere. Evaluates the limits of fairness, balance, and accuracy in the coverage. Looks at the American and international media—print, broadcast, and online—and some of the major stories in recent years and attempts to put these stories in historical, political, and social context. Analyzes the wide-ranging criticism of coverage from a variety of perspectives. Prereq. Sophomore standing or above. Cross-listed with INTL 3300.

JRNL 3305. Special Topics. 4 Hours.

Offers specialized topics in journalism for the twenty-first century. Topic matter changes each semester.

JRNL 3425. Public Relations Principles. 4 Hours.

Presents the principles, history, and methods of public relations; processes of influencing public opinion; responsibilities of the public relations practitioner; and analyses of public relations programs. Through case studies and class discussions, offers students an opportunity to confront real-life ethical dilemmas and learn to apply ethical frameworks to evaluate and resolve them. Prereq. Junior or senior standing. Cross-listed with COMM 3445.

JRNL 3430. Local Reporting. 4 Hours.

Discusses coverage of town/city government, with emphasis on the “beat” approach to reporting public affairs. Focuses on practical, in-the-field experience with town meetings, meetings of boards of selectmen, and other governmental agencies. Prereq. JRNL 2201; journalism majors and combined majors only.

JRNL 3435. Techniques of Journalism. 4 Hours.

Provides practice in writing in-depth and multiple-source stories requiring significant research. Provides an introduction to investigative reporting, practice in feature writing, and a review of legal issues. Prereq. JRNL 2201; journalism majors and combined majors only.

JRNL 3440. Editing. 4 Hours.

Provides practice in copyediting, headline writing, and origination editing. Presents assignments in photo selection, cropping, and cutline writing. Introduces page layout and discusses the principles of online editing. Prereq. JRNL 2201; journalism majors and combined majors only.

JRNL 3455. Sports Writing. 4 Hours.

Provides practice in journalistic coverage of amateur and professional athletics. Focuses on the role of sports writing in the news media and examines such topics as game coverage, feature profiles, and opinion columns. Prereq. Sophomore, junior, or senior standing.

JRNL 3550. Law of the Press. 4 Hours.

Examines legal problems of libel, invasion of privacy, and access to government information; discusses the balance between private rights and the public’s “need to know.” Prereq. Sophomore, junior, or senior standing.

JRNL 3610. Digital Storytelling and Social Media. 4 Hours.

Offers students an opportunity to learn the fundamentals of digital journalism. Emphasizes hands-on instruction in multimedia skills. Topics may include blogging, photography, video and audio production, use of social media as a reporting tool, and mapping and data visualization. Guest speakers and a consideration of the future of news may also be part of the course. Requires students to produce a final project that consists of storytelling across a range of platforms—for example, a written article, a photo story, and a video. Prereq. Sophomore standing or above.

JRNL 3615. Advanced Digital Storytelling. 4 Hours.

Continues JRNL 3610. Journalists now have access to more storytelling tools—blogs, smartphones, high-quality DSLRs, Facebook—than at any other time in our industry’s history. Offers students an opportunity to learn advanced techniques in using video and audio production, social media, and crowdsourcing to create compelling, professional-grade multimedia stories. Prereq. JRNL 3610 or permission of instructor.

JRNL 3625. Public Relations Practice. 4 Hours.

Demonstrates practices and techniques employed in the field including organization of events and functions. Studies campaign planning, research, and media relationships. Prereq. JRNL 3425. Cross-listed with COMM 3625.

JRNL 3627. Critical Thinking about Public Relations Strategies. 4 Hours.

Designed to bring together upper-level students from multiple disciplines who are interested in taking a microscopic view of how issues are purposefully driven by professionals interested in promoting causes, political candidates, public policy, and corporate image. Examines how corporations and others make decisions and which theories of institutional behavior best explain those choices. Are companies motivated solely by economics as Marx would argue, or do they approach their image in a more functional way? Are the messages of politicians determined by race and class, or do they respond to a different framework? Requires students to follow current issues and dissect significant past campaigns. Knowledge of public relations tactics is helpful but not necessary. Prereq. Junior or senior standing. Cross-listed with COMM 3627.

JRNL 3630. Magazine Writing. 4 Hours.

Covers writing and freelancing magazine articles; analyzing magazines as markets; and selecting the best feature format—how-to-do-it, profile, personal experience, human interest, interpretive pieces, and others. Prereq. Sophomore standing or above and a firm grasp of journalistic concepts, including advanced reporting and writing skills; a prior journalistic co-op or internship or experience writing for a school, online, or professional publication is preferred.

JRNL 3680. Advanced Reporting. 4 Hours.

Offers students an opportunity to learn and apply advanced reporting techniques of the kind that editors and producers expect of their best reporters, especially those who cover demanding beats such as politics, government, healthcare, education, science, and business. Studies how to see and apply data and data visualization techniques, to develop and interview sources, to locate and decipher public records, to identify and conceptualize important stories, and to discuss and apply ethical theories to reporting to justify choices that may inflame or antagonize sources or readers. An assignment to do substantial enterprise stories for publication in major media outlets is part of the course.

JRNL 3945. Internship. 1-4 Hours.

Comprises academic credit for internship work in journalism.

JRNL 3990. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions.

JRNL 4650. Journalism Ethics and Issues. 4 Hours.

Discusses the responsibilities of news media and ethical problems confronting decision makers in various journalistic fields and the principles found in codes of various professional societies. Requires students to write a paper on an ethical problem they faced while working in the media and place it in a framework of at least two ethical theories, for example, utilitarianism and deontology. Prereq. Junior or senior standing.

JRNL 4970. Junior/Senior Honors Project 1. 4 Hours.

Focuses on in-depth project in which a student conducts research or produces a product related to the student’s major field. Combined with Junior/Senior Project 2 or college-defined equivalent for 8-credit honors project.

JRNL 4971. Junior/Senior Honors Project 2. 4 Hours.

Focuses on second semester of in-depth project in which a student conducts research or produces a product related to the student’s major field. Prereq. JRNL 4970.

JRNL 4990. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions.

JRNL 4991. Research. 4 Hours.

Offers an opportunity to conduct research under faculty supervision.

JRNL 4992. Directed Study. 1-4 Hours.

Offers independent work under the direction of members of the department on a chosen topic. Course content depends on instructor.

JRNL 4993. Independent Study. 1-4 Hours.

Offers independent work under the direction of members of the department on a chosen topic. Course content depends on instructor.

JRNL 5214. The Online Newsroom Experience. 4 Hours.

Offers students an opportunity to report and write for publication, take photos, and edit news copy for the e-Bulletin, the online news site for the New England Newspaper and Press Association. The e-Bulletin, now a news Web site after a transition from a printed newspaper, reports news for journalists at about 800 newspapers in New England and their online operations. It is also a multimedia site, offering all the news-delivery methods of the modern newsroom—video, audio, still photos, and text. This course seeks to prepare students for co-op jobs and provide networking opportunities with New England journalists. Prereq. Junior, senior, or graduate standing.

JRNL 5306. Beat Reporting. 4 Hours.

Covers advanced reporting in specific topic areas. Topics change from semester to semester. Prereq. (a) JRNL 2201 and junior or senior standing or (b) graduate standing.

JRNL 5307. Video Newswriting. 4 Hours.

Focuses on the fundamentals of journalistic writing with video, audio, narration, and graphics. Emphasizes writing and producing in various television news formats. Prereq. (a) JRNL 1101 with a grade of C and junior or senior standing or (b) graduate standing.

JRNL 5309. Documentary Production. 4 Hours.

Offers students an opportunity to research, write, and produce a short video documentary and acquaint themselves with a range of professional documentary styles through screenings and discussions. Analyzes and addresses the ethical challenges facing documentary filmmakers and their interaction with subjects historically and in the new media age. Prereq. Junior, senior, or graduate standing and experience shooting video and editing on nonlinear editing software such as Final Cut Pro X, Adobe Premiere, or Avid.

JRNL 5310. Photojournalism. 4 Hours.

Covers camera procedures along with cropping, assignment techniques, theory, and photo-caption methods. Engages students in the ethical choices photojournalists face in covering wars, disasters, and vulnerable people in societies—both historically and in the new media environment. Prereq. Junior, senior, or graduate standing.

JRNL 5311. Design and Graphics. 4 Hours.

Introduces graphic design terminology and principles using software packages and leading desktop and web publishing programs. Covers how to plan a publication based on audience and budget. Design assignments include newspapers, magazines, brochures, advertisements, and corporate identity programs. Strict attention is paid to deadlines and quality of the printed publication. Prereq. Junior, senior, or graduate standing.

JRNL 5314. Video News Production 1. 4 Hours.

Offers students hands-on opportunities to produce news stories for dissemination across video and several multimedia platforms. Seeks to engage students in the ethical challenges facing journalists historically and in the new media age. Students experiment with techniques used by TV and electronic news producers, including reporting, writing, videotaping, and editing on nonlinear digital editing equipment. Offers students an opportunity to create news stories and upload them to their websites with a variety of software programs, in line with journalistic and ethical standards. Prereq. (a) JRNL 2201 with a grade of C and junior or senior standing or (b) graduate standing.

JRNL 5315. Video News Production 2. 4 Hours.

Continues JRNL 5314. Offers advanced study of video news gathering including shooting, interviewing, writing, editing, and field producing. Prereq. JRNL 5314 and junior, senior, or graduate standing.

JRNL 5360. Global Reporting. 4 Hours.

Discusses coverage of global issues and international public affairs and the function of the media in a global context. Topics include how news is gathered, processed, and disseminated by the various media abroad and how the media reflect culture, religion, and politics around the world. Focuses on practical, in-the-field experience with global governmental, business, and societal leaders. This course is part of the Dialogue of Civilizations program abroad. Graduate awards do not apply toward this program. International students wishing to register need to speak to the International Student and Scholar Institute prior to registration.

JRNL 6100. Reporting and Writing Fundamentals. 1 Hour.

Introduces the basics of news reporting and writing. Runs for three weeks beginning in mid-August.

JRNL 6200. Enterprise Reporting 1. 4 Hours.

Defines and sharpens research, interviewing, and analytical skills necessary for good reporting. Focuses on learning to develop story ideas and conduct primary and secondary research for a major enterprise article. Skills are developed through an analysis of outstanding reportage, in-class discussion and exercises, and out-of-class assignments.

JRNL 6201. Enterprise Reporting 2. 4 Hours.

Builds on skills and concepts covered in JRNL 6200. Covers a variety of Web-based and traditional resources. Employs computer-assisted reporting methodologies to assist students in investigating areas such as government corruption, safety and environmental risks, criminal justice, education, healthcare, real estate, campaign financing, and business and financial transactions. Offers students an opportunity to learn how to access public databases, to reference materials, and to analyze the information. Prereq. JRNL 6200.

JRNL 6202. Perspective on Journalism Ethics. 4 Hours.

Offers a seminar involving readings and discussions about philosophical and moral principles developed by Mill, Hume, and others, and their application to case studies and work experience in print and broadcast journalism. Issues include deception, conflict of interest, privacy, and corporate ownership. Students also evaluate the role of journalism reviews, codes of ethics, ombudsmen, and news councils.

JRNL 6300. First Amendment in Digital Age. 4 Hours.

Acquaints students with legal issues journalists encounter from the common law of libel to communicating on the Internet; from prior restraint to protecting sources. Also serves as an introduction to legal analysis, showing how law develops through statutes and judicial opinions.

JRNL 6301. Historical Perspective on Media. 4 Hours.

Examines the people and practices in American and foreign journalism that have exerted special influences on the formation of the contemporary press. Particular attention is paid to the development and evolution of the First Amendment and other legal protections for free expression. Offers a discussion and seminar format. Student research projects require work in original sources such as documents, interviews, and the examination of broadcasts in their contemporary contexts.

JRNL 6302. Literature of Journalism. 4 Hours.

Examines some of the great twentieth-century journalists including John Hersey, Susan Sheehan, and J. Anthony Lukas, and introduces students to the techniques of literary nonfiction. Also analyzes the potential conflicts between creative writing and journalistic accuracy.

JRNL 6303. Seminar. 4 Hours.

Offers students the opportunity to discuss and analyze a major issue in journalism and write articles on that topic for publication in journalism reviews. Recent seminars have covered such issues as civic journalism, international reporting, and the impact of The New York Times on American and foreign journalism.

JRNL 6305. Topics. 4 Hours.

Requires advanced work to develop media skills not covered in other classes.

JRNL 6306. Media Innovation Studio 1. 4 Hours.

Constitutes the first of a two-course studio sequence designed to prepare experienced journalists to create new forms of journalism in the digital age. Offers students an opportunity to work with faculty members and peers via class exercises and peer-to-peer project collaboration to identify and develop the subject of a signature master’s project. Incorporates lectures on emerging media practices, including parallax scrolling, and instruction on digital journalism tools, including DSLR cameras, as well as reviews and critiques of professional and studio work by faculty and guest speakers.

JRNL 6307. Media Innovation Studio 2. 4 Hours.

Offers students an opportunity to integrate knowledge and skills derived from foundation courses to develop a master’s project. Creates a newsroom environment in which each student project is advanced through a journalistic collaborative process that features critiques from instructors and peers and integrates expertise from guest lecturers. Following the “teaching hospital” model, students work with the instructor, each other, and partnered media innovation visitors to develop their work. Prereq. JRNL 6306.

JRNL 6310. Multimedia Journalism. 4 Hours.

Covers all the latest tools and tricks of multimedia journalism. Gone are the days when a journalist might be expected to start a story at 9:00 AM, file his or her copy by 4:00 PM, and then see it in the next day’s paper. We now have access to more storytelling tools—blogs, smartphones, high-quality DSLRs, Facebook—than at any other time in our industry’s history. Learning to use all these tools can be daunting, but it shouldn’t be. This course offers students an opportunity to tell one story across a range of media and, in the process, learn to create everything from epic tweets to compelling video.

JRNL 6340. Fundamentals of Digital Journalism. 4 Hours.

Offers students an opportunity to learn the fundamentals of digital journalism and to place those skills within the context of a changing media environment. Studies multimedia tools within an intellectual framework—i.e., offers students an opportunity to learn hands-on skills and also to study best practices and theory. May include guest speakers and a consideration of the future of news. Requires students to produce a final project that consists of storytelling across a range of digital platforms.

JRNL 6352. Nonfiction Writing. 4 Hours.

Concentrates on techniques that distinguish magazine writing from other types of journalism including first-person voice, strong point of view, observation-participation, and complex organizational structures. Also introduces students to the magazine market through an analysis of overall trends and a look at individual magazine’s mission and modus operandi. Prereq. JRNL 6200.

JRNL 6354. Public Policy and the Press. 4 Hours.

Offers students an opportunity to learn how public policy decisions are made and how they can do informed reporting for print, broadcast, or online media. Explores the legislative and executive decision-making process at federal, state, and local levels of government. Special attention is given to the formulation of policy choices in such areas as transportation, housing, healthcare, immigration, and the environment. The course examines how budgetary decisions and fiscal policy are made. Analyzes the relationship between government and the press. Intended for students in the master’s program in journalism and for other graduate students who are interested in government and media.

JRNL 6355. Seminar in Investigative Reporting. 4 Hours.

Introduces students to the world of investigative reporting as it is practiced at major metropolitan newspapers. Asks students to work as members of investigative reporting teams and introduces them to advanced reporting techniques and standards in the classroom. Provides an opportunity to learn how ideas for investigative reporting projects are developed; how to identify and interpret public records and online databases; and how to do interviews and write investigative stories. Working in small teams, the students are given an opportunity to develop and write investigative stories for publication.

JRNL 6400. News Internship. 4 Hours.

Provides students with the opportunity to report on public policy issues for newspapers, magazines, and legal affairs publications in Massachusetts and New England. Supplements live reporting with in-class discussion, including speakers in government, media, and the law.

JRNL 6405. Journalism Applications. 1 Hour.

Supplements courses taken outside of the School of Journalism by requiring students to apply what they are learning in the course to the practice of journalism.

JRNL 6960. Exam Preparation—Master’s. 0 Hours.

Offers the student the opportunity to prepare for the master’s qualifying exam under faculty supervision.

JRNL 6962. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions.

JRNL 6964. Co-op Work Experience. 0 Hours.

Provides eligible students with an opportunity for work experience.

JRNL 6966. Practicum. 1-4 Hours.

Provides eligible students with an opportunity for practical experience.

JRNL 6978. Independent Study. 1-4 Hours.

Offers independent work under the direction of members of the department on a chosen topic. Course content depends on instructor.

JRNL 7976. Directed Study. 1-4 Hours.

Offers students work on individual projects under the supervision of an instructor.

JRNL 7990. Thesis. 4 Hours.

Focuses on preparing a master’s thesis under supervision of a faculty committee.

JRNL 7996. Thesis Continuation. 0 Hours.

Continues thesis work conducted under the supervision of a departmental faculty.