School of Journalism


Jonathan Kaufman, MA
Professor and Director

102 Lake Hall
617.373.8773 (fax)

Welcome to the graduate programs at Northeastern University’s School of Journalism. Our school offers a Master of Arts in Journalism and a Master of Science in Media Advocacy. The Master of Arts in Journalism degree is designed to merge traditional journalism with the latest technology. Students new to the field or those with experience can choose one of two tracks—professional journalism or media innovation—to prepare them for the challenges faced by legacy and new media in the digital age. The Master of Science in Media Advocacy is designed to teach strategic advocacy skills and prepare graduates to succeed as resilient, media-empowered citizens in a global society. Moreover, these programs offer students hands-on training in preparation for careers in reporting, editing, multimedia design and production, social media, and data journalism.

As part of Northeastern's College of Arts, Media and Design, our graduate students are also part of an interdisciplinary and creative community. Our core curriculum is supplemented by electives that take advantage of course offerings from within our college and from other colleges in the university. And with our experiential education opportunities and outstanding co-op program, students do not have to wait until after graduation to begin developing skills as reporters, media advocates, or public relations professionals. 

It is our goal to help you put your passion into practice. To that end, our graduate programs afford students the opportunity to study in Boston with a small and dedicated faculty of specialists with years of experience and extensive contacts in the media world. 

Master of Arts (MA)

Master of Science (MS)

Journalism Courses

JRNL 5250. Gender in the Newsroom. 4 Hours.

Explores the obstacles women in journalism face and examines how a lack of diversity can damage news organizations’ credibility. Studies the historical underpinnings of journalism’s gender gap and practical strategies to navigate identity politics in a modern newsroom. For decades, women have represented the majority of journalism and mass communication students, but they remain the minority at most U.S. news organizations. This gender gap is, of course, not unique to journalism, but the paucity of women in newsrooms negatively impacts society. When news narratives are constructed primarily by men, those narratives often perpetuate “symbolic annihilation”—a term commonly used by feminist and queer scholars to describe the ways the media overlooks or stereotypes women and other marginalized identities.

JRNL 5309. News Documentary Production. 4 Hours.

Offers students an opportunity to research, write, and produce a short news video documentary and acquaint themselves with a range of professional documentary styles through screenings and discussions. Emphasizes analyzing and addressing the ethical challenges facing documentary filmmakers and their interaction with subjects historically and in the new media age.

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.

JRNL 5311. Design for Storytelling. 4 Hours.

Covers basic principles of print and digital design with lectures, skills training, and a maker’s workshop. Introduces students to the foundations of typography, color, grids, and use of images for storytelling. Students design, prototype, and produce a print magazine and website.

JRNL 5314. Video News Reporting and Producing. 4 Hours.

Engages 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 and produce news stories and upload them to their websites with a variety of software programs for dissemination across video and several multimedia platforms, in line with journalistic and ethical standards.

JRNL 5316. The Newsroom. 4 Hours.

Immerses students in a real-life television newsroom experience. Exposes students to all aspects of TV news production: from news gathering, producing, and being in front of the camera to the behind-the-scenes work of operating multiple cameras, live switching, audio mixing, and studio lighting. Allows students to be an integral part of a newsroom team, working as reporters, anchors, videographers, and editors to gather content and work in the studio to produce a Northeastern newscast covering news on campus and beyond. Involves hands-on reporting and production where the stories are real and so are the deadlines.

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. May be repeated without limit.

JRNL 5400. Media and Advocacy in Theory and Practice. 4 Hours.

Examines time-tested and cutting-edge methods for shaping and presenting messages across multimedia platforms to effectively disseminate an organization’s message, change a public conversation, or shift public opinion. Examines case studies in mainstream media, public advocacy, and strategic communications to explore the motivations and methods of the organizations as well as the tools and techniques used. Examines the practice of digital advocacy by exploring and applying pertinent findings from politics, advertising, and behavioral science that are increasingly employed by professionals looking to “micro-target” voters, “convert” customers, or “nudge” the public. One major component of the course is hands-on workshops through which students are offered an opportunity to learn how to leverage the latest digital tools for communicating across social media and online platforms.

JRNL 5460. POV: The Art and Craft of Opinion Journalism. 4 Hours.

Offers students an opportunity to learn how to write a variety of opinion articles in a journalistic context. Articles may include blog posts, op-ed columns, personal essays, reviews, and magazine-style stories that combine reporting with a strong point of view. Students are also offered an opportunity to learn about the ethics of opinion journalism, become familiar with the best practitioners in the field, and use social media to inform and promote their work.

JRNL 5480. Research for Media Strategy. 4 Hours.

Offers an overview of the concepts, methods, and tools for social science research with a focus on media strategy. Covers how social science methodologies—including developing skills in gathering, organizing, interpreting, and presenting research information using competent and ethically defensible methods—are critical to in-depth media advocacy research.

JRNL 5500. Coding for Digital Storytelling. 4 Hours.

Offers students an opportunity to learn essential skills in coding across a wide range of technologies commonly used today in data-driven, multimodal, web-based storytelling. Focuses on building skills in basic web development, as well as exploring additional topics and technologies that fit into the broader landscape of data storytelling practice (JavaScript visualization library D3.js, basic Python, working with APIs, and working with databases). Course work consists primarily of team-based projects that focus on reverse-engineering real-world examples of data storytelling to demystify the question, “How did they do that?” Reveals the ways fluency in code can transform storytelling.

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.

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 6305. Topics. 4 Hours.

Requires advanced work to develop media skills not covered in other classes. May be repeated without limit.

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.

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 6341. Telling Your Story with Data. 4 Hours.

Explores select topics in data journalism and support data-driven storytelling projects of various kinds. Offers students an opportunity to learn how to navigate the often-competing demands of rigorous analysis and accessible narrative and storytelling. Course units are designed to foster moderate technical learning of applications and software, incorporate theories from relevant fields in data visualization and data science, and emphasize storytelling for broad public audiences.

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.

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. May be repeated without limit.

JRNL 6962. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.

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

Provides eligible students with an opportunity for work experience. May be repeated without limit.

JRNL 6966. Practicum. 1-4 Hours.

Provides eligible students with an opportunity for practical experience. May be repeated without limit.

JRNL 7976. Directed Study. 1-4 Hours.

Offers students work on individual projects under the supervision of an instructor. May be repeated without limit.