School of Journalism


Jonathan Kaufman, MA
Professor and Director

102 Lake Hall
617.373.8773 (fax)
Gladys Mckie, MS, Graduate Coordinator,

Welcome to the graduate programs at Northeastern University’s School of Journalism. Our school offers a Master of Arts in Journalism.  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. Moreover, the program offers 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)

Journalism Courses

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. May be repeated without limit.

JRNL 5306. Beat Reporting. 4 Hours.

Covers advanced reporting in specific topic areas. Topics change from semester to semester. May be repeated without limit.

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.

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. Requires 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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 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. 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 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 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 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. May be repeated without limit.

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. May be repeated without limit.

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. 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 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. 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.

JRNL 7990. Thesis. 4 Hours.

Focuses on preparing a master’s thesis under supervision of a faculty committee. May be repeated without limit.

JRNL 7996. Thesis Continuation. 0 Hours.

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