Courses

Below is a list of our offered courses for Fall 2020.

JOUR-100    Introduction to Journalism (M or W 9:30a.m.-12p.m.)

JOUR-200    Digital News (T/R 12:30p.m.-1:45p.m.)

JOUR 377 – Govt-Media Relations Digital Age (W 6:30p.m.-9:00p.m.)

  • Government-media relations has changed significantly as communications technology continues to allow each side to convey information and context more directly into the popular bloodstream without the other — or at least without as much deference to the other. The co-dependence that has historically existed was already being upset by today’s “prosumers” — individuals who can now produce and consume news and information right from their own back pockets — but it is being further disrupted by a steady breakdown in the public’s trust of government and media institutions. This course will try to make sense of this new environment and explore potential solutions. Students will produce response papers and one final paper. Guest speakers with experience from the State Department, Pentagon and media will visit. (John Kirby served the Obama administration as both Pentagon Press Secretary and State Department Spokesperson. He retired from the Navy as a two-star admiral and was most recently the Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs.)

JOUR 378 – Pop Culture, Race & The Media (R 9:30a.m.-12:00p.m.)

  • As an entertainment journalist, understanding the intersection of race and pop culture is vital to successfully covering what makes Hollywood tick. From #OscarsSoWhite to the Kardashians’ rampant cultural appropriation, this course will thoughtfully examine the myriad ways that race, racial identity and racism infiltrate all aspects of entertainment. Students will be expected to stay well-versed in pop culture news, produce response papers, collect compelling data and manage a carefully curated list of sources, all building up to a final long-form reporting project that attempts to answer a specific question/problem within the entertainment world. Guest speakers from USA Today, ESPN’s The Undefeated, The Washington Post and the New York fashion community will drop in to enhance class discussions and offer reporting wisdom from the trenches.

JOUR-384    Visual Storytelling (MW 8:000.m.-9:15p.m.)

  • The most powerful storytelling often comes through images. This class will explore the ways journalists create compelling narratives to evoke an emotional experience with photos and videos, from short informative pieces to longer investigative documentary-style works. Coursework will range from ethical questions and critiques to production of reported pieces.

JOUR-390   Covering the Economy (M 6:30p.m.-9:00p.m.)

  • This course provides students a working understanding of the U.S. economy, its vast significance in people’s lives, and the basics of how to cover it. Students will have the opportunity to do in-depth research into topics of their own choosing, and explore the real-world impacts of economic and business policies and events both past and present. The class includes the roles of consumers and workers and major business sectors, financial markets, technology, and the federal government in the U.S. economy. It also introduces students to the nature of the modern business corporation and its influence on business leaders’ behavior. Students are introduced to the mysteries of the corporate financial statement. The course also gives a brief overview of the dynamics of the global economy. Taught by John McKinnon, who covers tax policy and related fiscal issues for The Wall Street Journal.

JOUR-401   Political Journalism (R 6:30p.m.-9:00p.m.)

  • Reporting on political campaigns is one of the most important services journalists provide the public; much of what citizens “know” about politics comes mainly through the media. This class will explore what it means to report truthfully and effectively about politics, politicians and campaigns. We’ll examine the intellectual frameworks journalists use, both explicitly and implicitly. We’ll wrestle with the tension between writing about the horse race and writing about policy debates. We’ll learn about polling, fundraising, social media, opposition research and disinformation. We’ll debate how political journalism can be improved. We’ll meet with guest speakers who are among the nation’s most distinguished political journalists. And we’ll use the 2019 elections in Virginia and the 2020 presidential campaign as hands-on laboratories. The course will include substantial reporting and writing assignments.