2014 - Fall
Journalistic Inquiry: The Written Word
Course Number: JOUR-UA 101, Section 004
Day & Time: Tuesday/Thursday 3:30pm-5:20pm
Location: 20 Cooper Square, room 659
Instructor: Sissel McCarthy
This is the first-level reporting, research and writing course, which emphasizes in-depth research and interviewing technique as it introduces a variety of journalistic forms, including the reported essay, the newspaper pyramid style, magazine and newspaper feature style and broadcast newswriting style. The course focuses heavily on the critical and impartial examination of issues through research and reporting. Research methodology is key, as are observation and interview preparation and techniques. Research and reporting projects will include interviews, off- and on-line research, including books, government and non-governmental documents, interviews and databases, scholarly journals and other sources. This course provides a strong foundation in basic journalistic forms, issues and responsibilities.
To fully prepare you for a career as a journalist, you need to get down to basics. In this class, we’re going to analyze stories from the ground up—beginning with idea generation, continuing to interviewing fundamentals, all the way up to writing, rewriting and the editing process. We’ll spend some time in the classroom, looking at stories and analyzing construction and style, and then we’ll hit the streets to do some hands-on experience including man-on-the-streets, covering events, etc. The goal: By semester’s end, you’ll be comfortable pitching ideas in class and on paper, producing a story on deadline (tweaking it to work for print, broadcast and—even—online) and approaching strangers and expert sources for comment. We’ll do all of this in 15 weeks. The class will be full of interesting experiences, including a police ridealong, coverage of local meetings and interviewing the real people that make this city great.