2015 - Spring

Advanced Reporting: Multibox America: Covering Issues of Race, Ethnicity, and Identity

Course Number: JOUR-UA 301, Section 004

Day & Time: Thur 10:00am-1:40pm

Location: 20 Cooper Square, room 657

Instructor: Cora Daniels

Prerequisites: Foundations, The Beat

This is the Capstone course. Subject matter varies from section to section, but the basic skeleton of the course is the same across sections: the emphasis is on development of the ability to produce writing and reporting within a sophisticated longform story structure. The course involves query writing, topic research and reading, interviewing, and repeated drafts and rewrites, leading to a full-length piece of writing aimed at a publishable level and the ability of the student to present the reporting orally.

This capstone course will focus on covering issues of race, ethnicity, and identity in a multiracial world. Ferguson, Trayvon Martin, Post racial America?, Ebola, undocumented children, Stop & Frisk, Donald Sterling, Tiger Moms — major stories that touch issues of race are everywhere and often become among the most controversial and talked about nationally. According to the US Census bureau the United States will become a majority minority nation by 2052. If you talk to many demographers they will argue, given immigration rates, birth patterns, and the rapid rise of inter-racial marriages, that estimate is much too conservative and the tipping point is closer to 2020. New York City is already there.  As of the 2010 Census we are officially a “majority minority” city.
In such a moment of dramatic change, race, ethnicity and issues of identity are constantly in flux. This course will explore:  How do we cover this evolving story? How do we embed ourselves into communities that may be far removed from our own experience? And how do reporters approach sensitive topics? Ultimately, if our definitions about race and identity are changing with each generation then how do we, as journalists, come up with innovative and creative coverage to tell those evolving stories.
Multibox America is a class that will demand honest discussion and challenge your assumptions. Most importantly, through our focus on race, ethnicity and identity, the semester will teach skills that will help reporters cover any sensitive issue, as well as, issues with sensitivity.