2016 - Spring

The Beat: Reporting on Race — More Than Color

Course Number: JOUR-UA 201.003

Day & Time: Wed 2:00pm-5:40pm

Location: 20 Cooper Square, room 654

Instructor: Farai Chideya

As evidenced by debates about everything from the Dream Act to the #BlackLivesMatter movement; and discussions about cultural appropriation and Rachel Dolezal, or the television show Fresh Off the Boat, we are not in a post-racial era. We live in a time of increased social familiarity among race, but also inequality in opportunity, and cross-racial disagreement about many social, economic and political issues.
The rise of data-driven journalism as well as social media have changed news production and consumption significantly in the past decade. Every change in journalism also changes how we report race. For example, in the case of social media, Twitter has taken on many of the functions of news distribution, by disseminating links to articles and videos. But it also brings in the voices of activists, academics, everyday people, internet trolls, and self-organizing groups, like the informal conversations that make up what is called Black Twitter.
In this class, we are looking at race as “more than color” in two senses. First, that we will use data, social media, and historical research as tools, along with original interviews. Second, we will approach race from a variety of editorial perspectives — including business reporting, cultural reporting, and public policy reporting. Deliverables are four papers (three 600-800 words, one 1000-1200 words) and companion multimedia including a final 3-4 minute slideshow or a multimedia web page design.