2017 - Spring: Letters to the Homefront: Reporting on Current Events in a Personal Style

Course Number: JOUR-GA 1182.002

Day & Time: Monday, 1:00pm-4:40pm

Location: Rm 659

Instructor: Andrew Lee Butters

This class will help students develop one of the most powerful ways that a news correspondent can hold the interest of overburdened readers: personal narrative storytelling. A correspondent’s own experiences while reporting stories can provide a narrative structure and a voice that make complex and seemingly obscure events seem relevant and even riveting. It is a great privilege to enter into the lives of others and witness their triumphs and struggles, and the risks of trivializing subjects with one’s own melodrama and navel-gazing are real. But by balancing action and exposition, heroics with humility, a skilled correspondent can create a narrative voice that not only doesn’t distract from the narrative, but also re-claims the excitement of the unexpected. The class will also focus on how to structure stories for both new media and print, and how to integrate reporting for narrative stories with posting on social media, and for “hits” with broadcast media along the way.

(Glo-Jo Priority)