2018 - Fall

Advanced Reporting: New Yorkers at Work

Course Number: JOUR-UA 301.001

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

Location: 20CS, Room 652

Instructor: Mary W. Quigley

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.

People are endlessly curious about the lives of others.  We love to pull back the curtain and see how our fellow travelers–from average person to celebrities–live, work, love and play.

In this course you’ll write up-close-and-personal stories about New Yorkers, from a Q&A to a long-form narrative 3,000-word capstone.


We’ll put a spin on the traditional profile in several ways.  As Malcolm Gladwell noted, a profile is “not so much about the individual as about the world that he or she inhabits, the ‘subculture.’” So beyond the people, we explore communities and cultural milieus.  Last fall students reported on a range of subcultures from the elite foodies of Yelp, to researchers on the cutting edge of artificial intelligence, to crews that clean up crime scenes, which was published in Vice.


Students will choose a beat to allow for in-depth research and reporting.  As long as the “beat” has a New York base, students can choose any subculture so come with ideas and areas to explore.