2018 – Fall: Investigating Racial Justice

Day & Time: Wednesday, 1:30pm-4:30pm
Location: 657
Course ID: JOUR-GA 1182.004
Instructor: Rachel L. Swarns
Syllabus: Download

Unjustified police shootings. White nationalist marches. Church burnings and defaced mosques. Campus protests. Journalists have long played a critical role in exploring and exposing issues of racial injustice, but they have also perpetuated stereotypes and have even incited racial violence. In this course, students will gain the tools to report on racial justice issues while gaining a deeper understanding of the historical roots of our racial divide. Students will investigate a racial killing from the 1890s and report on contemporary bias crimes in New York City. Students will also practice pitching their stories to a journalist at a major news organization and learn how to use social media for reporting and promoting their work.

We will analyze historical media coverage for racial bias and turn the lens on contemporary coverage and on ourselves so that we can produce more accurate and thoughtful content. This course provides students with experience in mining government and archival records along with developing skills in critical media analysis and reporting on sensitive subjects.