Course Number: JOUR-UA 301, section 1
Day & Time: Thur | 12:30 PM – 4:10pm PM
Location: 20 Cooper Square, Room 654
Instructor: Mary W. Quigley
Prerequisite: The Beat – Print/Online sections (JOUR-UA 201)
This Capstone course makes advanced reporting the ultimate journey for graduating seniors. Prepare for life beyond NYU by exploring work issues that you care about most. You will also polish skills essential to every professional journalist – and every working professional.
New York City pulsates with constant change, driven by people who push boundaries, experiment with ideas, inspire creativity. In the process, they invent new ways to work, creating jobs that never existed before, becoming their own bosses, and disrupting industries.
In this course, we’ll chronicle what drives people to get out of bed and go to work, at any hour of the day. A paycheck? A passion? Both? What have they learned from success and from failure?
We’ll take a deep dive to into the lives of New Yorkers at Work. In previous semesters students have profiled marijuana delivery men, end-of-life doulas, Instagram influencers, AI innovators, professional foodies, immigrant cabbies squeezed by Uber, and vanishing industries from pinball repairmen to cigar rollers.
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’ll explore communities and cultural milieus to allow for deeper meaning and sophisticated long-form narrative-writing techniques.
To help with both research and story ideas, students will choose a subculture as a beat. As long as the “beat” has a New York base, students can choose any “subculture.” Our goal is publishable pieces; last spring two capstone pieces were published by Vice: crime scene cleaner and AI device.
The writing assignments will include a Q&A, a 1,000-word news feature, a journalist case study, a Talk of the Town-style piece and a 3,000-word capstone for the journalism major. Students will also complete mini-assignments as well as classroom exercises to inspire creativity and stretch the writing muscle.