2020 – Fall: The Beat: Election 2020 (Print/Online track)

Course Number: JOUR-UA 201, section 1

Day & Time: Tue | 11:00 AM – 2:40 PM

Location: Online

Instructor: Pamela Newkirk

Prerequisites: Journalistic Inquiry JOUR-UA 101

This course is designed to hone the student journalist’s ability to research and report deeply and to be able to imagine and develop fresh ideas, test them with the strength of his or her reporting and research, and then to present them in story form. Students will be expected to keep weekly beat notes or blogs, exploring what is current in the topic and demonstrating week after week the shoeleather they have worn in pursuit of their subject matter. Out of this work will come four or five stories in narrative, explanatory or investigative style, depending on the instructor and the specific assignment. Syllabi differ by content of the course but all sections emphasize idea development, interview technique, reporting, background research and writing skills across genres. Broadcast sections vary only by medium.

Notes: Required for students pursuing the print/online track in the journalism major. Also required for the minor in print and online journalism. Counts as an elective for the minor in broadcast and multimedia journalism.


Students will devote the semester to reporting on issues pertaining to the 2020 presidential race, focusing on such topics as gender and racial equality, climate change, immigration and health care. In this course, you’ll localize national issues, and learn how to develop sources and story ideas from the candidates’ campaign offices, polling data, and communities of interest. Assignments will include breaking news, campaign events, profiles, and news features which will ideally be pitched to local and national publications.