2022 – Fall

Methods and Practice: ​Bringing Labor Struggle to life with Audio Stories

Course Number: JOUR-UA 202, section 3

Day & Time: Mon | 10:00 AM – 1:40 PM

Location: 20 Cooper Square, room 653

Instructor: Chenjerai Kumanyika

Prerequisites: Journalistic Inquiry: The Written Word JOUR-UA 101 or permission of instructor.

​This course is designed to introduce students to the reporting, writing, storytelling, editing, and performance of narrative non-fiction podcasting focused on labor. The last decade has seen a resurgence of highly publicized labor struggles. The rise of app-based work, movements for a $15-dollar minimum wage, automation, and a massive wave of unionization in both digital outlets and corporations such as Amazon and Starbucks, and the way that the Covid-19 pandemic has intensified and exposed pre-existing challenges in workplaces. This has reignited labor coverage in contemporary journalism. Stories such as “Essential” (Ep 744: of This American Life), or The Daily’s reporting on the “Human Toll of Instant Delivery,” offer examples of this compelling audio work in this area.

This semester, our journalism will focus on the stories about labor. Students’ own perspectives on work will play an important role in this course. Some projects might explore how their own work experiences connect to broader issues of labor policy, inequality, and the challenges of living in New York City. Other stories might explore other union campaigns or work-related struggles in businesses in New York. All of the journalism that students produce will consider how issues of gender, disability, and race intersect with the lives of working New Yorkers. A key component of this course will also be the ethical issues that arise when reporting on work and labor.

Over the course of the semester, each student will produce roughly two to three short narrative non-fiction stories related to labor and work experience. Students will also collaboratively produce one more involved longer piece of audio coverage. Following the standard conventions of narrative non-fiction podcasting, students will participate in collaborative editing with each student helping to strengthen other projects.

Notes: Counts as an elective for the journalism major and both journalism minors.

Questions? Email undergraduate.journalism@nyu.edu.

Students enrolled in this course may need to obtain special audio-visual equipment which requires that they purchase insurance. For more information, please review the Undergraduate Multimedia Equipment Guide.