2022 – Fall
Reporting on Racial Justice
Course Number: JOUR-GA 1182.013
Day & Time: Wed | 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Location: 20 Cooper Square, Room 653
Instructor: Rachel L. Swarns
Unarmed Black men and women killed by police, their last breaths captured on video. Asian Americans beaten on the subways, blamed for the pandemic. Multiracial protesters marching to defend Black lives, immigrants and trans women of color. Racial violence has been on the rise and demonstrators demanding justice have been taking to the streets. In this class, students will acquire the essential tools in an investigative reporter’s toolkit while reporting on race and gaining a deeper understanding of the historical roots of our racial and ethnic divides. We will start by investigating an unsolved racial killing from the 1890s and move on to contemporary hate crimes, learning how to use archival records, police and court records and online databases to deepen our reporting of the violence and protests occurring right now in our communities. We will spend the bulk of the semester reporting on our contemporary cases as we build toward our final project, a 2,000-word article that will illuminate how hate – and the battle against it – manifests today in New York City. All the while, we’ll analyze media coverage for racial bias and turn the lens on ourselves so that we can produce more accurate and thoughtful content.