2023 - Fall

Reporting on Racial Justice

Course Number: JOUR-GA 1182.013

Day & Time: Mon | 3:30 PM – 6:30 PM

Location: 20 Cooper Square, Room 652

Instructor: Rachel L. Swarns

Unarmed Black men and women killed by police, their last breaths captured on video. Asian Americans beaten on the subways and on our city streets. Multiracial protesters marching to defend Black lives, immigrants and trans women of color. Racial violence has been on the rise and demonstrators are increasingly demanding justice. 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 1900sand 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.