2023 – Spring

Advanced Reporting: The City (Print/Online track)

Course Number: JOUR-UA 301, section 2

Day & Time: Tue | 9:30 AM – 1:10 PM

Location: 20 Cooper Square, room 657

Instructor: John Surico

Prerequisites: The Beat JOUR-UA 201 (Print sections)

This is the Capstone course and emphasizes the development of students’ research, reporting and writing skills, culminating in a publishable long-form narrative piece. The course builds on the skills acquired in Foundations and The Beat towards the mastery of query writing, research, interviewing, reporting and writing; and deep reading. In this section, students will produce several 750 -1,000-word articles and one 3,000-word capstone article.

Cities are living, thriving beings, in flux faster than they’ve ever been before. By the middle of the 21st century, an estimated two-thirds of the world’s population will be living in an urban area, making cities the frontlines of the biggest challenges facing our world. And nowhere is that more true than New York, the greatest city of them all.

Throughout the semester, students will immerse themselves in the issues that practitioners and dwellers in Gotham confront on a daily basis, with possibilities including our changing sense of open space; our widening housing shortage; the worsening climate crisis; the lasting impacts of technology and remote work; the uncertain future of retail and storefronts; and the post-pandemic concepts of public health. We will learn to perceive all of these topics through an urban lens, understanding how they affect our cityscape and why they ultimately matter for journalists to cover. We’ll talk about the latest stories unfolding in City Hall and Room 9.

We will spend the first few weeks reading and understanding the diverse challenges in urban thinking and planning for New York City that you may wish to work on. Each week, class time will be devoted to varying degrees of research, reporting and writing, guest speakers, workshops and discussion. Each student will, in addition to assigned readings, select a book that provides background on his or her topic of interest. For example, those interested in transportation may wish to read books like Street Fight by Janette Sadik-Khan, the DOT commissioner who pedestrianized Times Square; Palaces for People by Eric Klinenberg, the NYU sociologist who pitched libraries and parks as our societal salvation; or How to Kill a City by P.E. Moskowitz, a journalist who writes on the damning legacies of gentrification.

The mission is to come away with shorter and longer stories ready for print in city- or issues-focused outlets.


Notes: Required for students pursuing the print/online track in the journalism major. Counts as an elective for both journalism minors.

Questions? Email undergraduate.journalism@nyu.edu.