NYU Arts & Science

 

Curriculum

Studio 20 is a graduate program that spans one and a half years, or three semesters. It starts in the fall semester, and continues through the spring and fall semesters of the following year. Students require a minimum of 36 credits to graduate. Each semester is typically 12 credits.

Semester 1, Fall

3 classes x 4 credits each, 0 electives

Press Ethics: Digital Thinking

Jay Rosen

In this course we examine what makes journalism different now that it runs on a digital platform. Readings and discussion focus on making sense of the large shifts that accompany the move to digital production and distribution in professional journalism, including the “always on” web, the lower barriers to entry, the rise of social media, “the people formerly known as the audience,” the ease of production using digital tools, the “unbundling” of news packages that were well adapted to prior platforms, the loss of monopoly status among news organizations, and the re-voicing of journalism in a more interactive environment for news.

Project: News Literacy. Every student in the class picks one emerging digital journalism trend, researches it in detail and puts together a guide on it. All these guides are combined and published, for the benefit of the journalism industry.

You can view previous projects here and here.

Studio I

David Westphal

This course examines the phenomenon of innovation, exploring the current disruptions in the news media, how the industry’s failure to innovate in a timely fashion is radically reshaping it, and why innovation is more necessary now than ever. We look at great journalistic innovators throughout history, the causes and effects of major journalistic innovations — including innovations in form, style, and content — and the industry’s response to new and disruptive technologies through the years. We examine what new media are doing to reinvent journalism in the age of the Web and social media.

Project: Identify an unmet need in the journalism space and pitch a start-up aimed at fulfilling it. Build out a feasibility study to prove whether or not your idea can become a reality.

Writing, Research, Reporting I

Industry practitioner

This course is an introduction to reporting with an emphasis on social media and gathering information via the internet. The focus, teacher and project change from term to term.

In Fall 2017, the course was an investigative reporting class with Anjali Khosla, Editor, Fast Company Digital. Students pitched their ideas to editors from Fast Company and The Trace and a data reporter from NJ.com. Marcus Baram, Senior News Editor, Fast Company selected one of their ideas and the whole class worked together to investigate the issue of fraudulent schemes connected to initial coin offerings (ICOs).

In Fall 2016, the course was an audience engagement and community building project taught by Blair Hickman, Engagement Editor, Vox. Each student selected a community that exists both online and offline in New York, found out firsthand what their information needs were, and created content specifically to target those needs. This content was distributed in digital spaces the community occupies.

Additional Component: Speaker Series

Semesters 1 and 3 of the program have a weekly Speaker Series component in addition to their classes. Every week, a different person from the journalism industry is brought in to speak to the students over wine and cheese. Students get to ask the speaker questions off the record, and get an opportunity to connect with them one-on-one afterwards. Through the events, students gain valuable firsthand insights into how different roles in newsrooms work and the strategies and work cultures of different media companies. Studio 20 alums are also invited to Speaker Series, giving students a chance to connect with them in person, adding to their network of connections. A practitioner from the industry curates a list of speakers from diverse media backgrounds and facilitates the series.

2016 and 2017’s Speaker Series were curated by Elana Zak, Senior Multiplatform Editor, CNNMoney.

2017 Speakers
2016 Speakers
  • Megan Hess, Mobile & Emerging Platforms Editor, Bloomberg
  • Elite Truong, Product manager, Partner Platforms, Vox
  • Aaron Edwards, Senior Editor, The Outline and Amanda Hale, Chief Revenue Officer, The Outline
  • Delaney Simmons, Social Media Director, WNYC
  • Sarah Squire, Executive Data, Graphics & Visuals Editor, Dow Jones Media Group
  • Jessica Lauretti, Head of Studio, RYOT
  • Monica Castillo, Film Writer, The New York Times Watching
  • Rubina Madan Fillion, Digital Engagement Editor, The Intercept
  • Andy Mitchell, Director, News and Global Media Partnerships, Facebook

Semester 2, Spring

2 classes x 4 credits each, 1 elective

Studio II

Jay Rosen or Clay Shirky

In Studio 2, students in the Studio 20 program tackle one large project in innovation. The project chosen will vary from term to term, but it will always be an adventure in digital journalism, and it will always have a media partner—typically a news organization or existing journalism site that wants to do something new or collaborate with Studio 20 on a creative extension of its current practice.

Students participate in all the phases of the project: background research, news ecosystem analysis, technology assessment, design and conception, prototyping, editorial workflow, content production, testing, launch, feedback and adjustment, de-bugging, iteration and evaluation. They collaborate actively and in person with the media partner. They learn to divide up tasks and coordinate the different parts of the project. They try to push the envelope and do something effective but also innovative in digital journalism that meets the partner’s goals and works for the users—the news-consuming public.

Here are the projects that Studio 20 students have worked on with media partners in the past.

Spring 2010: The New York Times

Working with editors at The New York Times, students and faculty designed and planned a hyperlocal news site for the East Village neighborhood in Manhattan. It launched in September, 2010: The Local East Village. The site was edited and produced at NYU, but ran on The Times’s website. Studio 20 students could publish there, and if they had ideas for improvements they could pitch them.

In the spring of 2013 that site evolved into Bedford + Bowery, which is co-published by NYU Journalism and New York Magazine. The editor, Daniel Maurer, explained at the time: “We’ll still be covering the East Village and Lower East Side but we’ll also be jumping on the L train to cover Williamsburg, Bushwick and Greenpoint — where, of course, the East Village already has a strong presence.” The change was covered here.

Spring 2011: ProPublica

Studio 20 experimented with the genre of “the explainer,” a form of journalism that provides essential background knowledge and brings clarity to complex issues in the news. Read more about it here and here. Don’t miss The Fracking Song, a video explainer came out of that project. Time magazine named it one of the most creative videos of 2011.

Spring 2012: The Guardian

Students worked with The Guardian to explore a different approach to election coverage. You can read about it here.

Spring 2013: The Wall Street Journal, ProPublica, Fast Company, Quartz and Pando Daily

Studio 20 students worked with five different media partners: The Wall Street Journal, ProPublica, Fast Company, Quartz and Mashable’s gaming beat, Pando. The partners explained the problems they had making more productive use of a networked approach to reporting, which we defined as: “When the many contribute to reporting that is completed by a few.” Students split up into groups and worked on solutions. The Pando project was featured here.

Spring 2014: The AP, Fast Company, The Guardian and ProPublica

Studio 20 students worked with The AP, Fast Company, The Guardian and ProPublica to research ways in which newsrooms can engage and use their audiences.

Spring 2015: The Guardian

The class partnered with The Guardian, to devise strategies to help them reach more millennials.

Spring 2016: Fusion (now Splinter)

Studio 20 and The New School’s Parsons MFA Design & Technology students partnered with Fusion, now Splinter. The class functioned as a “pop-up R&D lab” for the network, testing out new ways to cover a presidential election. You can read about it here.

Spring 2017: The Wall Street Journal

Studio 20 students collaborated with The Wall Street Journal to help them reach both younger readers as well as people who aren’t very familiar with finance. The class functioned like a user testing lab that designed prototypes, tested them on potential users and continually iterated based on feedback.

Writing, Research, Reporting II

Industry Practitioner

Students are taught video skills, and put their coding and design skills to use in building a multimedia, interactive website that houses the videos. Past projects include: What is Home, a College Photographer of Year award winner, NYC Values, an ONA award winning project and Finding Sanctuary, a College Photographer of Year award winner.

Elective

Students can take advantage of the range of courses NYU has to offer by picking electives from the journalism school and outside of it. Some of the popular electives in the past include:

  • Design Thinking (Tandon School of Engineering, Department: Management)
  • Ideation and Prototyping (Tandon School of Engineering, Department: Integrated Digital Media)
  • Creative Coding (Tisch School of the Arts, Department: Interactive Telecommunications and Tandon School of Engineering, Department: Integrated Digital Media)
  • Globat Beat (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department: Journalism)
  • Twitter Bot Studio (Tisch School of the Arts, Department: Interactive Telecommunications)
  • Introduction to Programming (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department: Computer Science)
  • Visual Language (Tisch School of the Arts, Department: Interactive Telecommunications)
  • Data Visualization for the Community (Tandon School of Engineering, Department: Integrated Digital Media)

Visit NYU’s Albert website to explore the full range of options available to you.

Additional Component: Coding Workshop

Zoe Fraade-Blanar and an industry practitioner

Semester 1 involves an additional skills component in the form of coding workshops. Zoe Fraade-Blanar teaches the students HTML, CSS and JavaScript, the three coding languages that are used to build websites. Prior coding knowledge is helpful but not necessary, since the classes are taught from scratch.

Students then work with an industry practitioner to apply what they’ve learnt to building an interactive website for their Writing, Research, Reporting II class.

Semester 3, Fall

1 class x 4 credits, 2 electives

Studio III

Jay Rosen and Zoe Fraade-Blanar

In this class, each student finds their own media partner, and works with them over the semester to solve a specific challenge they are facing. The class culminates in Open Studio Night, where students present their projects to their partners, people from the industry and friends and family. Past projects include:

  • Collaboration with the Financial Times to help them build out a vertical video strategy for mobile.
  • Collaboration with Facebook to research the opportunities and challenges of live video.
  • Collaboration with The Wall Street Journal to build a tool to identity and resurface evergreen content for social media
  • Collaboration with Quartz to design an analytics dashboard for their data visualization platform Atlas.

For more, visit the Student Profile page to see each student’s individual project or check out a small sample of projects here.

Elective

Students can take advantage of the range of courses NYU has to offer by picking electives from the journalism school and outside of it. Some of the popular electives in the past include:

  • Design Thinking (Tandon School of Engineering, Department: Management)
  • Ideation and Prototyping (Tandon School of Engineering, Department: Integrated Digital Media)
  • Creative Coding (Tisch School of the Arts, Department: Interactive Telecommunications and Tandon School of Engineering, Department: Integrated Digital Media)
  • Globat Beat (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department: Journalism)
  • Twitter Bot Studio (Tisch School of the Arts, Department: Interactive Telecommunications)
  • Introduction to Programming (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department: Computer Science)
  • Visual Language (Tisch School of the Arts, Department: Interactive Telecommunications)
  • Data Visualization for the Community (Tandon School of Engineering, Department: Integrated Digital Media)

Visit NYU’s Albert website to explore the full range of options available to you.

Elective

Students can take advantage of the range of courses NYU has to offer by picking electives from the journalism school and outside of it. Some of the popular electives in the past include:

  • Design Thinking (Tandon School of Engineering, Department: Management)
  • Ideation and Prototyping (Tandon School of Engineering, Department: Integrated Digital Media)
  • Creative Coding (Tisch School of the Arts, Department: Interactive Telecommunications and Tandon School of Engineering, Department: Integrated Digital Media)
  • Globat Beat (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department: Journalism)
  • Twitter Bot Studio (Tisch School of the Arts, Department: Interactive Telecommunications)
  • Introduction to Programming (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department: Computer Science)
  • Visual Language (Tisch School of the Arts, Department: Interactive Telecommunications)
  • Data Visualization for the Community (Tandon School of Engineering, Department: Integrated Digital Media)

Visit NYU’s Albert website to explore the full range of options available to you.

Additional Component: Speaker Series

Semesters 1 and 3 of the program have a weekly Speaker Series component in addition to their classes. Every week, a different person from the journalism industry is brought in to speak to the students over wine and cheese. Students get to ask the speaker questions off the record, and get an opportunity to connect with them one-on-one afterwards. Through the events, students gain valuable firsthand insights into how different roles in newsrooms work and the strategies and work cultures of different media companies. Studio 20 alums are also invited to Speaker Series, giving students a chance to connect with them in person, adding to their network of connections. A practitioner from the industry curates a list of speakers from diverse media backgrounds and facilitates the series.

2016 and 2017’s Speaker Series were curated by Elana Zak, Senior Multiplatform Editor, CNNMoney.

2017 Speakers
2016 Speakers
  • Megan Hess, Mobile & Emerging Platforms Editor, Bloomberg
  • Elite Truong, Product manager, Partner Platforms, Vox
  • Aaron Edwards, Senior Editor, The Outline and Amanda Hale, Chief Revenue Officer, The Outline
  • Delaney Simmons, Social Media Director, WNYC
  • Sarah Squire, Executive Data, Graphics & Visuals Editor, Dow Jones Media Group
  • Jessica Lauretti, Head of Studio, RYOT
  • Monica Castillo, Film Writer, The New York Times Watching
  • Rubina Madan Fillion, Digital Engagement Editor, The Intercept
  • Andy Mitchell, Director, News and Global Media Partnerships, Facebook
 

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