Curriculum

Core Courses

Investigating Journalism: Ethics and Practice JOUR-UA 50*

*Formerly Foundations of Journalism JOUR-UA 501

This lecture course introduces students to issues in journalistic writing and reporting, such as the choices journalists face in method, style, and form; the political impact of the news media; questions of sensationalism, bias, and diversity, and the current digital upheaval. To better understand what journalism has been and might be, students are also introduced to a selection of the best journalism, from Edward R. Murrow on migrant farm workers to Adrian Nicole LeBlanc on family life around the drug trade in the Bronx.

Your work will be to read the assigned pieces, come to class ready to comment on and question them, prepare for some tests, and produce a paper of two during the semester. Unlike most courses in the Journalism major, this is not a reporting and writing course, although reporting and writing will often be discussed.

Prerequisites

  • Expository writing or the equivalent.

Course Planning and Sequencing

  • Timing: Although students are encouraged to complete this course early on, you can complete Investigating Journalism: Ethics and Practice JOUR-UA 50 at any time before graduation.
  • Concurrent courses: Students can take Investigating Journalism at the same time as any other core or elective journalism course.

Journalistic Inquiry: The Written Word JOUR-UA 101

This introductory reporting class introduces students to the basics of journalistic writing, reporting, and research. In this introductory skills course, you will learn about a variety of journalistic forms, including the reported essay, the newspaper pyramid style, magazine and newspaper feature style, and broadcast news writing style.

Research and reporting projects will involve analyzing stories from the ground up, beginning with idea generation, continuing to interviewing fundamentals, all the way up to writing, rewriting and the editing process. By the end of the semester, you will have learned to pitch ideas in class and on paper, produce a story on deadline and approaching strangers and expert sources for comment.

Prerequisites

  • Expository writing or the equivalent.

Course Planning and Sequencing

  • Timing: Students are encouraged to complete this course early on (and no later than the first semester of their junior year) as it is a prerequisite for most higher-level journalism courses.
  • Concurrent courses: Students may take Journalistic Inquiry: The Written Word JOUR-UA 101 at the same time as Investigating Journalism: Ethics and Practice JOUR-UA 50, as well as at the same time as any elective course that does not have The Written Word as a prerequisite.

Journalistic Inquiry: Multimedia JOUR-UA 102

In Multimedia, students learn how to report news and feature stories using photographs, video, and audio, with an emphasis on storytelling techniques. The course covers how to develop story ideas, reporting techniques, scripting, audio and visual digital editing, and multimedia storytelling structures. The class is divided into three segments: audio, photography, and video designed for web production. Classes will incorporate lectures, including the “best practices” in audio and video; class discussion; and in and out-of-class assignments. Ethical and copyright issues involved in multimedia reporting will also be explored.

Prerequisites

  • Journalistic Inquiry: The Written Word JOUR-UA 101

Course Planning and Sequencing

  • Timing for Print/Online students: Students pursuing the Print/Online track can take this course at any time before graduation after completing Journalistic Inquiry: The Written Word JOUR-UA 101. You are, however, encouraged to complete Multimedia early on.
  • Timing for Broadcast students: Students pursuing the Broadcast track must complete Journalistic Inquiry: Multimedia JOUR-UA 102 before taking any higher-level core journalism courses (i.e. The Beat).
  • Concurrent courses: Students can take Journalistic Inquiry: Multimedia JOUR-UA 102 at the same time as any other core or elective journalism course, provided they have met all the course prerequisites. For example, you can take Multimedia at the same time as Investigating Journalism JOUR-UA 50.

The Beat JOUR-UA 201

This is the Journalism department’s intermediate skills course. The Beat is designed to cultivate students’ ability to research and report deeply. You will be asked to imagine and develop fresh ideas, test them with the strength your reporting and research, and then to present them in story form.

Students will be expected to keep weekly beat notes or blogs, exploring what is current in the topic and demonstrating the “shoe leather” they have worn in pursuit of their subject matter. The result of this work will be four or five stories in a narrative, explanatory, or investigative style, depending on the instructor and the specific assignment.

Syllabi differ by the content of the course, but all sections emphasize idea development, interview technique, reporting, background research, and writing skills across genres. Broadcast sections vary only by the medium.

Prerequisites

Print/Online sections:

  • Journalistic Inquiry: The Written Word JOUR-UA 101

Broadcast sections:

  • Journalistic Inquiry: The Written Word JOUR-UA 101
  • Journalistic Inquiry: Multimedia JOUR-UA 102

Course Planning and Sequencing

  • Timing: All students must take this course before taking Advanced Reporting JOUR-UA 301. Students are encouraged to take The Beat JOUR-UA 201 no later than the first semester of their senior year.
  • Timing for Honors: Students who are interested in the journalism department’s Honors Program must complete The Beat JOUR-UA 201 no later than the second semester of their junior year.

Advanced Reporting JOUR-UA 301

This is the capstone course for the journalism major. In this advanced skills course, Print/Online students will produce a major piece of narrative, explanatory, or investigative writing of 3,000 to 5,000 words in length, whereas Broadcast students will produce a longer, more complex broadcast piece. For either track, the goal is for students to produce a publishable piece with a sophisticated story structure.

Prerequisites

Print/Online sections:

  • The Beat – Print/Online sections JOUR-UA 201

Broadcast sections:

  • The Beat – Broadcast sections JOUR-UA 201

Notes

  • As of Fall 2017, Journalism Ethics and First Amendment Law JOUR-UA 502 is no longer a required lecture course for the Journalism major. For students who took this course when it was once a required lecture course, this course will now count as an elective.
  • All core (i.e. required) journalism courses are 4 credits each.

Electives

The Journalism department offers a rich selection of electives designed to provide students the opportunity to gain additional breadth and depth in their journalistic training.

Prerequisites for Electives

Please note that most electives have Journalistic Inquiry: The Written Word JOUR-UA 101 as a prerequisite. Exceptions include (but are not limited to):

  • Journalism Ethics and First Amendment Law JOUR-UA 502
  • Journalism and Society: Women and the Media JOUR-UA 503
  • Journalism and Society: Minorities in the Media JOUR-UA 503
  • Journalism and Society: Culture Vulture JOUR-UA 503

Methods and Practice JOUR-UA 202

Courses in this category are intermediate elective skills classes designed to provide a laboratory to help students improve their skill level in a variety of specific writing and reporting forms. Recent offerings include Audio Storytelling; Experimental Journalism; and Writing For Reporters.

Methods and Practice: Visual Reporting JOUR-UA 203

Multimedia and photojournalism courses are offered under this category.

Elective Reporting Topics JOUR-UA 204

This category includes a variety of “back-of-the-book” reporting topics. Recent offerings include Data Journalism; Computer Programming for Journalists; Reporting Racial Justice; and Profiles and Biography.

Production and Publication JOUR-UA 302

This category includes advanced elective skills courses that produce work for publication or broadcast. TV Newscast (where students are involved in every aspect of producing a television newscast) has been the main offering in the category.

Journalism Ethics and First Amendment Law JOUR-UA 502

This lecture course provides a critical examination of the development of ethical standards for journalists and an understanding of the need to balance absolute freedoms of speech and press with other societal rights.

Journalism and Society JOUR-UA 503

A variety of lectures and seminars that examine the role of journalists and journalism itself as they function in the wider culture. Recent offerings include Women and the Media and Minorities in the Media, among others.

Journalism as Literature JOUR-UA 504

Reading seminars in courses that explore the intersection of literature and journalism through various prisms. Recent offerings include Writing the City, History and the Novel, and Storied New York.

Issues and Ideas JOUR-UA 505

Experimental seminars that examine contemporary issues in relation to the field. Recent offerings include Covering Sub-Saharan Africa.

Advanced Individualized Study JOUR-UA 997

Notes

  • Elective “Categories”: As of Fall 2017, students no longer need to choose an elective from each of three different categories (i.e. Elective Reporting Topics, Methods and Practice, etc.). Although students are encouraged to take electives in different categories in order to gain breadth, you may take any three journalism electives you wish, regardless of what track you are pursuing (Print/Online or Broadcast).

If you’re not sure whether a particular course counts as an elective, look at the bottom of the course description on our website or Albert. It will say e.g., “Notes: Counts as an elective for the journalism major and both journalism minors.”

  • Policy on 2-Credit Courses: Most journalism electives are four credits, but in recent years the department has offered more 2-credit electives over the summer. Journalism majors may take two (and no more than two) 2-point JOUR-UA courses in lieu of one 4-point course toward the elective requirement for the major (which is the completion of three electives/12 credits in total). Petitions to substitute 2-point courses from outside the journalism department will not be considered. Journalism minors can only fulfill their elective requirement by completing 4-point electives.
  • Credit Internship Course: The department’s credit internship course (worth 1-4 credits) does not count towards the elective requirement for the major or the minors. If you have questions about this course, please contact the Career Services team.

Pre-Approved Course Substitutions

There are two kinds of courses offered outside the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute that can automatically count towards the journalism major and/or minors: one of five quantitative analysis courses offered by social science departments in the College of Arts and Science; and journalism courses offered at one of NYU’s 13 Study Away sites. Read on for more information about these courses.

If you’ve taken a class elsewhere (for example, a journalism course from another institution), you can submit a Course Substitution Petition to see if the class be counted towards your journalism major.

Quantitative Analysis Courses

The Institute puts a high value on numeric literacy for its Journalism graduates, and students pursuing coursework in sociology, politics, psychology or politics that focuses on quantitative research methods or statistics can count one (and no more than one) of the following courses towards their three required electives for the journalism major:

Economics

  • Statistics ECON-UA 18

Politics

  • Quantitative Methods in Political Science POL-UA 800
  • Introduction to Research Methods for Politics POL-UA 850

Psychology

  • Statistical Reasoning for the Behavioral Sciences PSYCH-UA 10

Sociology

  • Statistics for Social Research SOC-UA 302

If you have taken any of the courses above, Albert will automatically count them as one of the three required electives for the journalism major. This will be reflected in your Degree Progress Report. Please note that students pursuing a journalism minor cannot substitute these courses for one of their required electives.

Notes

  • Students do not need to be pursuing a major from these departments (Economics, Politics, etc.) in order to substitute one of the above courses towards their three required electives for the journalism major.

Study Away Courses

If you have taken journalism courses at any of NYU’s 13 study away sites (i.e., courses listed as JOUR-UA), Albert will automatically count them towards the journalism major. For more information about studying away as a journalism major, visit the Study Away section of the website.

Notes

  • Students who have taken journalism classes at NYU Abu Dhabi or NYU Shanghai should submit a Course Substitution Petition to see if the class be counted towards your journalism major.

Pre-Approved Requirement Substitutions

College of Arts and Science (CAS): Societies and the Social Sciences Requirement

CAS students can also satisfy the Societies & Social Science (R1007) component by majoring in journalism.


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