Please note: The classes listed here represent recent offerings at the Journalism School. These include M.S., M.S. in Data Journalism and M.A. courses. Choices vary each semester depending on faculty availability and other considerations. Classes described now may change or be dropped to make room for new additions. We cannot promise that students will gain a seat in any specific class.
Today, our world is witnessing a refugee crisis on a scale unprecedented since World War II, one that stretches from Asia and Africa to the Middle East and the Americas. It involves more women and girls than ever before and defies laws and policies aimed at containment. Waves of Central American families arriving at the United States’ southern border provide a vivid look at the array of forces — from poverty to crime and climate change — that are pushing people out of their homelands, and at why so many government responses, each one harsher than the last, have failed to deter them. Together with the editors at Documented, a website that publishes news about immigration in New York, we’ll report and write stories about how these dynamics are shaping policies, communities and lives across the city. We’ll look for ways to break new ground by dignifying individual migration stories, while exposing systemic forces at work on a range of subjects, including family separation and sexual exploitation; human trafficking and the business of immigrant detention; the tightening of the asylum system and ICE’s expansion.
Across the semester, you'll work on stories that teach you how to navigate a deeply polarized political landscape in order to accurately and fairly investigate the effects of immigration policies. You’ll learn strategies that will help you overcome cultural, linguistic, and logistical barriers in order to report migration stories with relevance, novelty, and style. You don’t need to be a lawyer to cover immigration, but you do need to have a working understanding of the laws, and where they came from, so that you know the difference between asylum and sanctuary cities, between TPS, VAWA, UACs and SIJS. This class will provide that understanding. In addition to the history of immigration laws, we’ll look at the root causes of our current global refugee crises; the gendered threats women and girls face along regular and irregular migration routes; the key hotspots for migrant abuse at home and abroad; and the ways that resilience, resourcefulness, and creative agency surface in migrants' stories.
This course is designed as a story-lab, with the intention of producing work that will be published by Documented. Most notably, you’ll be assigned to cover a specific immigration-related subject (filing updates each week) and work either individually or in teams to produce at least one feature or profile, and one investigative story about it. You’ll be responsible for preparing one oral presentation, either individually or in a group, about your area of expertise.